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The Fall 2013 Arts Guide to Culture, Museums, and Entertainment

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Arts Guide

A lineup of the season's best performances, exhibits and attractions





Performing Arts

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

In celebration of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ 45th anniversary, Fiddler on the Roof returns to the Main Stage for the first time in 20 years! In the little village of Anatevka, Tevye, a poor milkman is trying to keep his family’s traditions in place. Yet, times are changing. And when Tevye’s daughters want to make their own matches, he must choose between his daughters’ happiness and those beloved traditions that keep the outside world at bay. Ultimately, it is Tevye’s love of family, pride, and faith that help him face the dangerous forces in Anatevka that threaten to destroy the very life he and his fellow villagers are trying to preserve.

Fiddler on the Roof opens Sept. 27 with a rousing, heartwarming score, including: “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Far From the Home I Love,” “Do You Love Me,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and more.  Few other musicals weave together music, dance, poignancy and laughter into such an electrifying, unforgettable experience.

Resident artistic director Michael Brindisi will once again collaborate with his creative team on the staging of Fiddler: Choreographer Tamara Kangas Erickson, musical director Andrew Cooke, set designer Nayna Ramey, costume designer Rich Hamson, lighting designer Sue Ellen Berger, sound designer Russ Haynes, and production stage manager Susan Magnuson.

Dinner and show tickets for Fiddler on the Roof range from $54 (student ticket price) to $82 (Saturday evening). Discounted show only tickets can be purchased 10 days prior to performances through the box office. Discounted group pricing (12 or more) is also available.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, located 25 minutes southwest of Minneapolis, is the nation’s largest professional dinner theater, and the state’s only year-round professional musical theatre company. Since opening in 1968, more than 8 million visitors have been through its doors. Local designers, artists and directors create every element of productions in-house, including the sets and costumes, as well as the casting, designing and execution of all technical and artistic aspects of their shows. This differs greatly from a presenting theatre, which brings in touring shows from larger markets and presents them in rental houses.

The Chanhassen Concert Series includes talented cover bands and artists on the Chanhassen’s Fireside Stage, ranging from a tribute to Fleetwood Mac to a Christmas concert with Keri Noble. See the website for a detailed list of concerts and dates. And don’t forget that the Chanhassen is the place to see fast-paced, clean, and funny improv comedy. Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret will make you laugh every Friday and Saturday night in the Playhouse Theatre.

All seats are $25.

For more information, call 952-934-1525 or visit www.ChanhassenDT.com.

Burnsville Performing Arts Center

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to drive to Minneapolis or St. Paul for quality shows or cultural events. You can also drive to the suburb of Burnsville to see national talent performing in the beautiful Burnsville Performing Arts Center. The facility is modern and comfortable, there is ample (free!) parking, and the friendly, helpful staff truly is the crème de la crème.

The 2013-14 season lineup includes a little bit of Cash, a little bit of Broadway, a little bit of church basement comedy, a Beatles concert, and dazzling visuals and illusions. All tickets range from $30-$40.

The first show in the lineup is Ring of Fire – The Music of Johnny Cash on Sept. 11, one of the “best jukebox musicals” of our time, celebrating Johnny’s life from the cotton fields to the Grand Ole Opry.

On Sept. 20, catch The Broadway Boys, an evening full of popular show tunes presented with contemporary flare.  

 The Church Basement Ladies in: A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement will be “gracing” the stage at BPAC on Jan. 9, set in 1960s-era East Cornucopia Lutheran.

On March 14 enjoy a unique brand of storytelling during Lightwire: The Show, including music, visual effects, 16-foot tall birds, and cats fighting with light sabers in a struggle of good vs. evil.

On March 15, head out on a musical journey through 1964: The Tribute, and relive a Beatles concert back when John, Paul, George, and Ringo ruled the world.  

The last show of the season, Spencer’s: Theater of Illusion is March 20, promising magic theater full of drama, danger, and cutting-edge illusions.

For tickets, call 800-982-2787 or visit www.burnvillepac.com for more information. 

Children’s Theatre Company

Charlotte’s Web is not just a story about a pig and a spider; it’s a “gentle and beautiful piece about innocence, friendship, and community while dealing (very movingly and sensitively) with some of the harder situations we face as we grow older,” says Greg Banks, who is directing the Children’s Theatre Company’s production, based on the beloved 1952 children’s book by E.B. White.

Charlotte’s Web, by Joseph Robinette, will feature a memorable, talented cast including Emma Thvedt as Fern, Ethan Davenport as Wilbur, CTC newcomer Joanna Harmon as Charlotte, and a host of funny barnyard animals including a very greedy rat, a slapstick lamb, and silly geese.

Charlotte’s Web will run Sept. 17 through Oct. 27 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage. Charlotte’s Web is recommended for grades K+.  

Another fun show returning to CTC is the raucous production of Cinderella, performed in the enduringly popular panto style with the cross-dressing stepsisters everyone loves to hate. This classic fairy tale is turned on its head with side-splitting physical comedy and enough romance and splendor to soften hearts and inspire audiences of all ages to seek their happily ever after. Cinderella, starring lauded Twin Cities actor Traci Allen, will run from Nov. 12 through Jan. 5.

Tickets to both shows range from $10-52 (prices subject to change).

Order tickets by calling 612-874-0400 or by visiting www.childrenstheatre.org.

History Theatre

History Theatre’s 2013-2014 season will include three world premieres, two regional premieres, and one returning favorite. These six distinct plays and musicals will explore what it means to be an American “hero.” What is promised and sacrificed when ordinary people are faced with extraordinary circumstances?  

The season will begin with musical Baby Case, covering the sensational 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the “Trial of the Century.” This play, running Oct. 5-Nov. 3, explores the media’s role in the search; going beyond news coverage into actually creating the story. Back by popular demand, Christmas of Swing—from Nov. 23-Dec. 22—will feature a bigger band and a larger ensemble to swing along with returning “Sisters” Ruthie Baker, Stacey Lindell, and Jen Burleigh-Bentz. From Feb. 1-23, History Theatre will open the world premiere of a new play by Eric Simonson: The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz, a play about a man who grew up in Sheboygan, Wis. and his friendships with Jackie Robinson and JFK. In March, two generations of veterans will be honored in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a one-man show about the Vietnam War—running from March 15-April 6—and Lonely Soldiers: Women at War in Iraq March 16-April 6, giving voice to eight women who served in combat during the early years of the Iraq war.

Working Boys Band, from May 3-June 1, rounds out the 2013-14 season, revisiting the 1918-era band that was formed to give young people a way to constructively pass the time after working in factories. The world premiere was created by Minnesota artists playwright Dominic Orlando and composer Hiram Titus.

For ticket information to any of the shows, visit www.historytheatre.com or call 651-292-4323.

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