• Group shares lighter side of diversity

    Did you hear the one about the gay ventriloquist, the bisexual corporate trainer, the straight film student and the crusty comedienne? This joke has many punch lines, all to be revealed when the four team up as The HACK Comedy Tour to perform at Kenosha’s Club Icon on May 15. Their disparate brands of humor and ribald wit should make for an entertaining evening. The troupe’s emcee, Flash Gorsk.... Read More
  • Insight served up on colorful Fiestaware

    With the national debate about same-sex marriage raging throughout America, the current offering of the Renaissance Theaterworks, “American Fiesta,” is particularly timely. Steven, played by Milwaukee icon John McGivern, is a fiftysomething gay marketing mastermind who obsessively collects Fiestaware, the multi-colored Depression Era crockery. He and his partner Leon are planning a Canadian ma.... Read More
  • ‘Sweetest Swing’ sheds light on vulnerability

    “Everything’s white,” says C. Michael Wright, pointing to the set model for his new show “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball,” now playing at Milwaukee Chamber Theater. He goes on to explain the symbolism of the all-white art gallery and how it contrasts with the pastels of the mental institution, which plays a key role in the production. Wright is clearly proud of the design and the careful.... Read More
  • ‘The Value of Names’ examines the value of forgiveness

    During the 1940s and 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee ran its own “inquisition,” demanding the names of those who were allegedly communists. The Red Scare swept the country, ruining careers, destroying reputations, damaging lives in its wake. Names were changed to try to survive what President Harry S. Truman labeled in 1959 as “the most un-American thing in the country toda.... Read More
  • ‘Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak’ is a crowd-pleasing farce

    The scene: winter in a rustic summer lodge in the Wisconsin North Woods. The characters: a pulp fiction writer seeking the solitude necessary to write his next bestseller, gangsters, a gun moll, corrupt politicians, a crooked railroad magnet, an intrepid “girl reporter,” her lovesick mother and a misogynistic hermit. “Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak” is Rep artistic director Joseph Hanreddy.... Read More
  • Boulevard Theatre closes season with ‘It’s Your Mother!’

    Mark Bucher recalls the day during a rehearsal that a future playwright – and future friend – came calling to his storefront theater on South Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View. “She knocked on my door and was looking for some gigs,” Bucher says. “Patricia Durante is a gay-friendly actor who found it frustrating trying to find work as an actress and had some ideas for plays.” One of those.... Read More
  • Audiences get their kicks on ‘Route 66’

    Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first. “Route” is pronounced “root,” as in “Route 66,” according to writer and director Roger Bean. While many know – and have travelled – the American highway made famous in song and culture, Bean has used the fabled “Mother Road” as inspiration for a musical revue. Bean’s “Route 66,” currently playing at the Stackner Cabare.... Read More
  • ‘Elmer Gantry’ reveals the tension between religion and morality

    “When fascism comes to America,” novelist Sinclair Lewis is said to have proclaimed, “it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” Lewis’ bitingly satirical 1927 novel “Elmer Gantry” aptly illustrates the tension between religion and morality that has always plagued American life and politics. It is especially pervasive today, with the media filled with stories of the sexual s.... Read More
  • A life in the theater | For out actor Michael Rupert, ‘Legally Blonde’ is the latest stop in a career that spans half a century

    Michael Rupert would just like everyone to know that he really is a nice guy, at least offstage. The Tony Award-winning actor has played plenty of “bad guys and charming jerks” throughout his accomplished stage career. Now at 58, Rupert is in the national tour of “Legally Blonde” the musical, recreating his original Broadway role as the scheming, nasty Professor Callahan. “I kind of do t.... Read More
  • ‘Three Other Sisters’ combines music and legend with big ideas

    What’s in a name? Well, apparently quite a bit, literally and figuratively, especially a name that translates to mean “the theater of big ideas.” Theatre Gigante started out as a joke, according to founder and artistic director Isabelle Kralj. “We were sitting with some friends and one jokingly said, ‘You should have the biggest theatre company.’” Kralj’s associate director and hus.... Read More