While there's no denying the seminal place Thornton Wilder's Our Town occupies in the evolution of American theater, modern audiences often approach the work like a well-respected commitment, revisiting the play's rural community of Grover's Corner with all the empathy of sociologists studying an extinct society. By looking beyond the rustic setting, however, those very same viewers would likely be surprised by the emotional wallop conveyed by Wilder's rumination of our fleeting existence. Underscoring the timeless appeal of the material, the innovative artists of Theater Latté Da have crafted a strikingly original adaptation that nods to the diversity of our own Twin Cities community while remaining true to the work's origins. Retaining Wilder's original text, Theater Latté Da has interwoven a stirring soundtrack of songs drawn from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Performed live, the musical selections include works by such indelible American composers as Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, James Scott, Irving Berlin, and Charles Ives. Matching the diverse styles of the music and ethnicity of the composers, the production features a multicultural 18-member cast (led by the acclaimed Wendy Lehr) to mirror our heterogeneous makeup. Despite all of our cultural shifts, even as Our Town approaches its 75th anniversary, the title of Wilder's enduring work has never felt so relevant. In previews Wednesday through Friday, March 14. (Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp)
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 12. Continues through April 6, 2014
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly guide to events in Minneapolis & St. Paul, and never be bored again. With suggestions for every day of the week, our recommendations will keep you busy on any budget.