This year’s best-in-theater list includes a musical with multiple murders, another with a cross-dressing German, one that’s set in a decadent Berlin nightclub, the revival of an America masterpiece and we celebrate someone who broke an important barrier. Our Top 10 list of the best in theater in 2014:
1. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”: The cult story about a transgender East German rock star seemed just to be waiting for its time to shine on Broadway and Neil Patrick Harris turned out to be a perfect fit for her high heels.
Before Hugh Jackman could appear in his current Broadway play, “The River,” he had to learn his lines, dig deep into his character and do something he’s never done before: gut a fish.
His character is a fisherman who in one scene pulls out a real 3-pound sea trout, cuts it open with a fearsome-looking knife, removes the internal organs, chops a fennel bulb, slips lemon slices into the skin and seasons the flesh before popping the dish in a fake oven.
Turning successful film and television programming into stage productions is the way the entertainment industry operates these days, and the classic holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t exempt from the trend. Fifty years after the original TV special first aired, a stage version of the beloved holiday tale is currently being produced at theaters across the United States, and a national touring production is crisscrossing North America.
If you’ve ever cheered the Green Bay Packers, sipped a cold one — or a cold six-pack — in subzero temperatures or worn a Styrofoam cheese wedge on your head, then Guys on Ice is the holiday show for you.
The yellow brick road at Skylight Music Theatre leads to a refreshing evening of holiday entertainment that provides all the cheerful sentimentality you need for the season without overdosing you on Santas, snowflakes and carols.
No one was more surprised than John Oliver at the world’s reaction to his takedown of the Miss America Pageant, specifically its claim of providing millions in academic scholarships for women. Women’s scholarship funds such as the Society of Women Engineers received a major bump in both donations and website visits thanks to Oliver’s satirical treatment of the pageant.
Karen Olivo’s next performance will be far from the glittering lights of Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her performance as Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. She’ll appear in the city she now calls home — Madison.
The lights of Broadway glow brighter during the holiday season. For proof, look no further than the third week in November: It was the highest-grossing and best-attended Thanksgiving week in Broadway history. Ticket buyers shelled out $34.1 million.
Alas, poor Shakespeare! You thought you knew him well … and then came a merry band of pranksters to ruffle your refined sensibilities. That’s what happens in the uproarious The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised].
It’s common for Milwaukee Rep actors to shuffle through various roles in the company’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but Jonathan Smoots has taken it to a new level.
Given that the legendary pianist Liberace was a Milwaukee native, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater had reason to believe local audiences would embrace its 2010 biographical cabaret performance starring local musician Jack Forbes Wilson as Mr. Showmanship himself. But Liberace! more than earned its explanation point.