LOOKING FORWARD TO DECEMBER
LOOKING FORWARD TO DECEMBER
December is perfect for watching a holiday show like The Nutcracker Fantasy. Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT) is showing it until December 19th at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.
LOOKING FORWARD TO DECEMBER
I got some shopping 🛍 done and bought ingredients for cookies. This week my sister went with me to see "The Nutcracker Fantasy" at the State Theatre and we talked a lot during intermission. Catch my review on my blog.
Here's a fun survey I took.
What is your favorite color? blue, sometimes turquoise
my golden birthday. I still remember it too, because we went to Micky Dee's and I saw Ronald for the first time and he only somewhat scared me.
Letter of the alphabet? R-
I never struggled with sounds of letters but I'm fascinated with people who do, and love the british accent in particular.
Domesticated animal? dogs-their fun. I don't have one currently but often dream of a owning a small dog that I don't have to walk everyday.
Wild animal? pandas, anything docile. I kinda dislike squirrels and rodents.And will dodge them if they cross my path.
Mountains or ocean? Oceans. I've been to both coasts and I cherish these experiences, having to live in the midwest with flatlands and people constantly dodging the cold and keeping isolated.
Long drive or long walk? I'll take a long drive. If I can rent a luxury car I find that more appealing than the vacation itself.
on your blog and showcase books and things received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme
LOOKING FORWARD TO December
Stephen Flaherty’s script is inspired by the Twentieth century fox motion pictures. Anastasia was the daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. After she and her family were executed, rumors claimed that she might have survived. Ten years later, Anastasia is suffering from amnesia and goes by the name Anya. She is persuaded by the con man Sergei Bounine to pose as the grand duchess to stake a claim to the Ramonov fortune.
In the first act, the year is 1916 and young Anastasia (Veronica Raejiao) is introduced along with her family. Anya is hoisted on the shoulders of her father as he sings and dances with her (choreography by Peggy Hickey). All the characters wear lavish 20th century suits and gowns designed by Linda Cho. The palace is digitally set ablaze in fire by the villain, Gleb (Brandon Delgado) who represents the communist regime in a post-imperial Russia. Gleb was tasked with carrying out the assassination of the entire Romanov family. This scene is quite dramatic. Red flames engulf the backdrop and falling debris creates this display of tension and fear as the Romanov family release death hollering screams. The scene of pure evil would be shocking in a family musical forty years ago but in this day and age, kids have seen it all.
|Viv (Ambrosia Jasmine Webb) and Sam (Jenn Scott) pictured above (photo courtesy of Fearless Comedy Productions)|
|Madeline Trumble (Jo) credit Amy Newton|
Little Women is the story of Jo March (Madeline Trumble), a writer who rebels against 19th century conventions. Jo has three sisters; the eldest sister Meg(Camryn Buelow), along with timid Beth(Lauren Hugh), and romantic Amy(Shinah Hey). Then there's the mother, Marmee(Kersten Rodau), and the wealthy, disapproving Aunt March(Angela Timberman) who is a source of strength and inspiration for Jo but also her nemesis. Jo would rather travel and write adventure novels than follow customs and get married, a plan complicated when she meets the socially naïve Professor Bhaer. Except for timid Beth, the other sisters find their suitors as well. The play travels in time between the childhood home in Massachusetts and Jo's college in New York.
In the first act, strong shouldered, straight back Aunt March brings a very comedic vibe to the play. She looks at Jo with a serious face and says, “You should be saving yourself." and Jo responds with “I don’t need saving.”
Aunt March often chides Jo as she cuts her hair short and acts decidedly unlady-like by speaking her mind and wearing odd fashions. It’s delightful to see Aunt March’s reaction when she wins her games of manipulation, like The Little Mermaid's grand villainess, Ursula.
Meg is Jo's opposite, her femininity and damsel-in-distress roles are hilarious as she collapses on a sofa to feign a sprained ankle after dancing with her love interest, Mr. John Brooks (Matthew Hall).
A scene in which Brooks lays on the ground pinned there with a knife leaves me smiling. I want to get up on stage and sword fight with the actors or lead like Jo did; directing the choreography for fight scenes with my hands.
But what impressed me the most was Mr. Lawrence (Brian Frutiger) whose grumpy disposition was reminiscent of “Scrooge.” He entered the scenes with a strong voice. His playful piano playing was a nice juxtaposition to a musical that could have added a few more comedic beats, if the script would have allowed.
The orchestra led by director Anita Ruth did a fantastic job of being in sync with the performance, a strong feat considering how the actors improvised instruments and often sang in staccato phrases.
Little Women contains themes of femininity, love, and sacrifice. It is a musical that defines love. As Jo says "We don't love for society, we love for what's inside us."
Come see a musical that will promise a great night out with the family. Tickets at artistrymn.org