Rollicking Farce Tickles the Funny Bone

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The author of It Runs in the Family, Ray Cooney, has been referred to as the British Neil Simon. Cooney also acts, produces, and directs in London’s West End. He is famous for his fast-paced farces filled with plenty of slapstick action like the Playhouse’s season opener, Cooney’s own It Runs in the Family.

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Are You Ready for the Eeriest of Ghost Stories…?

“I quite agree—in regard to Griffin’s ghost, or whatever it was—that its appearing first to the little boy, at so tender an age, adds a particular touch. But it’s not the first occurrence of its charming kind that I know to have involved a child. If the child gives the effect another turn of the screw, what do you say to TWO children—?”

turn of the screwPhoto Credit

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Meet the Other Half of the Haynes Sister Duo: Meghan!

With the Haynes sisters in White Christmas, we simply can’t have one without the other. Meghan Jarecki plays Judy Haynes, the little sister to Ali Littrell Finstrom’s Betty Haynes. Even though she’s incredibly active with the Children’s Theatre here at the Playhouse, White Christmas is Meghan’s first main stage production here! We’re thrilled for her to take the stage in this role, and we took a few minutes to get to know her before stepping onstage for tonight’s opening performance.

Meghan (center) with Corny Collins and others of the cast in the Children's Theatre production of "Hairspray."

Meghan (center) with Corny Collins and others of the cast in the Children’s Theatre production of “Hairspray.”

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We’re Officially A Century Old!

CELEBRATION

One hundred years ago, the original version of what is now the Duluth Playhouse opened with a production of George Bernard Shaw’s “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets.”

The American premiere of the play featuring a Shakespeare character played for a sold-out crowd and earned raves in the News Tribune’s Social Side of Life section.

“Members of the Duluth Center of the Drama League hoped that the opening of their Little Theater would be a success,” the News Tribune reported on Nov. 18, 1914. “It was more than that. It was a triumph.”

The Little Theater, now known as the Duluth Playhouse, celebrated its 100th birthday on November 17, 2014 with staff, board members, supporters, punch, cake and cookies at the Depot.

Mayor Don Ness proclaimed it Duluth Playhouse Day in the city.

“This is really quite an accomplishment,” he said, crediting the Playhouse with being a draw to people looking to relocate to Duluth.

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Are You Ready to Help Us Give to the Max?!

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Here’s the thing. We know you’re probably being bombarded with more than a few emails today asking you for donations, and you’re smart people. You know the drill about how to donate and the like. While ticket sales are our main source of revenue (thank you!), we still rely on fundraising for 35% of our overall operating budget.

Not only are we hoping you’ll help give to the max in support of the Playhouse, we too are also giving to the max. For every $100 donation to the Playhouse, we’re giving 10 free tickets to a local nonprofit service group.

We can’t thank you enough for a century filled with your support. Here’s to 100 more! (On that note, did you know November 17th is our official 100th birthday? We’re having a little party, and you should join us! Find details on our Facebook event.)

Ready to make your donation to the Duluth Playhouse? Click here!

Thank you! Merci! Gracias! Gratzzi! Danke! and Thank You about 1,000 more times! Keep on reading to find out more about what Give to the Max Day is and why it’s important.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Auditions

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A queasy feeling settles into your stomach. You’re surrounded by a group of softly (or boisterously loud) talking group of men and women sipping waters and coffees while asking each other which role they’re gunning for. Suddenly, the stage manager calls your name. “Break a leg in there!” they say, ushering you into a room where it’s you, the director, and the artistic director. *Gulp*

Auditions. It’s a word that can get you brimming with excitement or send you scurrying for the nearest hiding place. Auditions for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘Guys & Dolls’ are almost here. Are you ready? It can be a nerve wracking process. If you’ve never auditioned before, you probably have a lot of questions. We want you to have the absolute best audition, and hopefully, the answers we have below will help calm your nerves and focused on your audition performance.

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Curtains for Rubber Chicken’s ‘Evil Dead’: Director says this year’s performance will be the last

Ric Stevens (from left) is Jake, Nathan Payne is Ash, and Anna Vogt is Annie in the Rubber Chicken Theater production of “Evil Dead: The Musical” at the Underground. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Ric Stevens (from left) is Jake, Nathan Payne is Ash, and Anna Vogt is Annie in the Rubber Chicken Theater production of “Evil Dead: The Musical” at the Underground. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

In the early 1980s, a low-budget horror flick grossed out the right people to become a cult film worthy of a nod from the genre’s biggies in the biz.

Stephen King once said of “The Evil Dead”: “(It’s) the most ferociously original horror movie I’ve ever seen.”

In recent years, a local theater company has staged semi-annual productions of the musical adaptation with similar results — it’s become a sort of cult favorite for gore-adoring theater-goers.

“We have people come from really far away and in huge groups,” said Nathan Payne, who has been involved since before the first show in 2009 and is directing the musical for the first time this year. “A lot of people make their own shirts and come in huge groups.

“It has a massive cult following.”

But fans beware: This is the last year the show will play, Payne said.

“I’m so happy with how this has gone,” he said. “I want to end it on a high.”

And this year, he insists, is the highest of high notes.

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