After Miss Julie

Within even the most imposingly grandiose mansion, there's something fundamentally equalizing about a kitchen. Whereas other rooms might strive to impress with luxurious flourishes, the kitchen is a bridge connecting the servers with the served. Who is who, however, is a matter of philosophical debate in Swedish playwright August Strindberg's Miss Julie. The 1888 work tells of an aristocratic young woman who defies social codes by embarking on an illicit dalliance with a lower-class servant and the dreadful consequences of the transgression. Strindberg's takedown of privilege and power proved so resonant that contemporary playwright Patrick Marber managed to apply the same storyline to a more recent event in England's political history: 1945's populist victory of the Labour party over the Conservatives. Having such background, however, isn't essential to enjoying the resultant work, After Miss Julie. One need only have an appreciation for the way desire (especially for the forbidden) can blind participants to even the direst of outcomes. Demonstrating an inspired choice of venue, the Gremlin Theater will stage the work in the intimate environs of the kitchen of the James J. Hill House. The close quarters will no doubt reverberate with tensions stoked by three of the Twin Cities' top performers, Anna Sundberg, Peter Christian Hansen, and Amanda Whisner. Under the heated direction of Leah Cooper, this sensual drama should waste no time coming to a boil.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 9. Continues through Nov. 20, 2011

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