Rick Spaulding


Sweet Land, the musical

Every Thu., Fri., and Sat. from April 27-May 28
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from April 27-May 28
2 p.m.

Drawing on Minnesota history for an example of how bigotry influences families and communities, the History Theatre is presenting Sweet Land, the musical, a new adaptation of the critically acclaimed 2006 feature film (which was based on the short story “A Gravestone Made of Wheat” by Minnesota author Will Weaver). Set in rural Minnesota shortly after the close of WWI, the wistful storyline involves Olaf, a Norwegian immigrant farmer who agrees to marry a woman from Norway sight unseen. To Olaf’s surprise, his arranged bride, Inge, actually hails from Germany, a country whose vilified status as a wartime enemy has cast widespread suspicion, if not outright derision, upon anyone of said nationality. Despite social disapproval, Olaf and Inge forge the bonds of an improbable romance while working the unforgiving land. Portraying the central roles are Robert Berdahl and Ann Michels, both of whom have fine-tuned their parts during a lengthy workshop process alongside much of the returning cast and crew. Perrin Post also handles the direction with choreography going to Joe Chvala of Flying Foot Forum fame.