This week in theater: Guthrie celebrates 50th anniversary with 'Behold' gala


The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is celebrating its 50th anniversary Saturday with "Behold: A Gala Performance," featuring several famous alums and special guests.

Set to stage at the Wurtele Thrust Stage Saturday night, "Behold" will feature such alums as T.R. Knight ("Grey's Anatomy," "42"), Peter Michael Goetz, Barbara Byrne, Daniel Gerroll, Tracie Bennett and Stephen Yoakham, as well as actors Whoopi Goldberg, Patricia Kalember and Brian d'Arcy James.

"Behold" will be co-hosted by Guthrie alums Greta Oglesby and Sally Wingert, and will also feature the acclaimed vocal ensemble Cantus.

The Star Tribune posted a retrospective piece on the famed regional theater's 50 years, as did KARE 11.

See KARE's report below.

The gala comes a few weeks before the Guthrie gets ready to host another one of its famous alums -- "Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser -- in a 200th anniversary celebratory run of Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice."

Running July 6 though Aug. 31, "Pride and Prejudice" stars Kartheiser as Mr. Darcy and University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program grad Ashley Rose Montonodo as Elizabeth Bennet.

Also in theater this week, “War Horse” continues its limited run at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.

Staged by the National Theatre of Great Britain, “War Horse” tells a remarkable WWI era tale of courage, loyalty and friendship between a young man, Albert, and his beloved horse, Joey.

Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston was swept up by the tale, which features actors manipulating life-sized horse puppets.

"Through a battery of realistic equine movements such as ear flicks, grass-munching and trotting, coupled with horse vocalizations, these puppet horses rear to moving life," Preston wrote.

Preston, while calling the show "a marvel of theater's power," admits the realism also made him feel "uneasy."

"I cared more about the well-being of puppet horses, designed by Handspring Puppet Company and fashioned from cane, gauze and aluminum, than about the soldiers taking bullets and dying spectacularly in front of me," Preston wrote.

Theater critic Dominic P. Papatola was mixed in his review for the Pioneer Press, says it's hard not to be wowed by the spectacle of the play, but adds this "undeniably skilled and handsome piece of theater lacks the very heart it so conspicuously wears on its sleeve."

He also says that the sh0w was so big and loud, that he suspected that "War Horse's" co-directors "were compensating for a certain hollowness at the core."

"War Horse" runs through June 23.

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