For its final show of the season, Into the Woods, Skylight has assembled a cast of mostly local actors and designers with practically no weak links. They serve as a guide into one of musical theater’s most enchanting plays, never letting the cynical realism the fractured fairy tale is known for overwhelm the warmth and emotion at its core.
Get out your hankies — a stage musical of "Beaches" is coming.
The show, based on Iris Rainer Dart's 1985 novel about two best girlfriends, will begin previews in June at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. It made its world premiere last year at Virginia's Signature Theatre.
Neither Marti Gobel nor Dennis Johnson knew when they planned out their season that Tennessee Williams’ "Suddenly Last Summer" would be the final show Uprooted would produce. But there’s a certain serendipity to the choice. The play creates an accidental bookend to a Tennessee trilogy: Uprooted’s first production after debuting with "Beauty’s Daughter" was "A Streetcar Named Desire," and they also held a staged reading of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in October 2012, about halfway through their six-year tenure.
But Johnson says "Suddenly Last Summer" goes back to Uprooted’s beginnings. “Other than 'Beauty’s Daughter,' it’s literally the first show that I pushed for and suggested. So, as far as that’s concerned it’s coming full circle,” Johnson says. He will direct the production, running May 14 to 24 at Next Act Theatre.
Local drag queen Trixie Mattel recently achieved A-list status when she was invited to join Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race, and quickly became a fan-favorite for her often-polarizing brand of drag. Out of drag, Trixie is Milwaukee native Brian Firkus, a former makeup artist and UWM student who's excited to see how far Trixie can truly go.
Madison’s Broom Street Theater is celebrating the end of its 45th season with an original musical by two veteran Madison artists taking their first few steps into theater.
It didn’t take long for Jeff Whiting’s mother to realize sports were not his thing. In fact Whiting, a New York theater director and choreographer currently directing First Stage Children’s Theater’s production of "Big Fish," credits his mother for launching his career.
“My mom recalls watching me on the soccer field like my brothers, but unlike my brothers I was bored out of my mind,” says Whiting, who grew up in Salt Lake City. “Luckily, my intuitive mother said, ‘There must be something else out there for Jeff.’”
Uprooted Theatre was born out of a simple realization: Over decades, Milwaukee had inadvertently developed a longstanding, unofficial tradition of actors, directors and designers of color training in the city only to leave and make their careers elsewhere. The company’s four founding artists — Marti Gobel, Dennis Johnson, Travis Knight and Tiffany Yvonne Cox — made it their job not just to break that tradition themselves, but make it easier for other artists of color to do the same.
For an entire season, Skylight Music Theatre has been building a strong foundation of fairy tales, where Cinderellas and Dorothys can set out on an adventure with pure hearts and return having unequivocally vanquished the evil in their midst.
Think of the last dream you remember. Try to move your body the way it moved then, fluid and faster than your mind. Imagine the landscapes too strange to be real. Take stock of the images and motifs that mean nothing to any soul but you.
Peter and the Starcatcher is an adventurous, outlandish and occasionally revisionist tale of Peter Pan that just happens to take place before he’s properly Peter Pan. True, sometimes the Milwaukee Rep’s storytellers get excited and rush ahead of themselves, and the tomfoolery can get a bit out of hand too. But that’s just how kids are — and as tales of Peter Pan have always taught us, there’s a magic in childhood that should be cherished, not squashed.