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NEWS: Guthrie Theater Announces 2019-2020 Season

The Guthrie Theater (pictured) announced its 2019-2020 season today. Photo by Erik Blume.

It’s going to be a season of cabarets, shipwrecks, crazy dancing, sweat, and TV-fueled desire at the Guthrie next season. Add some Austen, a beauty shop, Christmas in New York, some good old-fashioned lying to family, and the odd theatre ghost or three and that’s the Guthrie Theater’s next season in a nutshell.

Let’s step back: today, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis announced its 2019-2020 season. The season kicks off with the classic drama The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (lying to family), which runs Sept. 14-Oct. 26, 2019. Closing night of The Glass Menagerie is the first preview for the next, Robert Harling’s gripping Steel Magnolias, a comedy with some strikingly serious moments that unfolds entirely in a small town Louisiana hair salon. Steel Magnolias (the beauty shop) runs Oct. 26-Dec. 15, 2019.

From Nov. 12-Dec. 29, 2019, a trio of familiar theatre ghosts will haunt the Guthrie as A Christmas Carol returns for its annual run. Something distinctly new, however, comes in January, with the regional premiere of Heather Raffo’s Noura. This 2018 play, called “compelling and ambitious” by the New York Times, follows an Iraqi refugee family nine years later, trying to settle in for that special holiday moment – family dinner, Christmas in New York – which naturally doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Noura plays Jan. 11-Feb. 16, 2020.

February brings a shipwreck to the banks of the Mississippi when Viola is washed ashore without her identical twin, leading to hilarious crossdressing situations in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Although a Twelfth Night’s entertainment is traditionally scheduled for January 5th or 6th, the Guthrie’s production runs Feb. 8-March 22, 2020.

Given that 2020 is a leap year, the Guthrie can be forgiven for not opening its show about crazy dancing ladies and an irate Greek god on March 1st, and instead picking February 29. Euripides’ play The Bacchae will, however, encompass much March Madness with its Feb. 29-April 5, 2020 run. Anne Bogart – among other things, a former head of the Theatre Communications Group and a Guggenheim Fellow – directs.

Some civility, perhaps, will be restored at the Guthrie with another stage adaptation of a Jane Austen novel: Emma will try her hand with misconstrued romance and matchmaking from April 11-May 31, 2020.

With what everyone hopes are warm temperatures and spring blooms (and not late-spring snow) comes Karen Zacarías’ Destiny of Desire, which plays May 30-July 11, 2020. This comedic play on Mexican telenovelas includes a switched-at-birth storyline, hilarious fake Public Service Announcements, and some truly over-the-top musical numbers. The Guthrie produced Zacarías’ Native Gardens in 2017.

If that sounds like enough to get your heart going, you might want to relax and grab a drink at Cabaret. The Kit Kat Klub comes to Minneapolis with a production of Masteroff, Kander, and Ebb’s classic musical about excess and torrid romance in the twilight of the Weimar Republic. Decadence rules the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage from June 20-Aug. 23, 2020.

Bringing the season down dripping is Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat. Hailed by The New Yorker as “the first theatrical landmark of the Trump era“, the 2015 play slightly predates the Trump presidency – a small detail that didn’t stop Nottage from winning her second Pulitzer Prize for Drama with this play. Sweat weaves its storylines with precariousness crossthreading with race, immigration, globalization, and more. Nottage’s Floyd – a Guthrie commision – also premieres this summer; her Intimate Apparel was produced by the company in 2005.

At a Glance

Guthrie Theater Artistic Director Joseph Haj will direct The Glass Menagerie and Cabaret. Photo by Keri Pickett.

The Glass Menagerie
September 14 – October 26, 2019

Steel Magnolias
October 26 – December 15, 2019

A Christmas Carol
November 12 – December 29, 2019

January 11 – February 16, 2020

Twelfth Night
February 8 – March 22, 2020

The Bacchae
February 29 – April 5, 2020

April 11 – May 31, 2020

Destiny of Desire
May 30 – July 11, 2020

June 20 – August 23, 2020

July 25 – August 29, 2020

Twin Cities Arts Reader