Commonweal has one show at two venues

By Tom Weber

The Post-Bulletin

LANESBORO — The word "unique" is overused, but Hal Cropp has every right to pull it out in connection with the Commonweal Theatre production of "The Mystery of Irma Vep," which opens Saturday.

"This will be a unique production for us, indeed, as it will open in the St. Mane Theatre and move, mid-run, into our new home right next door," said Cropp, executive director of the Commonweal.

The new theater will open July 7, although Commonweal administrative and ticket offices are already in the building. In the meantime, audiences can experience the zaniness of "Irma Vep" in the cozy St. Mane.


The play, directed by Craig Johnson, is a ghost story, a mystery, a Shakespearean farce, a thriller and a comedy. Two actors, Eric Knutson and Scott Dixon, portray all the characters in a rapid-fire series of set and costume changes.

The schedule for the play is somewhat truncated because of the planned move.

After opening Saturday, "Irma Vep" will be presented on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through June and, following a July 5 performance, will take a week off before re-appearing July 13 in the new Commonweal.

Before the formal opening, a $10 preview performance will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday.


What: "The Mystery of Irma Vep," by the Commonweal Theatre Company.

When: Saturday through Sept. 2. Showtimes: 8 p.m., except 2 p.m. Sundays. Saturday’s opening night will be preceded by a free reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Cornucopia Art Center in Lanesboro.

Where: Through July 5 at St. Mane Theatre, 206 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro; starting July 13 at new Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N.


Tickets: $25 adults, $12 students; 1-800-657-7025.

For more about the Commonweal, go to

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