On Stage

‘Memphis’ dancer says his life imitates the play’s heart

Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 December 2012 13:41

Kyle Leland.

For every loss, there is equal gain, and for every gain equal loss, according to Kyle Leland. That life philosophy has helped the out dancer and choreographer through difficult times, but his current role as dance captain for the traveling production of “Memphis” is most definitely a time of gain and increased self-awareness.

'Collected Stories' questions the ownership of personal information

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 December 2012 16:44

Sarah Day as Ruth Steiner and Laura Frye as Lisa Morrison in “Collected Stories.” -PHOTO: Mark Frohn

One repays a teacher badly by remaining only a pupil, according to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. But if the pupil plucks a plum that the teacher unintentionally offers and then capitalizes on it for her own gain, has the teacher been honored or betrayed?

Even wild girls get the blues

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 29 November 2012 15:57

Lili Thomas, Zonya Love and Halle Morse in the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s “Blues in the Night,” playing in the Stackner Cabaret. -PHOTO: Michael Brosilow.

Wild women don’t have the blues, or so composer Ida Cox wrote in 1924. But the Milwaukee Rep’s staging of Sheldon Epps’ “Blues in the Night,” now playing at the Stackner Cabaret, suggests otherwise.

Broadway lights up Wisconsin theater season

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 02 November 2012 10:45

The national touring company of “Rock of Ages.”

From an oversized elf to a creepy TV family from the 1960s, from ”hair bands” of the 1980s to doo-wop legends of the 1950s, from an English nanny who can fly to witches who wish they weren’t, Broadway hits are headed to at least three Wisconsin performing arts venues this season. 

Gilbert & Sullivan return to the Skylight New Year’s Eve with a wacky revue that takes a modern approach

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 December 2012 13:37

History tells us that librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan hated each other so much that they wouldn’t communicate for years at a time. When they finally did collaborate, many of their works were left unfinished because they were unsatisfactory to one or the other – or both of them.

Ricky Martin finds new home on small screen

Written by AP Tuesday, 04 December 2012 04:25

Ricky Martin is saying goodbye to Broadway’s “Evita.” But don’t cry for him.

The Latin superstar has a slew of new projects in the works, including two television series and a children’s book. 

Written during the Depression, 'The Cradle Will Rock' resonates with today's struggles

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 November 2012 15:20

Chris Fechtelketter as Larry Foreman and Stuart Mott as Editor Daily in UW Madison University Theatre’s production of “The Cradle Will Rock,” running Nov. 16 through Dec. 8 in the Mitchell Theatre. -PHOTO: COURTESY UNIVERSITY THEATER

In January 1964, openly gay composer Marc Blitzstein was enjoying a much-needed vacation on Martinique when he made a decision that would cost him his life.

Director approaches 'Anne Frank' with documentary precision

Written by Jody Hirsh Friday, 02 November 2012 08:55

Emily Berman, Jonathan Gillard Daly, Larry Neumann Jr., J. Alexander Coe, Deborah Staples, Lee E. Ernst, Laura Gordon and Lauren Hirte in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” -PHOTO: Michael Brosilow

“The Diary of Anne Frank,” produced in 1955, only 10 years after the Holocaust won both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Playwrights Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket based their work on the actual diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam who, at 13, went into hiding from the Nazis with her family.

"Gigi' is the perfect holiday Champagne musical

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 December 2012 16:56

Lavish costumes, romance, familiar songs and a storyline about a young girl training to become a high-class prostitute – what better way to ring in the holidays?

Nothing, according to Dale Gutzman, whose Off the Wall Theatre celebrates the season with “Gigi.” The 1958 Lerner and Lowe musical about a Parisienne courtesan and her “vieux protecteur,” which opens Dec. 14, is designed to be an engaging theatrical holiday truffle, but one with complexities at its center, Gutzman says.

’Tis the season on Wisconsin stages

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:08

Don your gay apparel and get ready to “ho, ho, ho.” The holiday season is fast upon us – and with it comes a wealth of theatrical fare designed to make your yuletide gayer than ever. Local theatrical companies are doing their best to put you in the holiday spirit and, God bless them everyone, the entertainment is as rich as the holiday meals that you’ll vow to work off in January.

Wanda Sykes brings her trenchant brand of hilarity to The Riverside on Nov. 10

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 18:59

Wanda Sykes appears at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 at The Riverside in Milwaukee. –Photo: Courtesy

Out actor, comedian and Emmy Award-winning writer Wanda Sykes was feeling “quite relieved” today, following President Barack Obama’s re-election last night.

Is Milwaukee ready to stand up and dance?

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:08

The Pointer Sisters, with Ruth in the center.

Ruth Pointer “was a struggling single mother trying to raise two children and living with my parents,” she says, when she joined her sisters’ singing group. “I realized how much money I could make in a short amount of time singing and said, ‘Wow! I can support my children doing this,’” says Pointer, now 66.