On Stage

‘Ghost Hunters’ will haunt Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 19:22

From Ghost Hunters. — PHOTO: Courtesy

When Steve Gonsalves first saw Ghostbusters, the 1984 Bill Murray comedy about four hapless souls who chase paranormal specters and save New York City from the powers of darkness and a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, his life’s course became clear.

Milwaukee critic picks city's Top Five productions of 2014

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing write
Saturday, 03 January 2015 21:13

Real-life couple Jonathan Wainwright and Laura Gray starred in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of “The Good Father.”

With a nod to New York theater critic Charles Isherwood, the older you get, the sooner it seems you are faced with the prospect of listing the best productions of the year.

Broadway for the holidays: Critic’s choices

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:15

Kinky Boots is on Broadway. — Photo: Sean Williams

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.

Shakespeare: In 120 minutes or less

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:15

Marcus Truschinski, Chase Stoeger, Chris Klopatek and Rick Pendzich
— Photo: Mark Frohna

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].

Soulstice Theatre stages a ladies’ ‘Macbeth’

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 15 January 2015 12:27

Starring in Soulstice Theatre's Macbeth.

Of all Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is among the most gendered, its characters struggling with the ways their society expects them to act like men or women.

National view: Top 10 theater of 2014

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP Drama Writer
Friday, 26 December 2014 12:13

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.

Hugh Jackman talks fish, blood and his new show

Written by MARK KENNEDY,
AP Drama Writer
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 19:24

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.

'Harvey's' charms appear slowly but surely

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:16

Harvey has all the ingredients of a great Milwaukee Rep holiday show. Which makes it all the more puzzling that it takes half the play for this production to go from good to great.

‘Anything Goes’ is a cruise to show-tune paradise

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 08 January 2015 15:27

Emma Stratton, center, in 'Anything Goes.' -PHOTO: Jeremy Daniel

Anything Goes is an emblematic musical, a chunky yarn in the fabric of American culture that has warmed audiences for 80 years. Nearly every song in the first act is a cherished part of the Great American Songbook. Whether you’re 30 or 70, you’ll find yourself singing along (in your head at least) and tapping your toes to Cole Porter’s clever lyrics and familiar tunes — including “I Get a Kick out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Easy to Love,” “Friendship,” “It’s De-lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” and of course, “Anything Goes.”

‘Guys on Ice’ is quintessential Wisconsin theater

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:20

Steve Koehler, left, Lee Becker and Doug Mancheski in 2011. — Photo: Len Villano

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.

Skylight’s ‘Oz’ is a perfect holiday show

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 12:29

Doug Clemons, Susan Wiedmeyer, Ryan Cappleman and Andrew Varela in Skylight Music Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz.” - Photo: Mark Frohna

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.

John Oliver says the joke’s the thing

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:03

John Oliver. — Photo: HBO

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.