Sunday, December 4, 2016

Twelve Shows of Christmas!

You can't throw a snowball in the Twin Cities and Minnesota without hitting a holiday show.

In order to help you sort through the massively rich choices, here is our list of the shows we are most looking forward to and enjoying this holiday season!

A Very Asian Xmas 2016: The Holiday Party
Where: A-Mill Artist Lofts
When: Dec 12, 2016
Why We're In: Because last year's show left my cheeks hurting from smiling, and it made me want to go home and sing. I love that in a show.  Read last year's review here!

Where: Illusion Theater
When: Dec 2 - 17, 2016
Why We're In: Because this year, more than any other year, I need to remember that there is utter hilarity in the world. Read our review here!


The Unscripted Minnesota Holiday
Where: Danger Boat Productions at Bryant Lake Bowl
When: Dec 1, 3, 8, 10, 17, 2016
Why We're In: Improv plus holiday plus musical theater. PLUS, this cast/creative: Lorna Landvik, Dane Stauffer, Max Beyer, Heather Meyer, and Lizzie Gardner. Music by Dennis Curley. Directed by Tane Danger.

Snowed Inn
Where: DalekoArts
When: Nov 25 - Dec 18, 2016
Why We're In: Even though the show is probably sold out completely by now, I want to give it a little love because of the fabulous premise: "After failed screenwriter Archie Je┼żek leaves the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood to return to the small, Minnesota town where he grew up to run the family hotel, his dreams of a quiet, steady Midwestern life quickly devolve to madcap holiday hijinks and mayhem." Yes, please.

Where: James Sewell Ballet at The Cowles Center
When: Dec 2 – 18, 2016
Why We're In: Because how fun does this sound? "Johnson’s highly inventive and irreverent production is set in the 60’s, beginning on the Upper-East-Side and careening into a beatnik downtown vibe with a life-size Barbie doll. The production is full of colorful characters all accompanied by a musical mash-up of hip-hop, R&B, contemporary tracks, and Christmas carols."

Black Nativity
Where: Penumbra Theatre
When: Dec 1 - 23, 2016
Why We're In: This IS our holiday tradition. We've been with Black Nativity from the many happy years at the Fitzgerald Theater to the current run at Penumbra, and no matter what else changed, this is always a show of love and gorgeous music. Read last year's review here!


Where: Theater Latte Da at the Ritz Theater
When: Nov 30 – Dec 23, 2016
Why We're In:
Because this sweet, affectionate show about Tod Petersen's real life Christmas memories is hilarious and poignant by turns. Also, sugar cookies! Read our review here!


Where: Open Eye Figure Theater
When: Dec 8 - 23, 2016
Why We're In: From our good friend Cherry and Spoon: "Part science lesson (complete with visual aids), part history, part mystical spirituality, The Longest Night is the loveliest of celebrations of the season."
Where: Minneapolis Musical Theatre at Camp Bar
When: Dec 2 - 23
Why We're In: Because Minneapolis Musical Theatre is having an amazing run of amazing shows. Plus, Camp is a super fun place to see a show AND is in St. Paul. Read our review here!

Where: Wurtele Thrust at Guthrie Theater
When: Nov 16 - Dec 30, 2016
Why We're In: It's never been a tradition for us, but with the fabulous racially diverse casting and all of the wonderful Guthrie resources on display AND only two hours with intermission, how can you go wrong? Read our review here!

The Norwegians
Where: Dark & Stormy Productions at Grain Belt Warehouse
When: Dec 8 - 30, 2016
Why We're In: Dark & Stormy always ends up on our holiday theater list. Sometimes, there's only so much sugar plums and 'bless us, every one' that you can take, and D & S always has the cure. Plus, a show about really nice hit men? Yes, please.
Where: Ordway Center
When: Dec 8 - Dec 31, 2016
Why We're In: Look at the adorable Dieter Bierbrauer and Brian Sostek. How could we possibly not be in?

Okay, so that's twelve and I still have SO MANY SHOWS to tell you about! I'm turning things over to a few of our Twin Cities Theater Bloggers friends for a lightning round of recommendations.

The Room Where It Happens on A Very Die Hard Christmas
"If you need a pick-me-up this holiday season and want to see a wildly funny take on a classic 80s film, this show’s for you."
(at Bryant Lake Bowl through Dec 17)

Cherry and Spoon on A Gone Fishin' Christmas
"There's a reason that Yellow Tree's original Christmas plays are so popular and sell out virtually every performance - they are a perfect mix of heart and humor wrapped up in local jokes that we love so well, with a talented cast that makes these characters and the sweet and silly story sing (literally and figuratively)."(Yellow Tree Theater through Dec 11)

One Girl, Two Cities on The Averagers -  Christmas War
"I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t take much to make me laugh. But it’s not often that I cry from laughing so hard..."(Comedy Suitcase at Bryant Lake Bowl through Dec 11)

Compendium on What the Elf?
"I mean come on, we all love The Christmas Carol and A Christmas Story, but every single year? Sometimes you need to mix it up a little."(Brave New Workshop through January 28)