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BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Minneapolis 2005 - Guthrie Lab

Readers' Choice: Guthrie Theater

While last year's Guthrie Mainstage shows were of the sort that one admired rather than loved, the action taking place in the Guthrie Lab possessed a consistently high level of quality and adventurism that made it the closest thing to a sure bet. Lady with a Lapdog was Chekhov on truth serum, full of manic highs and dreamy lows. Blue/Orange paired Peter Macon and Stephen Yoakam as a mental patient and psychiatrist in a mental duel that later spilled over to the Guthrie's excellent staging of Oedipus. Earlier this year cockeyed genius Joel Sass staged Pericles, maybe the oddest of Shakespeare's plays, as a warped phantasm. And before that, the Royal Court Theatre popped into town to present the late Sarah Kane's suicidal meltdown 4:48 Psychosis, which converted a corner of the Lab into a desperately harrowing space. Intimate and comfortable, the Guthrie Lab provides high-level regional theater with considerably more risk than the usual Mainstage offerings--which, in 2004, tended to be safe choices rendered with a somewhat antiseptic polish.

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