The Brave New Workshop first opened its doors as Instant Theatre in 1958. That was the same year that Soviet satellite Sputnik fell back to earth, President Eisenhower signed the bill granting Alaska statehood, and Pope Pius XII named Saint Clare the patron saint of television. A lot has changed in the world since then. We now shoot satellites down, Alaska will soon be commemorated on a quarter, and Pope Benedict XVI is tasked with naming a patron saint of high-definition TV. Some stuff has changed for the theater, too. It opened a school, changed owners, and moved into an old bike shop on Hennepin Avenue, but its goal of making Minnesotans laugh has stayed the same. Over the years, many successful actors, comedians, and writers have cut their teeth at BNW. Among the most notable are Saturday Night Live veteran Al Franken, MadTV cast member Mo Collins, and Pat Proft, who gave the world the Police Academy, Hot Shots, and Naked Gun movies. After half a century, the theater is looking back on its history. Old Enough to Know Better pulls together stories from backstage, mockumentary bits, and all-time favorite sketches and songs from the theater's five decades of comic gold. Given the success of Brave New Workshop's first 50 years, the next 50 definitely will be worth watching.
Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 & 10 p.m. Starts: Feb. 8. Continues through April 12, 2008