On Stage

Skylight’s 'Snow Dragon' succeeds at illuminating uncomfortable subject

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:38

Based on The Fallen Country, a 1986 young adult novel, The Snow Dragon takes on the difficult subject of family abuse. The world premiere opera, currently playing at Skylight Music Theatre, is set partially in an abused boy’s fantasy world and partly in his grim reality.

Skylight’s ‘Snow Dragon’ takes its first flight

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 12 March 2015 18:13

The Snow Dragon.

Skylight Music Theatre will take a bold step this month, staging its first world premiere opera since artistic director Viswa Subbaraman took over the company in 2013. The Snow Dragon, by Thai-American composer Somtow Sucharitkul, is a fantasy epic about a boy who can travel between his world and a realm of eternal cold — and also a real-world drama illuminating the sensitive issue of domestic abuse.

Danceworks' 'Breathe' remembers Ed Burgess while looking to the future

Written by Julie Steinbach,
contributing writer
Monday, 09 March 2015 18:04

Danceworks’ latest show Breathe reflected on the life and legacy of the great dancer/choreographer Ed Burgess, an undeniable force in the Milwaukee community who has been sorely missed after his unexpected passing in 2011.

Skylight's 2015-16 season to focus on women

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 09:06

After a fairy tale season filled to the brim with strong female characters, Skylight Music Theatre will make women the centerpiece of its 2015-16 season.

Milwaukee Rep's 'Five Presidents' successfully campaigns for the votes of politics lovers

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Sunday, 15 March 2015 15:06
Photo by Tim Fuller.

Five Presidents is an exemplary — perhaps even near-perfect — play for its intended audience, even if there are no surprises in the wings that make it a strong American play in its own right.

MOT’s Mikado marches to the beat of its own drum

Written by Julie Steinbach,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:17

In its history as a company, Milwaukee Opera Theatre has gained a reputation for high-energy, imaginative productions. Their latest undertaking may be one of the most traditional in the opera canon — Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado — but when MOT stages the classic, it comes with a twist: a complete reinterpretation of the score and story that sets it in a “percussion playground” where rhythm rules.

MCT's 'The Train Driver' offers a bleak, complex look at post-apartheid South Africa

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Sunday, 01 March 2015 13:21

Athol Fugard's play about a railway conductor haunted by a woman who killed herself with his train receives an exemplary Midwest premiere at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

Back to the fold
‘Elmer Gantry’ returns to the Florentine

Written by Kirstin Roble,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:13

The recording of the Florentine’s original production of Elmer Gantry in 2010 won two Grammy awards.{break}— PHOTO: Rick Brodzeller

In March 2010, the Florentine Opera took a risk on a new work. The opera, Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein’s Elmer Gantry, which had received its world premiere performance three years prior, took the stage that month to high acclaim from Milwaukee audiences.

The Rep goes behind closed White House doors

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Friday, 13 March 2015 13:09

The five presidents alive at the time of Richard Nixon’s funeral swap stories and grievances in Rick Cleveland’s world premiere play.
— Photo: Tim Fuller

It’s rare when every living U.S. president gets together in a room. In the nation’s history, it’s only happened a handful of times, when either political obligation or tragedy summons the country’s current and former commanders in chief to the same physical location. 

Alchemist goes punk with NY Stories Trilogy

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:03

Izzy (April Paul, left), Eddie (David Sapiro) and Rose (Shannon Nettesheim) in the New York Stories Trilogy.”
— Photo: Aaron Kopec

The Alchemist Theatre has always had a sort of devil-may-care attitude, with co-owner Aaron Kopec writing or commissioning whatever strikes his fancy — whether horror story, classic Shakespeare or zany comedy.

'Come Back' balances the tragedy of death with the comedy of life

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:30
In 'Come Back,' Sky (Sara Zientek, left) finds herself on a journey to scatter her best friend Erin's ashes, aided by friend Mel (T. Stacy Hicks, rear) and hampered by Erin's estranged mother Val (Carrie Hitchcock). Photo by Ross Zentner.

To write a play that looks grief in the face and laughs at it is a greater challenge than writing a drippy melodrama will ever be. Come Back nails it.

Something is drunk in the state of Denmark

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:59

Milwaukee actor and assistant director Grace DeWolff has a favorite drunk story about actor John Barrymore. It goes something like this: