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Photo by Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

As the sun sets on a summer day, Minnesota comes alive on a Saturday night

July 27, 2015 11:32 am | Leave your thoughts

A special report by the Star Tribune Staff   There are two kinds of Saturday nights in Minnesota. In winter, it might be another evening at home, fireplace burning, Netflix streaming. Going out requires puffy coats and damp boots that don’t do so well on the dance floor. But in summer, Saturday nights are beguiling. Easy. An evening stroll. A glass of wine on the porch. A sweaty night on the town, when the coldest ... more

Brandon O'Neill as the Pirate King - Ordway Theater

Swashbuckling Swordsmen: Stage Combat in The Pirates of Penzance

July 21, 2015 4:02 pm | Leave your thoughts

Don’t try this at home – we’re trained professionals! Fight scenes and stunt work on the theater stage are a delicate balance of timing, athleticism, humor, and believability; relying on the actors’ abilities to flow seamlessly between dialogue, song and dance, daring fights, and high-flying stunts. Rehearsals are currently underway for the Ordway’s production of The Pirates of Penzance, and we’re fortunate to have the delightful Aaron Preusse (Certified Teacher with the Society of American ... more

James A. Rocco - Ordway Theater - St. Paul, MN

Bringing The Pirates of Penzance to Life

July 21, 2015 4:01 pm | Leave your thoughts

Musical entertainments are one of the oldest forms of performance art and collaboration. That is, until Gilbert and Sullivan changed how people experienced them. Their revolutionary “Topsy Turvy” worlds laid the groundwork for what would later become American Musical Theater. Musical Theater relies on the entire cast and crew to rehearse, choreograph, and time every element to perfection long before the curtain ever rises, but the audience rarely has a chance to see how these ... more

Ordway Presents “The Pirates of Penzance”

July 9, 2015 11:58 am | Leave your thoughts

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Presents The Pirates of Penzance Aug. 4–16, 2015 Gilbert & Sullivan meets Spamalot in Ordway production   The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to present The Pirates of Penzance, Aug. 4–16. Tickets for the Ordway produced musical comedy range from $36–$110 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 651-224-4222 or in-person at the Ordway ticket office. A band of swashbuckling pirates set hearts ... more

Debbie Sit

Ordway remembers Debbie Sit (1960-2015)

July 1, 2015 2:59 pm | Leave your thoughts

It is with a heavy heart that the Ordway mourns the loss of board member Debbie Sit. Debbie was an ardent supporter of the arts and of the Ordway, and will always be remembered as a pillar of the artistic community. She served with distinction on the Ordway board of directors for 8 years, both in the office of secretary and as chair of the endowment investment committee. We are deeply grateful for her service ... more

Thay Floyd as Joe Hardy, Gary Briggle as the Commissioner, and Kersten Rodau as Gloria Thorpe

Review: Damn Yankees at the Ordway

June 26, 2015 8:52 am | Comments Off

By Erin Nagel, Girl Meets Broadway As a fan of the Minnesota Twins I can fully relate to Joe Boyd in Damn Yankees. Both are teams with capable players and coaches, but missing that one player who can provide the spark needed to get the rest of the team believing in themselves again. Not to mention the New York Yankees have also proven to be a problem for the Twins.  For the Washington Senators that ... more

(L to R)Tari Kelly as Lola and Monte Wheeler as Mr. Applegate

Review: ‘Damn Yankees’ is a Damn Good Production

June 24, 2015 9:46 am | Comments Off

By Minnesota Theater Love There are so many things to love about Damn Yankees at the Ordway–where to start?  First of all, go see it now as it runs only through June 28th, which is shockingly short for such a great production. Did you go buy tickets? I’ll wait here. Let me know when you’re back. Got ‘em?  Great! In a nutshell: Damn Yankees is a variation on the Faust legend and has a middle-aged baseball fan ... more

Exhilarating and Exuberant! “Damn Yankees” Breaks Racial Barriers and Reveals Our Sports Fixation at the Ordway

June 23, 2015 12:26 pm | Comments Off

By John Townsend, Lavender Magazine The Ordway Center’s in-house productions of big musicals are generally Broadway caliber and their current staging of Damn Yankees lives up to that rep. Co-directors/choreographers James Rocco and Sharon Halley capture the 1955 contemporary re-telling of the Faust legend with full grasp of the textures of the “I Like Ike” decade while interracially casting its central married relationship. Lawrence Clayton and Ann Morrison create a loving, cosy chemistry as Joe and Meg Boyd. ... more

Ordway announces 23rd annual Sally Ordway Irvine Award Recipients

June 23, 2015 8:10 am | Comments Off

Sally Awards honor extraordinary achievements in arts access, commitment, education, initiative and vision The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce the recipients of the 23rd annual Sally Ordway Irvine Awards. The prestigious Sally Awards recognize and honor individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich the state through their commitment to the arts and arts education.   The 23rd annual Sally Award winners are: ARTS ACCESS: Edge Center for the Arts COMMITMENT: ... more

Monte Wheeler

Monte Wheeler relishes chance to play the Devil in Ordway’s Damn Yankees

June 22, 2015 1:28 pm | Comments Off

By Ed Huyck, City Pages Monte Wheeler likes playing bad men. And he’s got a doozy in the Ordway’s new production of Damn Yankees: the devil himself. “I have always loved playing villainous characters. They are the most fun, particularly if they are humorous in some way. The audience loves it when the villain gets foiled and gets his comeuppance. I really love to be the person to present those high stakes,” says Wheeler, who ... more