Thursday, November 29, 2018

Alt-Holiday Show Guide for 2018

'Tis the season for holiday theatergoing!

Before you buy your tickets to the various Christmas Carols and Nutcrackers around town, check out one of our smaller theaters for something a little different, a little more intimate and a lot more lowercase letters. And sometimes? These shows aren't even about the holidays. WHAT. I know.

Show: Angels We Have Heard Are High - Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre
When: November 2, 2018 - January 26, 2019
About: "Come see what’s in Santa’s dime bag! This year’s holiday show is full of brilliant new sketches as well as throwback holiday hilarity from Brave New Workshop’s 60 years. Get your tickets today – they make the perfect stocking puffer! “Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!)” features all-star performers Lauren Anderson, Denzel Belin, Doug Neithercott, and Taj Ruler; with musical direction by Jon Pumper and technical direction by Matthew Vichlach. Directed by Caleb McEwen."
Why You Should Go: Because there will be laughing, dang it.

Show: The Unscripted MN Holiday - Presented by Danger Boat Productions at Bryant-Lake Bowl
When: November 23 - December 2, 2018
About: "This full-length improvised spectacular feels just like your favorite winter movies (Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman). Only in this show, the audience provides all the particulars: the fictional town, the annual winter celebration, and even which cast member will be the hero of the story. And did we mention the whole show is a musical? And all the songs are improvised!"
Why You Should Go: Because of the very talented cast. Plus, BLB is always a fun visit during the holidays.

Show: Vincent River - Crane Theater Studio
When: November 28 - December 3, 2018
About: "Anita's closeted gay son was viciously murdered by a gang of men at an abandoned train station. A mysterious young man has been following her for months. When the two finally confront each other, both must grapple with the truth that has been stalking them, and stare directly into the face of their worst nightmares. At turns hilarious and haunting, beautiful and brutal, VINCENT RIVER is a gripping, unrelenting negotiation between two souls desperate for a way to move beyond grief."
Why You Should Go: This is only the second production of this intriguing 2001 play. Also, it's directed by the amazingly talented Grant Sorenson.

Show: Get Thee Behind Me, Santa: The Musical - Hosted by Strike Theater and Maximum Verbosity
When: November 29 - December 8, 2018
About: "It’s December 21st, 2012, and something’s gone terribly wrong with the timeline. Now it’s up to Saint Nicholas, a soft-boiled detective, and an unknown carpenter’s son named Jesus of Nazareth to set things right in this giddily blasphemous collection of literary and musical parodies!"
NOTE DISCLAIMER: "WARNING: May contain mature language, as well as immature and insensitive humor regarding genitalia, flatulence, regurgitation, sex, drugs, rock and roll, lies, videotape, duct tape, tapeworms, subversion of ethnic stereotypes, fulfilment of ethnic stereotypes, hate culture, rape culture, ape culture, horticulture, and/or a general posture of deep reverence for deep irreverence. Not for the faint of heart or stomach."
Why You Should Go: Well....if you're not scared off by the disclaimer, then YES, you should go.

Show: Freedom Daze - Exposed Brick Theatre at the Southern
When: November 29 - December 9, 2018
About: "The Muslim ban didn’t happen overnight. Its seeds were planted long before 45 or 9/11. Freedom Daze is a journey through the media maze of (mis)information and indoctrination that has led to the creation of an enemy class of “them.” Using a multi-media approach and weaving together multiple storylines, the play follows an artist’s quest to discover how a childhood acquaintance, “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” came to be sentenced to a life in solitary confinement.
In a world of “They hate freedom,” “If you see something, say something” and “The Terror Alert is”…where can one find the truth?"
Why You Should Go: Because it couldn't be a more timely and important topic, and the multi-media approach sounds amazing.

Show: A City Council Christmas - Daleko Arts
When: November 30 - December 30, 2018
About: "The holidays are busy for all of us, but we wholeheartedly encourage you to do your civic duty and make your voice heard by attending this small town city council meeting. From the creative team that brought you the Main Street Holiday series, join us for more silly, holiday fun with another DalekoArts original holiday play."
Why You Should Go: Because Daleko Arts does beautiful work and they are well worth the drive.

Show: The River Becomes Sea - nimbus theatre
When: December 1 - 16, 2018
About: "
Every family has its secrets. Cornelius Aloysius Gaines and his daughters are no exception.
Inspired by Euripides’ The Bacchae and set in Reconstruction era New Orleans, playwright Josh Cragun has populated the Crescent City with with a complex collection of ambitious, passionate people. When an exiled scion of Cornelius’ prosperous and respectable dynasty returns, the secret she carries could tear the family apart. Pride, racism, resentment, and ambition flow together like a river to the sea."
Why You Should Go: Because it sounds fascinating. I mean: "Inspired by Euripides’ The Bacchae and set in Reconstruction era New Orleans." Yes, please!

Show: ELF: A Drinking Game-Minnesota - Shadow Horse Theater, LLC at Phoenix Theater
When: December 1, 2018
About: "Come join some of the Twin Cities finest actors, improvisers, and comedians as we perform a LIVE stage reading of this new comedy Christmas classic! With props, costumes, music, dance and fight choreography and, of course, DRINKING!"
Why You Should go: Cause smiling's your favorite. Also drinking's your favorite.

Show: A Million Reasons to Believe - Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus at Ted Mann Concert Hall
When: December 7 - 9, 2018 
About: "From traditional favorites with pop influences to our very own interpretation of what really happened that night in Bethlehem, we will leave you inspired, renewed and entertained! Join us and our new Artistic Director, Gerald Gurss as we give all of us A Million Reasons to Believe in the spirit of the holidays – as only TCGMC can do!"
Why You Should Go: Mmm, pretty singing.

Josh Carson in A Very Die Hard Christmas
Show: A Very Die Hard Christmas 2018 - Bryant-Lake Bowl
When: December 7 - 22, 2018
About: "From the creative minds of Mainly Me Productions and Dana's Boys comes a holiday treat with all the trimmings: singing, dancing, and bloodshed! Don't miss this new yuletide tradition returning for its seventh year, which combines the action and suspense of Die Hard with the sentiment of everyone's favorite TV Christmas specials. Guest stars! Music! Magic! Mayhem!"
Why You Should Go: This CAST: Josh Carson, Anna Weggel, Matthew Sciple, Andy Rocco Kraft, Brad Erickson, Leslie Vincent and Duck Washington. Also, see picture above.

Show: Chicago Avenue Project: The Ball is in Your Court - Pillsbury House Theatre
When: December 9 & 10, 2018
About: The Ball is in Your Court features seven original, short plays written by local youth with Twin Cities playwright mentors, directed and performed by Twin Cities theatre artists. For each round of the Chicago Avenue Project, a theme is chosen based on a phrase or idiom, which is then incorporated into the script of every play. This winter’s theme, “The Ball is In Your Court,” was selected by the kids. This spring’s lineup includes plays about scary vacuum cleaners, bacon soup, unicorns, and more."
Why You Should Go: Because the play subjects sound fantastic. Also, the children are our future.

Bradley Greenwald in The Longest Night
Show: The Longest Night  - Open Eye Figure Theatre
When: December 12 - 23, 2018
About: "Audience favorite Bradley Greenwald celebrates winter’s beauty, the holiday blues, and the soul’s need for rebirth in an eclectic program of words and music as kaleidoscopic as the season. A meditative and joyful performance sure to warm snow-covered hearts!"
Why You Should Go: Because Bradley Greenwald IS a holiday gift. And a gift all year round.

Show:  Dread the Halls: A Gathering of Holiday Horror - Oncoming Productions at off-leash
When: December 14 - 16, 2018
About: "The Holidays are a time to be together with family, so we're gathering some local horror family together to celebrate that darkest time of the year. It is going to be an spooky, eclectic night of dance, music, and theater from: The Champagne Drops, Erin Sheppard Presents, Ghoulish Delights, Oncoming Productions, and Rogues Gallery Arts. Come step in out of the cold... and prepare for some chills."
Why You Should Go: Because it's horror! It's December! All of the holidays squished together delightfully. Also, this is an amazing collection of fabulous theater artists.

Show: North Pole 1973 - Strike Theater
When: December 19 - 22, 2018
About: "Four well meaning, but maybe pretty stupid elves attempt to avoid a Christmas Eve disaster in...NORTH POLE, 1973. If you like stuff like The Three Stooges and puppets and prat falls and goofs and hijinx and all around good times, then buddy, have we got a show for you."
Why You Should Go: Hijinx, y'all. HIJINX.

Happy holiday theatergoing!!