New seasons serve classics, music, Minnesota hot dish

September 2, 2001.By Graydon Royce, Star Tribune.

The past year has been very good to Minneapolis Musical Theatre, the plucky little troupe that produces rarely seen musicals. Charged by sellout crowds for Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” MMT played to 88 percent capacity of its home base, the 100-seat Bryant Lake Bowl. The company’s revival of “Pageant” was the Fringe Festival’s biggest seller, with more than 1,500 people attending.

MMT opens its new season Oct. 5 with the musical revue “When Pigs Fly,” which is what a high-school guidance counselor told Howard Crabtree when he had aspirations of being a successful performer. The season continues in February with a Valentine’s show, “Weird Romance,” featuring music by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Beauty and the Beast”). The season concludes in May with “Lucky Stiff,” a tongue-in-cheek whodunit revolving around a dead body and $6 million in diamonds, written by the creators of “Ragtime” and “Seussical.” Call 612-825-8949 for information.

Here are a few other season announcements:

Theater Latté Da is rehearsing Terrence McNally’s “The Rink,” which opens Sept. 29. Director Peter Rothstein and music director Denise Prosek have a cast that includes Erin Schwab, Joe Leary and former Vikings defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo. McNally, known for “Master Class” and “Love! Valour! Compassion!” among other hits, premiered “The Rink” on Broadway in 1984 with Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli.

For the holidays, Latté Da will reprise “A Christmas Carole Petersen,” Tod Petersen’s charming homage to the quirky and satire-rich holiday traditions practiced by Minnesota families. Petersen weaves dozens of stories that have universal appeal and wit. The play, which opens Dec. 1, sold out last year. Call 612-343-3390.