entertainment

Christopher Durang blends Chekhov’s style with autobiography in ‘Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Monday, 30 March 2015 15:22

Playwright Christopher Durang’s most famous work, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," may be strongly influenced by the plays of 19th-century Russian writer Anton Chekhov. But it’s the contemporary elements he’s woven in, including quasi-autobiographical details pulled from his life and that of friends like Yale Drama School classmate Sigourney Weaver, that gives its characters the energy, vitality and pathos needed to rise above stereotypes and give the play its lasting comedic appeal.

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for best play, Durang’s classic/contemporary mashup will conclude Forward Theater’s 2014–15 season, running April 9-26 at the Overture Center.

Experimental rockers Foxygen launch farewell tour

Written by Maddy Hughes,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 28 March 2015 15:01

Before 2011, Foxygen was just two kids from California who hadn’t made it big yet. That year, producer Richard Swift discovered them and started a chain of events that turned Jonathan Rado and Sam France into two of the hottest new experimental rock artists in indie music.

The band has released three studio albums since, including 2014’s "...And Star Power," and gained a reputation for both crazy stage antics and backstage feuding. Earlier this month, they surprised fans by announcing that their summer tour, which will take them through Milwaukee on April 7, will also be their last, making the Turner Hall show bigger than ever.

Green Bay’s orchestra says farewell after a century of symphonies

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:44

The Green Bay Symphony Orchestra is one of Wisconsin’s longest standing regional orchestras, founded in 1913. In its heyday, GBSO members commuted from across the state and as far away as Chicago to rehearse and perform. Even now, performing at UW–Green Bay’s Weidner Center, the orchestra is a professional company with a dedicated youth symphony orchestra program, filling a vital role in its community.

On April 11, it will perform what may be its final concert. Facing a climate of declining ticket sales and “donor fatigue” — with former beneficiaries who have financially supported the organization throwing in the towel — the organization announced last year that 2014–15 would be the orchestra’s final season.

‘Justified Art!’ strikes an all-too-relevant chord

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:18

The "Justified Art!" exhibit now on display at Madison’s Overture Center is perhaps too timely. One of its most gripping works, Nafis White’s “Can I Get a Witness?,” consists of a bright neon sign with the same words, near a list of people killed by police: Trayvon Martin; Eric Garner; Michael Brown. 

At the top of the list is Tony Robinson, the biracial Madison teen shot and killed earlier this month by Madison police officer Matt Kenny.

Exhibit to focus on 'Van Gogh and Nature'

Written by WiG Monday, 30 March 2015 07:49

An exhibit featuring 50 paintings and drawings of nature by Vincent Van Gogh will open in western Massachusetts in June.

"Van Gogh and Nature" is the first exhibit devoted to the artist's exploration of nature.

Smitten with ‘Salad Love’

Written by J.M. Hirsch,
AP food editor
Saturday, 28 March 2015 14:32

For most of us, salads are mainly unplanned affairs. Which is why the idea of salad cookbooks can seem kind of silly.

Salad assembly generally is a pathetic — and pathetically easy — process that involves grabbing whatever greens haven’t wilted at the back of the refrigerator, piling on whatever other vegetables are handy — and if we’re feeling indulgent maybe some leftover protein and cheese — and calling it good. Follow a recipe? Not likely.

Nearly 40 years strong, the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus sings its own tune

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:41

Since 1976, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Chorus has been a valued partner to its orchestra, performing alongside it whenever needed. On March 28 and March 29, the stage is their own. In "MSO a cappella," the chorus will perform a series of vocal works without the usual orchestral accompaniment.

“This is not the first time we’ve done a concert like this,” said chorus director Lee Erickson in a recent phone interview. But, he adds, the last such installment was five years ago, making the upcoming concert something of a special occasion.

Wisconsin Film Festival unreels a week of flicks

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:26
images_-_wigout_-_032615_-_ChimesAtMidnight

Chimes at Midnight. — PHOTO: Courtesy Wisconsin Film Festival

Movie buff Jim Healy’s life is governed by a single credo: There are no new films or old films, only films that he hasn't yet seen.

The Rep’s short play series celebrates its 5th year

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Sunday, 29 March 2015 15:19
MilwaukeeRepLogo

While it’s one of the newest additions to the Rep interns’ duties, the annual Rep Lab short play festival has been delighting audiences since its debut in 2011. Now in its fifth year, the festival provides acting, directing and design interns an opportunity to show what they’ve learned in a season.

Natalie Portman embraces Paris, motherhood and the chance to sit in the director’s chair

Written by Jan Janssen,
The Interview Feed
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:48

Natalie Portman’s latest acting role is in Terence Malick’s upcoming film Knight of Cups. She’s also taken her first foray into directing.
— PHOTO: Dior

The past year has been an interesting adventure for Natalie Portman. Following her marriage to long-time boyfriend Benjamin Millepied, director of the ballet department of the Paris Opera, the Oscar-winning actress moved to Paris last year with the couple’s 3-year-old son. She’s been soaking up French culture and adapting to her new world as wife, mother and Parisienne.

‘Crossroads of Civilization’: Ancient artifacts get a modern presentation at Milwaukee Public Museum

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Friday, 27 March 2015 06:36

There is no doubt that the Middle East is a pivotal, mutable place. We hear about current events in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and other countries in the region daily. 

At 50, Milwaukee Rep's internship has evolved into one of the nation’s best
WiGOUT Cover Story

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:07

Alumni from prior years of the Rep internship program gather at the company’s 2014 gala. Interns are a vital element of each season — and increasingly, regional theaters nationwide.
— PHOTO: Courtesy Milwaukee Rep

There’s a saying around the Milwaukee Rep that “the company is built on the backs of interns.” That sentiment might come off as a joke if the people saying it weren’t so appreciative, or acutely aware that it’s true. 

Interview