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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Theatre Gigante's Twist on 'Our Town'

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Chance, circumstance and more than a bit of genius have made Thornton Wilder's Our Town one of the most influential American plays of all time. Nearly 75 years after its debut, the drama remains as popular as ever.

But the simple tale of life and death in small-town America has attained the kind of cultural ubiquity that makes it very difficult for modern audiences to relate to in an honest way that is devoid of artificial sentiment. In this way, modern productions of Our Town face the same challenges as modern productions of Shakespeare. As always, the biggest task is to find the honest emotion that originally made the script such a classic.

Perhaps there is no local theater company better equipped to handle this challenge than the progressive, experimental Theatre Gigante. This week the company presents Our Our Town, a work patterned after Wilder's classic.

Simply doing justice to the inspiration is not enough. Gigante's Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson aim to fuse artistic genres, elements and styles as they challenge themselves and their audiences to experience theater in a new way. Conceived by Kralj and Anderson, the work includes contributions from a talented group of seasoned stage veterans, including Deborah Clifton and John Kishline.

Theatre Gigante's
Our Our Town runs May 11-19 at UW-Milwaukee's Kenilworth Studio 508, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place. For ticket reservations, call 414-229-4308.

Theater Happenings


  • In what sounds like a promising children's show, Sunset Playhouse explores what happened to a certain trio of home-owning pigs after a dreadful incident with a wolf. Three Little Pigs: Part Two runs May 10-12. For ticket reservations, call 262-782-4430.
  • Fort Atkinson's Fireside Dinner Theatre opens its staging of the musical adaptation of Legally Blonde. Guests are invited to enjoy dinner and dessert while Elle Wood comes of age May 10-July 1. For ticket reservations, call 1-800-477-9505.
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