On Stage

Madison Opera enters new territory with 'Dead Man Walking'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 22 March 2014 06:40

Dead Man Walking is quite unlike anything Madison Opera has done, and yet no narrative better addresses the violence, remorse and redemption that are so familiar in grand opera.

All-Handel weekend augments Florentine’s ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by WiG report Friday, 21 March 2014 09:55

Georg Friderick Handel

Between productions of Florentine Opera’s Julius Caesar, by Georg Frideric Handel, Ensemble Musical Offering presents an all-Handel weekend on March 28–30. The Hallmarks of Handel concert is designed to give fans of the timeless German composer the chance to enjoy some of his best-loved chamber music.

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Plucky vocalists bring innovative strings to Stoughton

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:53

Real Vocal String Quartet. -Photo: COURTESY

Violinist Irene Sazar has ambitious goals. Through her San Francisco-based performance group Real Vocal String Quartet, she aims to engage a new generation of listeners and broaden their musical horizons.

Uprooted’s ‘Sunset Limited’ takes audiences for an emotional ride

Written by By Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 08 March 2014 08:25

The Sunset Limited begins with a black ex-con saving a white academic from throwing himself in front of an oncoming train, only to learn that his heroic efforts are unappreciated. The play, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Cormac McCarthy, is the latest production at Uprooted Theatre, Milwaukee’s African-American troupe.

‘Dead Man Walking‘ inspires calendar of events

Written by By Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 10:56

Sr. Helen Prejean

Some 20 events are planned to explore the themes raised by Madison Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking on April 25 and April 27. There will be panel discussions on criminal justice and art exhibits as social commentary, along with film showings and opera previews at area libraries.

Florentine follows Baroque casting in ‘Julius Caesar’

Written by Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 09:39

Deanne Meek sings the title role in Florentine Opera’s production of 'Julius Caesar.' -Photo: Walter Kurtz

Opera buffs know that “high Baroque” opera is a different beast than the Puccini potboilers that attract casual operagoers. With its upcoming production of George Frideric Handel’s Julius Caesar, Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will recreate the 1724 production with painful accuracy. Almost.

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ recreates the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance

Written by Tom Strini,
Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:23

Erin Willis, Christopher James Culberson, Kenney M. Green, Britney Coleman, and Bethany Thomas. -PHOTO: Michael Brasilow

The vastly accomplished cast of the Milwaukee Rep’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ sings, dances and acts. Among the five of them, they play piano, drums, bass, banjo-uke, violin, saxophone, trumpet and tuba. On opening night, they moved from task to task and location to location with nonchalant joy.

Milwaukee Rep's 'An Iliad' recounts the horrors of war

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 07 March 2014 19:49

James DeVita in The Milwaukee Rep's 'An Iliad.' -PHOTO: Michael Brasilow

You probably remember reading The lliad, Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan War, in high school. Who could forget those 15 pages of Greek generals’ names?

‘Or,’ is Restoration comedy written for modern times

Written by By Michael Muckian Contributing writer Friday, 21 March 2014 10:38

Liz Duffy Addams

Seventeenth-century playwright Aphra Behn is not a household name, even among theatergoers.

Stage Q cooks up a zesty quiche of a play

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 13:10

Whether real men eat quiche might still be an open question, but apparently real women do. The women in 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche make an especially zesty meal of it in the upcoming production by Madison’s Stage Q.

‘Temperamentals’ dramatizes the founding of Mattachine Society, an early gay rights group

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 08 March 2014 08:36

Harry Hay in his early days of activism.

The Stonewall riots in 1969, when a police raid of the Stonewall Inn erupted into violence and motivated a generation of activists to unite, is generally considered the launch of the modern LGBT rights movement.

Westbrook’s new show skates into personal territory

Written by By Matthew Reddin,
Contributing writer
Friday, 07 March 2014 19:33

Timothy Westbrook

A fashion event that features origami, unicorns and figure skaters gliding across the Pfister Hotel ballroom sounds like a typical Timothy Westbrook event. The Project Runway alum and former Pfister artist-in-residence has made a name both for his commitment to sustainable practices, including his reuse of discarded materials, and also for his out-of-the-box fashion show ideas. For example, Paleontology of a Woman, his dinosaur-themed fashion show at the Milwaukee Public Museum last fall, featured elaborate triceratops headpieces and garments made of plastic bags.