What Are We Waiting For?

Amy Danielson

Sure, you probably already have plans for your month away from the hectic drudgery that defines our lives as college students. I, for one, plan to spend oodles of time getting reacquainted with one of my favorite diversions: glorious, glorious sleep. If you’re like me, sleep is a wonderland of fantastical imagery, often accompanied by intricate narratives. Last night, for example, I spent my time in REM dodging feeble zombies in an abandoned mansion only to stumble upon a thumping techno dance club in the attic complete with 1970s club gear free for the taking. Of course, dreaming is cost-effective entertainment for college students, but you may get bored in your waking hours. College ought to be about exploring cultural diversity, after all. So put down your beer stein for a couple of hours, do yourself a favor and check out some ornate, dreamlike theater.

“Scary Christmas: Haunted Tales for the Holiday Season”

Hardcover Theater, a new local company, focuses on adapting literature for the stage. Their current production explores Victorian ghost stories which were customarily published in magazines at Christmastime. “Scary Christmas” takes a look at three of these traditional stories: “The Curse of the Red Chamber” tells of a fortune hunter who must tackle a beast scarier than his bride-to-be. “The Hauntings at Grantley Grange” details a couple’s love affair as they unravel a mystery surrounding ghosts who are oblivious to their own deaths. Finally, “The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall” recounts the story of a rancorous ghost who floods a family’s home each Christmas Eve.

Plays Dec. 5-29 at Playwrights’ Center, (612) 343-3390.
“Offering” and “Snow”

this production, by dance-theater performers Eiko and Koma, is co-presented by the Walker Art Center as part of “Out There 15,” an annual series which celebrates genre-bending performance. “Offering,” which explores the concept that life is simply preparation for death. Clarinetist David Krakauer provides eerie music while performers move rhythmically. “Snow,” acclaimed for its equally fascinating explorations of death and life, uses human movement as a metaphor for the transformations that occur in nature.

Plays Jan. 9-12 at Southern Theater, (612) 340-1725.
“The Holiday Pageant”

presented by Open Eye Figure Theater, and written and directed by Michael Sommers, “The Holiday Pageant” features such Twin Cities’ theater giants as Kevin Kling, Luverne Siefert and Sarah Agnew. Sommers and his crew combine puppetry, object manipulation, live music and acting by real humans to tell a story of Mary and Joseph as observed by Lucifer. Last season’s audiences raved about the marvelous performance, and if you know anything about the cast, you won’t miss it this year.

Plays Dec. 19-29 at Southern Theater, (612) 340-1725.
“Between the Worlds: Songs of Dark and Light”

created by Esther Ouray and Laurie Witzkowski, “Between the Worlds” celebrates the winter solstice. Music, dance and puppetry unite to explore the longest night of the year. Singing old and new music from around the globe, more than 40 women comprise the volunteer chorus. While this show plays on the common themes of death in winter, it also juxtaposes a notion of rebirth as days become longer following the solstice.

Plays Dec. 17-22 at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, (612) 721-2535.
“Ambush”

in case you have no interest in seeing a holiday show, or if by chance you’re just really pissed off at Dubya right now, you should probably head to the West Bank. Written and directed by Maxine Klein, Candid Theatre produces a satire of the George W. Bush administration. It’s a comedy, a musical in fact, which discusses the most enraging current events. Klein believes in dramatizing the struggles of the community at large rather than focusing on the problems of members of the elite, so this is one we can all relate to.

Plays Dec. 6-22 at Bedlam Theater, (612) 341-1038.
“Trainspotting”

in response to sold-out shows at the Bryant-Lake Bowl during the last Fringe Festival, Theatre Pro Rata decided to remount this acclaimed show at the Minneapolis Theater Garage. Their adaptation of the infamous Irvine Welsh novel darkly explores the ruminations of heroin addicts in the Edinburgh slums. Some say it’s even darker than Welsh’s novel. “Trainspotting” is perfect theater for a cold winter night.

Plays through Dec. 21 at Minneapolis Theater Garage, (612) 874-9321.
Amy Danielson welcomes comments at [email protected]