Named after a popular bygone restaurant called the Ivey, then a thespian hangout, the first annual Ameriprise Financial Ivey Awards celebrates a vital theater scene.
To recognize the contribution of area theaters and its players, theater companies and dramatists receive awards both from a panel of avid theatergoers (comprised of about 100 community members) and the general public. Fifty-five theaters citywide were eyed closely over the past year.
Most of the awards are unique because there weren't any preset categories except for those on which the public voted, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, Emerging Artist Award, as well as theater highlights and special achievements in production, design, direction, performance and other aspects of theater.
The evening will be hosted by actor Justin Kirk, who recently appeared in the Jungle Theater's "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," and who can now be seen on the HBO show "Weeds." His co-host is Theatre Communications Group Executive Director Ben Cameron.
The Ivey League is comprised of local actors and performers Holly Schroeder, Kevin Barnard, Grant Richey, Joey Babay and Richard Grube.
Catch snippets of Theater Latte Da's "Knock," Fifty Foot Penguins' "A Letter of Heaven," the staple comedy "Triple Espresso" and Great American History Theatre's "Beyond the Rainbow."
M Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $30-$125. 651-989-5151, www.iveyawards.com.
A clown finds comic relief in the notion of his funeral that he imagines takes place in a colorful carnival setting in this theatrical circus from Cirque du Soleil. Although that sounds kind of morbid, the jokes, angels and universal truths that revolve around the "dead clown" overshadow the tragic aspects.
"Corteo" is a metaphor for a place that exists in between heaven and earth. Here you'll find visual puns, such as comparisons of scale - when extremely big figures are set next to the absurdly minute.
Also glanced at in the fun mirror are more philosophical themes. The "dead clown" symbolizes Everyman, sometimes gleeful, and other times sad. Right when he seems just about perfect, his finer points are sanded down by his frailty. Of course, his imperfections make him more realistic and endearing.
Tu-Su thru Oct. 16, Tu-Th 8 p.m., F-Sa 4 p.m. & 8 p.m., Su 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Grand Chapiteau at The Parade, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. S. $28.75-$70. 1-800-450-1480, www.cirquedusoleil.com.
Two suicides, a hanging and more!
In one of my journalism classes I learned that law is what one must do and ethics is what one should do. That's the trap in which Antigone is caught, in Sophocles' play by the same title. Antigone bravely wants to put her family and her morals in front of King Creon's demands.
She hopes to give her brother, Polyneices, who was killed in a confrontation with his younger brother, a proper burial. But Creon prohibits it, playing favorites with younger brother Eteocles (who also died in the battle). In Creon's eyes, only one brother's memory should be commemorated. Antigone protests by acting out the burial ceremony.
However, the king suffers his own sentence after he realizes that his commands to Antigone were misguided. Unfortunately, his epiphany wasn't quick enough.
W-Su through Nov. 13; W-Sa 8 p.m., Su 7 p.m. Theatre de la Jeune Lune, 105 N. 1st St. $15-$30. 333-6200, www.jeunelune.org.