“The Chosen,” playing through March 25 at the In Tandem Theatre Company, is an ambitious project.
A story of the 1940s friendship of two Jewish boys – the Hassidic Danny Saunders and the modern Orthodox Reuven Malter – might seem worlds away from most Milwaukeeans, including Jewish ones. Unlikely friends, their friendship is so profound that it helps them understand the turbulent times: the Holocaust murder of 6 million Jews, the creation of the state of Israel, and post-war America.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," the first and best known of August Wilson's 10-play cycle about the African-American experience, opens the second half of the 2011-2012 season at UW-Madison's theater department. It also marks the University Theatre directorial debut of associate professor Patrick Sims, a native of Chicago's South Side with a strong affinity for Wilson.
Having set the standard for many of the juiciest roles the musical stage has to offer, Patti LuPone is frequently asked to name her favorite. She bristles at the question.
A bare stage and a talented actor are all that's required for Milwaukee's Renaissance Theatreworks to mount its production of "Neat," a one-woman show based on actor/playwright Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical memoir.
Local actor Marti Gobel said she draws deeply from personal – and painful – emotional experiences to create the 24 individual characters who fill the stage in this coming-of-age tale of love, remembrance and understanding.
Laura Gordon takes umbrage – albeit humorously – at the thought of the actors she directs in Milwaukee Repertory Theater productions simulating any aspect of their characters. This debate becomes even more, uh, penetrating when what we’re talking about are the actors’ orgasms that run throughout the Rep’s upcoming production of “In the Next Room or the vibrator play.”
In addition to being one of the most influential writers in history, Jane Austen was an accomplished pianist, albeit at an amateur level. She is said to have practiced her pianoforte every day, usually an hour before her household awoke for breakfast. She hoped no one would hear her then.
Two performers from the Peninsula Music Festival chamber music series are taking some of Austen's musical favorites to prime time this month. "The Music of Jane Austen," presented at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17, introduces Door County listeners to the music most beloved by the famous author. The presentation also features anecdotes about the more tuneful side of Austen's life.
Fans of the musical "RENT" are, by default, fans of its creator, the late Jonathan Larson. And fans of Larson would do well to treat themselves to Soulstice Theatre's production of "tick, tick … BOOM!," Larson's musical that preceded his better known Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning update of "La Boheme."
Kirk Massey plans to enter the New Year being very blue, but that's something for which he also is very thankful.
Playwright John Ciard wants to make one thing perfectly clear: "Daddy Long Legs," his musical adaptation of Jean Webster's 1912 young adult novel that opens March 9 at the Skylight Music Theatre, bears little resemblance to the 1955 Fred Astaire film of the same name.
Opinions differ, but actor Edmund Gwenn is generally attributed with the epithet, "Dying is easy; comedy is hard."
The most famous character in "A Thousand Words," a play by Madison author Gwendolyn Rice, never appears on stage. But his influence characterizes the often-uncomfortable collusion between art and commerce that forms the cornerstone of Rice's work, giving rise to the question of whether art is produced primarily for commercial consumption or for the benefit of its makers.
Shirley Jones, Julie Andrews and Barbara Cook defined the term "ingénue" for a generation of musical theatergoers. Wholesomely beautiful, they projected the sort of innocence that could win a man's heart – and the wit to make for an entertaining courtship. Most importantly, their glorious sopranos gave voice to the golden music of such masters of the musical stage as Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein.