If I can say nothing else about Minnesota theater audiences, I can say this: Boy, do they love to laugh. In the darkness of the theater, they pitch back their heads and let out great roaring bellows where a small chuckle, delicately delivered into the palm of the hand, would suffice. At the start of a play, they laugh when the theater delivers its recorded announcement, cautioning against the ringing of cellular phones and the unwrapping of hard candy. They guffaw at each face pulled by actors, each comical musical sting, and each pregnant pause. I, for one, am sick of it, and see it as a sort of regional neurosis, exactly paralleling our need to lunge to our feet at the end of any musical performance, no matter how tepid, and regale the curtain with a thunderous ovation. When the occasion rises that actually demands an ovation, we will be forced to climb up on our seats and throw our... More >>>