On Stage

Puppetry is part of ‘The Lion King’s’ magic

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writere
Thursday, 30 October 2014 13:35

From The Lion King. — PHOTO: Joan Marcus

This November, the Milwaukee Theatre will transform into the African savannah, as The Lion King’s national tour rolls into town for four weeks. The lavish production, originally directed by Julie Taymor and featuring music by Elton John and Tim Rice, has gifted singers, actors and dancers, plus impressive set and costuming elements.

Theatre Gigante resurrects its unique take on ‘Othello’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 15:21

Take one of the most villainous acts in the Shakespeare canon, season it with some Japanese Noh theater, add some balletic elements and repeat over and over.

Rep’s ‘terrible things’ probes interactions between bullies and their victims

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:30

Mark Junek (Daniel) and Sophia Skiles (Linda) in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Stiemke Studio production of

The curiosity surrounding a world premiere is often enough to pack the house, especially when it’s the Milwaukee Rep’s first one in years. The Stiemke Studio production of after all the terrible things I do was no exception.

'The Good Father' is a great evening of intimate theater

Written by By Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Monday, 22 September 2014 12:17

Jonathan Wainwright as Tim and Laura Gray as Jane in

In The Good Father, Irish playwright Christian O’Reilly tosses together two disparate — and dispirited — people at a New Year’s Eve party. Their chance encounter shakes up their lives and tests their divergent belief systems.

‘Lucy’ explores infamous human nature experiment

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writere
Thursday, 30 October 2014 12:31

Dr. Maurice Temerlin didn’t think he was doing anything wrong when he brought his adopted daughter Lucy home from Africa in the 1960s. He and his wife simply hoped to raise her like any other child, alongside their young son. And so they did, spending the next decade teaching her manners, helping her learn to speak and watching her flip through magazines and care for her cat.

But there’s underlying drama in this domestic tale: Lucy was a chimpanzee, never meant to sleep on a king-size bed — and not always the better for doing it.

‘Flying Dutchman’ focuses on a ghastly legend’s emotions

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:35

The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder. — PHOTO: Wiki

Halloween is the time for ghost stories, and the Florentine Opera has one ready to go a week early: Wagner’s epic The Flying Dutchman, playing at the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall on Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.

‘Next Fall’ examines faith with an even hand and a dose of humor

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:48

Faith is a hard subject to tackle onstage without exposing a bias either for it or against it. But with its opening play of the season, Next Fall, Theatrical Tendencies believes it’s found a show that evenhandedly explores faith by approaching it through love — the love shared by friends and family as well as the lovers at the center of the script.

Next Act's 'Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter' works to exorcise traumas of war

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Sunday, 21 September 2014 16:24
In 'Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter,' the title character must cope with traumas from her time in Iraq. Photo by Alex Clark.

More than anything else — and more than we’d like to admit — traumas shape our lives. "Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter" follows one woman's journey to overcome the horrors she faced in the Iraq War in order to find internal peace.


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Manhattan Transfer's Tim Hauser dead at 72

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Saturday, 18 October 2014 16:10

Tim Hauser, the founder and singer of the Grammy-winning vocal troupe The Manhattan Transfer, died Oct. 16 from cardiac arrest, according to band representative JoAnn Geffen. He was 72.

McGivern shears ‘Madness’ from his repertoire

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 16 October 2014 11:14

Local actor and media personality John McGivern. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Local actor and media personality John McGivern says his current performance in Shear Madness, playing at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Northern Lights Theater, is his last turn in what many fans consider to be his signature role.

‘Carrie’ throws a blood-red light on bullying’s horrors

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:14

Whether in reference to Stephen King’s 1974 novel or either of the two film versions, the name “Carrie” instantly conjures images of a homely high school outcast covered in pig’s blood terrorizing her tormentors with telekinetic powers. Soon fans will be able to add singing and dancing to that visceral image.

Theatre Unchained’s production of Carrie: The Musical opens Oct. 10, just in time for the Halloween season’s horror binge. But the musical also offers a strong anti-bullying message, according to director Thomas Jacobsen.

‘Purple’ the color of hope in The Rep’s season opener

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 September 2014 09:15

Bethany Thomas. — Photo: Courtesy Milwaukee Rep

The Color Purple has made waves from day one. Alice Walker’s 1982 novel takes an unflinching look at the hardships faced by women of color in the rural South of the early 20th century. Praised for its honesty and criticized for its brutality, Walker’s novel won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for fiction in 1983, yet is number 17 on the American Library Association’s list of 100 most frequently challenged books.