[REVIEW] Check Out Durang’s Chekhov Mash-Up

Each year in the last edition of The Wave we publish a list of memorable moments from what area audiences saw on stage during the year. But I can tell you right here and now that the production of Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike directed by Julie Ahasay that opened at the Duluth Playhouse on Thursday night is making that list and it is making it at least twice, because Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning play provides not one but two absolute tour de force scenes well worth seeing.

L to R: Spike (Matthew Smith), Masha (Carrie Mohn), Cassandra (Kate Horvath), and Vanya (John Pokrzywinksi)

L to R: Spike (Matthew Smith), Masha (Carrie Mohn), Cassandra (Kate Horvath), and Vanya (John Pokrzywinksi)

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REVIEW: ‘Trial by Jury’ is Absolutely Brilliant!

“I have seen Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury before, but after witnessing the production that opened at the Underground on Thursday night, I do not think I will ever want to see it again. That is because it would be nigh impossible for another cast to match this absolutely brilliant production directed by Jeffrey Madison.

The case at the bar regards a breach of promise trial that goes horribly awry: One look at a picture of the lovely plaintiff and the jury is ready to convict the defendant before the trial even begins. However, “Trial by Jury” is a one act that consumes a bit more than a half-hour’s time on stage, which hardly warrants a night at the comic opera.”


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One Word: Scrumdidilyumptious!

It’s a child’s ultimate dream come true. Finding the hidden ticket and winning a tour of thee best and most delicious of factory’s. Do you know which factory we’re talking about? Why, Willy Wonka’s choocolate factory, of course!


Meet Willy Wonka. He has hidden five golden tickets in his famous Wonka chocolate bars and whoever finds these golden tickets will get a chance to visit the famous Willy Wonka factory. He’s a strange and unconventional owner of the biggest and greatest chocolate factory in the world. The chase for golden tickets begins all over the world and five kids emerge victorious. Among them is a boy named Charlie Bucket. Charlie is a virtuous and honest boy, but he comes from a poor and hardworking family. When Charlie finds the final golden ticket, Grandpa Joe is ecstatic and decides to accompany him to the fine establishment. It should be known that Grandpa Joe hasn’t gotten out of bed in decades! As every spoiled and greedy child gives into delicious temptation, Charlie and Grandpa Joe are swept away by this adventure that includes nut picking squirrels, Oompa- Loompas from OompaLand, and of course, the very eccentric Willy Wonka.

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Last (But Certainly Not Least)…Here’s Bob Wallace!

The holiday season is fully here, and with only one week left of White Christmas, our blog just wouldn’t be complete without Bob Wallace. Many of you probably know him better as Shad Olsen. Shad returns once more to Duluth (his hometown) after this past summer’s Les Miserables directed by Dorothy Danner at the DECC.

We’re thrilled to have Shad back, and this time on the real Playhouse stage! We took a few moments to get to know him and to learn a bit more about his White Christmas experience.


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Tales from the Booth with Stefan Kahlstorf

A lot of work goes into each and every production done at the Playhouse. It may sound cliche, but many hours of blood, sweat and tears really do go into each show. It’s a heckuva lot of work, but ask any of the actors on stage or crew members running things behind-the-scenes, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of putting on a production for hundreds (or thousands!) of people.

The Children’s Theatre season opener of ‘Sideways Stories of Wayside School‘ has a lots of cool technical elements to see and hear. If you haven’t already seen the show (which you should. Get your tickets here.) From eerie sound effects to laptop-exploding projections (again, you’ll have to come see the show to find out what we mean!), it’s all in thanks to our behind-the-scene helpers, like Stefan Kahlstorf.

Meet Stefan, and learn what it’s like being a part of the Playhouse.

Stefan Kahlstorf

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