People are people,” says Sally Bowles, early on in “Cabaret.” “I don’t think people should apologize for anything they do.”
In Milwaukee, you can always count on another opening, another show. There’s plenty to choose from this season, from the Broadway musical version of the movie favorite “Young Frankenstein” (Marcus Center) to the gritty, nightmarish travelling circus world of “Freakshow” (Youngblood Theater Company).
It’s got amazing special effects, catchy show-stopping tunes, a multi-talented cast and costumes, and lighting and sets that dazzle the eyes. Oh my!
Did you hear the one about the gay ventriloquist, the bisexual corporate trainer, the straight film student and the crusty comedienne?
As fall ushers in cooler weather, Milwaukee’s fine arts programming heats up with a number of innovative offerings. Some of the highlights to look for from the end of September through December include:
Gay theater has certainly come a long way since Stonewall. Classic plays such as Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour” (1934) or Robert Anderson‘s “Tea and Sympathy” (1953) cast homosexuality as an evil – even a suspicion of it could destroy a person’s life. Yet Broadway plays were peopled with gay and lesbian characters drawn so subtly that tourists from Idaho (or Wisconsin, for that matter) didn’t have a clue that the wisecracking “delicate” men or “tough” women were recognizably gay or lesbian to those in the know. Camp performances were always riotously popular, and even drag was acceptable as long as there was no hint of alternative sexual identification.
Gilbert & Sullivan together again? Well, only in the afterlife – literally. And what a charming and comical place this “afterlife” turns out to be, thanks to the delightful production of “An Evening with Gilbert & Sullivan” which opened last weekend at the Skylight Opera Theater, completing its 50th anniversary season.
With the national debate about same-sex marriage raging throughout America, the current offering of the Renaissance Theaterworks, “American Fiesta,” is particularly timely.
From witches and world premieres to “The Big Chill” for lesbians, Madison’s upcoming performance season offers a variety of classic and modern works.
As the lights went up on the set of “Proud Theater: Decade” last month, a solitary figure ascended a platform on the sparsely-decorated black stage. “It started with one,” said 23-year-old activist and playwright Sol Kelley-Jones, who co-founded the awarding-winning Madison-based youth theater troupe at the age of 13.
“I am so excited about this,” says Donna Drake as she slowly pushes open the doors to the Cabot Theater at the Broadway Theater Center in the Third Ward. “We are doing things in this theater that we’ve never done before.”
“Everything’s white,” says C. Michael Wright, pointing to the set model for his new show “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball,” now playing at Milwaukee Chamber Theater. He goes on to explain the symbolism of the all-white art gallery and how it contrasts with the pastels of the mental institution, which plays a key role in the production. Wright is clearly proud of the design and the carefully thought-out meaning in the use of space and color.