On Stage

All-Handel weekend augments Florentine’s ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by WiG report Friday, 21 March 2014 09:55

Georg Friderick Handel

Between productions of Florentine Opera’s Julius Caesar, by Georg Frideric Handel, Ensemble Musical Offering presents an all-Handel weekend on March 28–30. The Hallmarks of Handel concert is designed to give fans of the timeless German composer the chance to enjoy some of his best-loved chamber music.

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Plucky vocalists bring innovative strings to Stoughton

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:53

Real Vocal String Quartet. -Photo: COURTESY

Violinist Irene Sazar has ambitious goals. Through her San Francisco-based performance group Real Vocal String Quartet, she aims to engage a new generation of listeners and broaden their musical horizons.

Uprooted’s ‘Sunset Limited’ takes audiences for an emotional ride

Written by By Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 08 March 2014 08:25

The Sunset Limited begins with a black ex-con saving a white academic from throwing himself in front of an oncoming train, only to learn that his heroic efforts are unappreciated. The play, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Cormac McCarthy, is the latest production at Uprooted Theatre, Milwaukee’s African-American troupe.

Work of Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg come together in Skylight's 'Hydrogen Jukebox'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 06 March 2014 20:56

Baritone Dan Kempson, left, and tenor Ben Robinson. —PHOTO: Mark Frohna

In 1988, modernist composer Philip Glass ran into out beat poet Allen Ginsberg in St. Mark’s Bookshop in New York City. Glass had agreed to perform at a benefit for the Vietnam Veterans Theater and asked Ginsberg to accompany him.

Florentine follows Baroque casting in ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 09:39

Deanne Meek sings the title role in Florentine Opera’s production of 'Julius Caesar.' -Photo: Walter Kurtz

Opera buffs know that “high Baroque” opera is a different beast than the Puccini potboilers that attract casual operagoers. With its upcoming production of George Frideric Handel’s Julius Caesar, Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will recreate the 1724 production with painful accuracy. Almost.

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ recreates the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance

Written by Tom Strini,
Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:23

Erin Willis, Christopher James Culberson, Kenney M. Green, Britney Coleman, and Bethany Thomas. -PHOTO: Michael Brasilow

The vastly accomplished cast of the Milwaukee Rep’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ sings, dances and acts. Among the five of them, they play piano, drums, bass, banjo-uke, violin, saxophone, trumpet and tuba. On opening night, they moved from task to task and location to location with nonchalant joy.

Milwaukee Rep's 'An Iliad' recounts the horrors of war

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 07 March 2014 19:49

James DeVita in The Milwaukee Rep's 'An Iliad.' -PHOTO: Michael Brasilow

You probably remember reading The lliad, Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan War, in high school. Who could forget those 15 pages of Greek generals’ names?

Chamber Theatre play explores tragic uncertainties

Written by By Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 21 February 2014 10:40

The front page of the Kingsport News after the October tragedy that heavily influenced playwright Lori Matthews –Photo: Wikipedia

Budding authors are encouraged to write what they know, but such counsel often leads writers to also explore what they need to understand. For Wisconsin author Lori Matthews, personal catharsis is the seed of the narrative in October, Before I Was Born at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

Stage Q cooks up a zesty quiche of a play

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 13:10

Whether real men eat quiche might still be an open question, but apparently real women do. The women in 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche make an especially zesty meal of it in the upcoming production by Madison’s Stage Q.

‘Temperamentals’ dramatizes the founding of Mattachine Society, an early gay rights group

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 08 March 2014 08:36

Harry Hay in his early days of activism.

The Stonewall riots in 1969, when a police raid of the Stonewall Inn erupted into violence and motivated a generation of activists to unite, is generally considered the launch of the modern LGBT rights movement.

Westbrook’s new show skates into personal territory

Written by By Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 07 March 2014 19:33

Timothy Westbrook

A fashion event that features origami, unicorns and figure skaters gliding across the Pfister Hotel ballroom sounds like a typical Timothy Westbrook event. The Project Runway alum and former Pfister artist-in-residence has made a name both for his commitment to sustainable practices, including his reuse of discarded materials, and also for his out-of-the-box fashion show ideas. For example, Paleontology of a Woman, his dinosaur-themed fashion show at the Milwaukee Public Museum last fall, featured elaborate triceratops headpieces and garments made of plastic bags.

So many characters but only one actor make ‘Chesapeake’ a challenge

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:39

Matt Daniels in

Lee Blessing’s play Chesapeake presents a stable of colorful characters. The challenge to presenting them all? There’s only one actor.