On Stage

‘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.

Milwaukee, Madison companies embrace Cinderella’s feminine journey this season

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 September 2014 08:49

The Madison Ballet is restaging its version of Cinderella in 2015. — Photo: Andrew Weeks

Filmmaker Walt Disney was fond of rewriting literary history, making it more palatable for a post-World War II, white-bread America. The 1950 animated film version of Cinderella may have been his most questionable revision.

Boulevard’s first itinerant production is concert reading of ‘Pal Joey’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 09:53

Souvenir program from Pal Joey’s 1952 Broadway revival. — Photo: bayles-yeager

‘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.

Live at the Hollywood Bowl: The Simpsons celebrate 25 years

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 15 September 2014 11:18

Doh! did you miss it? Bart and Lisa Simpson, Chief Wiggum and son Ralph, bartender Moe and Apu from Kwik-E-Mart came to the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate 25 years of "The Simpsons."

Those characters are performed by three actors — Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria — who hosted the world premiere of "The Simpsons Take the Bowl"at the legendary concert venue on Sept. 12. The program featured music, stars and reminiscences from TV's longest-running scripted show.

StageQ’s ‘Standards of Care’ spotlights transgender issues

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 09:42

Transgender issues take center stage at Madison’s StageQ this month. The company opens its 2014–15 season with Standards of Care, a play about a therapist specializing in transgender issues whose professional and private lives collide.

'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.

In Skylight’s ‘Cinderella,’ couture makes the character

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 September 2014 08:53

Sketches of costumes for the stepsisters. — Photo: Courtesy Skylight

Fashion takes center stage in Skylight Music Theatre’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella).

‘Doyle & Debbie Show’ an affectionate country music burlesque

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 10:05

JC Clementz. — PHOTO: Courtesy Milwaukee Rep

There’s only one musical with the audacity to make a honky-tonk pun out of a German artistic movement, and the “‘strum’ and drang” musical in question is on its way to the Stackner Cabaret.

Single prop unpacks the program of ‘Suitcase Dreams’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 09:36

Theatre LILA’s production of The Suitcase Dreams runs Sept. 18–28.

Artists are often at their best when challenged by the limitations of a single idea, entity or concept. Such may prove to be the case with The Suitcase Dreams, a new and unusual collaborative performance work by Madison-based Theatre LILA.