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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free, Outdoor Shakespeare in June

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June features not one, but two free outdoor productions of Shakespearean works. The better known of the two productions is Macbeth, which is being staged by Optimist Theatre. There is little that could be said here about Macbeth that hasn't already been written. The classic drama features an impressive cast that mixes local icons Tom Reed and James Pickering with rising talents such as Kelly Doherty, Libby Amato and Tom Dillon. The show runs June 21-July 1 on the campus of Alverno College.

Optimist Theatre's online reservations have been filled as we go to press, but walk-in seating might be available.

If you're in the mood for something a little more offbeat and off the beaten path, you might consider a free showing of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona.

A new group calling itself the Riotous Shakespeare Troupe will be touring Milwaukee County Parks with a stylish production of Two Gentlemen. Mark Puchinsky has cut the script down to a punchy 90 minutes. Levi Miles' costuming has a fresh edge to it and should look good in the natural light of the parks. Two Gentlemen of Verona runs June 25-26 at Lake Park, June 27 at Washington Park and June 28-29 at Humboldt Park. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free.

Theater Happenings
  • Pink Banana Theatre stages its annual one-acts program in June. The theme for this year is “the end of the world.” The Pink Banana-pocalypse runs June 1-9 at the Next Act Theatre space, 255 S. Water St. For ticket reservations, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/244846.
  • Waukesha Civic Theatre opens June with Jack Popplewell's Busybody, an office-based murder/mystery. Office cleaner Mrs. Piper comes across the body of her dead boss, only to find it disappear. The show runs June 8-24. For ticket reservations, call 262-547-0708.