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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dreaming of Escape

Off the Wall’s ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’

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The 1976 novel Kiss of the Spider Woman isn't exactly the sort of story many would have expected to get a stage musical treatment. The story of imprisoned people in Argentina isn't the type of thing that cries out for song and dance numbers. Perhaps that's why it's so haunting. Perhaps that's why it's so enduring. Kander and Ebb's early ’90s classic returns to the stage this month once more in a small, intimate production with Dale Gutzman's Off the Wall Theatre.

Jeremy Welter and Karl Miller star as the prisoners in question. The theater and the stage being the size that they are, this particular production will definitely lock in the feel of a prison cell. The trick is to make it open up in the more dreamlike segments when it needs to. Gutzman has been working with the space for a long time and has been successful in making it appear large and luminous. Here he is aided by Liz Norton as the film star goddess who acts as the doorway to a reality beyond the prison. Norton, who has appeared with the Skylight and the Sunset Playhouse, has the distinct stage presence of a vintage film star, which should aid the production immeasurably.

Off the Wall Theatre's The Kiss of the Spider Woman runs May 16- 26, at 127 E. Wells St. For ticket reservations, call 414-484-8874 or visit offthewalltheatre.com.

 

Theatre Happenings

  • Next Act Theatre hosts the latest incarnation of The Mystery of Irma Vep with John McGivern and Norman Moses in multiple comic roles, May 3-26 at Next Act's space on 255 S. Water St. For ticket reservations, call 414-278-0765 or visit nextact.org.
  • Jordan Gwiazdowski stars in the title role of Smithereen Productions' staging of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, May 3-11 at Carte Blanche Studios, 1024 S. Fifth St. For ticket reservations, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/356562.