REVIEW: Love means having to visit the nurse’s office

When we first meet Doug (Robert Lee) and Kayleen (Sarah Lueck), they are in the nurse’s office at a parochial school. He has injured himself emulating his hero, Evel Knievel, while she says she has a stomach ache. As the years go by, we see that Doug is more than just accident-prone and that Kayleen has been hurting herself in less dramatic ways.


The narrative proceeds in two timelines. Projections on the rear wall tells us the age of the two characters and display photographs of Lee and Lueck, presumably at those same ages.

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Don’t let the title scare you: Gruesome Playground Injuries

With Opening Night only two days away, we at the Playhouse and Underground find ourselves talking to people about Gruesome Playground Injuries, and we get the same reaction every time: “Oh…that sounds…good?” *insert quizzical look here*

It isn’t until we explain the story, the characters, and why the title is what it is, that people go, “Ahhhh, that does sound awesome.” *insert big smiles and nodding of heads here*


Trust us, once you see the show, the title makes total and complete sense. This show is not gory; it’s not scary. Yes, there are several F-bombs dropped, and other adult language and subject matters brought up we wouldn’t recommend bringing your 10-year-old to see. At it’s core, Gruesome Playground Injuries is the touching love story of two people, Kayleen and Doug, and how their scars keep bringing them together.

We ran across an article in The Hollywood Reporter that explains the premise of the show quite well. Give it a read, and then come check out the show. Bonus: It’s only 70-minutes long, so you won’t be out too late on a school night.

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Meet Robert of ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’

robertleeQ: What made you want to be a part of Gruesome Playground Injuries?
A: As soon as I read the script I wanted to be a part of the project. The characters are so well and fully crafted. And the story is told in a creative and fun way. As an actor I am only ever really interested in roles that will challenge me and that scare me at some level. Playing a character from age 8 to age 38 in the course of a one-act play seemed like an incredible opportunity for a challenge. Also being in full view of the audience for the entire show is quite the work out for an actor – constantly exposed and vulnerable. And finally the relationship between the two characters provides for such a range of experiences that need to be explored that I just couldn’t pass on this chance. It has been such a blast creating this show.

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REVIEW: ‘The Foreigner’ – a hysterical but well-tempered farce

It takes a while for the title character to buy into the premise, but The Foreigner certainly pays off big time in the end. A hysterical but well-tempered version of Larry Shue’s 1983 farce opened at the Duluth Playhouse on Thursday, September 27.

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BEST BETS: ‘The Foreigner’ opens at the Duluth Playhouse

A distressed guest at a Georgia lodge pretends to not know a lick of English in a farce by Larry Shue that premiered Off Broadway in the mid-1980s. Charlie becomes “The Foreigner,” the titular character of a play about what people will say when they don’t think anyone is listening — or can, at least, understand them.

Michael Pederson as Froggy LeSueur and Cory Anderson as Charlie Baker in the Duluth Playhouse production of 'The Foreigner,' a comedic farce by Larry Shue.

Michael Pederson as Froggy LeSueur and Cory Anderson as Charlie Baker in the Duluth Playhouse production of ‘The Foreigner,’ a comedic farce by Larry Shue.

Like, for instance: an heiress in turmoil, a dark preacher, a maternal lodge-keeper, a would-be heir and a cruel property inspector with an eye on the property.

Read the BEST BET in the Duluth News Tribune:

Playhouse Nominated for Touchstone Award


Les Miserables, a haunting and world famous musical, wowed audiences in Duluth back in July of 2014. The Duluth Playhouse collaborated with the Minnesota Ballet and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra on this massive undertaking.

“We were really proud, and quite honored to work with our fellow artist groups,” explained Christine Seitz, Executive Director of the Duluth Playhouse.

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A Fast and Funny Farce

A new Playhouse season gallops out of the gate with a fast-paced farce sure to deliver laughs: playwright Larry Shue’s The Foreigner. With a cast filled with powerhouse Playhouse veterans and director Dottie Danner back after directing Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar the last two seasons, audiences are in for a comic delight.

The Foreigner tells the improbable story of “Froggy” LeSueur (Mike Pederson), an explosive expert in the British army, and his extremely timid friend, Charlie Baker (Cory Anderson), who visits a run-down backwater fishing lodge in Georgia.


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