Weekend Outlook: Brecht-acular

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German playwright Bertolt Brecht

Barbra Berlovitz, formerly of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, takes on one of the most challenging female roles in modern theater – Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage.” The German playwright is considered the father of “epic theater” in direct opposition to melodrama and escapism, and used his plays as a way to talk about political ideals. Berlovitz takes on the role of Anna Fierling, a woman who sets out to profit from the war, and ends up losing her children to it. A production of Collectif Masque and The Bricklayers Theatre Company, “Mother Courage” runs through February 20 at the Lab Theatre.

Can you get at the truth, when the truth is so colored by our lenses of experience? Ten Thousand Things presents “Doubt: A Parable” at Open Book. The play, which deals with intimations of child sexual abuse by a priest, was the inspiration for the recent award-winning film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Merde! Intermedia Arts presents Pardon My French, an original one woman show about the classroom experiences of a Minneapolis French teacher, and her challenges engaging her students while maintaining a sense of humor. Performances run tonight through Saturday.

Nimbus, the company that bills itself as presenting “theater for a world gone mad”, celebrates moving into its new theater space in Nordeast Minneapolis with a production of “The Balcony” by Jean Genet. Set in an exclusive brothel at the center of a revolution that threatens the established regime, Irma, the madam, oversees a collection of patrons acting out archetypes of power in society, including a bishop, a judge and a general. As the situation outside becomes more volatile, a plan is formulated to re-establish the status quo while simultaneously fulfilling the patrons’ fantasies.

So, not feeling like your relationship is worth celebrating this Valentine’s Day? Well then maybe, you’ll want to take advantage of some free relationship counseling on stage in front of a live audience… or maybe not. Either way, you’ll probably get a kick out of CHOCOLATES and SHAME, an evening of romantic comedy with Joseph Scrimshaw. Bring your date for an evening of romance themed stories, stand-up, improv and all around “tender loving comedy.” Two Nights only (this Friday and Saturday) at People’s Center Theater.

Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater bring back their romantic hit “The Ends of Love” at the Southern Theater this weekend. Set in an imagistic world of emotional movement and intimate dialogues, The Ends of Love muses on love, lust and loss from youth to old age, referencing works from Plato’s Symposium to Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love. Performances Friday and Saturday night, plus a Sunday matinee.

So, what are you doing this weekend?

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