entertainment

Madeline Kahn biography goes beyond the laughs

Written by Douglass K. Daniel
AP writer
Saturday, 09 May 2015 04:55

She was delightful in "Paper Moon" and "Blazing Saddles," then uproarious as the monster's tuneful bride in "Young Frankenstein." Yet Madeline Kahn often didn't seem to appreciate her comedic talent, even though it kept her close to the hearts of audiences for three decades.

That's just one of the many sad notes that arise from "Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life," William V. Madison's well-researched and insightful biography of Kahn, once hailed by New York Times critic Vincent Canby as possibly the funniest woman in films. Imagine getting such an accolade if being funny isn't really your goal.

‘Big Fish’ director and First Stage change lives through theater

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:32

It didn’t take long for Jeff Whiting’s mother to realize sports were not his thing. In fact Whiting, a New York theater director and choreographer currently directing First Stage Children’s Theater’s production of "Big Fish," credits his mother for launching his career.

“My mom recalls watching me on the soccer field like my brothers, but unlike my brothers I was bored out of my mind,” says Whiting, who grew up in Salt Lake City. “Luckily, my intuitive mother said, ‘There must be something else out there for Jeff.’”

Quasimondo explores itself with ‘Giraffe on Fire’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:57

Quasimondo’s Giraffe on Firetakes its name from the recurring image used by Salvador Dali in such paintings as Burning Giraffes and Telephones.
— Image: Courtesy

Think of the last dream you remember. Try to move your body the way it moved then, fluid and faster than your mind. Imagine the landscapes too strange to be real. Take stock of the images and motifs that mean nothing to any soul but you.

Michael Pink tells Cinderella’s story once again

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:47

The beauty of Sergei Prokofiev’s narrative score and Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink’s enchanting vision will unite later this month, to wrap up the ballet’s 2014–15 season with the timeless tale of "Cinderella." 

Early Music Now teaches a clarinet history lesson

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:41

In September 2013, Milwaukee’s Early Music Now offered audiences a unique history lesson. The subject: the clarinet and how the woodwind instrument evolved over several centuries. 

But if you missed it, don’t worry. Early Music Now has put the class back on the curriculum and re-invited its de facto instructor, Eric Hoeprich, to teach us about the instrument through a wide sampling of music.

The Sets List
Dylan, Tame Impala, Hullabrew and more

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 23:15

Yes, we know this show has been sold out forever. But if you’re a fan of Dylan who missed your chance to get in, take solace in the knowledge that one of the greatest folk musicians of our time will be in the same state as you, perhaps even the same city or the same ZIP code, for the duration of this concert. That’s not anywhere near as good as hearing the legend perform songs from his new album of Frank Sinatra covers or classics from his nearly 60-year career, but it’s something.

Orchestras welcome a month of ‘May-thoven’

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:02

Something classical must be in the Wisconsin water supply. This May, Beethoven-lovers practically can’t walk out of the house on a given weekend without stumbling on an orchestra performing one of the composer’s epic, groundbreaking symphonies.

‘Suddenly Last Summer’ a fortuitous final bow that completes a Tennessee trilogy

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 10:37

Neither Marti Gobel nor Dennis Johnson knew when they planned out their season that Tennessee Williams’ "Suddenly Last Summer" would be the final show Uprooted would produce. But there’s a certain serendipity to the choice. The play creates an accidental bookend to a Tennessee trilogy: Uprooted’s first production after debuting with "Beauty’s Daughter" was "A Streetcar Named Desire," and they also held a staged reading of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in October 2012, about halfway through their six-year tenure.

But Johnson says "Suddenly Last Summer" goes back to Uprooted’s beginnings. “Other than 'Beauty’s Daughter,' it’s literally the first show that I pushed for and suggested. So, as far as that’s concerned it’s coming full circle,” Johnson says. He will direct the production, running May 14 to 24 at Next Act Theatre.

Big brass, big legacy
Chicago co-founder Robert Lamm says ‘Now’ isn’t the time to slow down

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 12:37

When the band Chicago hits the stage at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater May 18, it will be the latest opportunity to see one of the most successful pop-rock bands of all time. The group’s second only to the Beach Boys among American bands on the pop charts, selling more than 100 million records and registering 21 Top 10 singles. 

More impressive is the band’s longevity. The band has been performing consistently since 1967, a 48-year stretch, and still has four of its original co-founders playing. One of them is keyboardist Robert Lamm, one of Chicago’s lead singers and songwriters. We can credit him with such classics as “Saturday In the Park,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “25 or 6 to 4.”

Music Reviews:
Josh Groban, The Weepies, Zac Brown Band, Jenny Lewis

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 23:04

New music. New reviews.

"Stages" is what Josh Groban’s most devoted fans have been waiting for. There’s nothing experimental: no songs in Portuguese like “Voce Existe Em Mim” on "Illuminations" or strange cover choices like “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” on "All That Echoes." It is simply a collection of beautifully sung and orchestrated songs from Broadway musicals (and two movies, but one is a measured take on “Over the Rainbow” so he gets a pass).

Lightning strikes yet again for Chris Hemsworth

Written by Jan Janssen,
The Interview Feed
Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:54

Chris Hemsworth is Thor. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Chris Hemsworth is about as ideal a choice to play a Norse god as you could imagine. The strapping 6’3” Aussie has the sandy hair and sculpted features that are perfectly suited to the role of Thor, one of the Avengers dedicated to saving the earth from the forces of evil. 

Uprooted ends, but a tradition of promoting diverse theater lives on

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 10:28

Uprooted Theatre was born out of a simple realization: Over decades, Milwaukee had inadvertently developed a longstanding, unofficial tradition of actors, directors and designers of color training in the city only to leave and make their careers elsewhere. The company’s four founding artists — Marti Gobel, Dennis Johnson, Travis Knight and Tiffany Yvonne Cox — made it their job not just to break that tradition themselves, but make it easier for other artists of color to do the same.