Anna's Picks

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September 6, 2004 // UPDATED 3:57 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'The Cherry Orchard'

Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" follows the follies of an aristocratic family as their fortune is whisked away by the descendant of a serf.

Everything turns inside out as the serf-descendant buys out their bountiful country estate. Even the legacy of the famed cherry orchard is negated when the entrepreneur chops down the trees.

This affluent family isn't accustomed to monetary struggle -- Madame Ranevsky refuses to scale back and clip coupons -- nor is the change copacetic to longtime serf Firs Nikolayevitch. Firs never seems to recover from the liberation of members of the lower class, in fact, he feels abandoned.

Chekhov's caricatures aren't always so serious. There's plenty of opportunity for comic relief. High-strung teenage daughter Anya is constantly crying, Ephikhodof (nicknamed "22 Misfortunes") trips whenever he enters or exits, and the character Charlotte Ivanova seems more like live entertainment than a real person.

While framing this scenario in an intimate setting, Chekhov carefully paints the turbulent political and social arenas in Russia as national and international control swaps hands. His complex, silly and grieving characters defy labeling -- maybe that's why this story is so compelling.

Sept. 10-Oct. 3, Friday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 or 7 p.m. (alternately), Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave. S., $20. 333-3010.

Hauser Dance open house

Boogie, bop, hop, skip or jump at Hauser Dance's Fall Open House. These pros don't mind spreading the contagion of dance -- their classes underscore the principles of motion, delight of movement and flow of creativity.

Hauser staff and company will present a sampler of children's and adult classes for anyone who's been thinking of picking up their two left feet. The day of free lessons includes everything from creative movement for kids to a Dance for the Ageless class. There will also be an informal performance, dance videos and a Gypsy Card Give-away.

Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Hauser Dance, 1940 Hennepin Ave. S. (at Franklin & Hennepin), Free. 871-9077.