On Stage

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.

Door County summers pulse with music, theater

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 28 June 2013 19:32

From Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to “Muskie Love,” from classical violinist Ilya Kaler to out folk duo Indigo Girls, a surprising range of entertainment is set to appear in Door County this summer. There’s a good chance you’ll find something on a starry peninsula night to tickle your funny bone or strum your heartstrings.

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.

Cris Williamson’s music is a mystery to her

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Friday, 28 June 2013 19:18

Cris Williamson performs at the National Women's Music Festival in Middleton, which is held July 4 to 7.

Now in her fifth decade as a recording artist, singer/songwriter Cris Williamson was instrumental in the founding of the now-defunct Olivia Records, the influential, independent women-owned record label. Olivia released multiple recordings that have become iconic in the women’s music canon, including Williamson’s “The Changer and the Changed.” In the nearly 40 years since its release, Williamson has put out some 20 more discs, including her latest, the double-disc set “Pray Tell.”

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.

APT’s ‘Hamlet’ catches the conscience of the Dane but not the Bard’s brilliance

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 July 2013 20:03

DIGGING THE PAST: As Hamlet, Matt Schwader shares an iconic moment with the skull of Yorick in American Players Theatre’s production of “Hamlet,” playing in repertory through Oct. 4. -Photo: Carissa Dixon

Author Gustave Flaubert once said that God’s three greatest creations were the ocean, Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” and Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet.” Can Wisconsin’s finest repertory theater company fulfill the expectations that come with staging such a lauded work?

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Reviewing the latest releases of some of Summerfest's best acts

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 28 June 2013 16:17

Matt & Kim

Imagine Dragons


7 p.m., June 27

Marcus Amphitheater