We woke up this morning to an unexpected and wonderful bit of end-of-the-year love in the Duluth News Tribune. Fellow artists and critics selected their favorite moments and events of 2010, and Renegade is honored to have several of their shows make those lists and to find themselves once again in the company of artists and organizations they so deeply admire.
Plus, Renegade Improv was selected as one of the week’s Best Bets. In case you forgot, Improv returns with our first show of 2011 this Saturday, January 1st at 10:30 pm.
Click the links below to check out the articles at the DNT’s website, or read the self-congratulatory excerpts we’ve posted below each link.
This is not a list of the best shows staged in Duluth during 2010, but rather a chronological look at the moments I am most going to remember from this past year:
Emily Book (Jenna Kase) uses her superpowers to turn dissection day in a high school biology class into a jaw-dropping production number set to the music of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” in Renegade’s “The Sparrow.” True, they were just lip-synching, but we are talking lip-synching with a chorus of puppets of dissected piglets. (February)
In Andy Bennett’s original comedy “Sex Change” at Renegade, once Jennie Ross is no longer playing Robin Elbe but husband Luke in Robin’s body, “she” explores the great mystery of a certain feminine product in a high moment of silent comedy. (August)
The News Tribune asked a collection of actors, directors, musicians and dancers to submit an A&E highlight from 2010, specifically one they were not involved in producing. Some found it tricky to pick just one, and we let that slide.
“This is a tough one! There was a lot of really great stuff this year. Can I have a tie? ‘The Sparrow’ was moving, innovative in its staging and heartfelt. Great ensemble work. ‘Reefer Madness’ was totally committed to re-creating the essence of the source material and jangled with energy.”
Julie Ahasay is a director most recently associated with Lyric Opera of the North’s production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Both “The Sparrow” and “Reefer Madness” were produced by Renegade Theater Company.
“The Who’s ‘Tommy’: Renegade Theater Company with Cars & Trucks. This was a great marriage of two major areas of Duluth arts and entertainment. Having a local band helped get nontheater goers out into the seats, and the show was very entertaining and well performed. I sincerely hope there are more collaborations like this in the future.”
Adam Depre, aka Old Knifey, of Old Knifey and the Cutthroats.
“Loveage & Kate Bush covers during Ides of September (or whatever Heiko called it) and ‘Tommy’ at Renegade with a Cars & Trucks’ live score and, of course, the entirety of Homegrown.”
Walt Raschick, AKA DJ Walt Dizzo, has a weekly show at 9 p.m. Thursdays on 93.1FM KUWS. Eric “Heiko” Edwardson regularly organizes events where local musicians cover nationally-known bands old and new.
Evening at the improv
On the other hand, if New Year’s Day has you hankering for even more socializing, Renegade Theater Company’s improv troupe will hold its regularly scheduled show at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Teatro Zuccone, 222 E. Superior St. (No show Friday, though. These people have lives, too, you know).
The group squares off into two teams of improvisers and a referee that also provides a few yucks and they compete for big laughs from the audience. It’s fast-paced, it’s current event-y, it sells out more often than not. And there is an element of crowd participation.
Tickets are $5.