Weekend Arts Roundup: set your holidays on edge

The Whale
Katie Adducci and Zach Curtis in 'The Whale', presented by Walking Shadow Theatre Company in association with Mixed Blood Theatre. (Walking Shadow)
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Weekend Arts Roundup: Dec. 4, 2014
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The holiday season is ramping up, but there's still plenty of heartfelt despair and bleakness happening on Twin Cities stages right now. As a counterpoint to all the joy and partying, MPR News Arts Reporter Marianne Combs joins Steve Seel and Jill Riley to talk about some productions that offer a bit of thought-provoking midwinter malaise.

The Whale — Written by Samuel D. Hunter and directed by Amy Rummenie, The Whale is not a subtle name; it's the sobriquet of Charlie, the main character, who weights 600 pounds and is basically eating himself to death. Nobody in this play is innocent, and all are looking for redemption, which lends a very strange psychology to the story. Produced by Walking Shadow Theatre Company and presented in association with Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, The Whale runs through Dec. 20.

Soft Fences — This dance production at the Red Eye Theater examines astronauts and the extreme loneliness and transformation that comes from going into space and then returning to Earth. These themes are then translated into dance, which furthers the metaphor with momentum and gravity defiance. Performances run Thursday, Dec. 4, to Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis.

A Klingon Christmas Carol — This show presupposes Charles Dickens and Gene Roddenberry got really drunk together one night, and this is the story they would have created. The story centers on SQujá, who is having a bad holiday; ghosts keep turning up to try to show him the error of his ways so he can regain his honor as a Klingon before it's too late. This production is performed primarily in Klingon with English subtitles. It runs Dec. 1 to 21 at the Phoenix Theatre in Minneapolis.

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