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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reconstructing a Shakespeare Classic

‘Midsummer in Midwinter’ at Theatre Gigante

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Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson, co-artistic directors of Theatre Gigante and seasoned playwrights with close to 30 works to their names, are staging an inspired comedic take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “When we look at classics and change them, it’s the running themes in the pieces that speak to us,” says Anderson. “Shakespeare’s play really is a comedy of comings and goings and we tried to retain that element in Midsummer in Midwinter. Our version will echo the original but also stands alone if you don’t know it.” Kralj emphasizes Gigante’s unique “hybrid” theater style, which incorporates movement, dance, mime, music and sometimes video to help create the vibe for each and every show performed. Amanda Huff, Daniel Mitchell and Frank Pahl are the music gurus for Midsummer in Midwinter and a seasoned cast, including Deborah Clifton, John Kishline, Edwin Olvera and Bo Johnson, will bring to life an entertaining story of the love, desire and passion that inevitably rage within all generations. Kralj invites everyone to come sit back and have fun with Theatre Gigante. 

Midsummer in Midwinter runs May 9-17 at UW-Milwaukee’s Kenilworth Studio 508 (1925 E. Kenilworth Place). For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit gigantemidsummer.brownpapertickets.com.

 

Theatre Happenings:

In a piece created specifically for Skylight Music Theatre, Daron Hagen tells the story of three Julliard friends who set aside personal differences to reprise a Broadway hit. Featured are American folk tunes set to lyrics by Hagen, William Blake, A. E. Houseman and Gertrude Stein, as well as show tunes, ballads, arias and art songs. I Hear America Singing runs May 9-June 1 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit skylightmusictheatre.org.

 

Waukesha Civic Theatre presents a family friendly short-form improv show by Fish Sticks, a well-known comedy troupe including veterans from ComedySportz. This one-night-only show runs Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre Building, 264 W. Main St. For tickets, call 262-547-0708 or visit waukeshacivictheatre.org.

 

Windfall Theatre closes its season with Storefront Church by award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley. A timely dramatic comedy centered around the mortgage crisis, the story asks the question: “What is the relationship between social action and spiritual experience?” The show runs May 2-17 at Village Church Arts, 130 E. Juneau Ave. For tickets, call 414-332-3963 or visit windfalltheatre.com.

 

These Halcyon Days by acclaimed Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan will grace the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center’s (2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.) stage May 1-5. The show, produced by Milwaukee Irish Arts, centers on Sean and Patricia, two friends who develop an unforeseen romance in a nursing home. Pay what you can at the door. For more information, visit milirisharts.wordpress.com or ichc.net.