Ira Brooker

Ira Brooker is a writer and editor residing in Saint Paul's scenic Midway neighborhood. He holds down a corporate job by day and does freelance and creative work at night. He is a former editor of Minnesota Playlist and has been published in a number of venues both local and national, several of which you may have even heard of. He occasionally prattles on about pop culture at A Talent For Idleness and maintains an archive at irabrooker.com.

Articles by this author

REVIEW: A question of blood

Criticism

A trio of Horror Festival shows bring on the blood and guts in very different fashions.

REVIEW: What is a Horror Festival?

Criticism

'Doll Collection' is Ira's highlight of the Horror Festival so far, but if creepiness isn't your thing, then stay for the dance or comedy.

REVIEW: How do you do that?

Criticism

It's a play about how things work, but Ira can't figure out how it works. He only knows that it does.

Best of 2013-2014: Small Art

Criticism

A sometimes forgotten excellence of live performance is its impermanence and adaptability, like basketball.

Fringe blog (day 6): Traffic, tourist traps, and other horrors

Fringe

"I was left gasping for breath and on the verge of tears at the horrific beauty of it all." Plus, four other reviews.

REVIEW: "Asking for It" is very funny

Criticism

Ira thinks he may have seen the most 'important' stand-up comedy set around and regrets that its value as theater may overshadow its pure funny.

Turn and face the strange

Playlist editor Ira Brooker drops some thanks and gets a little weepy on his way out the door.

Northern Spark in the rain: a journey

Audience

The weather did its damnedest to douse this year's Spark, but a non-optimal experience isn't necessarily a bad one.

Reviewing the reviews: What's in a space?

Criticism

Theater folks love their nontraditional spaces, but are they always an asset to the art?

We're pretty smart and that's OK

Audience

Let's give local theater some credit for giving local audiences some credit.

Reviewing the reviews: How subjective is too subjective?

Criticism

A critic owns up to his personal bias, but does he still do the production a disservice?

Reviewing the reviews: Who is this for?

Criticism

A reader wonders who a review of 'Othello' was meant for, and it's not an easy answer.

What makes a perfect puppet?

Process

Seth Eberle expounds on the process of producing a perfect puppet for a particular puppet production.

Reviewing the reviews: What's in a rave?

Criticism

The critics all like 'Fuddy Meers,' but no two like it in quite the same way.

Reviewing the reviews: Meeting expectations

Criticism

A major touring production does what it's supposed to, and so do its reviews. Is that a good thing?

Reviewing the reviews

Criticism

Taking a closer look at Twin Cities theater criticism, one review at a time.

Cash rules everything around me... or does it?

Audience

A New York Times piece looks at a crisis point for artists. So how bad is it out there?

Keeping the brief candles burning

Tradition

As Thanksgiving draws near, an appreciation of an arts community that honors its dead and values its living.

I had fun at a play and that's OK

Audience

Sometimes a play is just a good evening's entertainment. Do we need theater to be more than that?

Hunting for horror in 'The Hollow'

Criticism

A search for scary theater begins with Workhaus Collective's atmospheric New Orleans story.

'Small Art,' big awards and local heroes

Audience

An intimate arts evening and a gala extravaganza throw a spotlight on all the amazing theater in between.

Best of 2012-2013: A look from 'Lolita'

Criticism

Four Humors' Fringe hit had a certain look that held Ira Brooker's gaze.

Learning to watch at the Children's Theatre

Criticism

A production of 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' helps my son leap a few hurdles of art appreciation.

"Tucker's Robot" - My kid's first show

Criticism

The peculiar power of puppetry at Open Eye Figure Theatre spawns a new fan for local theater.

What gives you the right?

Audience

When it comes to artistic inspiration, who has the right to tell what story?

Sympathy for the Jocks

Audience

Playlist editor Ira Brooker attempts to end the culture wars between sports fans and arts lovers.

The beautiful recyclability of theater

Tradition

Theater is the rare art form that not only welcomes but requires endless remakes, and that's a great thing.

Unloading Chekhov's gun

Process

In defense of the "pointless" digression.

"Be our Judas": Sam Landman's 'Audition Notices' hit home

Writer and actor Sam Landman's sardonic #AuditionNotice tweets help local theater folk laugh through the pain.

Searching for awful theater

Audience

Watching bad movies is a time-honored tradition. Is there a similar niche for transcendently terrible theater?

Who's afraid of The Pirate Bay?

Tradition

While books, music and movies scramble to adapt to the age of torrents, theater enjoys its unique niche as a virtually pirate-proof art form.