Peter Rothstein: ‘All Is Calm’ was fitting end to a busy year

December 28, 2007.
By Graydon Royce, Star Tribune.

For several years, Peter Rothstein’s name has bounced around the room during “Artist of the Year” discussions. His exploration of new musical forms, fresh takes on classics and collaborations with other artists made Theatre Latté Da an essential part of the Twin Cities theater community. Every time, the conversation got around to this: “Yeah, he’s good, but maybe we should wait for him to have a really, really big year.”

He did in 2007. Rothstein started the year with a dynamic staging of “Disney’s High School Musical” at Children’s Theatre Company. It was an instant sellout, based on the title for sure, but Rothstein’s choreographer for the project, Michael Matthew Ferrell, won an Ivey Award.

Next, Rothstein ventured over to Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, where he teamed with actor Sally Wingert for her solo show, “Woman Before a Glass.” Wingert went on to win an Ivey for her performance as art doyenne Peggy Guggenheim.

Rothstein stayed home with his staging of Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah” at Theater Latté Da —the troupe’s valedictory at Loring Playhouse. Then it was on to Illusion to direct playwright Jordan Harrison’s “Act a Lady.” Harrison, a Playwrights’ Center alum, ended the year off-Broadway, by the way.

There was his Guthrie directing debut with “Private Lives” (for which Rothstein’s set designer won an Ivey), a reprise of “High School Musical,” Theater Latté Da’s restaging of Rothstein’s adaptation of “La Bohème” (for which he won an Ivey in 2005), “Frog and Toad” at CTC and “A Christmas Carole Petersen.” He ended the year teamed up with the vocal group Cantus for the gorgeously moving “All Is Calm,” a piece he conceived.

With a few other projects along the way, Rothstein directed 13 shows in 2007. That’s a pretty good year.