2020 Spring Arts & Dining Pairings

by | Feb 27, 2020 | Arts & Culture, Featured - Home Page, Food & Dining, Our Scene | 0 comments

Interstate. Photo by Rich Ryan

Arts Section by Brett Burger
Dining Section by Bradley Traynor

Produced by Linda Raines and Chris Tarbox

Skeleton Crew. Photo by Justin Cox

Skeleton Crew
Yellow Tree Theatre
Through March 1

It’s been more than a decade since the Great Recession, and yet many of us still feel its effects today. Skeleton Crew goes back to the beginning of this tragic time in American history and how the closing of the last auto stamping plant in Detroit affects four very different people.


The White Card: Here’s Looking At You
Penumbra Theatre Company
at Penumbra Theatre
Through March 1

A wealthy white couple, who collect contemporary art conveying racial injustice, invite over a rising black photographer by the name of Charlotte. Expectations shift drastically from the first toast, and conversations on the current political climate influence the rest of the evening.

Dog Logic
Theatre in the Round Players
at Theatre in the Round
Through March 8

An ex-hippie by the name of Hertel Daggett is committed to a life of solitude by living in a junk pile of an abandoned pet cemetery. His life is threatened when a real estate mogul plots to build a shopping mall on his cemetery.

Twelfth Night
Guthrie Theater
at Wurtele Thrust Stage
Through March 22

Considered as a model Shakespearean comedy, Twelfth Night follows Viola, who must disguise herself as a boy after washing up on the shores of Illyria. After a series of misunderstandings, miscommunication and mistaken identities, love triangles form and entangle until the truth is revealed.


Spamtown, USA
Children’s Theatre Company
Through April 5

Taking place in Austin, Minnesota during the Hormel strike, Spamtown, USA follows five kids and their various dreams including space camp, out-of-state college and more. This Children’s Theatre Company production tells a story of strength, perseverance and friendship in the face of adversity.

Pairing: Black Sheep Pizza
There’s a wonderfully delicious family friendly pizza place just down the street from the Children’s Theatre worthy of any pre-show nosh. In addition to a heaping helping of hand-crafted, coal-fired pizzas, Black Sheep’s ample apps are equally drool-worthy. Do yourself a favor and order the meatballs. As well as a couple pizzas. Obviously.

The Dixie Swim Club
Old Log Theater
Through May 29

Every August, five southern women who met in college get together for a long weekend to reconnect. Spanning thirty-three years, The Dixie Swim Club focuses on four of those weekends and how even if they see each other once a year, their friendship can survive anything.

Pairing: Cast & Cru (at Old Log)
Not quite dinner theater, but dinner and theater in the same place sounds just as nice, no? The Old Log Theater is a wonderfully warm and inviting venue with a talented chef-driven dining spot built-in right onsite. Grab your special someone for a beautiful drive out to Lake Minnetonka, enjoy an amazing meal, then settle in for a night of great local theater.

The Music Man
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
Through Sept. 5

Before The Music Man opens on Broadway this fall, Harold Hill, a fast-talking salesman, will con his way onto the Chanhassen stage. Despite not knowing anything about music, Hill plans to skip town with the cash he raises from a fundraiser until he falls for Marian, the librarian.

Pairing: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre
Always the easiest pairing on the list for obvious reasons, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre takes dinner and a show to a whole new level. Literally. Every time I sit down to enjoy a meal at this classic Twin Cities theater venue, I’m immediately reminded how the food matches the magic happening on stage. Don’t miss the Chicken Chanhassen.

The Bacchae
Guthrie Theater
at McGuire Proscenium Stage
Feb. 29-April 5

One of Euripides’ lesser known Greek tragedies, The Bacchae, is a tale of betrayal, tyranny and family. In an attempt to prove his true father is Zeus, Dionysus tries to change citizens’ loyalties away from King Pentheus’ clutches. Meanwhile, the king’s leadership is threatened by the god’s himself in this modern telling directed by the legendary Anne Bogart.


My Fair Lady
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Orpheum Theatre
March 3-8

After a successful run at the Lincoln Center Theater, My Fair Lady comes to Minneapolis. This American musical and beloved tale features Prof. Henry Higgins, who is confident in his skills that he can turn a working-class girl into a high functioning member of the upper class. Eliza Doolittle agrees to speech lessons from him, in turn hoping to boost her chances of getting a job.

Pairing: 4 Bells
A “sumptuous new production” not only describes “My Fair Lady,” but my favorite Loring Park restaurant, as well. 4 Bells is a feast for the eyes and appetites. Chef Scott Pampuch is doing wonderfully delicious things on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. From fresh seafood to their signature fried Chicken, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick a better spot.

Face To Face: Our Hmong Community
Park Square Theatre
at Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Park Square Theatre
March 5-15

Face To Face: Our Hmong Community uses interview-based theatre to tell the story of Hmong families right here in St. Paul. In their own words, the storytellers of this show are people we know, our neighbors, friends and even family to talk about their struggles, resilience and successes.


Mixed Blood Theatre
at Mixed Blood Theatre
March 6-29

Everyone goes through a journey in their lifetime, however Interstate tells the story of two trans people who are at two very different stages of their journey. This pop-rock musical shows the differences of Dash, a transgender performer embarking on a cross-country tour, and Henry, a transgender teenager who is still struggling with his identity and family.

The Rainbow Fish
Children’s Theatre Company
March 10-April 5

Rainbow Fish, a story so many remember from their childhood, comes to life in this stage adaptation that uses puppetry, scenic effects and original music. Rainbow Fish discovers new worlds, friends and lessons as they learn a valuable lesson in sharing their most prized possession.


The Jungle Theater
March 11-April 12

An interracial couple gets put in an uncomfortable position when Meg’s uncle finds that her boyfriend’s relatives used to be owned by her ancestors. Can their relationship and love overcome the historical power structures and racial barriers they now face?

La Boheme
Theater Latté Da
at The Ritz Theater
March 11-April 26

Serving as the inspiration behind the blockbuster musical Rent, La Boheme is a tale of young artists who live in Paris. One of the most frequently performed operas worldwide, this story brings audiences through a time of  joy, sadness when we lose someone we love, and all through a celebration of art.

Pairing: Young Joni
There are plenty of great eats within walking distance to The Ritz, but if pizza and ambience are on the menu, head directly to Young Joni. James Beard Award-winning Chef Ann Kim does the same creative magic to pizza what Latté Da does to theater. Craft cocktails, wood-fired pizzas and equally sumptuous surroundings make for the perfect pre- or post-show nibble.

Guthrie Theater
at Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater
March 20-28

A theatrical production combining vocals, live instrumentation, movement and spoken word, artist Vie Boheme develops an immersive show for the ages. Boheme takes center stage and connects with audience members on stereotypes that women of color face through her unique performance style.

Great Expectations
Theatre In the Round Players
at Theatre in the Round
March 20-April 12

Inspired by the famous tale by Charles Dickens, this stage adaptation shows the transformation that Pip goes from being on the streets to a man of character. As he goes out on this quest through his life, Pip meets bizarre and mysterious people on his journey to become a gentleman.

Elaine Alvarez, starring in Don Giovanni. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Opera

Edward Tulane
Minnesota Opera
at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
March 21-29

Edward Tulane is a toy rabbit who thinks fairly high of himself, and while his life seems easy, it gets flipped upside down when he loses his family. Whether you’re new to opera or not, this show promises a whimsical time for the young and young at heart.


Girl Shorts
Theatre Unbound
at Gremlin Theatre, St. Paul
March 21-April 4

A celebration of female artists, Girl Shorts is a festival style production that highlights the voices of the Twin Cities. Theatre Unbound gives a platform for women of variety and diversity to perform three one-hour sets of multiple shorts across an immense range of talent.

Not For Sale
History Theatre
at History Theatre
March 21-April 12

After building a successful real estate empire in the Twin Cities, Arnold Weigel puts everything on the line in the early ‘60s. Weigel begins working with families of color as they begin to purchase homes in predominantly all-white neighborhoods.

Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Orpheum Theatre
March 24-April 5

Anastasia is a story rooted in history as a young woman sets out to uncover the truth of her past. As she travels across the Russian Empire to Paris to reconnect with her long lost family, a ruthless Soviet officer is determined to stop her. With songs like “Once Upon a December” and “Journey to the Past,” audience members will go on a daring and adventurous romantic comedy.

Not In Our Neighborhood
History Theatre
at History Theatre
March 25-April 5

The shameful history of housing segregation in St. Paul is something that still haunts our capital today. Not in Our Neighborhood follows two civil rights advocates, William and Nellie Francis, as they hope to move to their dream home in an all-white neighborhood. However, their neighbors are not as welcoming as they’d hope as they terrorize them into leaving.

Pairing: Stewart’s
When it comes to the best burger in the Twin Cities, you’ll often hear people tout the one at Parlour in Minneapolis. For my money, I’m heading to Stewart’s. Their burger is a thing of beauty. Rich, crispy, juicy, cheese-laden beauty. This delightful little restaurant is tucked away just across the river in St. Paul near the University of St. Thomas.


The Color Purple
at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
March 31-April 5

Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, this incredible classic documents the life of Celie, a young African American teenager who grows up in Georgia through 1900-1940. Her struggles and eventual triumph cover themes of civil rights, sexuality, and family.

Pairing: Sakura
Just a few blocks away from the Ordway is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the Twin Cities. Fun fact, it’s also one rich with history. And delicious food. Whether you’re in the mood for a light flight of sushi favorites or a heaping helping of traditional Japanese comfort food, Sakura always sates.

Sting Starring In The Last Ship
at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
April 8-19

After a run on Broadway, rock icon Sting himself is setting sail in the touring production of The Last Ship. When a sailor returns home, after being out at sea for seventeen years, his past and future collide in his town. With the local shipyard’s future always in jeopardy, the foreman and his wife struggle to keep the town under control.

Sherwood. Photo by Woodford Sisters

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Yellow Tree Theatre
April 10-May 10

In this new reimagined story of Robin Hood, this comedy takes familiar characters including Little John and Friar Tuck, and flips the story on its edge as Maid Marian is no longer the one in trouble. Her skills as a diplomat and archer help Robin Hood and his merry men—and women—on a new adventure in this new Minnesota premiere.


Guthrie Theater
at Wurtele Thrust Stage
April 11-May 31

Fans of Jane Austen will have plenty to cheer about with this production of Emma at the Guthrie this spring. Emma is a matchmaker of great success, and when her plans fall through for a couple, she begins to think that true love may have been directly in front of her the entire time.


Marie and Rosetta
Park Square Theatre
at Proscenium Stage
April 15-May 24

Guitar playing, gospel music and plenty of foot-tapping music await everyone in the upcoming production of Marie and Rosetta at Park Square Theatre. Rosetta and Marie are in the process of preparing for a tour as they rehearse songs like “Sit Down” and “ I Want a Tall Skinny Papa.”

Pairing: The Lexington
A story about two women of classic rock, R&B and gospel deserves a classic prelude. The Lexington tells its own classic tale, having risen from the ashes like a phoenix, serving a new generation of curious diners eager to indulge its storied past. And its mouth-watering menu. Which includes, among other tasty morsels, a 16 oz. pepper crusted ribeye. In the immortal words of Sister Rosetta, “Shout, Sister Shout!”

Mame. Photo by Devon Cox

Artistry at Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
at Schneider Theater
April 17-May 10

A well known story, originally starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur, Mame Dennis is a bewildering socialite whose life comes to a sudden halt when her orphaned nephew comes to live with her. This show features strong themes of family, remaining true to yourself and is the first Twin Cities production in more than a decade.

Pairing: LYN65
It’s not quite Bloomington, but whenever there’s a show nearby, I love to direct people to LYN65. Tucked away just south of Highway 62, this little secret garden of a restaurant is perfect for a pre-show dinner date. Especially if you love food. And if you didn’t love food, why are you reading this? I suggest small-plating your way across the menu. Don’t skip the burger or the fried chicken sandwich either or we’re no longer friends.


Nina Simone: Four Women
Pillsbury House Theatre
at Pillsbury House + Theatre
April 17-May 17

Inspired by the song “Four Women” by Nina Simone, four women are trapped in a church the day of the 1963 bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in an act of white supremacist terrorism. As time begins to run out and riots begin, the women’s minds wander as they contemplate the tragedy and if they are to move forward.

Pairing: Buster’s on 28th
Two words: Steak sandwich. Trust me. Besides the fact that it’s not far from Pillsbury House, Buster’s is truly just an all-around great neighborhood hideaway filled with great food. Besides yummy eats, their selection of beers from near and afar is sure to quench the palate of even the haughtiest of hop lovers.


Children’s Theatre Company
April 19-June 21

Everyone’s favorite little redheaded orphan returns to the Twin Cities at Children’s Theatre Company’s production of Annie. After being picked to spend Christmas with Mr. Warbucks, a multimillionaire, Annie gets a light of hope as she takes on a new adventure that could lead to her eventual adoption.

How Black Mothers Say I Love You
Penumbra Theatre Company
at Penumbra Theatre
April 21-May 17

After having her two kids at seventeen and nineteen, Daphne has to make one of the hardest decisions a mother has to make. As she leaves both of her kids in Jamaica, to move stateside to earn money to support them, time passes and six years later, her daughters join her. While they are together again, the hurt and pain of their initial separation still loom.

Theatre In the Round Players
at Theatre in the Round
April 24-May 17

A new scientific method of crime-fighting—fingerprints—is used for the first time to help investigate the kidnapping of beer tycoon William Hamm in 1933. As the case heats up, the kidnappers attempt to figure out what they are to do with their hostage.


Red Mayor
Walking Shadow Theatre Company
at Open Eye Theatre
April 25-May 10

After electing America’s first Communist major, the small town of Crosby, Minnesota thought they could not fail. A year later, Karl Emil Nygard had failed as this radio drama tells the story of our first Red Mayor.


Mary Jane
The Jungle Theater
April 29-May 31

This moving play takes place during a wet summer in New York City with a single mother as she attempts to solve the problems she faces while caring for a sick child. Mary Jane features one of the Twin Cities’ most notable actresses, Sally Wingert, and showcases the lengths that a mother will go for her child.


Randy Rainbow Live
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at State Theatre
May 1

Emmy-nominated comedian, actor, singer, writer and satirist Randy Rainbow returns to the Twin Cities. Best known for his YouTube series, The Randy Rainbow Show, Randy performs a series of musical and political parodies which earned him a 2019 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series.

Don Giovanni
Minnesota Opera
at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
May 2-16

Written by the world’s most famous composer, Mozart’s opera about the infamous womanizer Don Giovanni combines dark comedy with social commentary when a man dares to defy hell itself. Can Don Giovanni overcome his betrayals that seem to have caught up to him? Will he have to pay the ultimate price?


Runestone! A Musical
History Theatre
at History Theatre
May 2-24

When Olof Ohman, a Swedish immigrant, digs up a rock with a story on how Vikings were the first Europeans to land in Minnesota, he’s praised for the discovery. But there is no such thing as a historic discovery without a little controversy, as citizens wonder what the real truth behind this runestone is.

Disney’s Frozen. Photo by Deen van Meer

Disney’s Frozen
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Orpheum Theatre
May 6-31

Disney’s smash hit Frozen will be making a stop in Minneapolis this spring, including the return of our hometown hero Caroline Innerbichler, who is cast as Princess Anna. Frozen is the tale of Elsa, who has magical powers and seemingly struggles to control them as she takes the throne to become Queen.


Class of ’85
COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company
at The TEK Box at the Cowles Center
May 7-17

Everyone has a favorite 80’s movie, from The Breakfast Club to Pretty in Pink. COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company takes the secrets behind high school stereotypes and performs with eight dancers, two vocalists and a live band in this high-energy dance production to see who will win Prom King and Queen.


The Office! A Musical Parody
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Pantages Theatre
May 19-23

Everyone’s favorite sitcom, The Office, follows Scranton’s third-largest paper company through a documentary-style narrative. These characters come back to life through this hilarious parody and unauthorized musical of the hit TV show.

Twelve Angry Men
Theater Latté Da
at The Ritz Theater
May 27-June 28

A notable story and well known by many, Twelve Angry Men takes place in a tiny jury room as twelve men debate the outcome of a trial they’ve just heard. The fate of a young defendant’s life hangs in the balance after he’s been accused of murdering his father.


Putting It Together
Theatre In the Round Players
at Theatre in the Round
May 29-June 21

If you’re a fan of Sondheim—of which I am one of the biggest—you’ll not want to miss Putting It Together. During a dinner party, guests transform the penthouse into a performing space to sing close to thirty songs by the musical theatre giant, who is argued to be the greatest composer and lyricist of all time.

Destiny of Desire
Guthrie Theater
at McGuire Proscenium Stage
May 30-July 11

As two girls are born on the same evening in Bellarica, Mexico, they are swapped after one of the mothers discovers her biological daughter is born with a weak heart. The two girls meet over 18 years later and become quick friends, however the question is when will the truth come out in this telenovela-styled production.


Holmes and Watson
Park Square Theatre
at Proscenium Stage
June 12-July 26

This new adaptation of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson takes a new twist as Sherlock Holmes potentially fakes his own death. Dr. Watson receives a note from a mental asylum stating that three different patients claim to be the infamous detective.


Guthrie Theater
at Wurtele Thrust Stage
June 20–Aug. 23

This sensational musical takes patrons through the seedy Kit Kat Club to forget the world outside, which includes the ever-growing threats of Nazi influence. As cabaret singer Sally Bowles meets an academic from Britain by the name of Cliff Bradshaw, they quickly fall in love despite Bradshaw’s confusion on his own sexuality.


Cambodian Rock Band
Theater Mu
at The Jungle Theater
June 24–Aug. 2

Fleeing Cambodia, Chum escaped a murderous regime in the beginning of the 1980s. As Chum returns thirty years later, he begins searching for his daughter but must face his past to secure any sort of future with her.


Jeeves At Sea
Theatre In the Round Players
at Theatre in the Round
July 3-26

Stowing away on a yacht, Bertie Wooster disguises himself as a romance novelist as he returns for another adventure on the high sea. While they manage to remain unnoticed for long, his best friend Crumpet lets it slip that he may or may not have committed murder, as mayhem and mistaken identities run amok.

Summer—The Donna Summer Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Orpheum Theatre
July 14-19

The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, risked so much to break through from a gospel choir to the dance floor diva we all know and love. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical tells her iconic raise to fame through her incredible music.

Groundhog Day
at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
July 21-Aug. 9

Based on the film starring Bill Murray, Groundhog Day takes place on the same day, over and over again as Phil Connors gets stuck in a time loop. Connors must come to grips that he is doomed to repeat the same day that he loathed the first, second and third time after being forced to cover the groundhog ceremony in a small town in Pennsylvania.


Guthrie Theater
at McGuire Proscenium Stage
July 25-Aug. 29

With rumors running about layoffs and closing, promotions being given and an ever-changing economy, old friendships begin to crack. As many blue-collar workers in a small town begin to panic, the life of middle-class takes center stage through the issues of race, immigration and politically charged moments in time.

Come From Away. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Come From Away
Hennepin Theatre Trust
at Orpheum Theatre
Aug 11-23

Based on a true story, Come From Away begins the morning of a day that will forever be ingrained in American history: September 11, 2001. As 7,000 stranded passengers, who are flying from Europe into the United States, are forced to land in a small town in Newfoundland, the nerves of this tragic time in history hit an all-time high.




No contests at this time.