On Stage

Milwaukee theaters find new ways to fill seats

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Friday, 20 September 2013 10:10

Milwaukee is blessed with a wide array of theater venues and companies to suit almost everyone’s taste. But whether a theater company focuses on splashy, big-budget musicals or intimate dramas, every troupe has the same bottom-line interest: to stay in the black.

In order to achieve this goal, theater companies – like all performing arts groups – are getting more creative in designing ticket deals and special programs to attract new and/or young audiences. Their marketing efforts often require as much creative thinking as do their productions.

Margaret Cho brings ‘Mother’ to Milwaukee

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 14:38

Margaret Cho in the Web series “In Transition.” -Photo: Courtesy

On stage
A glimpse behind this season's theater curtain

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 13:39

September marks the official beginning of Wisconsin’s theater season. Following are nutshell previews of three provocative opening productions by southeastern Wisconsin theater companies, along with each company’s season schedule.

New Skylight artistic director traveled unusual career path

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 14:15

Viswa Subbaraman always knew that music would be a part of his life, but he wasn’t always aware that it would become his career.

The new artistic director of Milwaukee’s Skylight Music Theatre originally planned to become a physician, like his father and grandfather. Subbaraman was a sophomore at Duke University enrolled in pre-med studies when a trip to Vienna with the Duke Wind Ensemble dramatically altered his life’s course.

StageQ presents a gender-bending 'Much Ado'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 20 September 2013 09:51

StageQ, Madison’s LGBT theater troupe, will undertake Shakespeare for the first time this month with a “gender-queer” production of the Bard’s comedy “Much Ado About Nothing.” The production, which opens the group’s 2013–14 season, will put less emphasis on the comedy and more on the romance of the story, according to new artistic director Audrey Lauren Wax.

Wax says StageQ’s contemporary retelling of the story will be nothing like Shakespeare fans have ever seen. 

Rep welcomes new managing director

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 14:34

Chad Bauman. - Photo: Jenny Kostreva

After he applied for the position of Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s managing director, Chad Bauman proceeded to check out the company’s reputation in the national theater community. His caution was understandable.

Milwaukee LGBT Center, Boulevard Theatre’s Mark Bucher team up to produce a tear ‘Jerker’ of a play

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 11:43

Marty McNamee and Bill Jackson rehearse for the concert reading of “Jerker.” -Photo: Troy Freund

Two gay men begin a phone-sex relationship against the terrifying backdrop of the emerging AIDS epidemic. Although their physical contact is limited to sound waves, the couple’s erotic talk sessions lead to a deeper connection. 

Beethoven goes Bollywood

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:30

This scene “The Merchants of Bollywood” reflects Indian musical cinema.

Take Ludwig van Beethoven’s classic opera about love, freedom and a political prisoner wrongly convicted. Dress it up in colorful, spangled costumes from the Indian cinema’s golden age. Then present the composer’s magnificent melodies with a primarily dancing cast that fills a highly stylized stage with robust athleticism. Finally, add a dash of the latest in interactive technology for good measure.

'Prison Break' star Wentworth Miller attempted suicide as gay teen

Written by WiG Tuesday, 10 September 2013 06:19

'Prison Break' star Wentworth Miller attempted suicide as gay teen

In a video obtained by TMZ, the 41-year-old actor says:

Milwaukee Rep fills the stage with ‘Ragtime’

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 06 September 2013 14:26

Jessie Hooker and Gavin Gregory in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of Ragtime -Photo: Michael Brosilow

The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre kicks off its fall season with its largest-ever production, the musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s American epic “Ragtime.” And Rep artistic director Mark Clements, who is directing the show, doesn’t mind telling you he’s both enthralled and exhausted by the process.

New Broadway season has something for everyone

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP writer
Thursday, 05 September 2013 07:03

There’s Denzel Washington and Billy Crystal, plenty of Shakespeare and a nice dash of Harold Pinter. There’s even a musical of the boxing classic “Rocky” and the much anticipated return of Neil Patrick Harris and “Les Mis.”

This upcoming season on Broadway seems to have something for everyone.

Dora Diamond raises money for Milwaukee Gay Arts Center

Written by Brandon Miller,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 22 August 2013 13:38

Dora Diamond. - PHOTO: Courtesy

When John Dormady first put on his mother’s dress at age 4, he felt curiously comfortable. He spun around in his room, music blaring, imagining himself as the singers he heard.