I Come From Arizona at Children’s Theatre Company

All Photos by Dan Norman

Head to Children’s Theatre Company before November 25 to see the world premiere production of “I Come From Arizona”. This thought-provoking work tells the story of Gabi Castillo, a bright, 14-year-old Mexican-American girl living on the South Side of Chicago. Gabi attends an elite high school where her Global Perspectives class brings her to learn secrets about her parents and her past. Through the experience, Gabi comes to understand the uncertainty and fear that comes from her family situation but also discovers her own strength.

About I Come From Arizona from Its Creative Team:

Director Lisa Portes says, “It seems nearly every day now we hear stories of ICE picking up folks—fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles—and deporting them back to their country of origin. Just the other day I heard a story on NPR about a mother holed up in a sanctuary church, getting her kids ready for school, and walking them to the door of the church, unable to step outside for fear of the ICE agents waiting outside. The kids don’t fully understand what’s happening. I Come From Arizona tells the story of a U.S. born Mexican-American teenager coming to understand exactly what’s happening. Gabi Castillo, like so many American schoolkids, must face the complexities of immigration in this country and how they directly affect her, her little brother, Jesús, and her parents, Reymundo, and Dolores.”

“I Come From Arizona is a play written by Carlos Murillo who began this project a number of years ago by interviewing people in the Latino community of Chicago,” states Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. “He was very interested in where the question of immigration in this nation was sitting with them. Out of these interviews came this story of an extremely intelligent young woman who has been accepted into a school for the best and brightest of Chicago, which means leaving the comfort and safety of her neighborhood school, to one where she may be one of the few, if any, Latinos from the Southside. This causes all kinds of tension in her family for reasons she doesn’t fully understand. We learn that it has to do with the secret immigration status of her family. This play throws us right into the middle of the debate that is currently wrenching our nation. And we see it all through the lives of these kids who are wrestling with a terribly uncertain future over which they have no control. It’s a lyrical, moving, quite funny piece that provokes us and challenges us to see this complex situation with new eyes.”

I Come From Arizona is written by Carlos Murillo and directed by Lisa Portes. The cast includes Ayssette Muñoz as Gabi, Ricardo Vázquez as Reymundo, Nora Montañez as Dolores, Sha Cage as Ms. Chan, Luca La Hoz Calassara as Jesús, Madison Neal as Fiona, Antonio De La Vega as Ricardo and Ananda Cordova Stuart, Enzo La Hoz, and Sara Magnuson in the ensemble.

Our Review:

My sister, an immigration attorney, and my 10-year-old nephew saw I Come from Arizona opening weekend. My nephew (a usually HARSH critic), enjoyed the performance, felt it was interesting and said he would recommend it to other kids. From an adult perspective, my sister felt the play really personalizes the current debate about immigration. It paints a realistic picture of what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant in the US today. I Come from Arizona also portrays how the US citizen children of these immigrants are harmed by current immigration policies.

Resource Guide:

If you’re planning to see I Come from Arizona with your kids, CTC offers an extensive resource guide to help you prepare to see the show and also to discuss and continue the learning afterward. Find the resource guide here.

The Ticket Office is accessible by phone two hours prior to most performances. These posted hours are subject to change.
Email: [email protected] (inquiries only, no ticket processing)
Phone: 612.874.0400
Website: https://childrenstheatre.org
Subscription packages are available. Please see website for complete details: https://childrenstheatre.org/tickets/subscribe

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy Discount Tickets – Save Up to 60%!

Viewing a performance of The Nutcracker is a longstanding holiday season tradition! For more than 50 years, Minnesotans have been enjoying performances of Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

An outlandish holiday favorite, Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy remains one of Minnesota’s most treasured traditions of the season. The story begins at a Christmas party in 19th-century Nuremberg, and unfolds through the eyes of Marie as her wizardly godfather, Drosselmayer, weaves a magical fantasy. His tale takes her on an extraordinary adventure to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Experience the beautiful choreography of Loyce Houlton danced by Minnesota Dance Theatre company members, guests artists and children of the School, with the brilliant music of Tchaikovsky played by the 44-piece Nutcracker Orchestra and led by Philip Brunelle.

Right now you can get tickets to select performances for only $18 to $37.50 (regular price is $45 – $75), plus a small service fee. Get tickets here!

Children’s Theatre Company: $15 Discount Tickets to “Last Stop on Market Street”

My kids and I LOVE going to Children’s Theatre Company performances! In fact, we’re actually going to a performance of Last Stop on Market Street tomorrow night. Right now you can get $15 discount tickets to select performances of this same play this weekend (9/27 – 9/30). You’ll need to use the coupon code RUSH to see the tickets priced at $15 or just go through this link.

Please note that a service fee of $3/ticket will apply to your online transaction. This play opened a couple weeks ago and is based on Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña.

Note: If you’d like to purchase tickets for a later show, Groupon has discount tickets available for as low as $19.

Six-year-old CJ is (reluctantly) staying with his (extremely over-the-top) Nana, in a world considerably different from the one he’s used to (his phone and tablet). The disagreeable (and let’s just admit it, whiny) child is dragged on a bus ride that’s loud and gritty and weird. Guided by his veritable force-of-nature Nana, CJ travels a little closer to his roots and sees that things are not always what they seem. This is one hip-hop, eclectic, heart-thumpin’, toe-tappin’ joy ride.

While the play is recommended for children ages 5 and up, you can bring younger children, if you’d like. Lap passes are available for children ages 3 and under and may be purchased at the Ticket Office on the day of your performance ($5 each).

Advance Rush tickets have a maximum of 5 per order. They’re also non-refundable and non-exchangeable, and the discount expires two hours prior to each show. Get your tickets HERE!

Chicken Ship at Open Eye Figure Theatre

We love to attend local theatre shows.  One of the best parts about living in MN is that there is an abundance of great options. 

If you want to save up for a bucket list show you can do that but there are some great hidden gem theaters offering amazing live talent as well. 

One of our favorites is the the Open Eye Figure Theatre which I have mentioned before.  Kevin Kling is also a favorite local storyteller.  He brings laughter and wit and local humor to the stage.  The upcoming show Chicken Ship is next weekend September 20-23 at Open Eye.

Open Eye Figure Theatre Presents
September 20 – 23
Created and performed by Kevin Kling and Clare Murphy

High-flying storytellers Kevin Kling and Clare Murphy create a mythic allegory for our times, as told by farmyard animals! A chicken wakes up in 2018 to the sky falling down. As she runs along a dangerous road littered with foxes and falsehoods, she encounters fables, myths, and history that illuminate and obfuscate her path. What will become of her and the ship she sailed in on?

Kevin Kling has been a regular on the Open Eye stage for many years and for this show he’s bringing back Irish storyteller Clare Murphy, first seen at Open Eye in FOUR DIRECTIONS. These talented artists captivate audiences with surprising, hilarious, and profound storytelling! Only four performances!


Twisted Deaths from Uprising Theatre Company

Twisted Deaths Uprising Theater Company Phoenix Theater

The world premiere of a new work by Shannon TL Kearns, Twisted Deaths, is now playing at the Phoenix Theater through April 28th. It features Anthony Neuman, Holly Windle, Jamila Joiner, Kendra Alaura, Julia Alvarez and Jeff Miller.

About the play:

Ryan is a transgender man with his whole life ahead of him. Pam is a spunky conservative woman with an estranged daughter. The lives of these two cancer patients collide when a chance meeting causes their journey through illness to intersect in ways that neither of them could have ever imagined.

This world premiere of a new work explores questions of identity, relationships, our health care system, and who has control over your body and life.

Twisted Deaths Playbill Minneapolis

I had a chance to catch a preview performance this week and encourage you to see the show. It approaches many difficult topics all within the course of the two hour and twenty minute play, but does so in an engaging way that only ads to the story, rather than detracting or seeming like an effort to “hit all the issues”. The acting is good all around with an extra strong shout out to both Jamila Joiner, as Ryan’s wife Melissa, and Holly Windle, as Pam.

After the show, the audience is invited to stick around for a “talkback”, which gives you a chance to discuss the work and the issues expressed in the performance. It’s a chance to both process your thoughts about the performance and further engage.

Twisted Deaths is at the Phoenix Theater through April 28. For tickets visit www.uprisingtheatreco.com/tickets.

50% Off Discount Tickets to A Wrinkle in Time at Lyric Arts in Anoka

A Wrinkle in Time has been on our minds lately due to the recent movie release. Now you and your family can see the stage version at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka! Tickets are normally $22, but when you order through Goldstar you can get them for just $11 (plus fees).

Before it became a Hollywood blockbuster, A Wrinkle in Time was a classic YA novel about three kids who teleport across space in search of their scientist father. Now, Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Medal-winning tale comes to the stage in a new play from Lyric Arts in Anoka. Join Meg, Charles and Calvin as they set off with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which to rescue their father from The IT, an evil being trying to take over the universe! Together they’ll prove that love can overcome evil. Don’t miss this imaginative family adventure as it comes to life on stage.

Please note: A Wrinkle in Time is recommended for ages 8 and up. As a courtesy to other patrons, children under age 5 will not be admitted. This is a one act play running 75-80 minutes with no intermission.

Available dates and times include:

  • Friday, May 4 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 5 at 2 pm
  • Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 12 at 11 am
  • Saturday, May 12 at 2 pm
  • Sunday, May 13 at 2 pm
  • Friday, May 18 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 19 at 11 am
  • Saturday, May 19 at 2 pm

Get your tickets HERE!

Community Open House at the New Hanifl Performing Arts Center

In case you haven’t heard The Lakeshore Players Theatre group has a new home.  The brand new Hanifl Performing Arts Center, located in White Bear Lake is hosting a Community Open House this Saturday (April 14th).  The open house takes place from 2-6 and is open to all ages. Not only is it a great time to take a tour, you’ll also find a performance, some classes and games.  Check out the information here, some of the dance classes ask for advance registration.  All of the activities during the open house are completely free.

Attendees can experience a complete tour of the facility including: performances by the actors of the upcoming and inaugural production of Into the Woods, professional dance classes, fun classes with Children’s Performing Arts, a professional pianist playing on the theater’s brand new Steinway, theater games with Education Director Aaron Fiskradatz, temporary tattoos, refreshments and more.

Awesome 80s Prom Discount Tickets

Awesome 80s Prom

If you want to relive some of the fun parts of your high school years, or if you want a prom do-over, I highly recommend Awesome 80’s Prom. I went a few years back with my sister (who is an awesome prom date) and we had a blast!

Awesome 80’s Prom is a blast-from-the-past party in the style of Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding that invites you to join the senior class of Wanaget High School for prom night — in 1989. Like a John Hughes movie come to life, this on-your-feet interactive theater event features a cast of instantly recognizable ’80s teens, from the Captain of the Football Team and the Head Cheerleader to the Geek and the clueless Exchange Student.

awesome 80s prom minnesota

Their dresses are frilly, their ties are skinny, and everybody is dancing, flirting, fighting and jockeying to be voted Prom King and Queen. Strut your stuff in the breakdance circle or just hang back and watch the teen drama unfold when Awesome 80’s Prom comes to the Cabaret Theater at CAMP Bar.

If you order your discount Awesome 80’s Prom tickets now, you can save $10 off the ticket price, making your tickets only $19 to $29 each. Multiple show dates are available. Get your tickets HERE.

While prom attire is optional, it makes the evening a lot more fun and offers some great photo opps!

Complimentary Tickets to Twin Cities Theater, Dance, Opera, Comedy + More – 48 Hours Only!

It’s back! The Goldstar Comp Train is here again with complimentary tickets to shows and events across the country. Luckily, there are a bunch of these available in the Twin Cities! All you have to pay is a small service fee.

Local events this time around include Joke Joint Comedy Club, Extreme Horse Skijoring at Canterbury Park, Giselle performed by the Metropolitan Ballet, and more!

Since all you pay is the service fee (the amount varies depending on the event, but it’s usually just a couple bucks), the Comp Train is a great way to discover new events in our area and treat your plus one, a group of friends or even just yourself to something totally great – and totally unexpected.


Check out all the complimentary tickets HERE!

BOGO Tickets to Frederick at Stages Theatre Company

Once again, Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins is offering discount tickets to select performances of Frederick! You’ll need to order tickets online HERE and use the coupon code VALENTINE to get the discount which is buy one adult ticket, get one child ticket free (an adult ticket is $16, so just $8 each!). Parking is free.

Offer valid only for evening and weekend performances 2/9/18 through 2/18/18.

Cozy in this winter for the heartwarming story of Frederick as he shows us that everyone has something special to give to the world. While other mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick daydreams the summer away. When the cold weather sets in, however, it is Frederick who has stored up something significant to survive the long, blustery winter. The Caldecott winning book by beloved author Leo Lionni has been charming readers for 50 years. Now, this award-winning musical adaptation that will delight the heart and tickle the imagination.