On Stage

Ava Pine's Cleopatra made the slog through Florentine's 'Julius Caesar' worth the effort

Written by Tom Strini,
Special to WiG
Saturday, 05 April 2014 10:34

Ava Pine as Cleopatra. Photo: Kathy Wittman Ball Square Films for the Florentine Opera

Whenever Ava Pine, as Cleopatra, sang on March 28, we heard and saw the glory of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. Otherwise, not so much.

Fierce humor colors Next Act’s ‘Three Views of the Same Object’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 04 April 2014 16:40

Real life does not offer any “do-overs” — the chance to see how things would have turned out if key decisions had been made differently. But in art, all things are possible. The characters in Next Act Theatre’s Milwaukee premiere of Three Views of the Same Object live out three different versions of the same life-and-death scenario.

The play, which was to open April 3, concerns the end-of-life decisions made by Poppy and Jesse, two aging academics who have had quite enough of worldly challenges and not enough of each other. In their younger days, they’d agreed that if one died first, the other would willingly follow. But now the time is drawing near, and each is having doubts.

Off the Wall's 'Romeo & Juliet' has ageless charm

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 28 March 2014 16:12

Marilyn White and Dale Gutzman as Juliet and Romeo, respectively

Here’s the inevitable challenge with Romeo and Juliet: finding actors who are talented enough to bring gravitas to the roles of the doomed lovers and yet young enough to convincingly portray them.

‘Or,’ is Restoration comedy written for modern times

Written by By Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 10:38

Liz Duffy Addams

Seventeenth-century playwright Aphra Behn is not a household name, even among theatergoers.

Dan Kazemi hits all the right notes in directorial debut with The Milwaukee Rep’s ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 05 April 2014 10:08

Christopher James Culberson and Kenney M. Green (foreground) and  Erin Willis and Britney Coleman in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Stacker Cabaret production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. -Photo: Michael Brosilow

As the last show of its Stackner Cabaret season, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre is staging Ain’t Misbehavin’, a musical revue that celebrates the work of Harlem Renaissance icon Fats Waller.

‘Invulnerability’ dramatizes Superman’s Jewish roots

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 04 April 2014 10:45

The History of Invulnerability, the final play of the Milwaukee Rep’s Quadracci Powerhouse season, could be seen simply as a memory play about Jerry Siegel, the man who created Superman, and his life before and after he sold the rights to his creation, then fought to win them back.

Madison Opera enters new territory with 'Dead Man Walking'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 22 March 2014 06:40

Dead Man Walking is quite unlike anything Madison Opera has done, and yet no narrative better addresses the violence, remorse and redemption that are so familiar in grand opera.

All-Handel weekend augments Florentine’s ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by WiG report Friday, 21 March 2014 09:55

Georg Friderick Handel

Between productions of Florentine Opera’s Julius Caesar, by Georg Frideric Handel, Ensemble Musical Offering presents an all-Handel weekend on March 28–30. The Hallmarks of Handel concert is designed to give fans of the timeless German composer the chance to enjoy some of his best-loved chamber music.

Milwaukee Comedy’s growth proves Brew City has great sense of humor

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 05 April 2014 09:57

When Matt Kemple started Milwaukee Comedy back in 2006, the goal was simple: to put together an annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival in August.

‘Les Miserables’ returns to Broadway

Written by The AP Monday, 31 March 2014 12:22


The barricades have once again gone up on Broadway. Are they worth dropping everything and joining this time?

‘Dead Man Walking‘ inspires calendar of events

Written by By Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 10:56

Sr. Helen Prejean

Some 20 events are planned to explore the themes raised by Madison Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking on April 25 and April 27. There will be panel discussions on criminal justice and art exhibits as social commentary, along with film showings and opera previews at area libraries.

Florentine follows Baroque casting in ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 09:39

Deanne Meek sings the title role in Florentine Opera’s production of 'Julius Caesar.' -Photo: Walter Kurtz

Opera buffs know that “high Baroque” opera is a different beast than the Puccini potboilers that attract casual operagoers. With its upcoming production of George Frideric Handel’s Julius Caesar, Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will recreate the 1724 production with painful accuracy. Almost.