Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009

Three One-Actor Shows in One Month

Three Milwaukee Stages are Currently Playing Host To Three One-Actor Shows

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Five shows in four days invariably means that I’ve got a day with two shows. Just saw the First Stage matinee. Will be off to the new Milwaukee Chamber show shortly.  And last night I saw Elizabeth Norment in the Milwaukee Rep’s production of Joan Diddion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s a one-person show. The third to open in Milwaukee this month. Three one-person shows in a single month is a bit much and I get the feeling that financial concerns play into the number of such shows that get staged any given season. As nice as a one-person show can be, I really hope the economy turns around.


My favorite of the three one-actor shows to open this month by far was David Ferrie in Boulevard Theatre’s Clarence Darrow. The intimate space provided by one of the smallest stages in Milwaukee makes for one of the best venues in town for a one-person show. David Ferrie holds an audience’s attention really well with some really potent prose in a very well-assembled script by David Rintels.

Boulevard’s Clarence Darrow runs through November 1st.  See this show. It’s great.


The other two were pretty good as well.  Angela Iannone is wholly entertaining as Katharine Hepburn in In Tandem’s Tea At Five, but even the life of one of the most legendary actresses in history isn’t nearly as captivating as the story of a guy like Darrow. It’s a fun show, though . . .  In Tandem’s Tea At Five closes on the 25th.


The last of the three to open-up was Elizabeth Norment in The Year Of Magical Thinking.  It’s a really well-executed performance, but the source material is nowhere near as compelling as Tea At Five or Darrow for a host of reasons I don't have the time to get into here. Like Tea At Five, Norment’s performance at the show I saw received a standing ovation. Though it was the one I liked best, the performance I saw of David Ferrie as Darrow did not recieve a standing ovation.

The Rep’s production of The Year of Magical Thinking runs through November 8th. A full review of the show appears in this week's Shepherd-Express.

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