The 2021/2022 Live Theater on the North Shore season is underway for two popular venues. Live theater is a fantastic addition to any vacation. You get an evening of entertainment while supporting the venues. Venues that have worked hard to keep live theater thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Grand Marais Playhouse, this season is especially important as it marks the Playhouse’s 50th Anniversary!

Here is your spring and summer live theater on the North Shore line-up at both the Duluth Playhouse (Norshor Theatre and Family Theatre) and the Grand Marais Playhouse. You can also enjoy performances at the Duluth Playhouse Underground Theatre (not listed below):


March 10-13: The Half-Life of Marie CurieLive Theater on the North Shore Half-Life of Marie Curie at the Grand Marais Playhouse

The Annual Community youth (high school) play this year will be The Half-Life of Marie Curie By Lauren Gunderson. This is a two-woman powerhouse production selected by our two graduating seniors Elsa Garry and Greta Roth. The Half-life of Marie Curie is the play about the friendship between Marie Curie and Hertha Ayrton when Marie escaped the onslaught of negative French press over an affair and recovered at Hertha’s summer home in England.


March 18-April 3: Ragtime at the Duluth Playhouse Norshor Theater

At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing… and anything is possible. RAGTIME is a compelling, epic musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s award-winning novel. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together. That of a stifled upper-class mother, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician. United by their courage, compassion, and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history’s timeless contradictions, embrace their common humanity and discover their shared dreams of a more perfect union. This truly unique and powerful production will inspire audiences to contemplate what it means to be an American.


April 23-May 1: A Year with Frog & Toad at the Duluth Playhouse Family Theater (Sensory-Friendly Performance May 1)

Based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved books, these two best of friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique, but also makes their partnership so special. An unlikely pairing between the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad. This friendship blossoms and grows as they travel through four fun-filled seasons. They plant gardens, swim in swimming pools, rake leaves, and go sledding down snowy hills. All the while learning many life lessons along the way. Grab your bestie and come celebrate the bond of friendship with this charming musical for the whole family.


May 6-22:  The Diary of Anne Frank at the Duluth Playhouse Norshor Theatre

In this transcendently powerful adaptation, audiences meet a complex, passionate young girl. Watch as she grows into a woman, falls in love, and struggles to survive amid the chaos of war and religious persecution. As vital today as when it was first written, Anne Frank’s historical writing has become an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of human history. In defiance of her oppressive circumstances, Anne’s spirit transcends. She voices her belief, “in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Anne’s story of resilience continues to resonate deeply today. Drawing from previously unpublished parts of Anne Frank’s real-life diary, this show encourages audiences to experience Anne in a way that breathes life into this fearless young woman.


June 3-12: Glensheen the MusicalLive Theater on the North Shore Glensheen the Musical at the Duluth Playhouse Norshor Theatre

It’s live theater with a North Shore local twist! An heiress, kind and generous, is found dead in her bed. Her night nurse, lying lifeless on the staircase. A robbery? A clumsy break-in? A conspiracy? A scandal!  Witness this dark musical that tackles the tale with wicked dialogue and evocative music. Writer Jeffrey Hatcher and composer Chan Poling “pulled off a spectacular feat with a shamelessly witty script and score (Star Tribune).”


June 10-11: Rotterdam at the Grand Marais Playhouse

The play takes place in Rotterdam and Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents and tell them she’s gay. But before she can hit send, her girlfriend reveals that he has always identified as a man. He now wants to start living as one. Now, Alice must face a question she never thought she’d ask .  Does this mean she’s straight? A bittersweet comedy about gender, sexuality and being a long way from home.


June 24-26 and July 1-3: We Will Rock You at the Grand Marais Playhouse

Our 50th season means everything is stepping up a notch and this year we are turning our June summer camp into a full blown musical production! Community youth ages 11-14 are encouraged to participate in the production of “We Will Rock You.” With Music by Queen. This show follows two young rebels as they restore rock ‘n’ roll to “the iPlanet” in a post-apocalyptic world. WE WILL ROCK YOU [email protected]® is a musical for our time: a fist-pumping, foot-stomping anthem to individuality.


June 24-July 17: Footloose at the Duluth Playhouse Norshor Theatre

The 80s are back with this rockin’ musical, jam-packed with all your favorite powerhouse hit songs from the era, such as “Holding Out For A Hero,”, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”, “Almost Paradise,” and of course, “Footloose!” Join Ren as he moves to a new town and shares his love of music and dancing. FOOTLOOSE is a celebration of youthful innocence, the importance of listening to one another, and the healing power of forgiveness. This explosive and dynamic production is a celebration of individual expression and the power of music and dance.


July 15-24: James and the Giant Peach at the Duluth Playhouse Family Theatre (Sensory-Friendly Performance July 24)

Based on Roald Dahl’s quirky original tale, James and his new friends roll their peach into the ocean and embark on a fantastic voyage that crosses paths with seagulls, sharks, and lands them on top of the Empire State Building! Instead of chopping down the tree like his conniving aunties ask, James discovers a magic potion which makes an old peach grow to an enormous size. Climbing inside, James meets a group of outrageous oversized insects who’ve made the peach their home. James and his newfound friends decide it’s time to leave his aunties behind in search of an incredible journey and a new life.


July 28-31 and August 4-6: Little Shop of HorrorsLive Theater on the North Shore Little Shop of Horrors at the Grand Marais Playhouse

A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little MermaidBeauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and intent towards global domination!


August 5-14: Disney’s High School Musical at the Duluth Playhouse Family Theatre (Sensory-Friendly Performance August 14)

It’s the first day after winter break at East High. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations and look forward to the new year. Basketball team captain and resident jock, Troy, discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. They cause an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical. Although many students resent the threat posed to the “status quo,” Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.


August 12-21: ClueLive Theater on the North Shore Clue at the Duluth Playhouse Norshor Theatre

Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, CLUE is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. CLUE is the comedy whodunit that will leave both cult-fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out…WHO did it, WHERE, and with WHAT!


August 25-28 and September 1,2, and 4: Blithe Spirit at the Grand Marais Playhouse

The smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages! This much-revived classic from the playwright of Private Lives offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine. Re-married but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who is called up by a visiting “happy medium,” one Madame Arcati.


Enjoy live theater on the North Shore during your next vacation Up North and support these two fabulous theaters!