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!
Locally owned Yellow Tree Theatre is a hidden gem in Osseo that invites you into its cozy lobby filled with couches, antiques, books, and sparkling lights. Founded by Minnesota husband-and-wife team Jason Peterson and Jessica Lind Peterson, this charming theater highlights the complexities of the human experience through quirky and original comedies, classic musicals, and heartfelt plays.
Skeleton Crew (Jan. 31-Mar. 1) – At the beginning of the Great Recession, the employees of an auto stamping plant are faced with sudden hardship when the plant suddenly closes. This powerful story follows the lives of the employees as they deal with family, ethics, and the American Dream.
Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (Apr. 10-May 10) – A reimagined and rollicking new take on the legend featuring raucous comedy, amorous exploits, and gags galore! Join Robin’s merry men and women as they champion the underdog and fight for justice in this Minnesota premiere.
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.
Jesus Christ Superstar (Jan. 21-26) – In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades.
My Fair Lady (Mar. 3-8) – Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).
Anastasia (Mar. 24-Apr. 5) – This dazzling show transports viewers from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.
Disney’s Frozen (May 6-31) – Frozen is an unforgettable, magical adventure, which Newsday calls “a serious megahit with amazing special effects, eye-popping costumes and incredible performances.” It’s a theatrical experience like no other, so let yourself go.
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Jul. 14-19) – Featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff," this show tells the story of the "Queen of Disco" and her inspiring journey to fame.
Come From Away (Aug. 11-23) – This production takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Live theater is always exhilarating at the Guthrie Theater, 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.
Twelfth Night (Feb. 8-Mar. 22) – Mayhem ensues when Viola dresses as her twin brother to protect herself in a new land, creating a tangle of deceit and a hilarious love triangle. Come see why this comedic yet inspiring love story is a Shakespeare classic.
Emma (Apr. 11-May 31) – Join Emma as her latest matchmaking scheme backfires and launches her into a love story of her own. With screwball comedy and surprises aplenty, this fresh, fast-paced adaptation interprets the Jane Austen classic in delightfully unconventional ways.
Destiny of Desire (May 30-Jul. 11) – In true telenovela fashion, this production follows the lives of two girls switched at birth and their unlikely meeting that results in fast friendship. Through over-the-top musical numbers and plot twists galore, their long-buried past comes to light and upends everyone’s lives in hilarious, melodramatic ways.
Cabaret (Jun. 20-Aug. 23) – Inside Berlin's seedy Kit Kat Klub, a flamboyant Master of Ceremonies invites patrons to partake in a decadent underworld of musical numbers, kick lines and torrid affiars – a welcome escape from the ever-growing Nazi influence just outside its doors. Cabaret is a daring and dazzling musical you won’t want to miss.
Sweat (Jul. 25-Aug. 29) – Friendships are put to the test when the changing economy threatens the factory workers of Reading, Pennsylvania. From the politically charged opening scene to its electrifying conclusion, Sweat boldly confronts issues of race, immigration, deindustrialization and the ever-slipping grip on middle-class life in a humerous and heartfelt way.
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.
Flight: A Minnesota Opera Production (Jan. 25-Feb. 2) – Stranded overnight at an airport, eight strangers meet a refugee forced to call the terminal his home and soon realize they need each other to get to their destinations. Inspired by a true story, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is a touching and deeply human comedy all about what it means to make a real connection.
Once On This Island (Feb. 4-9) – Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Once On This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
The Color Purple (Mar. 31-Apr. 5) – Don’t miss this stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South. Experience the exhilarating power of this Tony-winning triumph that New York Magazine calls “one of the greatest revivals ever.”
Don Giovanni (May 2-16) – From the world’s most well-known composer, Mozart’s opera seamlessly blends dark comedy with biting social commentary in this smart and otherworldly story of a man who dares to defy hell itself.
Groundhog Day (Jul. 21-Aug. 9) – When big-city weatherman Phil Connors gets mysteriously stuck in small-town America, laughter is in the forecast. With his unique look on life, Phil is always ready with a one-liner or clever quip about the all-too cheery people of Punxsutawney. Come see how one extraordinary day is about to show Phil that maybe the joke is really on him!
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."
Three Little Birds (Jan. 19-Mar. 1) – Follow the story of Ziggy, a bird who learns to navigate his fears of the world around him with the help of his friends. You won't want to miss this timeless tale of peace and love that uses classic Reggae music—including songs by the great Bob Marley—to jam Jamaican style!
Spamtown, USA (Feb. 16-Apr. 5) – Spamtown, USA is a moving portrait of Austin, Minnesota during the 1985 Hormel strike. This is the story of having the strength to stand up for what you believe in, the challenge that comes in disagreeing with those you love, and the humor that helps keep friendships alive.
The Rainbow Fish (Mar. 10-Apr. 5) – This original stage adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s colorful stories uses innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects, and delightful original music that will mesmerize the entire family. Travel with the beautiful Rainbow Fish through the great unknown deep sea and learn what it means to share your most prized possession.
Annie (Apr. 19-Jun. 21) – Join the story of an adorable and feisty little girl as she takes on the world and, with an equal share of moxie and music, unlocks hearts and changes lives through kindness, love, and spirit.
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.
Flora & Ulysses (Feb. 14-23) – After a near-death experience with a vacuum cleaner, a squirrel is rescued by Flora Belle Buckman, and together they embark on an unpredictable adventure. Based on the 2014 Newbery Medal winner by best-selling author Kate DiCamillo, this laugh-out-loud play is bursting with heart and filled with eccentric and endearing characters sure to delight the entire family.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Mar. 13-Apr. 5) – Based on an unfinished Charles Dickens novel, the outcome of this murder mystery is determined by the audience themselves, so join in determining the ending – it's different every night!
The Foreigner (May 29-Jun. 21) – Follow the story of the extremely shy Charlie Baker who pretends not to understand English while on vacation at a fishing lodge. As the guests begin revealing their secrets to him, Charlie forms a sinister scheme that must be stopped, leading to a wildly surprising ending.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Jul. 10-Aug. 9) – Join a window washer as he follows a book's instructions to climb the ladder of success. A satire of big business and all it holds sacred, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical is an irreverent and tuneful romp, jam-packed with sly, swift, and sharp jabs to the funny bone.
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.
Bernarda Alda (Jan. 15-Feb. 16) – Bernarda Alba is a powerful matriarch, who imposes a strict rule on her household following her second husband’s funeral. Bernarda’s five daughters, however, struggle with her cold regime, and soon the girls’ dreams, desires, and the lure of the outside world begin to permeate their isolated existence.
La Boheme (Mar. 11-Apr. 26) – This passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss, and a celebration of art in the face of adversity.
Twelve Angry Men (May 27-Jun. 28) – Come see this timeless courtroom drama; in purpose, it's a crash course in those passages of the U.S. Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.
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.
Black Comedy (Jan. 10-Feb. 2) – Join struggling artist Brindsley Miller and his fiance Carol as they host a dinner party in the dark! When the main fuse blows, the characters fumble about, slamming into hot radiators, sharp furniture, and each other in this classic one-act comedy you won't want to miss.
Dog Logic (Feb. 14-Mar. 8) – This quirky comedy is a look into the mind of Hertel Daggett, a reclusive ex-hippie who lives in a junk pile and talks to dead animals as the owner of an abandoned pet cemetery. But his monologues and musings are interrupted when a smarmy real-estate magnate unleashes Hertel’s ex-wife and his long-lost mother against him in a plot to develop his cemetery into a shopping mall.
Great Expectations (Mar. 20-Apr. 12) – Follow the poor orphan Pip as he encounters the bizarre Miss Havisham, the convict Abel Magwitch, a mysterious benefactor, and others in his quest to become a gentleman and realize his great expectations. You'll be completely captured as the action moves deftly from scene to scene in this crisp re-telling of the famous tale by Charles Dickens.
Prints (Apr. 24-May 17) – It’s 1933 in St. Paul, and two reporters are approached by the daughter of Minnesota beer tycoon William Hamm to help investigate his kidnapping. Watch as they solve the case with new technology – using fingerprints – in this fun mish-mash of fact, fancy, and St. Paul history.
Putting It Together: A Musical Revue (May 29-Jun.21) – A dinner party in a Manhattan penthouse is the setting for this delightful revue of the songs of Stephen Sondheim, as guests transform the apartment into settings for some of his most popular tunes. Nearly 30 songs, from classic shows such as Company, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, and Sweeney Todd celebrate Sondheim’s incomparable career as one of theatre’s greatest composer/lyricists.
Jeeves at Sea (Jul. 3-26) – Bertie Wooster revels in life aboard a yacht as the pampered guest of the lively Lady Stella, accompanied, as always, by his peerless valet, Jeeves. Soon, a little fibbing leads Bertie into a tangled web. Will this mayhem of mistaken identities end in Bertie’s doom – or, even worse, marriage? Have no fear; Jeeves will sort it out.
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.
Mamma Mia! (March 1, 2019-Feb. 22, 2020) – 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
Brave New Workshop
HUGE Improv Theatre
Mixed Blood Theatre
Old Log Theatre
Park Square Theatre
Stages Theatre Company
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