Thursday, March 5, 2009

Marcus Center's Vogel Hall Series

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As the performing arts season enters its final few months, summer-based theatre companies begin to announce their schedules for upcoming shows. The Marcus Center recently announced its upcoming 3-show Vogel Hall Series. Not fitting into a particular season, the series is a set of three shows promoted together which appear intermittently between next April and the following November. Here’s a quick look at what they’ve got planned—

April 15 – 26
,  the Altar Boyz find their way to the Marcus Center. It’s a 90-minute musical spoof on Christian pop boy bands. What sounds like a extended SNL skit has actually gotten some pretty good reviews Off-Broadway.

The format may look and feel like a cabaret-style musical, but a place like Vogel Hall is actually a perfect venue for this type of show, given that it’s about a fictitious, marginal pop act that would come to town and probably end up playing a smaller stage of a big name venue like the Marcus Center.

May 13 – 14, The Marcus Center and The Milwaukee Rep bring back the old classic multiple ending comedy Sheer Madness. Debuting in Chicago several years ago, the ever-popular comedy has become something of a contemporary icon of Midwestern American Stage Comedy. Here is another opportunity for Milwaukee audiences to see another production of the show.

October 7 – November 15, Vogel Hall welcomes a local production of the Pat Hazell/Matt Goldman comedy Bunk Bed Brothers. The two writers had been a couple of the first writers for Seinfeld. Here the are delivering similarly light sitcom humor that should be all the more interesting thanks to title characters played by Christopher Tarjan and John McGivern. The comedy duo previously seen in Sheer Madness and Next Act’s recent production of Irma Vep should give considerable comic bite to an otherwise TV sitcom-like script.

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