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