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The Singing Nuns
The Friday Five for Feb. 15.

The Broadway production of "Sister Act" comes to the Marcus Center.

#5: Early Music Now presents Masques at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 914 E. Knapp St.

Why? Because you’ve had your fill of Louis XVI’s and “let them eat cake” and the guillotine, and are dying to find out what Papa Louie was all about. The Montreal based early music string ensemble, called Masques, will fill in the blanks, presenting a program based on what Louis XV would have heard in his court. But—as they say on late night TV—That’s Not All! Masques also commissioned composer Michael Oesterle to write a 21st-century piece that uses the 18th-century original instruments. 

#4: Fawlty Towers at Carte Blanche Studios.

Why? Because Paul McCartney was in band before Wings. And John Cleese did comedy after Monty Python. Fawlty Towers aired for four years on the BBC in the late ‘70s, and has been revered and imitated ever since. Cleese played the proprieter of a small British hotel, who struggled to keep a cool head amid unreasonable guests and incompetent employees. Local company Carte Blanche brings three episodes to life on its stage, complete with crazy characters and breakneck slapstick (well, we hope there won’t be any broken necks). Tony Wood plays the aptly named proprietor, Basil Fawlty.

#3: Sister Act at the Marcus Center.

Why? Because the Skylight Theatre’s recent and stellar Sound of Music has whetted your appetite for singing nuns, and another YouTube listen of “Dominique” just won’t cut it. Enter this underappreciated Broadway version of the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy. But hold on to your wimples. This 2011 musical is a far cry from your typical Broadway movie knockoff. The great Alan Mencken penned the lyrics, Douglas Carter Beane wrote the script, and the always dependable Jerry Zaks. This is the official tour of the Broadway production, which closed last August, so expect high caliber talent and roof-raising soul singing.

#2: Alverno Presents “Spaceholder Festival” at the Pitman Theatre.

Why? Because history is every single moment until this one. Or so goes the compelling

Uber-premise behind Morgen Thorson’s choreographic explorations. Always on the cutting edge, Alverno Presents offers the latest work by the Minneapolis Choreographer, which peels off and explores the layers of the creative process even as it crafts a satisfying final product. Her home town paper called her “a no-nonsense dance maker with a sly pop-culture consciousness,” which explains her soundtrack of Led Zeppelin, The Doobie Brothers, as well as auctioneer-style patter and soundscapes by composer Sxip Shirley.

#1: Present Music’s In the Chamber at various locations.

Why? Because sometimes, music needs to get small. Looking for a way to stage an intimate chamber music concert in a venue that allowed room for hundreds of PM’s fans, Kevin Stalheim decided that one was just not enough, and decided to take his group (a sextet) on a local tour of sorts. Accordingly, PM’s musicians will perform the same concert at three different venues—an East Side residence (which is already sold out), the pavilion at the Schlitz Audubon Center, and the East Side wine bar/cocktail lounge, The Hamilton. The music includes a piece by Timo Andres (you may remember his “Comfort Food” from the recent Thanksgiving concert) and Andrew Norman’s shimmering “Sabina.”

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