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Weekly performance art openings (11/13/11 - 11/19/11)

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Each week I endeavor to list new performance art productions opening around the Twin Cities. With such an abundance of companies and venues in the area, keeping track of openings can be a challenge, but I'll link whatever I can find. Provided descriptions are reprinted from production websites.

November 17th

Four Humors Theatre: Skinner Box and You Only Live Forever Once

Four Humors Theatre presents two original productions:

  • Skinner Box: There is an urban legend that famed psychologist B.F. Skinner raised his own daughter in a Skinner box; an operant conditioning chamber that permits experimenters to study animal behavior through stimuli and reward. People were outraged, but it turned out that it was only a temperature controlled crib. But what if Skinner had actually been able to raise a set of twins away from public scrutiny... for over 25 years?
  • You Only Live Forever Once: Danger! Intrigue! Double Crossing! Dashing men and sexy women! Dazzling special effects! The bad guy has a cougar! Puppets! The world is in peril and there is only one man who can save it!

Productions alternate at Open Eye Figure Theatre through 11/26.

- from Four Humors Theater

Park Square Theatre: Of Mice and Men

Travel with George and Lennie through this beautiful tale of friendship, loneliness and the longing for home. Bound by a promise George made to care for the developmentally disabled Lennie, these oddly matched friends scratch out a living during the Great Depression by traveling from ranch to ranch as itinerant farm hands, sustained only by their dream of one day buying a ranch of their own. Runs through 11/20.

- from Park Square Theatre

University of Minnesota Theatre: The Great(er) American Pastime

The Great(er) American Pastime: $ A quirky tale chatting how capital addiction has twisted our relations, corrupted nature’s nurtures, & famished our existentialistic stupidities $$ It’s a thriller! $$$ A chronicle about a family shredded apart by dangerous obsession and so much more. $$$$ It’s a comedy! A comedy about the propaganda that runs our lives. $$$$$ It’s a tragedy! A drama about the loss of one’s innocence by despicably pathetic means. $$$$$$ An entertainment extravaganza, should you desire any less? $ It’s a “free” show, need you ask more? $ A cheap bang for your buck, and that’s an innuendo! $! …+ It’s a social commentary. $$$$$$---- The Great(er) American Pastime - It has nothing to do with baseball, but that makes life no less of a competition. Runs at Rarig Center through 11/20.

- from University of Minnesota Theatre

November 18th

Lyric Arts: White Christmas

Settle in for sentiment this holiday season as Lyric Arts presents this classic holiday tale based on the beloved film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. Take a step back in time to 1944 and meet Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, World War II veterans who are enjoying post-war success with their song-and-dance act. The pair pursues their hearts’ desires as they follow two beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge. Romance and holiday magic create an uplifting musical experience featuring well-known standards including Blue Skies, I Love a Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and, of course, White Christmas. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Runs through 12/18.

- from Lyric Arts

Stages Theatre Company: A Silent Night for PEEF

PEEF the Christmas Bear was created from scraps of material provided by Santa’s elves. After a wonderful beginning to his life at the North Pole, Santa asked PEEF to become a special gift to a lonely child. PEEF, of course, said yes. Now Santa visits PEEF to see how things are going for his creation. What he finds is not what he expects: a torn, dirty toy who has lost his voice. What is Santa to do now? The answer may surprise you in this world premiere musical production from Stages Theatre Company. Recommended for all ages. Runs through 12/26.

- from Stages Theatre Company

Theatre in the Round Players: The Dining Room

Once upon a time, the dining room was the hub of American family life. This charming mosaic of scenes, with actors changing roles, ages, and personalities, follows the dining room from the Depression through the 1980's, and we watch as its changes over the years reflect the changes of our lives. Runs through 12/18.

- from Theatre in the Round Players

TU Dance: Fall Program @ the O'Shaughnessy

TU Dance returns to The O’Shaughnessy to perform new works by Uri Sands and other favorites from the growing repertory. Led by Alvin Ailey veterans Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, TU Dance has quickly become a leading voice in the Minnesota dance scene. The company has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic and generous. Modern dance, classical ballet, African based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to create “compelling, entertaining and emotionally resonant contemporary dances” that celebrate the connective power of dance. Runs at the O’Shaughnessy through 11/20.

- from TU Dance

Zenon Dance Company: 29th Fall Season

Zenon Dance Company, a standard-bearer of dance excellence for nearly 30 years, pulls out all the stops for its Cowles Center debut. The program includes the world premiere of New York choreographer Daniel Charon’s epic modern dance "Storm," a sweeping musical work of heroic physicality, intricate composition and emotional resonance that will leave audiences breathless. Also on the program is national treasure Danny Buraczeski’s signature jazz dance, "Swing Concerto," set to music by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Brave New World, which The New York Times enthused is "downright terrific [and] brought down the house." Zenon also premieres a high-octane jazz/ballroom/modern work by the irrepressible Mariusz Olszewski, a former performer with Buraczeski’s company Jazzdance and a featured choreographer on the Polish version of the popular TV show "So You Think You Can Dance." Zenon reprises the postmodern delight "Deluxe Edition," "a cheeky celebration of the beautiful body" (Star Tribune) and a runaway hit by nationally acclaimed Minneapolis choreographer Morgan Thorson. Runs at Cowles Center through 11/27.

- from Zenon Dance Company

November 19th

Guthrie Theater: A Christmas Carol

For more than 35 years audiences have treasured the Guthrie's A Christmas Carol, making it a Twin Cities tradition not to be missed. Last season the Guthrie debuted a fresh take on Dickens' ghost story, featuring a new adaptation by British playwright Crispin Whittell, a dazzling set and costumes, beautiful music, and fantastical aerial effects. The Star Tribune raved "I welcome the new energy and sharpness that Dowling, Whittell and the fine cast have brought to this Carol. They have vividly remade a classic." Runs through 12/30.

- from the Guthrie Theater

History Theatre: A Civil War Christmas

It is Christmastime in Washington, DC. President Lincoln is trying to heal the wounds of a nation. Soldiers on both sides are bravely holding on to the promise of a brighter future for their country. And people of every walk of life long for wholeness and celebration as Christmas Eve draws near. This epic Christmas musical incorporates folk songs, spirituals, Civil War songs, and Christmas carols to reveal a world that is simultaneously torn apart by war and held together by the hope for redemption. Runs through 12/18.

- from the History Theatre

For previous performance arts openings-

Nov. 6th – Nov. 12th:http://www.examiner.com/performance-art-in-minneapolis/weekly-performance-art-openings-11-06-11-11-12-11

Oct. 30th – Nov. 5th: http://www.examiner.com/performance-art-in-minneapolis/weekly-performance-art-openings-10-30-11-11-05-11

Oct. 23rd – Oct. 29th: http://www.examiner.com/performance-art-in-minneapolis/weekly-performance-art-openings-10-23-11-10-29-11

Cowles Center

Four Humors Theater

Guthrie Theater

History Theatre

Lyric Arts

Open Eye Figure Theatre

O’Shaughnessy, The

Park Square Theatre

Stages Theatre Company

Theatre in the Round Players

TU Dance

University of Minnesota Theatre

Zenon Dance Company

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