This week in theater: 'Spamalot' trots in, 'Jackie and Me' at bat


The Children's Theater Company begins its month-long run of the baseball fantasy drama "Jackie and Me" Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Playing through April 14, "Jackie and Me" tells the story of a Little League player who uses his baseball card collection to travel back in time to meet Jackie Robinson when given an assignment to write a school report on the groundbreaking African-American Major League player.

In a review of the Chicago Children's Theater production of the play, the Chicago Tribune called "Jackie and Me" a "moving, empowering and otherwise lovely new family show," which "represents an ideal winter father-and-son (or mother-and-daughter) outing for suffering baseball fans."

The Chicago Tribune also calls the play "one of those shows that turns out to be far, far better, and far more emotional, than you'd ever expect."

Coming to the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis for a two-day, three show run on Friday and Saturday is Monty Python's "Spamalot."

A touring Broadway production of the 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, "Spamalot" is based on the medieval movie comedy classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Broadway World praised the production's tour stop in Raleigh, N.C., in February, noting the show's appeal to fans of the movie as well as newbies. The stage incarnation, the review notes, adds is an "all-in-good-fun poke at musical theater," and takes shots at everybody from Stephen Sondheim to Barbra Streisand.

The review also lauds the work of star Arthur Rowan as King Arthur, saying he has "keen comic timing and plenty of musical talent."

Also this week, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis continues to stage William Shakespeare classic "The Taming of the Shrew," in repertory with "Twelfth Night," which are both being presented by England's all-male Propeller Company.

The Pioneer Press says "The Taming of the Shrew" is "brilliantly executed" and "bursting with imagination," while Star Tribune says the play comes off as an "antiquated curio pulled from the closet." The Star Tribune adds that "Twelfth Night" is slow in the first act becomes entertaining in the second.

"The Taming of the Shrew" plays Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and "Twelfth Night" plays Thursday through Sunday.

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