On Stage

On the town: Events on our calendar

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Sunday, 09 September 2012 09:01

Events coming up of interest to WiG readers:

American Players Theatre exposes the Bard in new ways

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 25 August 2012 10:03

Travis A. Knight and Nate Burger in “Troilus and Cressida.” – Photo: Carissa Dixon

Two plays currently running in Spring Green invite questions about Shakespeare, the man and the playwright.

In ‘Avenue Q,’ puppets help test audience boundaries

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 09 September 2012 08:48

Are you part of the generation that grew up watching “Sesame Street”? Do you wish the long-running PBS show had grown up with you? If you do, you’re ready for “Avenue Q,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that opens Milwaukee’s Skylight Music Theatre’s 2012-13 season.

The Reps' 'Assassins' aims to make a statement

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 23 August 2012 20:54

Good theater makes a compelling statement, while great theater carries with it truths that stand the test of time. That’s the measuring rod that Mark Clements, artistic director for Milwaukee Repertory Theater, uses frequently.

Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” – a musical revue featuring history’s most infamous U.S. presidential assassins – received mixed reviews when it first opened in 1990. But its characters’ search for sudden celebrity and the show’s celebration of the country’s growing gun culture has more relevance today than ever before, Clements says. The Rep opens its 2012-13 season Sept. 4 with the controversial work.

Joe Jackson brings Duke Ellington to Milwaukee

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 22:11

Riding the new wave of angry young men in the mold of Elvis Costello, cranky, queer British musician Joe Jackson made his mark with two albums in 1979. His debut “Look Sharp,” containing the massive hit “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” and its successor “I’m the Man” established him as an international talent. Not only could he sneer in disgust with the best of them, but he also had no qualms about displaying a sensitive side, as on the track “It’s Different for Girls.”

On his third disc, 1980’s “Beat Crazy,” the prolific Jackson provided hints about his sexual orientation on songs such as “Pretty Boys” and “Biology.” Then he switched gears entirely on 1981’s big band blowout “Jumpin’ Jive,” an ambitious album of jazzy covers. This disc is significant as a reference point for his most recent work. It bridged Jackson’s musical evolution to 1982’s synthy “Night and Day,” featuring the gay-themed “Real Men,” 1984’s retro “Body and Soul” and 1987’s orchestral “Will Power.”