Weekend Arts Roundup: Ballrooms, Bombs and Puppets

frank theatre new electric ballroom cast photo
Patrick Bailey, left, Katherine Ferrand, Melissa Hart and Virginia Burke in Frank Theatre's "The New Electric Ballroom." (Tony Nelson)
Weekend Arts Roundup: Ballrooms, Bombs and Puppets
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MPR News Arts Reporter Marianne Combs joins Steve Seel and Jade (in for Jill Riley) to talk about productions that present three diverse ways of storytelling.

The New Electric Ballroom — This play is set in a small fishing town on the west coast of Ireland, where two aging sisters who recall attending a rock concert (featuring a seductive singer) in the early '60s. Party dresses, sponge cake, rock n' roll and regret swirl into what becomes a fantasy-fueled night of storytelling in play that weighs reliving a moment from youth and being stuck on repeat. The New Electric Ballroom is in its last weekend; it's presented by Frank Theatre and it stages at the New Century Theatre in Minneapolis.

Little Boy — Created by puppeteer, painter and performance artist Masanari Kawahara — who was born in Hiroshima and grew up playing in the Peace Park, which was built where the bomb was dropped — Little Boy is a story told from the point-of-view of the world's first talking (and farting) atomic bomb, as he contemplates his origin and his impact on the world. A production of Pangea World Theater's Alternate Visions series, Little Boy is staging at Pillsbury House Theatre and runs through Oct. 5.

Handmade Worlds: A Festival of Puppet Theatre — Produced by Open Eye Figure Theatre in collaboration with the Great Plains Region of The Puppeteers of America, this festival features different types of puppetry shows going on at various locations including Open Eye Figure Theater, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, along Midtown Greenway and elswhere. The festival runs Sept. 25 to 28.

Marianne Combs joins The Current's Morning Show for the Weekend Arts Roundup every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Read about all the latest arts news at the State of the Arts blog at mprnews.org.

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