On Stage

‘Guys on Ice’ warms up the heart in its return to the Stackner Cabaret

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 05 November 2015 10:43

Steve Koehler (left) and Doug Mancheski have been teaming up to play Lloyd and Marvin off and on since 2003. Mancheski is an original Guys on Ice cast member.
— PHOTO: Jay Westhauser

The concept of Guys on Ice is pretty simple. Two guys. Ice fishing. For one day. Add some music and the show is complete.

‘Silent Sky’ sheds light on forgotten female astronomers

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 23 October 2015 22:02

Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky kicks off a strong season for Madison’s only equity theater troupe, all performed at the Overture Center, 201 State St., Madison.
— PHOTO: Courtesy

Most people would recognize the name Hubble, as in the Hubble Space Telescope and its namesake, American astronomer Edwin Hubble. Fewer know of the debt he owes to Henrietta Leavitt, one of many female astronomers operating in relative obscurity at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 20th century.

On Broadway: Gloria and Emilio Estefan celebrate immigrants in musical

Written by MARK KENNEDY
AP Drama Writer
Thursday, 15 October 2015 11:57

With some U.S. presidential candidates on the campaign trail demonizing immigrants, a powerhouse husband-and-wife team, who both happen to be immigrants themselves, hope they can offer some balance — and some pop songs.

Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, are shepherding their musical biography “On Your Feet!” to Broadway this fall. It’s a show that celebrates two Cuban-Americans who embraced the American Dream and now own enough Grammy Awards to fill a swimming pool.

Politics flutter through Florentine’s ‘Madama Butterfly’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:25

For all its musical beauty and complexity, classical opera lives by some fairly simple rules: Love causes conflict and dramatic tension between characters. Beauty manifests in tragedy, usually the death of the lead soprano. And the hero is always a tenor, leaving the villain to rumble in his thunderous bass baritone.

New online site BroadwayHD offers to stream live theater

Written by MARK KENNEDY
AP Drama Writer
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 09:40

A new online streaming service launches this week that hopes to one day become the Netflix of Broadway, offering high-definition broadcasts of top theatrical events to computers and phones.

BroadwayHD currently has a modest list of plays and musicals ready to stream but hopes to eventually be the place where theater fans and educators turn for their live event fix.

‘Wicked’ lends its themes to anti-bullying campaign

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 October 2015 09:06

Alyssa Fox currently portrays Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked.
—Photo: Joan Marcus

Wicked’s reign as one of the most popular and lucrative stage shows in history continues 12 years on, with crowds eagerly packing theaters on Broadway and on tour.

Renaissance Theaterworks sings ‘The Ballad of Emmett Till’

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Friday, 09 October 2015 15:29

Renaissance Theaterworks is staging The Ballad of Emmett Till.

In August 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till didn’t do anything wrong. 

Alchemist's 'Rocky' commits to B-movie magic

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 09:56
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If your only concept of live Rocky Horror is dropping in on the Oriental for a midnight showing — or worse, if you’ve never done that either — you should only have one goal this October: Get to the Alchemist Theater's production of The Rocky Horror Show.

'Emmett Till' a tragic tale, told with skill by Renaissance Theaterworks

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Sunday, 25 October 2015 17:03
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The Ballad of Emmett Till, opening Renaissance Theaterworks’ 2015 season, does not shy away from telling the harsh story of how a black Chicago teen was murdered in 1955 Mississippi. But neither does it define Till’s life by his tragic, brutal death.

Florentine flies high with 'Madama Butterfly'

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 18 October 2015 11:08
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The Florentine Opera opened its 82nd season with beauty and elegance Friday night, with a production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly that will be long remembered among regulars and newcomers alike.

The Rep’s ‘Lion’ roars into Milwaukee

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:30

Benjamin Scheuer tells his life story through song in The Lionat the Milwaukee Rep.
— Photo: Matthew Murphy

Most people write their autobiographies in the final years of their lives. But what if a young man prematurely has gone through so many of life’s hurts and joys that he can write an interesting and full autobiography well before his 40th birthday?

Broadway’s new ‘Spring Awakening’ opens its arms to all

Written by MARK KENNEDY
AP Drama Writer
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 06:55

Little can contain the new, electrifying version of “Spring Awakening” now on Broadway.  

Actors use their faces, mouths and hands to communicate. Projections offer song lyrics and dialogue. Performers run through the theater aisles, even occupying a box seat. Musicians roam the stage with their instruments. At one point, incense fills the theater.