Artistry

Reviews and Press

 

Awake and Sing!

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"Awake And Sing! has been produced under the excellent direction of Artistry artistic director Benjamin McGovern. His work here is intelligent and sensitive."
- John Olive, How Was the Show

"With a strong cast and detailed design in an intimate space, Artistry's production is beautiful and heart-breaking." - Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

" As polished and thoughtfully staged as can be."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

"You should get your tickets soon. The early shows sold out — for good reasons."
- Doris Rubenstein, American Jewish World

Legally Blonde

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"...it's a fun ride as the game cast charges into every silly moment — and also finds space to deepen the message beneath all of the glam.'"
- Ed Huyck, The Star Tribune

"Snappy. Snazzy. Fizzy and frothy. Abrim with pizzazz and pure musical intensity. Real good. All these adjectives (and then some) apply to Artistry Theater‘s amazing production of Legally Blonde."
- John Olive, How Was the Show

"The musical hinges on Elle, who’s in all 20-plus scenes. In Angela Steele, Artistry found the perfect lead — an Elle of steel. She’s petite but mighty, she can really sing, and she’s enormously likeable in the role. "
- Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

"In addition to Angela’s awesome Elle, Benjamin Rubenstein is an outstanding Emmett. Alec Leonard is a dashing and talented Warner. Mary Palazzolo kills it as Paulette...Paul R. Coate is an excellent sleezy and gifted Professor Callahan...Don’t drag your feet on getting tickets. This is a well loved show with an excellent cast."
- Mary Aalgaard, Play Off the Page

"Artistry’s production is filled with all the catchy tunes and feel-good vibes you could ask for. The show is laugh out loud funny at times, but the real heart of the performance strikes much deeper...With sparkles, smiles, and superb singing that makes it seem effortless, Legally Blonde teaches us all not to rely on first impressions and, in the words of the show, that “being true to yourself never goes out of style."
- Tierney Chlan, Say Entirely

"You owe it to your daughter, son, niece, nephew, or grandchild to take them to see this show. There is a lot more to “Legally Blonde” than haircare and a Chihuahua. It provides multiple relatable and obviously relevant examples of standing up against adversity and misogyny. And it demonstrates the value and attainability of self-empowerment."
- Shy Iverson, Minnesota Playlist

"This show is so perfectly put together...I cannot stress how charming it is and how great of a night you’ll have when seeing this show."
- Brett Burger, Brett Talk

"Given the benefit of an Artistry staging, which means super performances, stylish and well executed dance, imaginative design and wonderful music led by Anita Ruth's baton, it's a show, like Elle Woods, with indefatigable spirit and enormous heart."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

Follies

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"..the four leads are excellent, particularly Paul Coate’s subtle take on hapless Buddy. And director Benjamin McGovern has made strong choices that focus this 'Follies'"
- Chris Hewitt, The Star Tribune

"Director Benjamin McGovern’s cast offers some dazzling musical moments. As Ben, Bradley Greenwald’s quietly tortured “The Road You Didn’t Take” singes the soul... the nostalgia and the melancholy reverberate."
- Dominic Papatola, The Pioneer Press

"Will leave you breathless."
- Erin McNeil, Minnesota Playlist

"The great joy of any Sondheim play are the songs and in this regard Follies does not disappoint....If you doubt that Stephen Sondheim is an American treasure, see this show...if we’re lucky, they’ll extend."
- John Olive, How Was the Show

"Burns really held the audience in the palm of her hand during the power ballad "Losing My Mind." The raw emotion she had on stage was perfection..Follies is a production that isn't done often so if you've never seen it or experienced the music I certainly recommend seeing it before they take their final bow.."
- Brett Burger, Coffee Talk with Brett

" I'm thrilled that Artistry is bringing us this beautiful and rarely produced Sondheim musical, with a full orchestra and talented ensemble." - Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"An utterly staggering and stupendous revival...[Benjamin McGovern] has spirited forth an hypnotic experience that lives between dream and the corporeal in ways that one seldom experiences in the live theater. Movies, yes. But theater, not so much. But McGovern achieves this."
- John Townsend, Lavender Magazine

Noises Off

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"...ingenious extended sight gags and acute comic timing buoy the well-choreographed chaos. Polenek’s set (which received its own round of applause on opening night) cooperates beautifully with its multiplicity of functional and dysfunctional doors."
- Lisa Brock, The Star Tribune

"The nine-person cast is so consistently great in this true ensemble piece that it's impossible to single anyone out."
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"This production has the timing down to a tick as director, Benjamin McGovern, keeps the Artistry production skipping along...It’s a great deal of fun on either side of the Atlantic."
- Mari Wittenbreer, How Was the Show

" There is only respect for what Mr. McGovern was able to achieve; I feel like I witnessed a master class in blocking...Artistry’s run of the show overlaps with the Olympics, but it’s NBC that may need to be concerned about competing viewership."
- Shy Iverson, Minnesota Playlist

"Ben McGovern has exercised a firm directorial hand to keep the spiraling tempest of mayhem under control without losing its comic genius. He is abetted by a terrific staff, who handle the fast dialogue and breakneck physical comedy with aplomb."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

The Last Five Years

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"One of the hottest tickets in town, with good reason. Smart storytelling and charismatic actors make this chamber piece sing."
- Chris Hewitt, The Star Tribune

"Ryan London Levin as Jamie and Aly Westberg O'Keefe as Cathy both deliver terrific performances. Levin's Jamie is likeable, highly energized, and just a bit cocky..O'Keefe's Cathy is sincere, funny, and somewhat self-deprecating."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

" The Black Box space is small enough to provide the intimacy the piece needs, with just a sparse two-person band, and a truly fantastic young cast in Aly Westberg O'Keeffe and Ryan London Levin."
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"...both Mr. Levin and Ms. O’Keeffe do Mr. Brown’s score justice and any fan of “The Last Five Years” soundtrack should have no reservations.  These two actors can sing!  I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Anita Ruth on the piano and Joan Griffith serving triple duty on the guitar, bass, and mandolin.."
- Shy Iverson, Minnesota Playlist

"The Last Five Years is a simple but beautifully crafted story. Artistry produces this production in their Black Box space which adds even more intimacy to the production and is probably one of my favorite parts about it."
- Brett Burger, Coffee Talk with Brett

The Music Man

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"The world of "The Music Man" may be more wish than reality, but Artistry's effervescent production revels in the sheer power and panache of its salesmanship and demonstrates why Willson's musical has such enduring appeal. "
- Lisa Brock, The Star Tribune

"Artistry delivers a production like ice cream on a hot summer night: one of sincere joy, comfort, and homecoming.  Ye Gods, people, just go see this show!."
- Shy Iverson, Minnesota Playlist

"The two leads, Michael Gruber (who also choreographs) and Jennifer Eckes, are terrific. Gruber exudes sly charm and he effectively weaves in and out of the cast-of-dozens crowd, driving the play with real energy. Eckes has a soaring Joni Mitchell-esque voice and her quiet (and sexy) presence nicely counter-balances the hyper Gruber...You will, I predict, have a constant smile on your face."
- John Olive, How Was the Show

"Artistry is on a musical roll...Something that this production of The Music Man most definitely has in spades is star power, starting with Michael Gruber’s commanding and charismatic performance as con man Harold Hill."
- Basil Consindine, Twin Cities Arts Reader

"A charmer...Anita Ruth's 18-piece pit orchestra sounds glorious on this familiar and beloved score"
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"Artistry's lovely performance of The Music Man is sadly nearly sold out, but if you can manage to get a ticket before they close on November 5 I definitely think you should. "
- Becki Iverson, Compendium

"Able to deftly straddle the line between an intimate show and a musical with big production values in a way that made it the best of both worlds."
- Twin Cities Stages

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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"The most inventive production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat I've ever seen...John Jamison is phenomenal as Joseph. "
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"Director-choreographer Michael Matthew Ferrell has created fantastically energized dance numbers, performed by a terrific ensemble that seem to take flight each time their characters break into dance...the dancing and singing on stage are stupendous."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

"Dance Captain Elly Stahlke was one such performer and her featured moments were sincere pleasures to watch.  Understated and highly effective, Dan Piering’s Benjamin brought the well-needed heart to the production. And Brandon A. Jackson, as Pharaoh, could SING and drew rousing cheers from the audience."
- Shy Iverson, Minnesota Playlist

"The cast in this production is unreal...[Jennifer Grimm] was absolutely stunning. I was amazed at the unbelievable amount of control she had in her singing. "
- Brett Burger, Coffee Talk with Brett

Wit

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"Wingert is a Twin Cities treasure, having tread the boards at the Guthrie, on Broadway, in London and elsewhere...this Twin Cities icon is giving a performance that is tough, subtle and ethereal, like the character she so masterfully plays — a cut stone giving off the gentlest of light."
- Rohan Preson, The Star Tribune

"Cristina Florencia Castro is superb as Vivian’s compassionate nurse."
- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

"Benjamin McGovern directs this probing meditation on mortality and meaning with a sure grasp on the play’s complex structure and meta-theatrical conceit..Wingert’s performance is sublime. "
- Jay Gabler, City Pages

"Artistry's production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit is simply devastating. But it's also funny, and smart, and philosophical, and enlightening. "
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"Wingert’s Bearing exudes courage and, well, wit."
- John Olive, How Was the Show

"Artistry's mounting of Wit gives the play its full due, centered around Sally Wingert's commanding performance as literature professor Vivian Bearing..."
- Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway

"Heading into its final week, you still have time to catch Ms. Wingert and crew and I highly recommend that you do."
- Erin Roberts, Minnesota Playlist

The Secret Garden

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"Director Lisa Channer crafts a sumptuous production full of memorable visuals and heartfelt emotions that are completely realized by the hardworking cast."
- Ed Hyuck, The Star Tribune

" It's a heart-warming tale with a hauntingly beautiful score, brought to life by Anita Ruth's always thrilling pit orchestra and this dreamy cast that is vocally one of the best I've ever seen at Artistry."
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

"Young and old, the actors were a treat to watch and hear. "
- Tierney Chlan, Say Entirely