Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ancient Tragedy, Jazz, Costumes & Scene Changes

By Russ Bickerstaff
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It’s another rather heavy week for openings with four more shows opening this week. Here’s a glance at what’s ahead:



Oedipus Rex at UWM—
In  the past several years, I’ve seen something like 100 shows per year. It’s kind of surprising to think back over all of that theatre and realize that the oldest script I’ve seen brought to the stage in the past three years was a Marquette production of Everyman. (I could be wrong, but I think that’s the oldest thing I’ve seen brought o the stage so far.) UWM Theatre turns back the clock to roughly 2000 prior to Everyman with is production of Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus. The 2500 year old drama comes to UWM’s main stage tonight. The show runs through March 8th. Look for a review here tomorrow.



Old, Wicked Songs with In Tandem—
Student and teacher uncover hidden connections between them as In Tandem Theatre presents the 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winner by Jon Marans. A young Jewsh pianist played by Chase Stoeger goes to Vienna to study under a man known for making anti-Semitic remarks (played by Richard Carsey) at a time in the mid-‘80’s when Austria has elected a former Nazi to the presidency. The play prominently features Schumann’s Dichterliebe. Theoretically, the play could be done with pre-recorded piano music, but thankfully, te production features an accomplished musician in the role of the teacher. Pianist-Actor Richard Carsey, who currently serves as the Principal Conductor for The Skylight, should give the production a rich, organic musical feel. In Tandem’s Old, Wicked Songs opens Thursday with a pay-what-you-can preview night tomorrow. Tickets can be ordered via In Tandem’s shiny new website.


 Pride and Prejudice with Milwaukee Rep—




“Costumes and scene changes!” –Carrie Bickerstaff


The classic Jane Austen romance comes to the Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre as the Milwaukee Rep launches its own stage adaptation of the beloved novel with more than enough frilly production value to make my wife and countless others happy. The show opens this Friday, with pay-what-you-can-previews tonight and tomorrow night. Below is a production pic of  the Rep’s first glance at Lee Stark and Grant Goodman in the lead roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Both are making their Milwaukee Rep debuts.



The Rep Cabaret’s Fire on the Bayou



Finally the Rep Cabaret welcomes back the ever-charismatic Kevin Ramsey (who many will remember from last year’s Grafton City Blues) for an evening of music from New Orleans. The full-cast production features songs such as Sweet Home New Orleans, Hey Pocky Way, Down by the Riverside, When the Saints Go Marching In, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and of course Fire on the Bayou. The show opens this weekend, conining through May 10th.

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