Critical View Clubhouse


Anika Besst's Blog (18)

Gravity Defied

       What does being ‘good’ truly mean? Wicked, based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, of The Wizard of Oz fame, came to be. This production visits the Orpheum April 12 - May 14, 2017 and showcases marvels of acting talent and set design, along with telling a thought provoking message.

       The performance was memorable because of the cast’s fine character development especially Elphaba (played by Jessica…


Added by Anika Besst on April 15, 2017 at 10:30pm — No Comments

I'm A Girl

       Stories can transport you to incredible realities, traveling through time, exploring new cultures. Matilda The Musical, based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl, does that as it tells the story of rebellion in children as an incredibly gifted five-year-old girl fights to change her destiny. Come share the adventure of Matilda The Musical at the Orpheum March 28 - April 2.

       Dahl’s story is…


Added by Anika Besst on March 30, 2017 at 11:09pm — 1 Comment

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera

      The King and I, playing at the Orpheum February 28th - March 5th, takes you to 1862 Bangkok where King Mongkut of Siam is hiring English teacher Anna Leonowens to instruct his many children and wives. Musical theatre has adapted to fit the times, but this show, originally opening on Broadway in 1951, has been through decades. I entered the theater expecting a bit of a dull show, but was pleasantly surprised by its charm. The music wasn’t anything extraordinary,…


Added by Anika Besst on March 2, 2017 at 11:24pm — 1 Comment

16 Years In the Making

ABBA’s music, an overwhelmed 20 year old about to marry, three possible dads, and a determined mom, Mamma Mia, is playing at the Orpheum February 7-12 as part of its farewell tour. Since its world premiere in 1999, Mamma Mia has become a cultural phenomenon. The music, a glimpse into the past, tells the timeless story of Donna, a single mom living on a Greek Island trying to make a life for daughter, Sophie, and her. Include a soon approaching wedding and a long lasting…


Added by Anika Besst on February 9, 2017 at 11:36pm — No Comments

1992 Reinvented

        An ear splitting gun shot sends a hush through the audience as the words ‘The Bodyguard’ projected on a screen shatter into a million digital gold pieces. As the screen rises the audience enters a world of terror masked by the glamour of being famous. The Bodyguard, which is launching its U.S. National Tour at the Orpheum January 10-15, 2017 is based on the 1992 movie of the same name about the relationship between Rachel Marron, played by Whitney Houston, a diva facing a…


Added by Anika Besst on January 12, 2017 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

The Hamilton Revolution

Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is deserving of all the hype and then some. Bursting upon the Broadway scene August 2015, Hamilton was nominated for an astounding 16 Tony awards, winning 11, and is now playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York and the Private Bank Theatre in Chicago where I had the pleasure of attending a performance on Saturday, December 10th. It is the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, told through modern music styles,…


Added by Anika Besst on December 19, 2016 at 10:48pm — No Comments

Soars Above the Rest


         Lives are made of a series of memories; both good and bad they answer life’s many questions. Fun Home, at the Orpheum December 13-18th, is based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel (played by Kate Shindle). The production focuses on Bechdel growing up and discovering she’s a lesbian and her complicated relationship with her gay father. She is creating her memoir and her story is told…


Added by Anika Besst on December 16, 2016 at 12:48am — 2 Comments

A Secret Truth

          There lay a dead dog. But this was only the beginning. A mathematically and scientifically enticing show full of thrills and heartbreak best describes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time based on the award winning novel by Mark Haddon. This is Christopher’s story in a series of short scenes featuring an ensemble cast. As a suspect in the death of a neighbor’s dog it follows Christopher’s…


Added by Anika Besst on December 2, 2016 at 12:49am — 2 Comments

What Would You Do for Money?

          Cabaret, at the Orpheum October 18-23, is based on the Christopher Isherwood book “The Berlin Stories” and the John Van Druten film “I Am A Camera.” Set between the World Wars in Berlin, Germany, the show focuses on the relationship between nightclub performer, Sally Bowles, and American journalist, Clifford Bradshaw. The story is presented by the Emcee, who is also the announcer at The…


Added by Anika Besst on October 20, 2016 at 11:04pm — 2 Comments

Can You Feel the Talent Tonight?

           My breath was taken away as I became immersed in the African safari unfolding before my eyes. Life-sized elephants lumbered past my seat and towering giraffes glided and crossed paths with graceful galloping gazelles. All coexisting in perfect harmony, as well as singing in perfect harmony. This transforming experience, The Lion King, is at the Orpheum July 5 through August 7. Based on Disney’s 1994 animated movie of the same name this energized performance follows Simba, a…


Added by Anika Besst on July 9, 2016 at 9:57pm — No Comments

Utah to Uganda

            Within seconds I found myself enveloped in a world of bright opportunity and promising commitment. Directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon is about two missionaries, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, faced with the prospect of being sent to Uganda to convert Africans to the Mormon faith. With little success and facing a hostile warlord Price and Cunningham begin to question the God they have believed in for as long as they can remember. They…


Added by Anika Besst on May 12, 2016 at 9:47pm — No Comments

Go, Go, Go See Joseph

           Watching projected dreams of an actor during the overture I too began to drift into the pale yellow shroud of dreaming. Even as the narrator, Laura Helm, began cueing the show, her sing-song tone compelled me to escape into the picture book-like world of the ever popular Bible story, The Coat of Many Colors, about Joseph who can interpret dreams. Modernized to match the changing times, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opened its six day…


Added by Anika Besst on March 31, 2016 at 9:53pm — 3 Comments

You'll Never Know Until You See This Show

           If/Then paints a vivid picture in its run at the Orpheum until March 13th. With music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, If/Then is about Elizabeth, played brilliantly by Jackie Burns who, after divorce, moves to New York City and is torn between choosing to live her life as Liz; searching for new adventure, or Beth; beginning her journey making professional associations. If/Then is a contemporary piece that relates well to our…


Added by Anika Besst on March 10, 2016 at 11:12pm — 2 Comments

Gypsy has Been Noticed

              With a cast of local actors, Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Gypsy has been inspiring audiences with a week of preview shows starting February 13th and opening night on February 20th at Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. Based on true events, Gypsy is widely considered one of the best American musicals. Gypsy is the story of famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, her sister June and the relationship they had with their…


Added by Anika Besst on February 27, 2016 at 1:24pm — 3 Comments

Newsies Strike Back


            The sold out Disney’s Newsies stunned the audience on opening night.  The show, based on the 1992 film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, is on its national tour and is at the Orpheum until February 14th, 2016.  Inspired by the newsboys strike during turn of the century New…


Added by Anika Besst on February 11, 2016 at 10:37pm — 3 Comments


      The Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder opened at the State Theatre Tuesday, January 5, 2016. After hearing how amazing this show is I expected more. It was overwhelming and complex. The production, based on the Roy Horniman novel, ‘Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal,’ is the story of Monty Navarro, a young man in line to inherit a fortune who decides to speed up the process. It’s a fast-paced show covering the story of his murder…


Added by Anika Besst on January 7, 2016 at 5:40pm — 3 Comments

Let’s Get Blue

          Within seconds my side hurt from laughing and judging from the roar of the audience I was not the only one having fun. The Blue Man Group, formed in 1991, is a collaborative mix of comedy, captivating percussion, and talented dance. The theater buzzed with excitement and anticipation as we anxiously awaited opening night of the Blue Man Group phenomenon Friday, December 18, 2015 at the beautiful Orpheum Theater in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The…


Added by Anika Besst on December 20, 2015 at 8:00pm — 3 Comments

Some Kind of Wonderful

The much anticipated Broadway production Beautiful - The Carole King Musical opened to a full house at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday, November 18th.  I enjoyed the vibrant, lively production of the rise to stardom of legendary songwriter and performer, Carole King.  Far from an easy road to fame and fortune, Beautiful beautifully presents the highs and lows of King’s life in a radiant, hilarious, and heartfelt show.



Added by Anika Besst on November 20, 2015 at 8:17am — 3 Comments


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