BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS, AND MIDDLES.
I love and support the arts, and during the last three weeks I had the opportunity to attend three wonderful events here in Minneapolis. The three were amazing performances which, more intriguing to me, represented groups at very different points in their seasons.
At the end of October, a friend invited me to join them for the James Sewell Ballet’s opening performance of their 2014-2015 season at the Cowles Center. I’ve shared several times that the James Sewell Ballet is my favorite contemporary dance company in the Twin Cites, so I was happy to accept the invitation. The performance consisted of an encore presentation of “Guy Noir” (based of a character developed by local radio personality Garrison Keillor of “A Prairie Home Companion” fame) and a new piece entitled “Ribcage” that was done in partnership with the Shubert Club.
“Ribcage“ was a very physically challenging piece for the dancers to perform. It celebrates the intricate parts of our skeletal make up, while at the same time, taxing those very same body parts of the dancers. The end result, although a little confusing at times, was a remarkable thing to watch.
James Sewell originally performed “Guy Noir” about six or seven years ago, and I had the opportunity to see it at that time. It was only my second JSB performance that I had seen, and I’ve been hooked on the company ever since. I loved the original performance of this private detective story, and I must say this revival did not disappoint. Its humor and artistry was just as wonderful the second time around.
While the JSB was just beginning their season, two weeks later I attended a performance of “On Golden Pond” which was the final production of the Jungle Theater’s 2014 season. My only reference of the story was the 1981 film starring Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Jane Fonda. I remember how much the film had touched me and wondered if the stage production would have the same impact. While the impact wasn’t quite as powerful – I’m in a much different place in my life now than I was as a college student – the performance was still stellar.
Rounding out this trio, last week a friend invited me to dinner and a play for my birthday. Following dinner at Chaing Mai Thai restaurant, we traveled to Theater In The Round to see “Witness For The Prosecution.” I had never seen the play nor the movie, but I love Agatha Christie was thrilled that it was based on a short story by her. Theater In The Round is mid-way through their 2014-2015 season and I’ve seen their previous shows as well. I have to admit that I wasn’t very pleased with the earlier shows and was wondering if that was indicative of all of their productions. Fortunately, that is not the case. “Witness” was simply spectacular, and the perfect way to spend my birthday.
Over a three-week period I was fortunate to be able to attend three terrific productions, and it reminded me once again how lucky we are to be blessed with so many arts opportunities throughout the Twin Cities.
***Have you seen any good performances lately?