On Stage

Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ a show about coming to grips with life’s choices

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 30 May 2014 14:19

Two couples — former chorus girls and the successful men they married — and the crumbling ruin of a Broadway theater are the setting of a show called Weismann’s Follies. The couples are survivors of twin relationships turned sour. Victims of their own follies, they’re surrounded by the ghosts of their pasts and fighting for a way to save their emotional lives of the present.

Stephen Sondheim’s Follies opened in April 1971 in New York’s Winter Garden Theatre. The show, with a book by James Goldman and directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, ran for 522 performances and lost $792,000. It also earned 11 Tony Award nominations and won seven of them, prompting New York Times critic Frank Rich to wonder whether Follies was “a great musical or the greatest of all cult musicals.”

Theatre Gigante retells ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Written by By Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 15:12

Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson, of Theatre Gigante, have taken the Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream and turned it completely upside down to see what shakes out of it. Milwaukee audiences can see too, when the artistic duo’s new adaptation opens May 9.

Michael Pink’s original ballet ‘Mirror, Mirror’ probes the underlying themes of Snow White

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:26

A wicked stepmother, a poisoned apple, a demon-filled magic mirror and haute couture. What more could you ask for in the balletic retelling of a classic folk tale?

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.”

‘Hair’ is just as groovy and socially relevant as it was in ‘67

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:43

Skylight Music Theatre is staging Hair. -Photo: Mark Frohna

In 1967, the Broadway musical world was rocked like never before by Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Nothing like it had been tried before, and it spawned an entirely new direction in musical theater.

Operatic super power returns to Milwaukee Opera Theatre

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 12:06

There’s only one superhero-slash-opera singer out there, and her origin story is set in Milwaukee. 

Public radio host Ira Glass puts on his dancing shoes for Riverside Theater appearance

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:10

Ira Glass with dancers Monia Bill Barnes and Anna Bass during a recent show. –Photo: Courtesy

Public radio personality Ira Glass said he never thought a stage show combining radio and modern dance would work. Despite success to the contrary, he still questions the concept.

'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.

Unrehearsed MKE brings musicians together for inspired improv

Written by Brandon Miller,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:22

On stagE Unrehearsed MKE happens every first Sunday of the month at the Jazz Estate starting at 7:30. The next program will be held on June 1. $2 cover.

Band members generally spend a great deal of time preparing for performances — warming up, reviewing play sets, polishing difficult stretches, honing introductions.

Neil Patrick Harris crushes it in new production of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Written by Mark Kennedy,
AP writer
Friday, 02 May 2014 11:41

Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig. -PHOTO: Courtesy

It’s obvious from the first moments of the new Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that star Neil Patrick Harris is doing something special. And it’s not just trying on a new role.

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
Screen_shot_2014-04-05_at_11.47.06_AM

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.