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Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Fall Theater Preview

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Off the Wall Theatre kicks off its season Sept. 2 with a production of Charles Busch’s campy comedy Psycho Beach Party. Jeremy Welter directs the talented Liz Mistele and Dear Ruthie. A week later, the Sunset Playhouse goes in a less campy though similarly silly direction with Steve Martin’s The Underpants. Carte Blanche Studios stages a comedy of a different kind with The Taming of the Shrew. The MilwaukeeRep collaborates with Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink for the musical drama Cabaret, beginning Sept. 14. That same week, David Cecsarini directs a Next ActTheatre production of Joel Drake Johnson’s Four Places.Mark Ulrich and Mary MacDonald Kerr headline a promising cast.

Renaissance Theaterworks opens October with Reasons to Be Pretty, Neil LaBute’s contemporary comedy exploring our obsession with physical beauty. Alchemist Theatre has established a horror tradition for the month of Halloween, and this year’s entry explores a little-known serial killer in Aaron Kopec’s Murder Castle: The Chronicle of H.H. Holmes. In Tandem Theatre opens its season Oct. 22 with the mystery-thriller Art of Murder. First Stage Children’s Theater begins October with its season-opener, Aesop’s Fables. The month closes with Soulstice Theatre’s intimate staging of the classic Larry Shue comedy The Foreigner.

Mid-November finds laughs with Lions and Tigers and Zombies, a new show by the all-female sketch comedy group Broadminded. Marquette University Theatre keeps the humor going with George Farquhar’s 18th-century role-reversal comedy The Beaux' Stratagem. Beginning Nov. 18, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1964 drama The Subject Was Roses.Also in November, English-Australian singer/dancer/actress Caroline O’Connor joins the Milwaukee Rep on the main stage for Bombshells, a one-woman show written specifically for O’Connor by Joanna Murray-Smith. On Nov. 19, the Skylight Opera Theatre returns to a classic with a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore.Talented, beloved Skylight fixture Bill Theisen directs the show in a nod to the company’s old tradition of performing a Gilbert and Sullivan show every holiday season.

The holidays jump into high gear in December with a host of familiar shows, including the Milwaukee Rep’s A Christmas Carol, Patrick Schmitz’s Rudolph the Pissed-Off Reindeer and In Tandem’s parody Scrooge in Rouge. Off the Wall Theatre offers some welcome counterprogramming when it opens the popular musical Guys and Dolls