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Friday, Feb. 21, 2014

One Man and a Very Old Story

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The Quadracci Powerhouse Theater has seen huge productions of Cabaret and Othello. With 720 seats, it would take quite a stage presence for a single actor to fill all that space. Some time ago, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater did so quite successfully with Deborah Staples as the only actor in a production. It may yet do so again with James DeVita.

The American Players Theatre mainstay returns to Milwaukee for a production of Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s An Iliad, a modern retelling of Homer’s ancient classic. If one man can bring across that story of human loss and endless war amidst gods, goddesses, kings and heroes, it might well be DeVita. He has proven captivating on a number of stages doing his own autobiographical version of In Acting Shakespeare. He’s a high-intensity, high-gravity actor—the type of guy who can bring in the full reality of a drama quickly with little more than a stage and a few lights. With all of the money that flows through big-budget stage productions, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that all you really need is one performer and a good story.

The Milwaukee Rep’s production of An Iliad runs Feb. 25-March 23, at the Quadracci Powerhouse, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.

 

Theatre Happenings  

A toweringly talented single actor takes the stage in an intimate performance space this week as Matt Daniels stars in Lee Blessing’s Chesapeake for In Tandem Theatre. A provocative performance artist finds himself in public friction with a conservative senator. What does he do about it? He plans to kidnap that senator’s dog, Feb. 21-March 16 at the Tenth Street Theatre, 628 N. 10th St. For tickets, call 414-271-1371 or visit intandemtheatre.org.

With developments happening as they have been lately, it’s kind of amazing to think that the It Gets Better Project is already in its fourth year. The LGBT support project helping teens get through rough emotional times brings its message to the stage in a touring show with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. The group’s production, it gets better, comes to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 2. For tickets, call 414-273-7206 or visit marcuscenter.org.