Artwork by Seth Lyon
Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals
Mu Performing Arts’ new artistic director, Randy Reyes, obviously wants to get people talking. Hence the zombies. The play is set in a post-apocalyptic world taken over by zombies, wherein a young woman travels to the forests of Laos to bury her parents, with flashbacks to their life in Minneapolis. “There will be lots of martial arts, hip-hop music mixed by a live DJ, and projections to keep the timeline straight,” says Reyes. And, you know, plenty of zombies and cannibals.
Oct. 12–27. The Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 651-789-1012, muperformingarts.org
Claude Edison Purdy Individual Artist Festival
“Claude directed the first play at Penumbra and shaped our aesthetic,” says artistic director Lou Bellamy, who is honoring Penumbra’s roots—and Purdy’s legacy—with this festival of plays performed by the artists who wrote them. James T. Alfred presents A Brown Tale, which is about growing up in the Chicago projects in the 1970s. Jamaica, Farewell, performed by Debra Ehrhardt, is about a young girl living in Jamaica who dreams of being whisked away by a handsome American.
Sept. 12–Oct. 6. Penumbra Theatre, 270 Kent St., St. Paul, 651-224-3180, penumbratheatre.org
David Lindsay-Abaire’s play is about a poor woman who asks a wealthy old flame for help.
Sept. 13–Oct. 6. Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, 651-291-7005, parksquaretheatre.org
The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry
Wewoka, Oklahoma, was the first all-black town in America, a refuge for people of both African and Native American heritages. After the Civil War, past grievances divided the citizens. Playwright Marcus Gardley depicts the struggle of the old way (Native American traditions), the new way (Christianity), and those trying to merge the two. “It’s written in heightened language,” says Gardley, “capturing the historical cadence appropriate to the mythic story.”
Sept. 27–Oct. 27. Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls., 612-825-0459 pillsburyhousetheatre.org
A Strange and Separate People
In Jon Marans’s play, a doctor tries to live as an openly gay man while adhering to Orthodox Jewish traditions. “It’s important to Minnesota Jewish Theatre to deal in universal themes,” says artistic director Barbara Brooks. “Reconciling identity with religious beliefs is a big one.”
Oct. 12–Nov. 3. Minnesota Jewish Theatre, 1978 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul, 651-647-4315, mnjewishtheatre.org
Displaced Hindu Gods
Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil’s new trilogy of plays is based on three Hindu deities: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer). But don’t expect a traditional spiritual treatment. Far from it.
Oct. 5–27. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls., 612-338-6131, mixedblood.com
Fiddler on the Roof
In celebration of its 45th anniversary, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres is bringing back this classic musical. It’s the fifth time Chanhassen has done the show, but it’s been 20 years since the last production. The show is co-owner Michael Brindisi’s favorite musical, and he’s growing his beard to understudy the role of Tevye.
Sept. 24–Jan. 25. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen, 952-934-1525, chanhassentheatres.com
Nimbus Theatre is producing the world premiere of this Lee Blessing play, set in an insane asylum. The lead character is a woman who thinks she’s from the future, where she’s Queen Elizabeth III.
Sept. 21–Oct. 13. Nimbus Theatre, 1517 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-548-1380, nimbustheatre.com
Carrie The Musical
The original 1988 production was one of the most notorious Broadway flops of all time, but Minneapolis Musical Theatre is staging a 2012 revision. “We’ve been trying to get ahold of it for years,” says artistic director Steve Meerdink—not for the shock factor, but because “it’s now relevant to the headlines, with its story of bullying in high school.”
Oct. 4–27. New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-455-9501, aboutmmt.org
Playwright Brian Friel has been a favorite of Joe Dowling since his second production as Guthrie artistic director. This fall, Dowling stages Friel’s adaptation of the classic Chekhov play.
Sept. 14–Oct. 27. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-377-2224, guthrietheater.org
Love & Marriage 2: What a Difference a Year Makes
Now that more people can say “I do,” Roberta Carlson and Michael Robins have created a fresh edition of last year’s hit musical revue to celebrate love and life partners.
Sept. 19–Oct. 20. Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-4944, illusiontheater.org
Driving Miss Daisy
Wendy Lehr plays the title character in Alfred Uhry’s classic play at the Jungle Theater, under the direction of Bain Boehlke. “There’s nothing better than a comedienne playing a close-to-the-bone character like this one,” insists Lehr.
Nov. 8–Dec. 22. Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-7063, jungletheater.com
History Theatre takes on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping of 1932 with a musical that captures the media frenzy—unlike anything ever seen before—leading up to America’s first “trial of the century.”
Oct. 5–Nov. 3. History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul, 651-292-4323, historytheatre.com
Sept. 18–Oct. 27. Orpheum Theatre, Mpls.
Oct. 8–13. The Ordway, St. Paul
Broadway Songbook: Music of the 1950s
Oct. 17–20. The Ordway, St. Paul
We Will Rock You
Nov. 19–24. Orpheum Theatre, Mpls.