Classics and new work in next Theater Latte Da season

Chris HewittPioneer Press

May 2, 2017

A timely presentation of a controversial Stephen Sondheim musical is among the offerings next season from Theater Latte Da.

Featuring a song called “The Gun Song,” weapons and political unrest are both themes in “Assassins,” which Latte Da will produce in February 2018. With a cast including Dieter Bierbrauer, Tyler Michaels and Sara Ochs, the show features presidential assassins and would-be assassins in a nightmarish carnival setting, where they talk about their motivations.

“Man of La Mancha” opens Latte Da’s 2017-18 season at the Ritz Theater in September, followed by the 11th version of Tod Petersen’s holiday hit, “A Christmas Carole Petersen.” Next up is “Assassins” and then the world premiere of another politically charged work, “Five Points: An American Musical.”

With a book by St. Paul playwright Harrison David Rivers — whose “This Bitter Earth” will be at Penumbra Theatre next season — “Five Points” features music by Ethan D. Pakchar and Douglas Lyons, who also wrote the lyrics. Set in New York City on the eve of the Civil War, its main characters are a black man and a white man whose paths collide in that time of upheaval.

Latte Da favorite Sally Wingert, who just closed in the theater’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” will return in another play that uses live musical elements. “Underneath the Lintel,” by Glen Berger (with music by Frank London) is a solo piece that stars Wingert as a Dutch librarian who goes on a worldwide adventure, spurred by the discovery of a book that was returned, 113 years overdue.

Peter Rothstein, artistic director of Latte Da, is on tap to direct all five shows. The Next Festival, featuring staged readings of new work, will also return in a season that finds Latte Da on the road with remountings of its stripped-down “Ragtime” and the holiday show, “All is Calm” (neither will be seen in the Twin Cities). Season subscriptions are available at 612-339-3003 or