The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots" has earned a leading 13 Tony Award nominations, with the British import "Matilda: The Musical" close behind with 12. Tom Hanks, making his Broadway debut, earned a nod as leading man in a play.
"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser.
Known for his folksy solo shows, many of them about life in Wisconsin, John McGivern is beloved for his ability to make audiences laugh and cry – sometimes simultaneously. A veteran character actor who’s worked in multiple media, McGivern will be seen next in the role of Stage Manager in UW-Whitewater Theatre/Dance Department’s production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” The production, which coincides with the classic play’s 75th anniversary, is also part of Southeastern Wisconsin’s fifth Big Read project. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the Big Read encourages communities to read and discuss great books and writers.
The creation of art is often inspired by myths or historical events. “Judgment of Midas,” loosely based on characters from Ovid’s epic poem “Metamorphoses,” falls squarely into that genre. Composed by Kamran Ince with a libretto by Miriam Seidel, the work is scheduled for performance April 12-13 by the Milwaukee-based contemporary music ensemble Present Music.
Life lived out of balance is difficult at best, but a life lacking purpose is destined to end quickly.
That’s the sort of existential message at the heart of “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” says Dale Gutzman, whose Off the Wall Theatre is mounting a production of the John Kander/Fred Ebb musical this month. The plot follows the unlikely love that blossoms between two men sharing the horrors of an Argentine prison.
Given her legendary reputation for extravagance, Imelda Marcos seems a fitting subject for David Byrne’s splashy new disco musical “Here Lies Love,” a bright, novel production with a bold disregard for modesty and convention.
The price of admission will get you in the door, but you won’t get a seat in the standing-only, dancing-encouraged audience. Public Theater’s LuEsther Hall venue in New York, where the show opened on April 23, has been transformed into a beaming night club with strobe lights, flat-screen displays, wall-to-wall digital projections, artificial smoke and a DJ perched high above the dance floor.
Improvisational performers know when to get out of their own way and let their characters respond to situations suggested by an audience.
Douglas Carter Beane’s play “The Nance” opens with Nathan Lane hungrily looking around an automat. It is 1937 in New York and he’s not there for the food.
Lane, who portrays a lonely burlesque performer in the play, is there on his off-hours to try to pick up a man – any man, really. It’s an assignation that city officials frown upon in these closeted times and so everyone has to be careful or they’ll end up in jail.
Dixie Longate has two credos by which she lives: Never break character and never question the sanctity of re-sealable plastic food containers.
Prince Poppycock, aka John Quale, made one of the more enduring impressions on audiences and judges when he appeared as a contestant on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010. Attired in elaborate costuming as a baroque dandy – right down to the powdered wig and lacy sleeves – the prince was proclaimed “the male Lady Gaga” by judge Sharon Osbourne.
Singer/songwriter Sam Cooke was shot to death in a cheap motel in South Central Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 1964. No identification was found on his body, and it took police three days to identify him.