On Stage

‘Rocky Horror’ ends an Alchemist Theatre tradition

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 23:08

After years of terrifying audiences every Halloween, the Alchemist Theatre is wrapping up an annual Halloween series with The Rocky Horror Show, the source material for the cult film starring Tim Curry.
—Photo:Alchemist Theatre

For years, Aaron Kopec has been terrifying audiences with haunting Halloween shows at his theater, the Alchemist — tales of paranormal horror, devilish dealings and general terror. That all ends this year. Kopec’s declared this fall’s Halloween show will be the theater’s last, and they’re going out with a bang.

Off the Wall opens season with Molière’s ‘Tartuffe’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 11 September 2015 09:58

David Flores (left) and Randall T. Anderson star as Tartuffe and his target Orgon.
—Photo: Off the Wall Theatre

Vice that masquerades as virtue is the stuff of which comedies and revolutions are made — one usually funnier than the other.

American Players offers a searing ‘Othello’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:19

James Ridge (left) and Chiké Johnson star as Iago and Othello in a powerful production of the Shakespearean tragedy at American Players Theatre.
—Photo: Carissa Dixon

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so, William Shakespeare famously wrote in Hamlet. That same ethos is even better demonstrated in his later work Othello, where the Bard weaves a tale of evil intent, with all the expected consequences.

New company Stagecloud offers theater, Netflix style

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:39

The four plays of Hyperreality Show include Fairytale Ending, an after-happily-ever-after story.
—Photo: Ryan Blomquist

If you’re reading this, it isn’t too late to see theater company Stagecloud’s first production in Milwaukee, Hyperreality Show. It just looks like it is.

‘Dreamgirls’ continues the Rep’s commitment to diverse storytelling

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:55

Nova Y. Payton, playing Effie White, will lead the Rep’s production of Dreamgirls.
—Photo: Michael Brosilow

When the Milwaukee Rep opens its season with Dreamgirls on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage, the company will take another step toward fulfilling two continuing commitments made by artistic director Mark Clements. 

Fiery, passionate ‘Tosca’ to open Skylight’s season

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 September 2015 19:13

Mojo Dojo’s improv aims to build long-form community

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:15

More than anything else, Milwaukee’s improv scene has been dominated by ComedySportz, the now-national troupe that specializes in short-form improv — quick “games” where performers riff on audience suggestions in short bits before erasing everything and starting from scratch. 

But that approach to improv is not the only one. In many cities, short-form companies coexist with an alternative style: long-form improv. Neither is inherently better than the other, and many improvisers and comedians do both. But Milwaukee only having a training center and performance space for short-form has skewed popular opinion here as to what improv can be.

‘Guys & Dolls’ closes Four Seasons’ 10th year

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:31

The Four Seasons presents Guys and Dolls. — PHOTO: Courtesy/Facebook/FourSeasons

Musical theater becomes more prevalent in the arts scene in every passing year, with even the most steadfastly disinclined companies adopting musicals as a component to their repertoire. At the head of the trend in Madison is Four Seasons Theatre. For 10 years, the company has played a major role in building up the genre in the capital, and they’ll wrap up a decade with one of the most iconic musicals of all: Guys and Dolls.

A decade after ‘Wicked,’ Kristin Chenoweth remains ‘popular’ — and at the top of her craft

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:13

Whoever said good things come in small packages must have been thinking of Kristin Chenoweth. At 4 feet 11 inches, the singer/actress best known for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in the original production of Wicked has a height inversely proportional to her towering talent on the stage.

Comedian Jen Kirkman is feeling fine. Promise.

Written by Colton Dunham,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:29

Jen Kirkman. — PHOTO: Courtesy

In the opening of her Netflix special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), comedian, author and podcaster Jen Kirkman tells a story about overhearing someone ordering a drink and slowly realizing that person cannot tell the difference between a lemon and a lime. It’s like she’s a dear friend venting her frustrations with the world already, and it’s only been a few minutes. 

'Seeds of Banquo' is no dry history text

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Friday, 14 August 2015 09:39

Theater history lovers: Set your sights on St. Francis. There lies The Seeds of Banquo, a fascinating examination of both acclaimed 19th-century actor Edwin Booth and Shakespeare’s Macbeth that doesn’t bear the curse of its Scottish play origins.

Matt Kemple’s 10 reasons to see the 10th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 30 July 2015 09:42

Brian Posehn, known for playing Brian Spukowski on The Sarah Silverman Show, will close the Milwaukee Comedy Festival on Aug. 9th.
—PHOTO: David S. Shields

Ten years ago, no one would have thought of Milwaukee as a comedy hub. One of the reasons that’s slowly changing is the Milwaukee Comedy Festival.