Dark & Stormy and The Mount Curve Company, with North Star Theatricals and Triumph Productions, Present:

The Norwegians
by C. Denby Swanson
Directed by Joel Sass
December 8 - December 30, 2016

Photo: Melissa Hesse. Design: Kevin Cannon.

James Rodriguez, Jane Froiland, Sara Marsh*, and Luverne Seifert*

Audiences & Critics Agree: The Norwegians Is A Hit!

Back Row: Jane Froiland and Luverne Seifert. Front: Sara Marsh. Photo: Melissa Hesse

"The acting company has a rollicking time with this one-act, channeling over-sized characters. [Luverne] Seifert's Tor...swings between the serious and the silly. His deadpan delivery is often at odds with his menace, a disjuncture lined with comic gold. Rodríguez's Gus is the funny hit man and his actions humorously compromise him. [Jane] Froiland is often hilarious as the Texan-in-Minnesota. She gives Olive a charming loopiness. And Sara Marsh, who plays Olive's friend and drinking buddy, Betty, commands the stage with gusto...this preposterous, dark comedy...is not just a send up. It's a paean to the hardy, aspirational people who settled Minnesota."
- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

From L: Luverne Seifert, Sara Marsh, Jane Froiland, and James Rodríguez. Photo: Melissa Hesse

 "If you're thinking Coen Brothers, you're not far off in terms of dark, screwball humor...[And] the cast is game and gifted. [Luverne] Seifert, bug-eyed and vaguely threatening, is convincing enough to make you buy the goofy premise that the Norwegian mob would be concerned about quality control and admire "very prompt" Swiss hit-men...[James] Rodríguez's character is only part Norwegian, and so is allowed to -- you know -- express emotion. Jane Froiland is appropriately weepy and scheme-y, perpetually perplexed at the goings-on around her. And [Sara] Marsh trods the line between grim groundedness and insanity, proffering a darker take on living and loving in the north."
- Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press

Jane Froiland, James Rodríguez, and Luverne Seifert. Photo: Melissa Hesse.

"Swanson's script is full of twisty, noir-ish manipulation. It's laugh-out-loud stuff that luxuriates in its Minnesotan-ness...a treatment that could easily go over-the-top in the hands of less capable performers, but Dark & Stormy Productions has assembled an unimpeachable cast...every character here has multiple moments that require going big while delivering sharp, stylized dialogue. Director and set coordinator Joel Sass is justly celebrated for his creative use of space...Most memorably, flashback sequences are signified by the actors pausing a scene, then mimicking a videotape on rewind. It's a great visual that elicits laughs from the crowd, but it's also a strangely unsettling thing to watch. That feels like a capsule of what The Norwegians strives for, and by and large accomplishes: it's a clever, verbose very funny piece of work riding on a dark undercurrent that keeps coming tantalizingly close to bubbling over."
- Ira Brooker, Minnesota Playlist

Sara Marsh and Jane Froiland. Photo: Melissa Hesse.

"The cast is just right, something we've come to expect from D&S. [Luverne] Seifert, fresh from his role as the abusive stepfather in The Children's Theatre's 'The Last Firefly,' is cuddly evil...[James] Rodríguez, whose last role with D&S was as the rapist in 'Extremities,' shines as a Norwegian with 'a little bit of something else in him.' [Sara] Marsh packs Betty with bitterness and colorful language...she delivers a colorful oration on the Norwegians that made one audience member laugh until he cried. It's fun to watch [Jane] Froiland as Olive discover her murderous rage...Joel Sass' direction allows for no lag time...[C. Denby] Swanson's script is crisp, sharp and loaded with laughs, none of which will make you feel guilty...It's a black comedy, an entertainment, carried off with D&S's usual big imagination and small budget."
- Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

Jane Froiland and James Rodríguez. Photo: Melissa Hesse

"In an intimate performance arena like Dark & Stormy's space at the Grain Belt Warehouse, one weak cast member might ruin the show. 'The Norwegians' escapes that failing, getting strong performances from all four: Luverne Seifert (Tor), James Rodríguez (Gus), Sara Marsh (Betty), and Jane Froiland (Olive). Rodríguez, especially, stands out...Directed by Joel Sass, 'The Norwegians' is full of good moments in a single, 90-minute act. It manages to skewer many of Minnesota's most sacred icons...without descending to downright mockery...[And] there's just something appealing about mobsters in parkas."
- Eric Ringham, Minnesota Public Radio

From L: Sara Marsh (Betty) and Jane Froiland (Olive). Photo: Melissa Hesse.

"The Norwegians is a cross between A Prairie Home Companion and Fargo, with more edge than the former but without the latter's ominous cloud of despair. Director Joel Sass and his dynamic and dynamite four-person cast bring this wacky story to life in an intimate setting, providing a truly entertaining 90 minutes (no intermission!) of theater...switching back and forth between two timelines with some really clever effects of sound, lighting, and movement. And as if all this wasn't enough to make me love the play, any mention of the 1991 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins is a surefire way into my heart!"
- Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon

James Rodríguez and Luverne Seifert. Photo: Melissa Hesse.

Olive and Betty have something else in common: they want their ex-boyfriends dead. So they hire the only hit men you can find in Minnesota: the really, really nice ones.

Presented in Partnership with Artspace

by City Pages!

"How did tiny upstart Dark & Stormy take the prize? It happened through the dedication of a handful of talented and committed artists who want the very best on stage... Artistic director Sara Marsh has, over the course of a few years, crafted a must-attend company out of a simple desire to put on great shows with great acting."

Dark & Stormy Productions honored by critics in 2015!

 by William Mastrosimone
named a Top Ten Production of 2015 by Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune 
and Ed Huyck of City Pages!

From L: James Rodriguez (Raul), Emily Bridges (Patricia), Sara Marsh (Marjorie), & Tracey Maloney (Terry) in Extremities. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
"Sara Marsh is the founder of this nimble company and the star of most of its shows, and for good reason. She was riveting as a would-be rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker in Mel Day's tense and taut production."
- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

"Dark & Stormy brought audiences into a living room where a young woman fought off her attacker -- and was then forced to decide whether he lived or died. Compelling acting and directing meant we also lived and died with every twist.
- Ed Huyck, City Pages

named in Lavender Magazine's 
Best of 2015 in Theater!

"Best Stage Combat Direction:
Annie Enneking, Extremities, Dark & Stormy Productions; Henry IV, Part I, 10,000 Things Theater; The Jungle Book, Children's Theatre Company"
- John Townsend, Lavender Magazine  

Sara Marsh (Marjorie) & James Rodriguez (Raul) in Extremities. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"Crème de la Crème Performances:
Sara Marsh, Extremities, Dark & Stormy Productions"
- John Townsend, Lavender Magazine

James Rodriguez (Raul) & Sara Marsh (Marjorie) in Extremities. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

The Hothouse
by Harold Pinter
named Best Production of 2014-2015 by Sophie Kerman of Minnesota Playlist!

Clockwise from L: John Catron, Bill McCallum, Mark Benninghofen, Sara Marsh, Robert Dorfman. Not pictured: Bruce Bohne. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"This is a “Best of” article, so I realize I need to pick something that was actually the best: I’m giving this one to Dark & Stormy’s The Hothouse...Of all of the points that stood out about the shows I mentioned above, The Hothouse had it all for me this year."


Dark & Stormy Productions honored by critics in 2014!

Clockwise from L: Bill McCallum, John Catron, Mark Benninghofen, Sara Marsh , and Robert Dorfman. Not pictured: Bruce Bohne. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp; design by Kevin Cannon.

The Hothouse
by Harold Pinter
Directed by Benjamin McGovern
named a Top Production of 2014 by Ed Huyck of the City Pages!

Clockwise from L: Bill McCallum, John Catron, Mark Benninghofen, Sara Marsh, Robert Dorfman. Not pictured: Bruce Bohne. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

"Nothing says Christmas like Harold Pinter and torture, especially when it comes wrapped up with a great cast, direction, and concept that saw the show played out in an echoing atrium."
- Ed Huyck, City Pages

Dark & Stormy Productions honored by critics in 2013!




Speed-the-Plow named a Top Ten Production of 2013 by the Star Tribune:

"Director Ben McGovern teamed with actors Sara Marsh, Bill McCallum and Kris L. Nelson to make David Mamet's 'Speed-the-Plow' a savagely arresting treat in a found space." 
- Rohan Preston 

The Receptionist named a Top Ten Production of 2013 by City Pages:

Sally Wingert in The Receptionist. Photo by Melissa Hesse.

"Sally Wingert led a talented four-actor cast through Adam Bock's dark-as-midnight workplace comedy. The experience was intensified by the found location — a recently vacated downtown office space — that seemed to be haunted by the true nature of the Northeast Office's work."
- Ed Huyck

Harry Waters Jr. in The Receptionist. Photo by Melissa Hesse.

"New theater company Dark & Stormy Productions is really hitting their stride; they've become one of those theater companies I rely on to never let me down. Their fourth production in just under two years continues their tradition of short, intense, real, small-cast, smartly written plays in unusual locations."
 - Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon


  From Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston's feature on Dark & Stormy Productions:


"[Speed-the-Plow], which starred Guthrie regulars Kris Nelson and Bill McCallum alongside company founder Sara Marsh, gave a gripping, spittle-laced experience. The drama...was more evidence that small theaters are a big part of what makes the performing arts scene special."
- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune


  Read the full article on the Twin Cities' small theaters here!

"Dark & Stormy is a newish company that's come screaming out of the gate with a series of terrifically cast shows, professionally produced and expertly marketed...I've seen three out of four shows...[and] I hope Dark & Stormy continues their level of professionalism and rock-star casting."
- Dominic Orlando, Minnesota Playlist

*Member, Actors' Equity Association
Member, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society