On Stage

StageQ’s ‘Standards of Care’ spotlights transgender issues

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 09:42

Transgender issues take center stage at Madison’s StageQ this month. The company opens its 2014–15 season with Standards of Care, a play about a therapist specializing in transgender issues whose professional and private lives collide.

New management approach will keep Bartell Theatre’s drama on center stage, not backstage

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:34

Bartell Theatre. — PHOTO: Jay Rath

The Bartell Community Theatre is not only changing management, it’s changing its entire approach to management.

Milwaukee Chamber's 'Master Class' easily earns a 'brava'

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Saturday, 09 August 2014 11:16

Master Class, featuring Angela Iannone (L) and Alicia Berneche, is a powerful exploration of sacrifice for art.

Before you commit to reading this review of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s season-opening production of Master Class, a disclaimer: There may not be enough superlatives in my vocabulary to properly explain why Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s season-opening production of Master Class can't be missed.

New 'Phantom' more than just shiny new tech

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Saturday, 26 July 2014 12:15

Cooper Grodin and Julia Udine. -PHOTO: Matthew Murphy

Much of the marketing for the new tour of The Phantom of the Opera has heavily promoted its technologically advanced staging. But to justify the ticket price, Phantom needs more than a new way of breaking the chandelier. It needs a cast with the vocal power and acting chops to live up to the gorgeous world they’re performing in. And boy, do they have that. The show, which arrived in Milwaukee this week for a 12-night engagement ending Aug. 3, is at once both opulent and gritty, with sets sliding in and out o seamlessly that you hardly notice. Increased pyrotechnics and lighting trickery add an extra level of danger.

Single prop unpacks the program of ‘Suitcase Dreams’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 09:36

Theatre LILA’s production of The Suitcase Dreams runs Sept. 18–28.

Artists are often at their best when challenged by the limitations of a single idea, entity or concept. Such may prove to be the case with The Suitcase Dreams, a new and unusual collaborative performance work by Madison-based Theatre LILA.

Bay View's Artbeat in the Heat celebrates five years of art and music

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Monday, 18 August 2014 12:53

Artbeat in the Heat is centered around Hide House.

Bay View residents and visitors don’t have to wait until September’s Bay View Bash for a colorful street festival. The artists at Milwaukee Artbeat, a Bay View collective, present the fifth annual Artbeat in the Heat this weekend.

Robin Hood, through the eyes of Marian’s ‘Lady in Waiting’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 21:13

Liz Shipe (seen here as Maid Marian) wrote A Lady in Waiting. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Whether portrayed by a swashbuckling Errol Flynn or a conflicted Kevin Costner, Robin Hood has always been interpreted more as myth than man. Theater RED, a relatively new Milwaukee theater company, reverses the equation. In its latest world premiere, A Lady in Waiting, the troupe adopts a female point of view that presents the legendary male outlaw on a human scale.

‘Master Class’ is a master work about the ultimate opera legend

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 25 July 2014 05:42

The role of Calla is played by Angela Iannone. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Terrence McNally’s Master Class imagines a lesson that three fictitious students might have received from 20th-century operatic legend Maria Callas at New York’s The Juilliard School in the 1970s. Although the play has some basis in fact, it uses the characters and the teaching concept to present lessons that McNally wants his audiences to learn.

On Broadway: Season features Sting, Mirren, Jackman and Peter Pan

Written by Mark Kennedy,
AP drama writer
Friday, 29 August 2014 06:20

The coming Broadway season has something for everyone - a musical by Sting, a magician-filled SUV, the incomparable Hugh Jackman, the equally regal Helen Mirren, a musical set in a funeral parlor and not one, but two Gyllenhaals. Here's a look at some highlights of the 2014-15 season:


APT’s “The Seagull” soars above a stormy sea of characters

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Monday, 11 August 2014 05:01

Colleen Madden and Robert Spencer in APT's production of The Seagull.

Nineteenth-century Russian playwright Anton Chekov explored some of the deepest themes of the human condition through characters trapped in scenarios that he considered comedies — at least in an Aristotelian sense. But the narratives often concluded with decidedly less-than-funny results.

Milwaukee Comedy Festival returns, bigger than ever

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Friday, 01 August 2014 11:07

Festival mascot Jimbo, allegedly not an alter ego for founder Matt Kemple.

What’s the funniest event in Milwaukee? Most comedy aficionados would say that’s an easy question to answer: the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, running Wednesday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 10, at Next Act Theatre.

New ‘Phantom’ amps up the beloved musical

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 24 July 2014 13:51

Cooper Grodin and Julia Udine in the new touring production of Phantom of the Opera. — Photo: Matthew Murphy

In this production, the Paris opera house is more realistic and less dramatically lit. The phantom is more man than myth — and with a personality that lies somewhere on the autism spectrum. At the end of Act 1, the chandelier does more than just jingle and sway.