The Twin Cities area has a vast and incredibly diverse theater community. There is something for everyone interested in the world of theater; the smallest community groups and the largest companies with touring Broadway shows all have a place here. The start of a new school year also brings the start of a new season of plays, musicals, and everything in between.
Here are just 12 of the hundreds of productions coming over the next 12 weeks at some of the area’s many venues.
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
There are several productions happening at the Guthrie right now, but I’m featuring Watch on the Rhine (September 30–November 5) on my list because it mentions Nazis—the 1940 kind, not the 2017 kind. Sara and Kurt Muller and their children are set to arrive in Washington, D.C., to live with Sara’s mother after fleeing from Europe. Kurt has taken part in the anti-Nazi resistance movement, which is their reason for leaving; a house guest visiting Sara’s mother finds out and threatens to expose him. Find out more about Watch on the Rhine and the rest of the Guthrie’s schedule, including Romeo and Juliet (now through October 28), on the Guthrie’s website.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul
Annie (December 7–31) is one of the productions on my list that is happening the furthest out from now. It tells the timeless story of the orphan whose life changes forever when she leaves the orphanage for the life of the rich and famous with Daddy Warbucks. This is an “Ordway original” according to the site, so while it’s unclear if their rendition will be modernized at all, it will still include the musical’s hit songs. Will the sun come out tomorrow? Find out more about Annie here.
History Theatre, St. Paul
The History Theatre’s season begins with the regional premiere of All the Way (October 7–29). Set in 1963, the play looks at the fight for Civil Rights in the US as the country mourns the sudden loss of President John F. Kennedy. Successor Lyndon B. Johnson works with Martin Luther King Jr. and Minnesotan Hubert H. Humphrey to push for the Civil Rights Act, even as some members of Congress are against it. Find more about this Tony Award–winning play and the rest of the History Theatre’s season here.
Hennepin Theatre Trust, Minneapolis
The home of the “Broadway on Hennepin” series is bringing some big-name shows to Minneapolis’s Orpheum Theater, and that’s just this year. There’s Aladdin (now through October 8), Finding Neverland (October 31–November 5), Waitress (November 21–26), and The Phantom of the Opera (December 13–31). Looking further ahead, there’s also some little musical coming to the Orpheum next season (2018–2019)—something about a Founding Father without a father, maybe? Find out more about how you can get your Broadway on right here.
Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis
A hockey musical—where else but Minnesota, right? The Abominables (now through October 15), a world premiere at the Children’s Theatre Company, is just that. Main character Mitch has played on the A Team of the Prairie Lake Blizzards with his friends for years, but he fears he could be sent down this time, especially after a new kid shows up to hockey tryouts. The company is dedicating all of its performances of The Abominables to music and lyrics creator Michael Friedman, who sadly passed away on September 9.
The CTC will ring in the holiday spirit a few weeks later with Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (November 7–January 8). More on their season is here.
Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins
If you have kids in your life who might be interested in the world of Middle Earth but might find the books or movies too intimidating, check out Stages’ production of The Hobbit (now through October 22). While there’s no intermission, it only runs about 70 minutes, making it the perfect length for a geek in training. Later this year, Stages will also put on a production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (November 17–December 28). I have a soft spot in my heart for “Jr.” and “kids” versions of musicals, which introduce younger people to the world of musicals and theater—whether on the stage or in the crowd. More on Stages’ schedule can be found here.
SteppingStone Theatre, St. Paul
Goosebumps is making a comeback! The SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development is marking the upcoming Halloween season with the regional premiere of Goosebumps the Musical: The Phantom of the Auditorium (October 13–29), based on the hit R. L. Stine book. There’s even a study guide available for students who see the musical, which makes this a pretty great way to spend a school day. More on SteppingStone’s schedule is here.
Did I miss your favorite production or company on this list? Is there a play or musical you’d like me to cover? Let me know!