On Stage

Milwaukee Rep fills the stage with ‘Ragtime’

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 14:26

Jessie Hooker and Gavin Gregory in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of Ragtime -Photo: Michael Brosilow

The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre kicks off its fall season with its largest-ever production, the musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s American epic “Ragtime.” And Rep artistic director Mark Clements, who is directing the show, doesn’t mind telling you he’s both enthralled and exhausted by the process.

New Broadway season has something for everyone

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP writer
Thursday, 05 September 2013 07:03

There’s Denzel Washington and Billy Crystal, plenty of Shakespeare and a nice dash of Harold Pinter. There’s even a musical of the boxing classic “Rocky” and the much anticipated return of Neil Patrick Harris and “Les Mis.”

This upcoming season on Broadway seems to have something for everyone.

Dora Diamond raises money for Milwaukee Gay Arts Center

Written by Brandon Miller,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 13:38

Dora Diamond. - PHOTO: Courtesy

When John Dormady first put on his mother’s dress at age 4, he felt curiously comfortable. He spun around in his room, music blaring, imagining himself as the singers he heard.

‘Art’ challenges the meaning of friendship

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 August 2013 12:50

Keith Pitts’ stage design for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of “Art” reflects the abstract painting that sets off the play’s conflict. -Photo: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

A piece of art can be as expensive as the marketplace allows, but is it worth the price of a friendship? That question drives Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning play “Art,” which opens Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s 2013-14 season.

On stage
A glimpse behind this season's theater curtain

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 13:39

September marks the official beginning of Wisconsin’s theater season. Following are nutshell previews of three provocative opening productions by southeastern Wisconsin theater companies, along with each company’s season schedule.

New Skylight artistic director traveled unusual career path

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 14:15

Viswa Subbaraman always knew that music would be a part of his life, but he wasn’t always aware that it would become his career.

The new artistic director of Milwaukee’s Skylight Music Theatre originally planned to become a physician, like his father and grandfather. Subbaraman was a sophomore at Duke University enrolled in pre-med studies when a trip to Vienna with the Duke Wind Ensemble dramatically altered his life’s course.

Proud Theater empowers LGBTQ youth while illuminating audiences

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:32

Proud Theater performs in Milwaukee. – Photo: Callen Harty

If you haven’t seen a Proud Theater production yet, you might have the opportunity soon. The LGBTQ youth theater troupe, founded in Madison, has opened chapters in Wausau and Milwaukee. And talks are underway to expand into other cities as well.

Kathy Griffin dishes the dirt en route to Milwaukee

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 August 2013 12:19

What is it about female comedians and their gays? There’s comedy godmother Joan Rivers and queer comic Margaret Cho, both of whom make a point of speaking directly to their beloved and adoring gay audiences.  And then there’s comedy diva Kathy Griffin. Combining her love for the gays (hello, Anderson Cooper) and gossip, Griffin has created a brand of comedy that is both an homage to Rivers and outrageously original. She’s easily the most irreverent comic onstage, male or female.

Milwaukee LGBT Center, Boulevard Theatre’s Mark Bucher team up to produce a tear ‘Jerker’ of a play

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 11:43

Marty McNamee and Bill Jackson rehearse for the concert reading of “Jerker.” -Photo: Troy Freund

Two gay men begin a phone-sex relationship against the terrifying backdrop of the emerging AIDS epidemic. Although their physical contact is limited to sound waves, the couple’s erotic talk sessions lead to a deeper connection. 

Beethoven goes Bollywood

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:30

This scene “The Merchants of Bollywood” reflects Indian musical cinema.

Take Ludwig van Beethoven’s classic opera about love, freedom and a political prisoner wrongly convicted. Dress it up in colorful, spangled costumes from the Indian cinema’s golden age. Then present the composer’s magnificent melodies with a primarily dancing cast that fills a highly stylized stage with robust athleticism. Finally, add a dash of the latest in interactive technology for good measure.

The Kinsey Sicks brings dragapella humor to Madison

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 August 2013 14:48

Formed 20 years ago in San Francisco, The Kinsey Sicks, a “dragapella beauty shop quartet,” has traveled the globe presenting political satire set to music. In addition to releasing eight albums since 1997 and performing off-Broadway, Winnie (Irwin Keller), Rachel (Ben Schatz), Trixie (Jeff Manabat) and Trampolina (Spencer Brown) are the subject of a documentary (“The Kinsey Sicks: Almost Infamous”) and stars of the feature film “Kinsey Sicks: I Wanna Be a Republican.”

APT’s ‘Too Many Husbands’ is a frothy delight

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 27 July 2013 12:42

Marcus Truschinski and Deborah Staples in APT’s production of “Too Many Husbands.” -Photo: Zane Williams

Equal amounts of piffle and pot-stirring lie at the heart of W. Somerset Maugham’s comedy “Too Many Husbands,” staged at American Players Theatre’s Up The Hill Theatre. But in the hands of director and “master chef” David Frank, the rather thin farce froths into one of the Spring Green troupe’s most enjoyable productions this season.