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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

‘Hair’ to Shine at Sunset Playhouse

Also: Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship’s concluding performance

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It’s been more than 40 years since Hair debuted Off Broadway, but the musical remains popular due to a steady stream of productions over the years. Last year’s Broadway revival further increased the demand for this enduring musical about the counterculture of the tumultuous 1960s. Within a month of the 2009 revivalopening on Broadway,UW-Milwaukee staged an energetic production on its main stage. This week, well before the touring Broadway production makes its way to the Marcus Center, the Sunset Playhouse launches a staging of Hair in Elm Grove.

Milwaukee stage veteran Ray Jivoff is set to direct the Sunset production. As associate artistic director and educational director for the Skylight Opera Theatre, Jivoff’s extensive experience in performing and directing makes him well suited to handle the chaos inherent to a production of Hair.

It should be fun to see this much-talked-about productionreflected onstage just outside Milwaukee County. The Sunset Playhouse’s production of Hair runs July 16-Aug. 8 in Elm Grove. For more information, visit www.sunsetplayhouse.com.

West of Elm Grove, an out-of-the-way stage will play host to a rare performance by some of the best actors in the nation. Genesee Depot is home to the estate of the late, great theater couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. A shrine to an earlier age of theater, the home has become the historic landmark Ten Chimneys. For the second year in a row, Ten Chimneys has hosted a summer fellowship program in honor of Lunt and Fontanne. Over the past week, some of the most respected actors from all over the United States have studied together at Ten Chimneys. On Saturday, July 17, the 2010 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program presents its concluding presentation. The product of a weeklong program of study under Barry Edelstein, the performance is a unique opportunity to see some of the country’s best actors perform together onstage. Included in this class of acclaimed actors is Milwaukee Rep Resident actress Laura Gordon.

The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program’s 2010 concluding presentation starts at 8 p.m. July 17. For more information, visit www.tenchimneys.org.

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