LANESBORO, MN — The Commonweal Theatre in historic Lanesboro, Minn., is pleased to announce the reopening of the theatre for live performances following a season of virtual only productions in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. Producing Artistic Director Hal Cropp remains at the helm of the organization having successfully led the company amidst the cancellation of live performances last year. “We are all extremely grateful to be back at work producing live theatre and truly hope that we are a device that will restore peace and healing to our community and region.” For detailed information regarding the reopening effort and for the most updated COVID19 related details for the company, please visit www.CommonwealTheatre.org.
Opening the 2021 season in Lanesboro on Saturday, April 17 and playing through June 27 is the delightful and delectable comedy I Love to Eat by James Still. Before Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsay and even Julia Child, there was James Beard — America’s first TV chef and namesake of the coveted culinary prize. In this delicious one-man comedy, Beard welcomes us into his Greenwich Village kitchen where he cooks, gossips, sings, fights loneliness and reenacts some of the wilder moments from his ground-breaking 1946 television show. Join us for the cooking lesson of a lifetime, celebrating food, friends, and faith in oneself.
I Love to Eat will feature Commonweal professional resident ensemble member Philip Muehe in the role of iconic chef James Beard. Stage Manager Rivka Kelly leads the production team consisting of designers Josiah Laubenstein (sound), Brandt Roberts (sets), Jodi Rushing (costumes), Jeremy van Meter (props) and Kelsey Heathcote (lights).
In an effort to continue to comply with all federal and state COVID-19 mandates, the Commonweal will diligently follow specific restrictions for attendance. For this production, there is a limited capacity audience of 55 patrons and all parties will be assigned seats (no general admission) six feet apart from other parties to ensure safe social distancing. Mask usage is mandatory at all times while inside the theatre with no health-related alternatives allowed. All reservations must be made by calling the box office at (800) 657-7025, paid in advance at least 24 hours prior to performance and no walk-up tickets will be available at the box office. Tickets for I Love to Eat will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 5 and, due to limited capacity, will be offered on a first come, first served basis. A full performance calendar is now available on the Commonweal website.
For any and all patrons unable or unwilling to attend in person, the production will be made available for viewing via streaming on the Commonweal website. Streaming of the production will also be available free of charge on April 29 to residents of Fillmore and Houston counties in Minnesota as a part of the company’s popular County Free Night Program. For more information on how to take advantage of the streaming opportunities, please visit www.CommonwealTheatre.org.
Funding for Commonweal Theatre’s 2021 programming is provided in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, a grant from the McKnight Foundation, and private funders.