This week I made my way over to St. Paul to visit Bedlam Theatre’s new digs in Lowertown and to have a look around—I say new, but in fact it’s taken a year to get the new venue up and running, mostly due to heating and cooling infrastructure issues of the sort that the eclectic company surely never contemplated when they were doing shows in a low-ceilinged haunt in Cedar-Riverside years ago.
It was worth the wait. Bedlam’s doors will be open all weekend during the St. Paul Art Crawl, and its official Grand Opening will take place May 31 with a full slate of food, drink, performances, and music. The space itself, directly across the street from the front doors of Union Station, will also be open daily with a full restaurant and bar.
Bedlam’s most recent space, also in Cedar-Riverside, was for a time a go-to destination for a range of music and shows, as well as a hang-out for artists and assorted fellow travelers. Bedlam Lowertown, as the new venue is called, is very open, inviting, and remarkably integrated into the neighborhood. It should be an essential stop this weekend for Art Crawl-ers, for a soda or a beer and a look into what will surely contribute to the continued blossoming of a walkable and inviting part of St. Paul.
Now: The Bedlam folks need to get back to creating original theater as soon as possible, now that all this venue-building stuff is out of the way. The next Love in a Time of Rinderpest—with the humor, weirdness, and outright fun of that 2006 gem—isn’t going to make itself.