Congratulations to Mu Performing Arts, currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary mainstage season, which continues its string of ‘Best of’ top end of year picks with last year’s musical offering, Little Shop of Horrors. In the last three seasons, seven out of nine productions have been listed on end of year lists.
Graydon Royce of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, writes,
“Little Shop of Horrors,” Mu Performing Arts
“Heart, charm and humor wrapped up in a dopey musical about a human-eating plant.This show demonstrated how far Mu has come. Jennifer Weir directed and actors Randy Reyes, Sara Ochs and Kurt Kwan led the cast.”
Dominic P. Papatola of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes,
“Theater 2011: ‘Best’ missed the test. Here are 10
productions that made a difference”
“As I wrote in my March review, “If you’re in the mood to call out differences, you could note that Mu Performing Arts’ production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ features an Asian-American cast and that the role of homicidal houseplant Audrey II — usually voiced by a deep-voiced male — is played by a sultry femme fatale. But if you’re simply in the mood to enjoy a top-notch production of Howard Ashman’s comedy-horror musical, then nothing in the above sentence matters.” Helped along by stellar leading performances by Sara Ochs (as the dim-but- lovable Audrey) and Randy Reyes (as the geeky flower-shop employee Seymour), Jennifer Weir’s sprightly staging made the seemingly subversive casting choices seem perfectly logical and normal. In that regard, “Little Shop” was a great step forward both for Mu and for local audiences.” http://www.twincities.com/stage/ci_19640357
Women in Arts Panel (January 29) and Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert (February 9-12) and Tour (February 16-19)
In February, Mu Performing Arts presents Mu Daiko, Minnesota’s foremost taiko drumming ensemble, as it returns to the Mcknight Theatre At Ordway Center For Performing Arts, 345 Washington St. in St Paul, MN., to present its 15th anniversary concert. Starring Hanayui from KODO, legendary Odaiko soloist, Yoshikazu Fujimoto and featuring North American guest artists, Tiffany Tamaribuchi and Megan Chao Smith. The first weekend of performances (February 9-12) will feature Mu Daiko in concert. The second weekend (February 16-19) will feature Mu Daiko along with special guests. Click below for information on performance schedules, tickets and special guest artists.
Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert and Minnesota Tour, February 9-19, 2012
In conjunction with Mu Daiko’s 15th Anniversary Concert, Mu Performing Arts is hosting a free community forum, entitled “Women in the Arts,” that discusses women and their roles and impact on the arts, on January 29, 2012, at St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Mendel 106 Lecture Hall, near the corner of Prior and Randolph Avenue in St. Paul at 1pm. Co-sponsored by St. Catherine University, the event is a continuation of Mu’s forum series that expands on issues touched upon by the company’s mainstage productions throughout the year.
Mu has organized a diverse panel of notable women, including Mu Daiko Artistic Director Iris Shiraishi, whose work and leadership have influenced the arts, as well as the role of women in society. The forum will be moderated by Hui Niu Wilcox, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies and Critical Studies of Race/ Ethnicity at St. Catherine University.
The Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 season is sponsored by General Mills.
Mu Performing Arts Website
Lia Chang is anactor, performance and fine art botanicalphotographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.