On Stage

Off the Wall Theatre takes on homoerotic aspects of the classic thriller ‘Rope’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 July 2014 11:54

The strangulation that begins Off the Wall Theatre’s production of Rope. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Gay-themed erotic thrillers are rare enough in 2014, so audiences in 1929 must have been shocked at the premiere run of Patrick Hamilton’s play Rope, about two college-age male lovers who murder a fellow student in an attempt to commit the perfect crime.

APT’s 'American Buffalo' takes the American Dream on an ugly spin

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 20 June 2014 16:29

Brian Mani and James ridge in American Players Theatre’s production of American Buffalo. The play runs through Nov. 8. Upcoming dates include June 22, 27, 29 and July 2,5,8 , 11 and 16. –Photo: Zane Williams

According to the tenets of the American Dream, people are free to pursue the lives they want. Unfortunately, their lives rarely go according to their plans.

Unrehearsed MKE brings musicians together for inspired improv

Written by Brandon Miller,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:22

On stagE Unrehearsed MKE happens every first Sunday of the month at the Jazz Estate starting at 7:30. The next program will be held on June 1. $2 cover.

Band members generally spend a great deal of time preparing for performances — warming up, reviewing play sets, polishing difficult stretches, honing introductions.

Neil Patrick Harris crushes it in new production of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Written by Mark Kennedy,
AP writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 11:41

Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig. -PHOTO: Courtesy

It’s obvious from the first moments of the new Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that star Neil Patrick Harris is doing something special. And it’s not just trying on a new role.

‘Magical Thinking’ is author Joan Didion’s study of grief

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:37

Sarah Day in APT’s production of The Year of Magical Thinking. The production continues in repertory at the Touchstone Theatre through Oct. 4. — Photo: APT

Anyone who has lost a spouse understands there is no bottom to the well of grief. At best, one can only hope to come to terms with the loss and manage the emotional wreckage.

Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ a show about coming to grips with life’s choices

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 30 May 2014 14:19

Two couples — former chorus girls and the successful men they married — and the crumbling ruin of a Broadway theater are the setting of a show called Weismann’s Follies. The couples are survivors of twin relationships turned sour. Victims of their own follies, they’re surrounded by the ghosts of their pasts and fighting for a way to save their emotional lives of the present.

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies opened in April 1971 in New York’s Winter Garden Theatre. The show, with a book by James Goldman and directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, ran for 522 performances and lost $792,000. It also earned 11 Tony Award nominations and won seven of them, prompting New York Times critic Frank Rich to wonder whether Follies was “a great musical or the greatest of all cult musicals.”

Theatre Gigante retells ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Written by By Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 15:12

Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson, of Theatre Gigante, have taken the Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream and turned it completely upside down to see what shakes out of it. Milwaukee audiences can see too, when the artistic duo’s new adaptation opens May 9.

Michael Pink’s original ballet ‘Mirror, Mirror’ probes the underlying themes of Snow White

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:26

A wicked stepmother, a poisoned apple, a demon-filled magic mirror and haute couture. What more could you ask for in the balletic retelling of a classic folk tale?

‘American Buffalo’ shows ugly side of American Dream

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:08

Brian Mani and James Ridge in American Players Theatre’s production of American Buffalo. — Photo: Zane Williams

According to the tenets of the American Dream, people are free to pursue the lives they want.

‘Hair’ is just as groovy and socially relevant as it was in ‘67

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:43

Skylight Music Theatre is staging Hair. -Photo: Mark Frohna

In 1967, the Broadway musical world was rocked like never before by Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Nothing like it had been tried before, and it spawned an entirely new direction in musical theater.

Operatic super power returns to Milwaukee Opera Theatre

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 12:06

There’s only one superhero-slash-opera singer out there, and her origin story is set in Milwaukee. 

Public radio host Ira Glass puts on his dancing shoes for Riverside Theater appearance

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:10

Ira Glass with dancers Monia Bill Barnes and Anna Bass during a recent show. –Photo: Courtesy

Public radio personality Ira Glass said he never thought a stage show combining radio and modern dance would work. Despite success to the contrary, he still questions the concept.