A Servant of Two Masters Guthrie Theater
December 1–January 20

The Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of A Servant of Two Masters • photo: Richard Termine

Steven Epp returns to the Guthrie stage for this production of Carlo Goldoni's farce about a servant who ... well, it's right there in the title. Epp stars as Truffaldino, the servant who attempts the deed in a bid to make more money — and keep his belly full. Epp is best known for his years with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, but he has branched out to a number of other companies in recent years, including turns at Ten Thousand Things and with the Moving Co. Christopher Bayes, a former Guthrie company member, directs the production, which has already played at the Yale Repertory and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., to strong reviews. $29-$64. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Ed Huyck


Emory Allen

Trash Film Debauchery: Big Things Come in Small Packages
The Trylon • September 26-November 2

Dwarves • courtesy of the Trylon

The Trash Film Debauchery series pays tribute to film history's treatment of little people. Tod Browning's shamelessly exploitative but daring Freaks stars Harry Earles as Hans, a midget ringmaster who leads a troupe of real-life "freaks" in taking revenge on his trapeze-artist wife and her lover. Tiptoes is a black comedy in which Matthew McConaughey agonizes over being the only tall member of a family of small people, headed by a diminutive Gary Oldman. (The production of this straight-to-DVD feature was even stranger than the film. The director was fired and took revenge on the producers with a rant at the film's Sundance premiere.) Werner Herzog absolutely had to direct at least one film starring the height-challenged, and did so in 1970 with Even Dwarves Started Small. Here, a group of dwarves takes over an asylum and seeks revenge on those who abused them. There's a pattern to these movies. The Trylon, 3258 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612.424.5468. —John Ervin

Woody Allen's 1970s: It Was Over Too Soon
The Trylon • October 5–28

Annie Hall (1977) • courtesy of the Trylon

If there was a time when Woody Allen "mattered" as a director and performer, it was the 1970s, when he evolved from a master of modern slapstick to a dark observer of life's absurdities. Bananas and Sleeper belong firmly in the first category and are the most carefree of his 45-and-counting films. Annie Hall and Manhattan introduced Allen's ability to deftly balance comedy, drama, and multi-star casts, which he would continue through the 1980s (though definitely not since then). The Front is a first-rate drama directed by Martin Ritt, with Allen giving a surprisingly effective performance as a proxy screenwriter caught up in Joe McCarthy's clutches. Interiors, on the other hand, is a drama directed by Allen that was laughed out of theaters. But give the guy credit for sticking his neck out in so slavishly copying the zany Ingmar Bergman. The Trylon, 3258 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612.424.5468. —John Ervin

Twin Cities Film Festival
ShowPlace ICON Theaters • October 12–20

A Band Called Death • courtesy of the T.C. Film Festival

Sit yourself down in the leather recliners offered by the latest high-end Twin Cities Film Festival and enjoy your choice of 60 films — Minnesota-made, U.S.-made, and international — with several world premieres among them. Highlights include Nobody Walks, written by Lena Dunham, the star and creator of Girls; Problem Solving the Republic, a political comedy-action-musical made by Minnesotans; It's a Disaster, in which an L.A. apocalypse fails to distract a cluster of self-absorbed Sunday brunchers; A Band Called Death, a documentary on Death, the first all-black punk band, who were active in mid-'70s Detroit; and Lumpy, a locally filmed comedy about a wedding that turns into a funeral. Industry mixers, networking opportunities, and educational panels at nearby Shops at West End restaurants and the Doubletree Inn round out the glitz and glam. ShowPlace ICON Theaters, 1625 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park; 612.568.0375. —John Ervin

Feast for the Eyes: Food & Wine Film Festival
October 25–28

The Twin Cities' first film festival devoted to food and drink offers classic and new movies centered on our daily sustenance and pleasures. New entrees include Now Forager, a drama about two nomads who gather mushrooms and sell them to New York restaurants, and Three Stars, a documentary on 10 chefs who have achieved the coveted rating from Michelin and must deal with the responsibilities that come with it. Old favorites on the menu include Big Night, in which Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub rose to stardom playing restaurant owners who arrange a private party for some fictitious stars; Ratatouille, the Pixar saga of a rat who prefers gourmet meals to garbage; and Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, director Ang Lee's flagship film about a master chef whose triumphs are upended by the non-culinary appetites of his daughters. That last title could be a good subhead for the fest itself. St. Anthony Main, 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.331.4723. —John Ervin

The Trylon • November 2–25

Gremlins director Joe Dante • courtesy of the Trylon

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