Midwest Living Review
A regional theater with a worldwide rep, Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater has enthralled audiences since 1963. Founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, it originally cohabitated with the Walker Art Center before it outgrew the relationship. In 2006, Guthrie built a place of its own. The bold twilight-blue theatrical complex was designed to reflect its location in the Historic Mill District on the banks of the Mississippi. (The architect, JeanNouvel, considers twilight the "magic hour" of the theater.) New contemporary shows like "God of Carnage" and classics like Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" are constantly coming and going like barges down the river. The Guthrie architecture is a playful retelling of a mill: The roundness of the mill silos and with vertical marquees that jut into the air like smokestacks. It has awe-inspiring views of the city, the old stone arch bridge and the river. Visitors can walk onto the Endless Bridge, a cantilever extending 178 feet out, and see forever. In addition to its three stages, Guthrie has two tasty full-service restaurants: pricier Sea Change, a sustainable seafood restaurant (main dish prices $20- $29), and moderately priced Level Five Cafe (main dishes $9-$16). There's a coffee bar, plus several bars throughout the theater. Backstage tours Fridays through Sundays provide 45 minutes of peeking behind the scenes, including the shop where scenes are built, costume design and rehearsal rooms. Admission charged. In-depth 75-minute architectural tours are available the first Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. Self-guided audio tours are available anytime.