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.
Park Square Theatre: Hot Chocolate (Previews 11/30 – 12/01)
A young couple juggles competing family expectations, literally shopping 'til they drop. When they finally stop for a cup of hot chocolate, they discover the "secret recipe" that can weave the diverse threads of their lives into new traditions. Filled with contemporary and classic music, this simple story reminds us all that love and family are at the heart of the season. Runs through 12/18.
- from Park Square Theatre
Alan Berks & Company / Gremlin Theatre: How to Cheat
The Fringe Festival smash hit comedy returns, updated, expanded and re-designed! Louis is a playboy scientist who meets Meredith, a married journalist, at a party. Sparks fly when the two find themselves together in a peculiar room and a seemingly innocent meeting turns into a passionate, eye-opening tryst. How to Cheat is a stylistically adventurous story of two lost souls that discover there may be more to life than they've come to expect. Runs through 12/10.
University of Minnesota Theater: Chekhov in Repertory
The University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program Company of 2012 brings to life two of Anton Chekhov's most revered plays, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard. Concerning loss, love, suppression, and the undeniable force of change, these timeless stories are explored through the eyes of nineteen of America’s next generation of actors. Runs at the Rarig Center through 12/04.
Bloomington Civic Theatre: Inspecting Carol
Struggling financially and with their National Endowment for the Arts grant in question, the eccentric characters of the Soapbox Theatre Company desperately work to polish their production of A Christmas Carol. From one catastrophe to another, this riotous version of a classic favorite provides for nonstop laughter. Runs through 12/18.
- from Bloomington Civic Theatre
Chameleon Theatre Circle: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical comedy about six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, all of whom learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. The unlikeliest of hit musicals, this Tony Award-winning tale of overachievement and angst will have you rooting for the unlikeliest of heroes: A quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time. Runs through 12/18.
- from Chameleon Theatre Circle
Hennepin Theatre Trust: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Moscow Ballet tours the Great Russian Nutcracker across North America with 40 top Russian dancers in each performance of this family Christmas story featuring lavish costumes, Russian puppets and nine, hand-painted backdrops. Runs at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Orpheum Theatre through 12/03.
- from Hennepin Theatre Trust
Illusion Theater: Miss Richfield 1981 – Thirty Years on the Throne
Returning from her stunning engagement in Provincetown, Miss R has returned to honor the mayor's proclamation and bring us her usual holiday hilarity. Runs through 12/18.
- from Illusion Theater
Open Window Theatre: The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
The trial of the century! Just a year after his miraculous transformation, Ebenezer Scrooge is back to his old ways, suing Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future on a variety of charges. But in a staggering turn of events, Scrooge gives everyone a Christmas lesson to remember! This festive and fun play is a great Christmas outing for the entire family! Runs through 12/30.
- from Open Window Theatre
SteppingStone Theatre: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Generations of families have fallen in love with the Herdmans, “…the worst kids in the whole history of the world.” The Herdman family invades the Christmas pageant and everyone braces for complete disaster. When chaos erupts and the firemen arrive, even Reverend Hopkins is ready to cancel Christmas. But in this classic play, the Herdmans rise to the occasion, defy expectations, and make this year’s show The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Runs through 12/23.
- from SteppingStone Theatre
Youth Performance Company: A Reindeer Line
Another cold and frigid Christmas is approaching but in the North Pole the competition is heating up. Auditions for the opportunity to rise above the rest and do what every reindeer has always dreamed — to fly with Santa Claus! All the work that these reindeer have put in has been for this moment! Recommended for all ages. Runs through 12/18.
- from Youth Performance Company
Lyric Arts: A Spell of Cold Weather
This “Mainly for Kids” production brings audiences down to a farm in the Welsh countryside where Betty and Bob have let all the fun slip from their lives. The couple has lost touch with everything—their animals, their culture, and even each other. When Betty and Bob’s young niece Holly arrives for a visit between Christmas and New Year, she discovers a magical friendship with the farm’s puck-like fairy named Tomos Trickman. Together, Holly and Tomos venture to bring joy and wonder back to Betty and Bob’s farm through song, dance and talking animals. Their mischievous journey will leave you with a sense of adventure…and a renewed belief in magic. Recommended for ages 5 and older. Runs through 12/16.
- from Lyric Arts
For previous performance arts openings-