The Twin Cities is chock full of elite entertainment. From champion sports
teams to Tony Award-winning performances and nationally lauded museums,
there’s no shortage of talent here.
Not all of us can be Broadway stars or award-winning actors.
There’s a reason why we leave it up to the professionals, and in
the Twin Cities area they certainly don’t disappoint. Whether
you’re interested in music, ballet, regional or nationally recognized theater, there will certainly be a performance on stage for
your viewing pleasure. After all, the Twin Cities boasts more
than 30 performance spaces, 75 working theater companies, 20
dance companies and two professional orchestras.
While the Twin Cities have long been recognized as a
cultural haven, recent additions have served as a reminder that
this performing arts scene is one to watch. In the past several
years, downtown Minneapolis’ Hennepin Avenue gained three
new performance spaces. In 2011, the Hennepin Theatre Trust
( www.hennepintheatretrust.org) opened the New Century
Theatre, a black box theater that hosts one-man shows, quirky
comedies and educational programs. The modern New
Century joins the theater district’s three historic stages, the
Orpheum, State and Pantages theaters. Built between 1916
and 1921, these boast Art Deco and Beaux Arts architectural
features, separating them from the modern stages around town.
Today the theaters pack in 500,000 patrons annually, drawing
in big-name concerts, traveling Broadway shows and well-
known comedians instead of the vaudeville shows of yore.
After more than 50 years in Uptown Minneapolis, the
Twin Cities’ beloved improvisational comedy troupe Brave
New Workshop also relocated to Hennepin Avenue. The
Brave New Workshop ( www.bravenewworkshop.com),
founded by Dudley Riggs, has a reputation for nurturing the
talents of great comedians, including Minnesota Senator Al
Franken. The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing
Arts ( www.thecowlescenter.org) found a place on the corner
of Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue. As one of the top
five cities in the nation for dance, it’s no wonder we created
a space just for these talents. The Cowles Center provides
a stage for groups such as James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota
Dance Theatre, TU Dance and Cantus vocal ensemble.
But it’s regional theater that has really cemented the Twin
Cities reputation as a theater town. Two Minneapolis stages
have earned regional Tony Awards: the Guthrie Theater
(1982) and Children’s Theatre Company (2003). Minneapolis
made its mark on the national theater scene in 1963 when Sir
Tyrone Guthrie chose to open his dream theater in the city.
Since then the Guthrie Theater ( www.guthrietheater.org) has PH
Pippin, orpheum theatre, feb. 17-22, 2015