Downtown Art

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October 3, 2005 // UPDATED 1:58 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'Patty Red Pants'

Although it sounds like a children's book, "Patty Red Pants" is a cross between drama and cheesy horror flick (it's not the counterpart to Spongebob Square Pants). Trista Baldwin's play expands on the eerie nature of the story that blames naivet/ for an ill-fated jaunt through the forest.

However, it takes a macabre tale and makes it funny by spoofing uncomfortable adolescence. Starting off in a seemingly innocuous setting, two teenage friends, Patty Red Pants and Becky Bloom, have a shoe store reunion. That is, they run into each other while browsing for footwear after not seeing each other in years.

Now that the girls have grown up a little, they have different ideas about their backwoods escapade with a predatory wolf. Secretly, they know that there are sexual undertones to the wolf's appetite for happy-go-lucky girls and the murder in the woods.

The crime also has something to do with their earlier parting. After all, they never really grew apart or decided to end their friendship. Although it's a repressed memory, it still haunts them.

So what exactly did they witness years ago? It's hard to say, since they were practically youngsters when it happened. Unlike "Little Red Riding Hood," this interpretation of the not-so-fairy tale isn't chronological.

Similarly, Baldwin looks to reconstructive memory to paste together new and old events that did and didn't originate in the not-so-fairy tale.

Time is fluid as the girls shift easily between ages. Reflecting both girls' coming-of-age, we recall our own blushing junior high days which, luckily, are also buried in the past.

• F-M Oct. 1-16; F-Sa 8 p.m., Su 2 p.m., M 7 p.m. Red Eye, 15 W. 14th St. $12-$16. 870-0309,

Can you hear Tommy?

Although this 1960s-era rock musical from Brit pop band The Who features sing-along type songs, its underlying themes are pretty sophisticated. "The Who's 'Tommy,'" interpreted by Minneapolis Musical Theatre (MMT), pokes fun at the way we build up celebrities or let them go.

We want celebrities to look and act like we expect their caricatures to look and act. Fans latch onto certain traits and withhold popularity when their favorite celebrities defy the labels that endeared them to us in the first place.

We begrudge stars that turn out to be "too normal." After awhile, we lose interest in personalities who don't prove over and over that they are who we bought when we purchased their DVDs, CDs, magazines and other paraphernalia.

In Pete Townshend's story, Tommy becomes a big star when he's able to overcome disabilities with his extraordinary pinball abilities. Part of the reason his pinball skills are so lauded is because he's "deaf, dumb and blind." He lost his senses when he witnessed a family murder.

Tommy then shrank inside of himself. Later, he kind of gets a second chance when it turns out that he can hear, talk and see in a way through his amazing pinball capabilities. That makes him a media star until his luck runs out and his senses are restored.

• Oct. 7-30, 7:30 p.m. (except for Su Oct. 30, 2:30 p.m.) plus performances M Oct 24, 7:30 p.m. and Th Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Hennepin Stages, 824 Hennepin Ave. S. $24. 673-0404,