Theater That Thrills
Minnesota boasts a lively and eclectic theater scene, and more than half of its 440 theaters are in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. When visiting Minneapolis Northwest, you’re only minutes away from the best theaters in the state. From Broadway productions and stirring stage plays, to children’s theater, the Minnesota Opera, and original, local performances, our theater scene thrills and delights your senses. Below are some of our favorite upcoming fall and winter shows!
Get a taste of Broadway when you attend the Orpheum Theatre, a venue for world-class entertainment featuring the best and brightest touring productions from New York. This historic theater boasts an impressive auditorium with intricate designs and a majestic domed ceiling. Take a tour with the Hennepin Theatre Trust to get a behind-the-scenes look at this beautiful venue.
A Bronx Tale: The New Musical (Feb.19-24) – A Bronx Tale is a street-wise musical that takes you to the stoops of the Bronx, NY, in the 1960s where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Based on the 1980 movie starring Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri, A Bronx Tale is Jersey Boys meets West Side Story!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (March 6-17) – Roald Dahl’s amazing tale is now Minneapolis’ golden ticket! It’s the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.
Hello, Dolly! (April 16-28) – Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in Hello, Dolly! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream."
The Play That Goes Wrong (May 7-12) – What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get The Play That Goes Wrong, Broadway and London’s award-winning smash comedy and a classic murder mystery chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania.
Dear Evan Hansen (May 28-June 9) - Dear Even Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it, and has been called one of the most remarkable shows in music theater history. Winner of six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Muscal Theatre Album, this is a Broadway production you won't want to miss.
Fiddler on the Roof (July 30-Aug.4) - Audiences across the country are toasting a new production of this Broadway classic. Rich with musical hits you know and love, including "Tradition," "Sunrise, Sunset; "If I Were A Rich Man;" "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," it is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter.
Live theater is always exhilarating at the Guthrie Theatre, located on the Mississippi River. The facility houses three theaters – a thrust stage, a proscenium stage and a black box studio – and offers backstage and architecture tours. Be sure to visit the Amber Box (a.k.a. the yellow room) on the 9th floor. In this observation box you’ll get a near 360-degree view of the Mississippi riverfront, including the Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Falls and Gold Medal Park.
As You Like It (Feb. 9-March 17) – Culminating in four weddings between some of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters, As You Like It is a romantic comedy that is sure to surprise and delight.
Cyrano de Bergerac (March 16-May 5) – Cyrano de Bergerac is a poet, playwright and consummate swordsman who tries to woo Roxane despite his grotesquely large nose in this heroic comedy for the ages.
Metamorphoses (April 13-May 19) – Performed in and around a large pool of water, an ensemble of actors embodies figures from Greek mythology to share both well-known and rarely told stories of transformation.
Guys and Dolls (June 22-Aug. 25) – It's the perfect musical comedy! Gambling in luck and love from Times Square to Havana, this classic musical boasts colorful characters and a brassy score, featuring “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”
Floyd's (July 27-Aug. 25) – From two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) comes the world premiere of a razor-sharp, disarmingly vulnerable comedy commissioned by the Guthrie.
Locally owned Yellow Tree Theatre is a hidden gem in Osseo that highlights the complexities of the human experience through quirky and original comedies, classic musicals, and heartfelt plays. This charming theater welcomes you into its lobby filled with couches, antiques, books, and sparkling lights, and you’ll immediately feel relaxed in the intimate surroundings. Currently celebrating its 11th season, read about Yellow Tree’s special 10th anniversary season and its founders, Minnesota husband-and-wife team Jason Peterson and Jessica Lind Peterson.
Flowers for the Room: A New Musical (Feb. 1-March 3) – Newlyweds Allison and Jake have just begun their lives together when a tragic accident confines Allison to a hospital bed in a body that won’t cooperate. Flowers for the Room is a stunning new musical with a story by award-winning playwright Jessica Lind Peterson and a gorgeous original score by contemporary folk musician Blake Thomas.
Bring the tissues because you’ll laugh until you cry when you catch a show at Brave New Workshop (BNW), which has been performing original satirical sketch comedy and improvisation since 1958, longer than any other theater in the U.S.! Timely topics, outrageous puns and irreverent humor make this venue the perfect place to secure laughs and smiles with your friends and family.
Love and Other Social Diseases (Or, Sex and Sensibility) – Catch the love bug with Brave New Workshop’s hilarious new sketch comedy show exploring dating, relationships, and love in the time of dating apps. Love and Other Social Diseases is Brave New Workshop’s 300th show, and you know what they say: 300th time’s the charm – in shows and Tinder matches!
At the Ordway in Saint Paul, you’ll find Broadway tours, as well as productions by the nationally recognized Minnesota Opera, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, a variety of choral concerts, musical acts, and World Music and Dance. This elegant venue features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a lush interior, and is located across the street from beautiful Rice Park.
Falsettos (Feb. 19-24) – The Lincoln Center Theater Production of Falsettos revolves around a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, and his wife, lover, son, their psychiatrist and the lesbians next door. It’s a hilarious and poignant look at what makes a modern family.
The Fix (March 16-24) – One of the most notorious scandals in American history comes to life in this new major league opera with the notable Minnesota Opera. Dive into America's pasttime and the 1919 "Black Sox" World Series scandal that rocked the nation.
Monty Python's Spamalot (April 2-7) – This Tony Award-winning musical lovingly winks at the film classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen, and show-stopping musical numbers are just a few reasons why audiences worldwide are eating up Spamalot!
La Traviata (May 4-19) – Verdi’s sumptuous melodies and timeless depiction of tragic love have made La Traviata an undeniable favorite for generations. The opera is a captivating tribute to what it means to live and die for love.
42nd Street (July 23-Aug.11) – Come and hear the brand new beat on 42nd Street! The classic tale of wide-eyed Peggy Sawyer dreaming of tapping her way to Broadway has been reimagined for a 21st century audience.
The perfect place to introduce young children to the wonder of theater and spark their creativity is at Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), the largest professional theater for youth audiences in the country. From a one-woman puppet show for pre-schoolers, to an interactive Romeo & Juliet for teens and adults, the talented directors of CTC bring classic stories to life in new and unimagined ways. Not surprisingly, TIME magazine called it "the #1 children's theatre in the nation."
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Jan. 15-Feb. 24) – The unexpected arrival of twelve penguins rocks the life of modest Mr. Popper, until the imaginative painter turns them into a traveling vaudeville act. Don’t miss this perfect penguin performance! Best enjoyed by ages four and up.
The Biggest Little House in the Forest (Jan. 29-March 10) – Bernice the Butterfly learns valuable lessons when her lovely home is taken over by a menagerie of other creatures. Through pillow fights, bubble baths and a dance party, Bernice learns there is always room for more. Best enjoyed by preschoolers.
The Hobbit (March 12-April14) – Staged with speed and surprises, you’ll be delighted as things change before your very eyes in this marvelous production based on J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful story. Discover what happens as Bilbo Baggins travels on an epic journey over freezing mountains and a frightening forest, meeting all sorts of creatures.
Matilda the Musical (April 28-June 23) - Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, this is the story of Matilda. This captivating kid-power romp revels in the anarchy of childhood. Celebrating the tenacity of the small, Matilda proves that the strength to be yourself will prevail at the end of the day.
Enjoy big city theater with hometown charm at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, located in the heart of historic downtown Anoka. You can find a show for almost every taste, including musicals, dramas, comedies, children’s productions, and intimate live music events as part of its “Music in the ‘Burbs” Concert Series, which brings in some of the best musicians in Minnesota.
Sense and Sensibility (Feb. 15-March 3) – The Kate Hamill adaptation of Sense and Sensibility made its world debut in 2014 with a minimalist production, and this is the first time Lyric Arts will be presenting this adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic story of sisterhood, love and romance.
Evita (March 22-April14) – This inspiring story of Eva Peron, Argentina’s First Lady, recounts her life as a young girl who aspires to be an actress, but ultimately finds success in politics and influence with the people of Argentina.
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (May 3-12) – Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook finds Junie B. facing tough decisions about what is right and wrong as she confronts the moral dilemma between “finding” something and “stealing.”
A Raisin in the Sun (May 31-June 16) – Inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem," A Raisin in the Sun is a heart-wrenching and candid look at a family’s struggle to bring themselves up from poverty and to achieve the dreams that can now be possible while addressing the topics of race and culture in a world that is still held back by prejudice.
Legally Blonde the Musical (July 12-Aug. 4) – After she is dumped by her boyfriend, Warner, for a more serious girlfriend, Elle Woods decides she will do anything to win him back, even if it means going to Harvard Law School.
Since 1998, Theater Latté Da has produced award-winning musical theater that connects story, music, artists, and audiences. The organization produces shows in the historic Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, and is consistently recognized for its quality, timelessness and imagination. It continues to receive critical acclaim and a host of national and regional awards. Past award-winning productions include Ragtime, Sweeney Todd and Cabaret.
A Little Night Music (Jan. 23-March 3) – Step out and experience a A Little Night Music, a sophisticated and enchanting show with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music involves a web of romance and love affairs between characters ranging from an aging actress, an eager divinity student and an amusing count.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (March 27-May 5) – This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing rock score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage! Recommended for mature audiences.
To Let Go and Let Fall (May 29-June 30) – The poignant world premiere about young love and old friends. Todd and Arthur are two former ballet dancers who reunite after 25 years. This beautifully told story takes the audience through the lives of both men, their choices, regrets, and coming to terms with age, illness and sexual identity.
Stages Theatre Company was formed out of a need for quality theater programming for children and it continues to provide enrichment and education for youth in a theater environment that stimulates artistic excellence and personal growth. Stages is proud to bring its 35th Anniversary Season to theater-loving families.
Three Snow Bears (Jan. 18-Feb. 18) – Based on the bestselling, beloved book Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett, audiences will take an adventurous ride through the magnificent Arctic landscape in this delightful twist on the Goldilocks tale.
Owl Moon (March 8-24) – Journey into a magnificent wintery woods, where a father and child venture out hoping to spot an owl. Surprises abound behind every tree in this ballet-inspired story adapted from the Caldecott Medal book by Jane Yolen.
The Most Magnificent Thing (April 12-May 12) – A young girl has a wonderful idea, but as she tries and fails, repeatedly, she finds invention is anything but easy. Stages' world premiere musical adaptation shows that it’s okay to make mistakes as we create, tinker and achieve.
Hidden Heroes: The Black Women of NASA (April 26-May 19) – In the 1950’s and 60’s, the black women of NASA fought against racial and gender discrimination for a place on the leading edge of math, science and technology. Be inspired by the stories of how these women were influenced as young girls to eventually make critical contributions that launched U.S. astronauts into space and returned them safely back to Earth.
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Theater for Young Audiences (June 28-Aug. 4) – The scrumdidilyumptious adventures of Charlie Bucket touring the enigmatic Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory enlivens the stage this summer. This enchanting adaptation, features memorable songs from the 1971 film.
For a truly unique theatre experience, you can’t beat Theatre in the Round, where the audience fully surrounds the actors! The theater’s arena stage, coupled with remarkable lighting and sound effects, make every production one-of-a-kind. When taking in a show, arrive a few minutes early to view the newly commissioned mural on the north side of the building and the art gallery inside.
The Government Inspector (Feb. 15-March10) – Get ready to laugh as the crooked citizens of a small town learn that an undercover government inspector is being sent to their area to expose corruption. The ensuing bribery, lies and a case of mistaken identity send the town into a hilarious panic.
Little Women (March 22-April 14) - In this beautifully dramatized adaptation, the March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, work, dream, play – and learn what it means to grow up with privation and illness yet find true joy.
Red Hot and Cole (April 26-May 19) - A scintillating mixture of biography and song celebrates the great American songwriter Cole Porter, whose devilishly clever rhymes, fresh and unexpected melodies, and sassy sensibility is a tribute to a glittering age gone by.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (May 31-June 23) - Rescued from the plains in 1890, young Ransome Foster leaves New York City for the Wild West and is left for dead on the dusty streets of twotrees. The town soon becomes his home, and a local girl gives him purpose in this broken and lawless land. But is that enough to save him from the vicious outlaw who wants him dead?
Jeeves Takes a Bow (July 5-28) - Bertie Wooster ventures across the pond, bringing only his handsome fortune, his remarkable manservant Jeeves – and, of course, his talent for trouble. He’s soon mixed up with a chorus girl, the gangster, and even gets engaged by mistake. Can Jeeves save Bertie this time? Based on the stories of P.G. Wodehouse.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (CDT) is the nation’s largest professional dinner theater with three stages under one roof. CDT is a must for any theater-lover visiting the area. Have a meal served to you in a classy dining space before enjoying some of the highest-caliber theater in the Twin Cities. In addition to musicals and plays, CDT hosts an exciting concert series with the best tribute shows around featuring the finest musicians in the region. This fall, don’t miss tributes to The Everly Brothers, Barbara Streisand, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Aretha Franklin and David Bowie.
Holiday Inn (Oct. 5-Feb. 23) – With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, Holiday Inn tells the story of Jim, a man who leaves show business to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut. He soon discovers that life isn’t the same without a bit of song and dance. With the help of a talented schoolteacher, Jim turns his farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday of the year.
Mamma Mia! (March 1-Sept. 28) – One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you'll never forget! The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless popular songs propel this delightful story of love, laughter and friendship. It’s sequins, spandex and feather boas on a Greek Island paradise! Get ready to have the time of your life with Mamma Mia!
Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret (Friday and Saturday nights) – Stevie Ray's Comedy Troupe creates instant laughs based on ideas you call out from the audience. If you like the hit TV show Whose Line is it Anyway?, you'll love Stevie Ray's.
Artistry Theater and Visual Arts
HUGE Improv Theatre
Mixed Blood Theatre
Old Log Theatre
Park Square Theatre
Before being swept away by a magical evening of theater, have a fun and unique dining experience in Minneapolis Northwest. Opt for private dining if you’re planning a special group outing, and you won’t want to miss some of the best happy hours in the area!
Celebrate Special Occasions at the Best Private Event Rooms in Minneapolis Northwest
Come On, Get Happy with 10 Happy Hour Spots in Minneapolis Northwest