Latté Da adds nights to ‘A Little Night Music’; Glenn Kotche at Northrop in ‘Calling Glenn’

Photo by Dan Norman
Sally Wingert and Mark Benninghofen in Theater Latté Da’s production of "A Little Night Music."

Theater Latté Da’s luscious production of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” is cream-colored, waltzy and sexy. It’s like a painting that moves and sings. And Sally Wingert’s performance of “Send in the Clowns” is rich and rare, loaded with so much insight you’ll dig for a tissue.

The script is quick and witty, the cast sublime – Wingert is paired once more with Mark Benninghofen, the Twin Cities’ ideal stage couple – and Peter Rothstein shows, not for the first time or the last, that with the right people and arrangements, five musicians can make an orchestra. Joel Sass’ set design and Rich Hamson’s costumes are pure eye candy.

The show will still close on March 3, but three performances have been added between now and then: Feb. 12, 19 and 24. FMI and tickets ($31-57). UPDATE: “A Little Night Music” has now been extended to March 10. Seven more performances have been added. 

Two “Cosis” are coming

We’ll have the chance to see two very different versions of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” this year. Skylark Opera Theatre will mount its site-specific version at the Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul. And Mill City Summer Opera will present its take at the Ruin Courtyard in July.

The title loosely translates as “They’re all like that,” with “they” meaning “women.” The opera is a cynical take on relationships – can women be faithful? Want to bet? – but the music is glorious.

The former Skylark Opera, which moved away from large productions (mainly operettas and light operas) toward pared-down, pointed, site-specific operas when Bob Neu took over and rebranded the company in 2016, will present “Cosi” in English and set it in the present day. Dorabella and Fiordiligi won’t be the women Mozart imagined in the 1790s. Skylark is making that known with the hashtag #notyourgrandpascosi. Neu will direct, and the cast will include Tess Altiveros as Fiordiligi; Skylark fans will remember her from “The Tragedy of Carmen” and “Don Giovanni.” Six performances in March. FMI and tickets ($40-45).

For its eighth season, Mill City Summer Opera will stage “Cosi” for five nights in July. The opera will be sung in the original Italian with projected English supertitles. MCSO’s new artistic director, Crystal Manich, will direct, and the cast will include Karin Wolverton (Minnesota Opera’s “Silent Night”) as Fiordiligi. Manich said in a statement, “For our production, we are looking at the direct impact of war on young people who, out of desire for escape, are sucked into romantic farces that lead to mistaken identity and uncontrollable confusion.” Opening night tickets are available now. Tickets to all other nights go on sale in May. FMI.

New this year, MCSO will also present Pergolesi’s “La Serva Padrona” at Icehouse during the “Cosi” run. The 60-minute Italian comedy will star Madison Holtze and Rodolfo Nieto, who’s busy at the moment in “A Little Night Music” at the Ritz. It will be performed three times with live orchestra. FMI and tickets (available starting May 14).

The picks

Sometimes everything happens at the U of M.

Tonight (Wednesday) at Northrop: Reception for “Takeover: Morrill Hall, 1969.” Fifty years ago in January, approximately 70 black students at the University of Minnesota took over Morrill Hall, the administration building housing the office of the president. The event lasted 24 hours and resulted in the founding of an African American Studies department. Archival documents, photographs, and recordings, some publicly exhibited for the first time, show the power of student protest. The exhibition team will be present for the reception. In Northrop’s fourth-floor gallery. 5-7 p.m. Free. Closes Dec. 2019.

Thursday at the U’s Humphrey School: Non-Profit News: Storytelling & the Future of Journalism. Want to learn more about MinnPost and nonprofit journalism? Magda Konieczna, author of “Journalism Without Profit: Making the News When the Market Fails,” featured MinnPost in her book. Our publisher and CEO, Andy Wallmeyer, will join her for a conversation. 5 p.m. Free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged. This event is at the Humphrey School on 19th Ave. S., not the Hubbard School on Church St.; don’t be confused by the EventBrite page (we were, for a minute).

Thursday at the Capri: “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami.” Musical sequences and personal footage tell the story of the androgynous glam-pop diva’s life. The acclaimed film was directed by Sophie Fiennes, sister to Ralph and Joseph. The screening will be followed by a conversation led by Ashley Selmer, founder and creative director of SHAPESHIFT Theatrical. Presented by the Capri and the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society. 7 p.m. FMI, trailer and tickets ($5).

Ate9 in "Calling Glenn." Collaborator/Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche is touring with the company and will perform his original score live.
Cheryl Mann Productions
Ate9 in "Calling Glenn." Collaborator/Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche is touring with the company and will perform his original score live.
Thursday at Northrop: ATE9: Calling Glenn. Israel-born Batsheva Dance Company alum Danielle Agami formed her own company in Seattle in 2012, relocated to Los Angeles in 2013 and immediately became a transformative force on the city’s dance scene. “Calling Glenn” is her first collaboration with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche, who is touring with the company and will perform his original score live. Here’s a teaser that will make your heart beat a little faster. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($27-47 adults; prices vary). Walker members, buy tickets here. This performance is co-presented by Northrop and the Walker Art Center. If you plan to go (or if you’re just curious), read this interview with Kotche by Landon Kuhlmann, written for the Walker.

J.D. Steele
J.D. Steele
Saturday at the Weisman: Opera/Gospel: A Fusion Event. Verdi meets Edwin Hawkins? Puccini meets Quincy Jones? For the latest event in Out of the Box Opera’s Fusion series, David  Lefkowich, former artistic director of the Mill City Summer Opera and the twisted mind behind the hugely successful Diva Cage Match, teamed with J.D. Steele of the Steeles. The concept: put opera and gospel together on the same program, somehow. Last year’s “Opera, Jazz and Soul,” also at the Weisman, was a hit, and Lefkowich’s mission to break down barriers between genres (and audiences) guarantees something you haven’t seen and heard before. The singers include soprano Alexandra Razskazoff, who won the first Diva Cage Match (2017). With Fred Steele, the Mill City Chorus, and J.D. Steele’s Youth Choir. Doors at 6 p.m.. performance at 7. FMI and tickets ($40-55). Arrive early and see the Weisman’s new exhibition, “Baggage Claims.”

Get tickets now

Marlon James’ new book, “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” came out yesterday and he’s one of the hottest people on the planet. On Thursday, Feb. 13, MPR’s Kerri Miller will interview James at the Fitz on “The Thread Live.” Doors at 6, event at 7. FMI and tickets ($25-50). Here’s James last night on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

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