Thursday, March 19, 2009

This weekend: Dysfunctional Relationships--LIVE!

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As winter turns to Spring this weekend, Milwaukee Theatre seems to be looking to stage the darker side of human interaction with a series of openings that mix drama with dark comedy in exploration of dysfunctional relationships.



WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

Tonight, Alchemist Theatre opens its production of the classic Edward Albee drama. The intimate space and natural lighting should be interesting for what turns out to be a rather risky production for Alchemist. The full-length drama about people tearing each other apart is challenging enough for any theatre company. A theatre so known for doing new and experimental work should have an interesting perspective on a classic, but can so classic a play draw the same audiences as Alchemists’ newer plays? The show runs tonight through April 4.



BARNEY & BEE

Adding to the strange relationship motif, Renaissance Theaterworks opens its production of the Michael Frayn comedy Barney and Bee tomorrow. The premise goes a little something like this: Jo and Stephen are hosting a party in which Stephen has invited a guy named Barney, who has recently separated from his wife. Unbeknownst to him, Jo has invited his wife to the party as well. Much like in the Albee play opening one-day earlier. We have a play about a pair of couples. Here, however, we have only two actors playing them. Fortunately, the two actors in question are Norman Moses and Laura Gray.


Barney & Bee runs through April 20 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre.



DIE MOMMIE DIE!


Glossed-over a bit in my previous writings, the plot for Charles Busch’s play takes dysfunction between people a family relationship to the extreme as a the adult children of a widow find out that their mother had killed their father. Did I mention it’s played for comedy? The Spiral Theatre production opens this Friday at Plymouth Church. It runs through March 29th.



BERZERK!!!


Alamo Basement and Insurgent Theatre host another evening of ten-minute theatre this Sunday as the three stage something of an exquisite corpse. Forcing it into the above motif, this is sort of a forced dysfunctional relationship between writers: A group of writers (myself included) will get together Saturday to take ten-minute turns writing a script without any idea of what came before . . . the whole thing gets staged the following night. More on this tomorrow.

This month’s BERZERK!!! makes it to the stage of the Alchemist Theatre March 22nd at 6pm.

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