While I’m out: See “Faust” and Workhaus

I hate to abandon you people. The strong. The hearty. The frozen. But I’m heading Costa Rica way, and not a moment too pronto it seems. I’d send a postcard, but why rub it in?

Here are a couple ways to stay warm, however. Check out the Minnesota Opera’s “Faust,” now playing at the Ordway. Maybe you saw the Theatre de la Jeune Lune do a take on this a couple years ago, maybe you even loved it (I was lukewarm; it was cool when it needed to be hot–and I wasn’t buying Bradley Greenwald as a bad guy, nope). But a couple things make this more mainstream version of the classic sold-your-soul-to-the-devil story a rather interesting production. Two singers: Paul Groves, a rare treat to hear a mainstay of the Met who’s been working to restore opera to New Orleans. In fact, the Louis Armstrong Opera House he helped back on its feet is opening while he’s here in Minnesota. Then there’s Lucas Meacham — a guy who looks less like an opera singer than a wrestler, the kind who smash chairs across the back; he looks like he could throw God to the other side of the universe, a reason he was added to the Barihunks blog (yes, there’s a blog about sexy opera baritones).

Come January 31, also check out the Workhaus Playwrights Collective’s latest play, “Planting Shelly Anne,” from member Jeannine Coulombe. Workhaus is the best group showcasing original playwriting right now in the Twin Cities, and this new one has an attractively humorous premise for uncertain times — can an average woman save her daughter from the blogs, her marriage from the mundane, and the planet from climate change, or will all her dreams melt away? 

See you after I’m thawed.

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