On Stage

Skylight’s ‘El Cimarrón’ is gay composer’s take on true story of runaway Cuban slave

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 13 December 2013 07:42

Hans Werner Henze based his 1970 work El Cimarrón on this book.

More than a play and less than an opera, Skylight Music Theatre’s production of El Cimarrón is an entertainment that almost defies categorization. It kicks off the Skylight’s New Year on Jan. 3 in the Studio Theatre at Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee.

Skylight succeeds with a personalized ‘Les Miz'

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 24 November 2013 17:01

Les Misérables isn’t exactly traditional holiday fare. But Skylight Music Theatre’s production, which opened Nov. 22, is a true holiday gift — a thrilling night of musical theater.

Few musicals equal Les Miz in blending a strong storyline, a soaring musical score and a compelling cast of characters. No wonder the musical’s return to Broadway in March is being so eagerly anticipated by fans. An astonishing 65 million people worldwide have already seen a stage production of Les Miz, and millions more have seen the film version starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

WiGOUT Cover: Mark Clements is filling seats, creating dialogue

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 14 November 2013 13:42

Mark Clements of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

When Mark Clements signed a new, four-year contract with Milwaukee Repertory Theater earlier this year, civic leaders should have breathed a sigh of relief. Like the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Calatrava addition, Clements has done wonders for the city’s cultural profile.

New musical by 'Chicago' composer and nephew of star David Hyde Pierce is 'lovely, quirky'

Written by Jennifer Farrar,
AP writer
Saturday, 26 October 2013 08:04

A good musical keeps you enthralled and stays with you afterward, as you find yourself humming refrains of new songs.

The Landing, a lovely, quirky new musical theater work by John Kander and Greg Pierce, has enchanting moments and leaves you wanting more, in the Vineyard Theatre’s world-premiere production that opened Oct. 23. Pierce is the nephew of David Hyde Pierce, who stars in the show. The elder Pierce, who is openly gay, is best-known for his role as Niles on the long-running TV sitcom Frasier.

Wisconsin holiday stages sparkle with tradition

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 09:16

Valerie Harmon in The Nutcracker. Photo: Jessica Kaminski

It’s time to celebrate the season onstage, and Wisconsin offers a theatrical Christmas stocking full of choices to get you in the holiday mood.

The pain and pleasure of ‘Sons of the Prophet’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 14 November 2013 16:23

Kahlil Gibran, the Eastern mystic poet, once said, “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” 

Next Act channels Marx Brothers in new show

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 14 November 2013 13:39

Next Act channels Marx Brothers in new show.

Ask Milwaukee actor Norman Moses about his current role as Julius “Groucho” Marx in Next Act Theatre’s newly opened production of Groucho: A Life in Revue, and he is likely to wax comedic.

Sally Struthers says hello to Milwaukee in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ gig

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 October 2013 14:23

For baby boomers, Sally Struthers’ name conjures a host of memories from the groundbreaking 1970s television series All in the Family. Struthers played Gloria Stivic, the wholesome, idealistic wife of “meathead” Mike (Rob Reiner) and the daughter of armchair bigot Archie (Carroll O’Connor) and dingbat Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton). Caught between a sitcom marriage and the emerging feminism of her day, Struthers gave the nation its first liberated version of Miss American Pie, cheerfully speaking out against sexism, racism and homophobia as she helped set the dinner table. 

Creature feature is Off the Wall’s holiday season choice

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 09:08

Off the Wall inspiration.

Had one too many Nutcrackers? Been Scrooged enough for a lifetime? Try celebrating the holiday season this year with an amphibious man-creature in love with a woman who is actually a man.

Opera on Tap blends Mozart and Manhattans

contributing writer
Thursday, 14 November 2013 16:21

Interested in savoring a little Georges Bizet with your favorite brew? Some Humperdinck with your hamburger? 

Then you’ll enjoy Opera on Tap, a new ensemble devoted to lowering the cultural highbrow with a little Miller High Life, bringing musical classics to the masses.

‘La Traviata’ soars on big emotions and Verdi’s intricate coloratura

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 01 November 2013 12:40

Soprano Elizabeth Cabellaro singing the role of Valéry in Madison Opera’s production of La Traviata, a role she’s reprising in a new production for Florentine Opera. -Photo: James Gill/Madison Opera

Opera has never excelled on the merits of plot, but composer Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata benefits more than most from the timeless, tragic tale at its heart.

Madison Opera brings the fiery ‘Tosca’ to Overture Center

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 October 2013 14:03

Murder, mayhem and a few leitmotifs come together in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, which opens Madison Opera’s 2013–14 season at the city’s Overture Center for the Arts.