Theatre

​Remembering Chris Jacobs (1954-2017)

October 18th, 2017

Ted Larson introduced me to Chris Jacobs one evening at Weld Hall in the late 1980s. I was in high school then, but Chris recognized fellow film fanatics, and we would chat a little bit each week. I learned quickly that he loved movies as much as anybody, and had a special fondness for the obscure and little-seen “gems” from the silent and early sound eras.

Over the next decade, I came to respect Chris’s dedication and devotion; he lived in Grand Forks and yet, every Monday during…

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‘Dial M for Murder’: the unraveling of a perfect crime

October 11th, 2017

The F-M Community Theatre summarized the story: “Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder. He blackmails a scoundrel he used to know to strangle her for a fee of one hundred thousand pounds, and arranges a brilliant alibi for himself.“

Unfortunately, the murderer gets murdered and the victim survives. This plot-twisting play was written by Frederick Knott and was premiered on stage in…

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​Dear diary: my teen angst now has a musical

August 9th, 2017

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand Forks

Before the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High in the 1989 cult classic “Heathers.”

Now, this group of mean girls are seeing a resurrection on the Empire stage in the contemporary musical that features all the same themes from the 80’s film: teen angst, popularity and murder.

“Heathers” follows…

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​‘Our Boy’ the Struggle on Sex Crimes.

August 2nd, 2017

“It was the first insightful theatre I’ve seen in years. I wasn’t expecting anything but it blew me away.”

“Your intimate space makes us feel like we’re in the play and for those of us who don’t act, that’s a real gift.”

“A wonderful performance that made me laugh and cry while giving me goose bumps.”

“You do such good work and you are an asset to the community.”

The comments and applause are testimony of the amazing shows that Theatre B has chosen.

Theatre B…

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​‘Grease’ to be performed at Sheyenne High

July 19th, 2017

Summer Arts Intensive performs main stage musical

Under the summer sun, something’s begun, taking over those summer nights. The 1978 movie and musical hit Grease is taking stage as part of the Summer Arts Intensive in West Fargo.

In 2010, Adam Pankow started the program to bring arts to students during the summer months. The program is open to students in middle school, high school and college. Last month, the middle school program performed Willy Wonka Jr., with the high school…

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​North Dakota history comes to life in new musical

June 21st, 2017

Author, professor, historian and now playwright: Dr. Charlie Barber has taken his love of history to the stage with his new musical, “No Backseat Driver.”

Barber’s play is the story of two North Dakota heroes: “Wild Bill” Langer and his wife, Lydia Cady Langer.

“I’ve been researching Bill Langer since 1983,” said Barber. “He was wild in personality, but he cared about the underdogs. I’m not interested in writing about characters who aren’t progressive. They must be…

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​Theatre B moves to Moorhead

June 14th, 2017

Just in time for their fifteenth season, local theatre company Theatre B is moving across the river, from their longtime home Fargo to Moorhead, Minnesota.

Theatre B has jumped around since it was founded in 2003: from the former Moose Lodge (now, the Toasted Frog) to the most recent Schumacher Goodyear Garage on the corner of Broadway and 4th Avenue North.

Their most permanent residence, a storefront on Main Avenue, was established with David and Pia Scheer in 2005. However, Theatre B…

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​Crossing lines and hitting the road

May 10th, 2017

When we had a chance to catch up with Corey Ruffin, the mastermind behind the Grand Rapids-based traveling burlesque troupe Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, he was at the repair shop getting a tune-up on their tour bus. The retired school bus is a veteran of the road and has accommodated the motley crew of musicians and dancers on multiple nationwide tours.

Four of the 10 cast members make up the band, which is based out of Chicago. Five are from Michigan and one from Tennessee.

Though…

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​The Politics of Dancing: FMCT’s ‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’

May 4th, 2017

FMCT, under the direction of Anna Carol, is bringing the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, ‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’ to The Stage at Island Park May 5-7 and 11-14. The musical is adapted from the hit movie ‘Billy Elliot,’ and features music by Elton John and screenplay and lyrics by Lee Hall.

This “coming-of-age dance musical extravaganza” follows young Billy, who recently lost his mother, as he decides to move from boxing to ballet. He studies and practices in secret.

The…

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​Greek love: Colleges perform Homer

April 5th, 2017

Ovid’s mythological tales undergo dramatic transformation by award-winning director/playwright Mary Zimmerman as Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU deliver theatrical productions of three of her modern takes on his work.

Concordia’s production of “Secrets in the Wings” kicked off the series from March 30 to April 2. Next up is MSUM’s performance of “Metamorphoses” April 5 to 8, and finally NDSU presents “The Odyssey” April 27 to May 5.

MSUM’s School of Performing Arts…

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