Make My Weekend: Two Days, Five Plays

by Joe Kellen


You're bored. The weekend has arrived. It never seems like the decision of what to do and where to go will be difficult, but we've already hit Saturday and you're sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out which family member’s holiday cards you aren’t going to respond to. Not feeling enough panache to hit up the swanked out wine bar or trying to bail on your friend-of-a-friend's vaguely themed costume party? A&E’s got you covered—let me give you five options that can fill even the emptiest of calendars.

What: “The Tiger Among Us”
When: January 25th-February 10th (Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30PM and Sun. at 2:00PM)
Where: Mixed Blood Theatre,
1501 4th St. S., Minneapolis
Cost: $18-$22

The world-premiere commission by renowned playwright Lauren Yee (“Ching Chong Chinaman”) hit the Mixed Blood this weekend to tell a story with local roots. Set in the beginning of winter in rural Minnesota, “The Tiger Among Us” details the struggle of teenaged girl Lia to meld identity, culture, and family into a modern context. Billed as “a modern-day midwestern folktale about a Hmong American family and the tenuous bonds that tie us together,” Yee’s new piece is sure to mix subtle, honest comedy with achingly raw truth about what it really means to embrace who you are.

What: “Raucous Caucus III”
When: 10:00PM, January 26th
Where: Bryant-Lake Bowl,
810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
Cost: $12

Poli Sci majors—this one’s for you. Box Wine Theatre is at it again at the Bryant-Lake Bowl with the third installment of the “Raucous Caucus” series. Consisting of seven ten-minute plays directed by seven different artists that span over varying political ideologies and issues, this evening of mayhem will get your gears turning. The piece represents both local and national playwrights to focus in on a balanced perspective with hopes of creating a piece relevant to our current political arena.

What: “Intrigue With Faye”
When: January 25-February 9th (Performances run Thurs.-Sun. and are all at 7:30PM)
Where: The Nimbus Theater, 1517 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis

Cost: $10 for Students or Fringe-button holders, $12-$20 for everyone else

The critically acclaimed 20% Theatre Company explores a generation obsessed with self-documentation (a la Twitter, Instagram, and the like) through Kate Robin’s “Intrigue With Faye.” Depicted through the lens of a damaged couple, this play challenges notions of truth and accountability in a world bent on knowing everything but itself. Housed in the intimate Nimbus Theater, you’ll get a personal and visceral experience as the action unfolds onstage and through the questioning flicker of video performances.

What: “Aida”
When: 8:00PM on January 26th and 2:00PM on January 27th
Where: Pantages Theater,
710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Cost: $24-$59

Admit it, you’re a musical theatre nerd. Elton John and Tim Rice wrote this bad boy just for you, and you can still catch it before the end of its run at the Pantages. Produced by Theatre Latte Da in conjunction with the Hennepin Theatre Trust, “Aida,” based on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, captures dark romance, historical injustice, and ties that bind in the world of ancient Egypt. And hey—this larger-than-life musical doesn’t only include an innovative set by Joel Sass (director of the Senior U of M Acting BFA’s production of “The Rover” last year,) but a cast filled with students from the University of Minnesota’s theater and dance department.

What: “The Full Moon Puppet Show”
When: January 26th, 9:00PM
Where: Open Eye Figure Theater,
506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis
Cost: $7

For those of you looking for something different—you may be interested in this. An age-old tradition at the legendary Bedlam Theatre has moved over to Open Eye! “The Full Moon Puppet Show” is an evening of puppetry created by beginners and experts alike—anyone can be a part of the fun if they send an e-mail and get in contact with the curator, Liz Schachterle, a few weeks in advance. This romp incorporates all sorts of different elements (including live music by the band Southside Desire,) so whether you’re into shadow play or giant figures operated on poles, this shindig has a little something for everyone.