Vita.mn | Updated 9/18/2013

"Oz"-inspired musical returns to Orpheum. Also: "How to Be a Korean Woman" and the Minnesota Opera.

Jenn Gambatese as Glinda and Alison Luff as Elphaba in “Wicked.”



Now ten years old, “Wicked” has become a gay-bar karaoke classic — though not for the faint of heart, since Stephen Schwartz’s songs demand herculean pipes. The musical continues to break box-office records, in part because Winnie Holzman’s script, based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, is unusually smart for Broadway and rewards multiple viewings. Whether you’re looking to relive your high school drama-club outing or pregame the Ordway’s forthcoming presentation of “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz” (Dec. 4-29), this touring production of “Wicked” is just the witch you’re looking for. (7:30 p.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Wed. Ends Oct. 27. $49. Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. www.hennepintheatretrust.org.) JAY GABLER


‘How to Be a Korean Woman’

From its premiere at Dreamland Arts a year through today, Sun Mee Chomet’s “How to Be a Korean Woman” has been a sterling must-see. The respected actor, a Korean adoptee raised in a liberal Jewish household in Detroit, delved honestly into her own background for this piece about her search for her biological mother. The result is a poignant and poetic work that, under the direction of Zaraawar Mistry, gets a too-brief remount at the area’s flagship theater. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Tue. $22-$30. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls. 612-377-2224 or www.guthrietheater.org.) ROHAN PRESTON


‘Love & Marriage: What a Difference a Year Makes!’

A year ago, director Michael Robins and his creative team at the Illusion Theater launched the musical revue “Love & Marriage.” The themed show opened as the debate about marriage equality was heating up. Then Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage. Now the revue has returned, minus the external heat of a political campaign. But it has a strong cast that can bring its own sizzle to the stage, including singer-actor stars such as Dennis Spears and Teri Parker-Brown. (8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Oct. 20. $17-$32. Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-339-4944 or www.illusiontheater.org.) R.P.


‘Manon Lescaut’

A Minnesota Opera favorite, soprano Kelly Kaduce (“Madame Butterfly,” “Turandot”), opens the season in the title role of “Manon Lescaut.” Giacomo Puccini’s first major success is a tale of youthful impetuosity, first love and desperate passion, told with the composer’s characteristic lush melodies. The innocent Manon falls in love with Des Grieux (tenor Dinyar Vania, in his Minnesota Opera debut), but is seduced by money, which leads to her downfall. This was also the first time Puccini worked with librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, who went on to pen his greatest triumphs, “La Bohème,” “Tosca” and “Madame Butterfly.” (8 p.m. Sat.; 7:30 p.m. Tue.; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 & 28; 2 p.m. Sept. 29. $20-$200. Ordway Center, 5th and Washington Sts., St. Paul. 612-333-6669 or www.mnopera.org.)  WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD