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Insightful Look into a Bully’s Psyche

Mary MacDonald Kerr directs 'Crash'

Mar. 20, 2014
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Bullying is often the big elephant in a room (or hallway, or workplace), recognized by most but hard to address. First Stage’s upcoming show Crash is bound to be a great conversation starter and learning experience on the topic for ages 8 and up. Based on Jerry Spinelli’s young adult novel of the same name, we follow the popular, competitive and sports-loving teen Crash Coogan, who vies for attention from his workaholic father and incessantly picks on his neighbor (and previous best friend) Penn Webb. Crash’s life suddenly takes a turn after his grandpa suffers a serious stroke and we journey with the teen as he comes to realize finishing first is less important than treating others with kindness and respect. Playwright Y York points out that a child watching this play can “imagine him/herself as Penn Webb, Crash Coogan or Jane Forbes, consider the choices the character makes and see their ramifications.”

First Stage’s Crash runs March 28-April 13, at the Todd Wehr Theater of the Marcus Center for Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St. For tickets, call 414-267-2961 or visit firststage.org.


Theater Happenings:

Sunset Playhouse takes us on a musical journey that pays tribute to some of the most influential females in the music business. Karen Estrada, Paula Garcia, Beth Mulkerron, Ellen Winters and Whitefish Bay high school senior Emily Pogorelc will embody these women and perform songs “Jolene,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Sisters,” “Somebody Loves Me” and many more. Dames, Dolls, & Divas, Part II will be held March 24-25, at Sunset Playhouse’s Furlan Auditorium, 800 Elm Grove Road. For ticket information, call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com.


Marvin’s Room by Scott McPherson takes us on an emotional journey of estranged sisters Bessie and Lee who are reunited after Bessie, sole caretaker for their bedridden father and ailing aunt, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The show, which Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa’s Co-producer Elizabeth Havican describes as “full of delightfully funny moments leaving you laughing one minute and crying the next,” reflects McPherson’s struggles with AIDS, which claimed first his partner’s life, and then his own at age 33. Marvin’s Room runs March 21-April 6, at the Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa’s new West Allis theater space, Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd St. For tickets, call 414-207-4879 or visit villageplayhouse.org.


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