Thursday, April 2, 2009

Milwaukee Chamber stages BROOKLYN BOY

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Looking ahead beyond the next two months, you can almost see the summer theatre season approaching. One of the best things about summer theatre in Wisconsin is the opening of the American Players Theatre season. Though the snow is still melting on the ground and it’s still a bit chilly outside, the upcoming summer outdoor APT season feels that much closer, as APT core company member James DeVita will be onstage in Milwaukee this month in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Brooklyn Boy. DeVita is an incredible actor who shares the stage of the Broadway Theatre Center with the similarly talented Robert Spencer in the role of his father.



DeVita plays a contemporary Brooklyn native named Eric Weiss (presumably no relation to the late 19th century Appleton native Ehrich Weiss.) Weiss is a novelist whose autobiography becomes a best-seller. With success comes the difficulty of relating to people in his home borough including his father, who continues to wonder if Eric will ever produce a grandchild. The interaction between DeVita and Spencer should be a lot of fun to watch. These are both really phenomenal talents. It’ll be nice to see DeVita indoors again . . . the last indoor production I remember him in was Renaissance Theaterworks' Burn This, (which continues to be one of my all-time favorite shows) . . . interesting to note that DeVita actually IS from Brooklyn and has also recently become a successful author. Spencer, who appeared most memorably in The Rep’s  Tuesdays With Morrie and Milwaukee Chamber’s A Walk In The Woods  may not be from there, but he lived in Brooklyn for the better part of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, as I understand it . . . 

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Brooklyn Boy runs April 16 – May 3rd at the Broadway Theatre Center.

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