On Stage

Cris Williamson’s music is a mystery to her

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Staff writer
Friday, 28 June 2013 19:18

Cris Williamson performs at the National Women's Music Festival in Middleton, which is held July 4 to 7.

Now in her fifth decade as a recording artist, singer/songwriter Cris Williamson was instrumental in the founding of the now-defunct Olivia Records, the influential, independent women-owned record label. Olivia released multiple recordings that have become iconic in the women’s music canon, including Williamson’s “The Changer and the Changed.” In the nearly 40 years since its release, Williamson has put out some 20 more discs, including her latest, the double-disc set “Pray Tell.”

Glimmers of Shakespeare’s later genius seldom flicker in ‘Two Gentlemen’

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:29

Travis A. Knight and Marcus Truschinski in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” -Photo: Zane Williams

Even William Shakespeare had to learn to walk before he could run. But from the least of his efforts there are still lessons to be learned.

'The Book of Mormon' is a distinctly modern musical

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 June 2013 15:58

The Chicago cast of

“The Book of Mormon” is one of the funniest and most profane shows to appear on a musical stage. Maybe that’s to be expected, considering it’s the brainchild of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of “South Park,” working together with “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez. 

Russell Brand to launch 'Messiah Complex' roadshow

Written by The AP Tuesday, 11 June 2013 11:33

Russell Brand has a "Messiah Complex," and he's taking it on the road.

The British comedian announced that he's launching a world comedy tour focusing on Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Jesus Christ. Brand says the show examines "the importance of heroes in this age of atheistic disposability."


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Reviewing the latest releases of some of Summerfest's best acts

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Friday, 28 June 2013 16:17
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Matt & Kim

Imagine Dragons

fun. 

7 p.m., June 27

Marcus Amphitheater

Latest version of “Wicked” is thoroughly bewitching entertainment

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 21 June 2013 13:18

“Wicked” has cast a spell over Broadway ever since it opened there a decade ago. And multiple sold-out national tours (with several stops in Wisconsin) have proven that audiences across America can’t get enough of this musical about what happened in Oz prior to Dorothy’s visit.

Andy Bell shares his Pride with Milwaukee

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Monday, 03 June 2013 13:59

Out and HIV-positive pop star Andy Bell has logged more than a quarter of a century as the charismatic vocalist of Erasure, one of electronic music’s most enduring and groundbreaking duos. Notorious for his dance moves as well as his penchant for eye-catching costumes – ranging from elaborate to skimpy – Bell has recently released a couple of solo discs and made a name on the DJ circuit.

Vicci Martinez performs at Summerfest

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:09

Out singer/songwriter Vicci Martinez spent years trying to make a go of it as an independent musician before achieving the recognition she deserves. Martinez found her groove on the 2011 season of NBC’s “The Voice,” where she was championed by musician and “Voice” judge Cee-Lo Green and won third place. The attention and acclaim she received not only increased the size of her following, but also earned Martinez a major-label record deal with Universal Republic.

Melissa Ferrick to perform at women's music festival in Middleton

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 June 2013 14:50

Melissa Ferrick, once known as the other Melissa – arriving, as she did, just a few years after Melissa Etheridge – has been out from the beginning of her career, unlike Etheridge. Ferrick made a name as a riveting live performer, famous for busting strings as she worked over her guitar. Initially a major-label artist in the early to mid-1990s, when the record execs thought it was profitable to have female singer/songwriters on their rosters, Ferrick later did time on an indie label, as well as her own.

Amanda Palmer brings musical theatrics to PrideFest

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Monday, 03 June 2013 13:50

Versatile, prolific performer Amanda Palmer made history by raising a ton of money through a Kickstarter campaign to finance her latest project – “Theater Is Evil by Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra.” Solo, leading the Grand Theft Orchestra or as one half of The Dresden Dolls or Evelyn Evelyn, Palmer is always riveting.