On Stage

‘Fugitive Songs’ cathartic for Karen Olivo

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 July 2015 11:29

The song cycle Fugitive Songs features eight characters at a crossroads in their lives.
— Photo: University Theatre

Experienced actors know creating a character is a discovery process. For some actors, understanding and ultimately embodying those characters can be cathartic.

Misty Copeland named first black female principal at ABT

Written by JOCELYN NOVECK,
AP National Writer
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 12:55

Misty Copeland, the Missouri-born dancer who has become a forceful voice for diversity in ballet, was named a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre on June 30 — the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the company’s 75-year history.

The company announced the promotion six days after Copeland made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” one of the most important roles in a ballerina’s repertoire. The emotional performance ended with Copeland being greeted onstage by trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations.

All In Productions hopes to inspire inclusive theater

Written by Maddy Hughes,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 06 June 2015 12:56

All In Productions is the newest theater company in Milwaukee, and they’ve already made a splash in their first season with productions of The Last Five Years and The Shape of Things. In their next production, Little Shop of Horrors, founders Mara McGhee, Robby McGhee and Alex Scheurell again will find an opportunity to pursue the company mission their name suggests: to produce plays with inclusiveness, respect and kindness. 

Jason Alexander prepares to sing ‘the music of Larry David’

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP Drama Writer
Thursday, 04 June 2015 09:18

When Larry David was showing his old “Seinfeld” pal Jason Alexander the quirks of his Broadway dressing room, the discussion naturally went to the toilet.

“You know what he said? ‘It’s a two or three flusher,’” said Alexander. “He said, ‘Don’t assume.’ I said, ‘Really? OK, I won’t assume.’”

Phylicia Rashad encourages Ten Chimneys’ actors to soar

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 16 July 2015 11:22

Phylicia Rashad is the latest master teacher to work at Ten Chimneys, where she’ll train 10 regional theater artists.—
Photo: Ten Chimneys

When Phylicia Rashad was filming her first scenes as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show in 1984, she had no idea she was a few years away from Emmy nominations for the role. A decade away from an NAACP Image Award for her follow-up role as Ruth Lucas in Cosby. Twenty years from her first Tony Award for playing Lena Younger in the 2004 revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

‘Fairy Queen Fantasy’ enchants via song and dance

Written by Maddy Hughes,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:20

Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Danceworks Performance Company know the magical possibilities that come from artistic collaboration. They will prove it in their upcoming show: Fairy Queen Fantasy, a romp through Milwaukee’s Lynden Sculpture Garden built around 17th century composer Henry Purcell’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

Summer theater blossoms on Door County stages

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Friday, 05 June 2015 08:58

Door County is known as a summer destination, a place to get away and embrace tranquility. But for theater lovers — and other vacationers looking to try something new — driving up to the northeastern woods doesn’t mean you’re cutting yourself off from a world of dramatic culture.

Kenosha native Tom Goss makes his first appearance at PrideFest

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
contributing writer
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 11:47

Tom Goss is the kind of artist who likes to keep his fans guessing, shifting genres from acoustic pop to more club-ready jams as the mood takes him. The Kenosha native will visit his home state's Pride festival for the first time this year, on June 5.

World’s Stage brings ‘Bent’ back to Milwaukee

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 05 July 2015 09:32

The World’s Stage Theatre Company is one of Milwaukee’s younger theater companies, both in its own age and in the relative youth of its artistic and creative team members. Its latest show is the opposite: an old play both in terms of when it was premiered (1979) and the time period it depicts (1930s Nazi Germany).

American Players’ Jim DeVita reconquers ‘An Iliad’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:16

What is a teacher if not a storyteller? And what is an actor if not the embodiment of that story? 

American Players grows, with new leadership and broader artistic goals

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 June 2015 11:23

American Players Theatre, known for its outdoor theater Up the Hill is under new management in 2015.
— PHOTO: Courtesy

The stage has been set in Spring Green for another bravura season from American Players Theatre. Now in its 36th year, APT long ago took Shakespeare out into the sticks and proved that if you produce it — and do so exceptionally well — they will come. 

Crystal Bowersox debuts songs from new album at PrideFest

Written by Bill Lamb,
contributing writer
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 11:32

For Crystal Bowersox, being a touring musician striving for artistry and perfection is not an option. The American Idol contestant and PrideFest performer says, "Being a musician I don’t feel is something people choose, it chooses them.”