On Stage

Michelle Visage does drag, Yiddish and motherhood

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:47

Michelle Visage

Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know Michelle Visage as the mama hen at the judges’ table. She dispenses wisdom like a buxom, dolled-up Pez dispenser — and you’d better listen, because this woman knows what she’s talking about. Her career began as one-third of the 1980s girl group Seduction (“Two to Make It Right”), which became her entré into world of drag balls and club culture. A dear friend of RuPaul, Visage took her rightful place at the Drag Race judge’s table during the program’s third season.

Ava Pine's Cleopatra made the slog through Florentine's 'Julius Caesar' worth the effort

Written by Tom Strini,
Special to WiG
Saturday, 05 April 2014 10:34
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Ava Pine as Cleopatra. Photo: Kathy Wittman Ball Square Films for the Florentine Opera

Whenever Ava Pine, as Cleopatra, sang on March 28, we heard and saw the glory of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. Otherwise, not so much.

Fierce humor colors Next Act’s ‘Three Views of the Same Object’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 04 April 2014 16:40

Real life does not offer any “do-overs” — the chance to see how things would have turned out if key decisions had been made differently. But in art, all things are possible. The characters in Next Act Theatre’s Milwaukee premiere of Three Views of the Same Object live out three different versions of the same life-and-death scenario.

The play, which was to open April 3, concerns the end-of-life decisions made by Poppy and Jesse, two aging academics who have had quite enough of worldly challenges and not enough of each other. In their younger days, they’d agreed that if one died first, the other would willingly follow. But now the time is drawing near, and each is having doubts.

Off the Wall's 'Romeo & Juliet' has ageless charm

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 28 March 2014 16:12

Marilyn White and Dale Gutzman as Juliet and Romeo, respectively

Here’s the inevitable challenge with Romeo and Juliet: finding actors who are talented enough to bring gravitas to the roles of the doomed lovers and yet young enough to convincingly portray them.

Local composer creates original work for Skylight

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:09

Daron Hagen

Three theatrical friends past their prime reunite to audition for the revival of I Hear America Singing, a Broadway musical that blends traditional ballads with new melodies featuring lyrics from the poetry of William Blake, A.E. Houseman, Gertrude Stein and others. The friends share stories, relive memories and experience epiphanies that composer Daron Hagen, a New Berlin native, describes as “a revolution of the heart.”

Dan Kazemi hits all the right notes in directorial debut with The Milwaukee Rep’s ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 05 April 2014 10:08
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Christopher James Culberson and Kenney M. Green (foreground) and  Erin Willis and Britney Coleman in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Stacker Cabaret production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. -Photo: Michael Brosilow

As the last show of its Stackner Cabaret season, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre is staging Ain’t Misbehavin’, a musical revue that celebrates the work of Harlem Renaissance icon Fats Waller.

‘Invulnerability’ dramatizes Superman’s Jewish roots

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 04 April 2014 10:45

The History of Invulnerability, the final play of the Milwaukee Rep’s Quadracci Powerhouse season, could be seen simply as a memory play about Jerry Siegel, the man who created Superman, and his life before and after he sold the rights to his creation, then fought to win them back.

Madison Opera enters new territory with 'Dead Man Walking'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 22 March 2014 06:40

Dead Man Walking is quite unlike anything Madison Opera has done, and yet no narrative better addresses the violence, remorse and redemption that are so familiar in grand opera.

'Skin Tight’ shows love’s profundity

Written by Tom Strini,
Special to Wig
Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:01

What is love? You really want to know? Go see Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight at Renaissance Theaterworks.

Milwaukee Comedy’s growth proves Brew City has great sense of humor

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 05 April 2014 09:57

When Matt Kemple started Milwaukee Comedy back in 2006, the goal was simple: to put together an annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival in August.

‘Les Miserables’ returns to Broadway

Written by The AP Monday, 31 March 2014 12:22

title

The barricades have once again gone up on Broadway. Are they worth dropping everything and joining this time?

‘Dead Man Walking‘ inspires calendar of events

Written by By Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 10:56

Sr. Helen Prejean

Some 20 events are planned to explore the themes raised by Madison Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking on April 25 and April 27. There will be panel discussions on criminal justice and art exhibits as social commentary, along with film showings and opera previews at area libraries.