July 1 approaches—which signals that it is time for me to update my lists!
Below is a chronological listing of theater performances Andrew and I attended over the past year.
Simon Gray’s “Butley” at the Duchess Theatre, London
Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” at the Comedy Theatre, London
Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead” at the Haymarket Theatre, London
George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” at the Garrick Theatre, London
Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” at The National Theatre, London
The Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II musical, “Oklahoma!”, at Bloomington Civic Theatre, Bloomington
William Inge’s “Bus Stop” at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
Tracy Letts’s “August: Osage County” at Park Square Theatre, Saint Paul
Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” at Bloomington Civic Theatre, Bloomington
Sam Shepard’s “True West” at Minneapolis Theatre Garage, Minneapolis
William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at Jungle Theater, Minneapolis
William Douglas-Home’s “The Reluctant Debutante” at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
The Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields-Neil Simon musical, “Sweet Charity”, at Bloomington Civic Theatre, Bloomington
Doug Wright’s “I Am My Own Wife” at Jungle Theater, Minneapolis
A. R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”, a presentation of The University Of Minnesota Department Of Theatre Arts And Dance, at the Rarig Center, Minneapolis
Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, a presentation of The University Of Minnesota Department Of Theatre Arts And Dance, at the Rarig Center, Minneapolis
Brandon Thomas’s “Charley’s Aunt” at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
Peter Quilter’s “End Of The Rainbow” at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
Frederick Knott’s “Dial M For Murder” at Jungle Theater, Minneapolis
Jean Anouilh’s “The Lark”, as adapted by Lillian Hellman, at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
Neil Simon’s “Lost In Yonkers” at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
Donald Margulies’s “Time Stands Still” at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt” at Park Square Theatre, Saint Paul
Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” at Minneapolis Theatre Garage, Minneapolis
Beth Henley’s “Crimes Of The Heart” at Bloomington Civic Theatre, Bloomington
Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” at Theater In The Round, Minneapolis
Neil Simon’s “Laughter On The 23rd Floor” at Park Square Theatre, Saint Paul
By my count, we attended thirty theater performances, five in London and twenty-five in the Twin Cities. The total is roughly double the number of performances we attended in any of the previous three years, when Andrew and I were living in Boston. Boston is not a theater town, while Minneapolis very much IS a theater town.
My list reveals a few notable facts.
For the first time since I met Andrew, we did not go to New York within the last year and, consequently, we saw nothing on Broadway.
We did not attend any of the touring Broadway productions playing in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
We caught only two musicals, and both were in Bloomington.
Local repertory companies avoided challenging plays last season, perhaps because of the economy.
We went to The Guthrie only five times.
For the sixth consecutive year, no play by Henrik Ibsen was staged in the city in which we were residing.
For the first time, we saw two productions of the same play within a single season. Since the play was “The Cherry Orchard”, one of the greatest dramas ever written, we were engrossed in the onstage proceedings both times.
The best production we witnessed within the last year was an extraordinary production of “True West” at tiny Minneapolis Theatre Garage.
Park Square Theatre’s presentation of “August: Osage County” was better than the original Broadway production. It was much subtler, with a better-balanced cast, and nowhere near so much played for laughs as what we had encountered in New York.
The Guthrie’s presentations, dripping money, were overstuffed and overproduced. Except for “End Of The Rainbow”, a London import, the Guthrie productions we experienced were more or less awful (but very expensive-looking).
By my calculation, Andrew and I have now attended 121 theater productions since February 2006.
I last updated this list on July 3, 2011.