'River of Passion' returns for new soapy goodness

Minneapolis's favorite onstage soap opera returns this week for a new month of "episodes" at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.

River of Passion: The Saga Continues
picks off where the tale ended last summer. The soap-opera spoof has quickly become one of the biggest successes for its producers, the Flowershop Project.

[jump] The continuation was created "because we had an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience last year, as well as the cast," says Flowershop Project Artistic Director Bethany Hummel. "The actors really relished the challenge of doing new episodes each week and they seemed to enjoy the soapy storylines we dreamed up for them. Many of them wanted to know what would happen to their characters in the future." The reaction was similar from the audience.

Beyond that, "We had a lot of fun writing the script and wanted to continue with what we had started."

A full synopsis of the action so far would be pointless, as the quick-moving storyline has several twisting threads. Needless to say, last year's finale featured several shootings, an arrest at a wedding, and an ever-deepening mystery surrounding the main characters. The new series picks up where the action left off, and includes four brand-new pieces through the month of April.

"This year I think we've pushed the humor and parody to a new level, while keeping within the realm of actual daytime-TV storylines," Hummel says. "It seemed that every time we came up with an idea we thought was too over-the-top we would find something like it had appeared at some point on an actual soap opera." (Considering past soap operas have included hermaphrodites and legions of vampires, that's not too surprising.)

"We're also adding a few commercials and product placements from local businesses, as well as working with the Bryant-Lake Bowl and Summit to provide a special drink deal for our audience members," she adds.

All this soapy action and drink specials? Sign us up.

If you want a look at where last season ended, check out the video below. For information on the current season of River of Passion, visit the Bryant-Lake Bowl website.