Spring Theater Is (Almost) Here

Shows at the Guthrie, Penumbra, the Jungle, Latté Da, and other Twin Cities theaters to catch now or as it gets warmer

Spring isn’t in the air quite yet, but here are Twin Cities theater shows open currently, opening this month, or opening later in the warmer season that you can look forward to:

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

The Tony-nominated musical “The Prom” sets Broadway veterans on a small town in Indiana, where they vouch for a teen thwarted from bringing her girlfriend to prom. It’s been made into a movie with Meryl Streep, it counters homophobia with feel-good vibes, and it runs at the dinner-and-a-show destination through June 10, after kicking off last month.

Children’s Theatre Company

The mischievous tale of Corduroy,” a teddy bear what’s lost his button, has returned for audiences aged 4 and up through April 2. After that, it’s the all-ages “An American Tail: The Musical,” based on Fievel’s story as a Russian immigrant trying to reconnect with his storm-sundered family in New York, as seen in that beloved mouse movie (April 25-June 18).


“Blues for an Alabama Sky” closes its run next week. The drama, set in Depression-era Harlem, stages the wavering fate of a tightknit group of friends while glancing at such serious topics as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and Prohibition. It wraps on the Guthrie’s Wurtele thrust stage March 12.

Then,“Born With Teeth,” a play that premiered last spring in Houston, Texas, imagines a young Shakespeare collaborating with playwright Christopher Marlowe. The two flirt and evade authoritarianism on the McGuire proscenium stage March 4 through April 2.

History Theatre

The story of Melvin Carter Jr. (the father of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter) comes to History Theatre March 11 through April 2. Opening amid racial tensions circa the 1950s and ’60s, “Diesel Heart” moves into the young Carter’s school years and through to his time as a St. Paul police officer. The story, written by playwright and Carter’s long-time friend Brian Grandison, pulls from Carter’s autobiography of the same name.

Next up, in “The Defeat of Jesse James,” the notorious desperado reenacts his “last gig” in a blend of rock concert, Wild West showstopper, and homage to Northfield’s claim to fame. Runs April 26 through May 28.

Illusion Theater

“In This Moment…Now” revisits a 2020 work wherein African American artists and “friends of Illusion” came together to respond to George Floyd’s murder. Artists give an update in this limited-run show taking place April 14-16 and 21-23. Participants include Aimee K. Bryant, T. Mychael Rambo, Danez Smith, and Regina Marie Williams.

Jungle Theater

Running March 11 through April 16, “5” starts with a convenience store and throws in an offer from a real estate developer. The co-owners—two best friends—have to figure out what to do next, while narrative threads weave in gentrification, the notion of family legacy, and a community coming up against apocalyptic forces.

Theater Latté Da

“Hello, Dolly!” debuted to glowing praise at Theater Latté Da last month, featuring thrilling shifts to the Broadway hallmark’s subtexts and starring Regina Marie Williams as a force-of-nature Dolly. The approach is bold yet casual. Director and choreographer Kelli Foster Warder told the Star Tribune, “I was talking with a person who has been very successful on Broadway and they said in period pieces it’s not true to the story to cast people of different races, and I was like, ‘Well, we were there.’” Get your tickets through March 26.

After that, it’s “We Shall Someday,” a world premiere running April 19 through May 14 that digs into three generations of a Black family. Four actors drive forward this “intimate” musical and multi-media stage experience, using as a backdrop such historic figures in Black America as the Freedom Riders and Rodney King.

(Plus: Read about departing artistic director Peter Rothstein, who raised the profile of local musical theater.)

"Again": Dexieng Yang and Melody Her, who play Mai See and Quest, respectively
“Again”: Dexieng Yang and Melody Her, who play Mai See and Quest, respectively

Rich Ryan Photography

Theater Mu / Minnesota Opera / Mixed Blood Theatre

Author Kao Kalia Yang earned outstanding reviews for “The Song Poet”—and now, the memoir has become an opera. Inspired by her song-poet father, the Hmong-Minnesotan writer’s tale of immigration has been described as the first Hmong story adapted for the operatic stage. This collaboration between Theater Mu and the Minnesota Opera runs March 9-26.

After that, Mu stages “Again” at Mixed Blood Theatre. Hmong memoirist and cancer survivor Mai See teams up with a filmmaker, Quest, who documents See’s life while living with chronic cancer herself. The musical aims to pull forward behind-the-scenes nuances those inexperienced with cancer may find enlightening. Recommended for ages 16 and up, it runs March 29 through April 16.


The romantic musical Audrey Hepburn made famous classes up the Ordway’s Broadway series March 21-25. And this staging of “My Fair Lady” pointedly wonders who—between the guileless Eliza Doolittle and the stiff Henry Higgins—is actually changing for the better. (Plus: Read about the oracle of the Ordway, producing artistic director Rod Kaats, who consumes 100 to 150 theater shows a year.)

Orpheum Theatre

“Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” keeps rolling through March 12, telling the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s story in the form of a jukebox musical. Then, April 4-6, “Hamilton” returns.

Park Square Theatre

[UPDATE, 3/14/23: Park Square Theatre has announced it will cancel its season, apart from “The Revolutionists,” youth programs, and previously scheduled rentals.]

What happens when the French Revolution piles together an assassin, a spy, a playwright, and Marie Antoinette, all in one snarling plot of murder, friendship, and comedy?: “The Revolutionists”—an all-women romp through rebellion that runs March 29 through April 16.

Then, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum mark three decades of the dance and theater company’s blend of percussion, off-the-wall stories, and strange characters. Chavala, a multi-disciplinary performer and teacher, has spun theatrical works in Minneapolis since 1990, and if you’re not familiar yet, now is a good time. The show runs April 13-23.


In “Sugar in Our Wounds,” two young men enslaved on a plantation in the Civil War South find comfort in each other after they’re separated from their families. What follows is an exploration of queer love and freedom. The drama, directed by Penumbra’s Sarah Bellamy, runs through March 19.

Pillsbury House + Theatre

The south Minneapolis mainstay stages a “poetic and sensory” world premiere from an award-winning playwright: “What / Washed Ashore / Astray” sets up the reunion of twin sisters at a Pacific Northwest cabin, where a tone of warmth and humor surrounds the topics of grief and death. (Plus: Read about the outdoorsy, ever-moving whirlwind of an artistic producing director, Signe Harriday, who took over in 2021.)

"Misery" at Yellow Tree Theatre
“Misery” at Yellow Tree Theatre


Yellow Tree Theatre

The Osseo outpost closes its run of “Misery” on March 19. You may remember the story from the Stephen King novel or the movie domineered by a wild-eyed Kathy Bates. The 90-minute stage adaptation delivers: Snowed-in romance novelist meets murderous big-time fan.

After that, it’s “Lady Day,” wherein Billie Holiday performs one of her last shows, running April 21 through May 21.