March 2015 Top Twin Cities Arts and Entertainment Picks

Mary Poppins at Chanhassen

2/27 – 8/29 Mary Poppins

The Broadway production of Mary Poppins—a musical that fused elements of the classic books and the film about a supernaturally gifted domestic maid and the family she saves from disorder—debuted in 2006 and ended up being one of the longest-running shows in history. I caught a touring production back in 2009 at the Orpheum and was pleasantly surprised by the show’s stage magic, legerdemain, and general sense of fun—qualities that promise to be in abundance at Chanhassen, particularly with the charisma and vocal talent of Ann Michels in the title role. It’s a story that has been refreshingly off-kilter in all its various incarnations, with charm and weirdness in equal proportions. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp


Zoot Suit Riots3/5-15 Zoot Suit Riots

Following last year’s throwback musical Class of ’85, dance-performance company COLLIDE casts an eye and ear even further into the past with the new Zoot Suit Riots, which takes place at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in the early 1940s amid the backdrop of racial unrest during World War II. Revolutionaries including Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez were reportedly galvanized by the upheavals of the time. Here the radical noise is provided by an ensemble of 10 dancers and a live band taking on the sounds of the era and original choreography inspired by the golden era of jazz.


Sarah McLachlan 3/7 Sarah McLachlan

She was a mainstay of the ’90s CD era with Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing, both of which were indispensable dorm-room and road-trip accompaniments, and she spearheaded Lilith Fair—the all-female touring concert festival that drew a total audience of two million over three years and became synonymous with female empowerment. Last year saw the release of a new album, Shine On, inspired by the death of her father; she’s an artist who has been burnishing her catalogue of lush songwriting gems in the decades since her commercial apex, and a performer who inspires a loyal audience with the delicacy of her vision and captivating voice. Photo courtesy of The Verve Group


BLEED3/19 – 3/27 BLEED

Contemporary choreographer Tere O’Connor returns to the Walker for the first time in nearly a decade with BLEED, a work that combines three of his recent creations into a single program—featuring 11 dancers reportedly ideally suited for this movement exploration of intrigue and cultural consciousness with a sense of humor and play. He is known for keeping the focus on dance and the body, when these days multimedia presentations are more in vogue (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). In 2009, The New York Times referred to O’Connor as “an essential figure, adored for his exquisitely constructed works.”


The Meds I'm On 3/21 – 5/9 The Meds I’m On

Instinct Gallery director John Schuerman was walking in downtown Minneapolis recently when he overheard a man beginning a sentence spoken to a friend with “The meds I’m on…” A light bulb went off: the concept of a show curated around the awareness of a society in which half of us take prescription medication every day, and aging, healthcare, and addiction underpin so many of our conversations. Works in the show include painting, illustration, installation, and photography—a dose of creative insight in a world in which so many of us are otherwise dosed as well. ‘Grandma’s Pills’ by John Ilg


Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.