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Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

Leaking Sensitive Secrets

Next Act performs ‘Perfect Mendacity’

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The idea itself is engrossing. The fact that it’s an idea that forms a premise for a play being brought to the stage by Next Act Theatre makes it irresistible. The company’s staging of Jason Wells’ Perfect Mendacity stars Mark Ulrich as Walter Kreutzer, a microbiologist for a defense contractor who is being investigated for leaking a sensitive memo to the press. Ulrich has appeared in a number of shows with Next Act over the years. Judging from past work, he’s got great potential as the lead male caught up in complicated matters.

Walter suspects that his Moroccan wife (played by Marti Gobel) may have some connection to things. To protect himself and his wife, Walter contacts an expert who is willing to coach him to defeat a lie detector. Lee Palmer (most memorably seen with Next Act in Microcrisis) plays the expert willing to aid Walter for a price. The show also features Next Act newcomer Edward Marion and director David Cecsarini.

The play appears to cover a lot of topical ground in a way that brings the personal emotional realities of contemporary truths to light. The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is partnering with Next Act for its production. As stated by ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty: “The play is about government spying, warrantless surveillance and whistleblower retaliation—especially timely issues in the context of current events.”

Next Act Theatre’s production of Perfect Mendacity runs Sept. 19-Oct. 13, at Next Act, 255 S. Water St. For tickets, call 414-278-0765 or visit nextact.org.

 

Theatre Happenings

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater opens its Quadracci Powerhouse Season with a staging of Ragtime—a musical theatre adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name. The musical portrait of early-20th-century America runs through Oct. 27. For tickets call 414-224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.

The Quasimondo Physical Theatre Company returns to its distinctive celebration of the Roman God Bacchus as it brings Bacchanalia to the Villa Terrace (2220 N. Terrace Ave.) just in time for the Autumnal Equinox. Dance, live music, poetry, cuisine and libations grace the space Sept. 22-Oct. 1. For tickets, visit bacchanaliavillaterrace.brownpapertickets.com.

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