Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009

The Halloween Shows

Vampires, Zombie Puppets, Murder and the Ghost of Hamlet's Father

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Halloween is probably the most theatrical of the holidays. More costumes are bought this time of year than any other. People go off to parties in character. And countless people all over the country who wouldn’t normally consider themselves theatergoers head off to see the strange bit of live pseudo-folk theatre known as the great American haunted house in tiny little productions that pop-up all over the place. In previous years, I don’t seem to remember established theatre entrenching itself in the holiday quite as much as it is this year. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the more interesting bits of dark, pseudo-occult theatre that will be popping-up in greater Milwaukee in the weeks to come: October 22nd through 24th A FREE staged reading of HAMLET with GOATS & MONKEYS: Okay, so it isn’t exactly Macbeth—It’s not something people would normally instantly associate with Halloween, but the weird hallucinations and manifestations that surround the central action of the story make for kind of an occult feel to a reading by a full cast of professional actors. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by emailing: reservations@goatsandmonkeys.org Tonight’s performance is sold out. October 22nd through November 7th DRACULA: THE UNDEAD with ALCHEMIST THEATRE Complete with slick musical score, special lighting effects and overall creepiness, Alchemist’s DRACULA is the most classic, iconic Halloween show to make it to local stages this year. Friday night is sold out, but there are still seats left for a number of performances including both the 7:30 pm and midnight shows on Halloween night. October 23rd through November 8th DRACULA with RADIO WHT Wisconsin Hybrid Theatre presents its live, comic old-timey radio show presentation of the classic Dracula story at the Alchemist Theatre. . . or some variation on it anyway. Radio WHT operates with an original script . . there’s some really funny stuff here. It’ll be a real disappointment if Radio WHT doesn’t live-up to its usual standard of light comic quality. The show opened last Sunday night. A review of the show runs in next week’s Shepherd-Express. October 23rd through November 14th DEATHTRAP with SUNSET PLAYHOUSE The Ira Levin murder drama makes it to the stage of the Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove in a production directed by Sunset Artistic Director Mark Salentine. It’s the story of Sidney Bruhl--a playwrtight who hasn’t had a hit in years. When a young playwright asks for help with a very, very good idea, Sidney knows what he must do . . . Stars Milwaukee Theatre veteran Paul Troglia as Bruhl and Mark R. Neufang as the aspiring, young playwright. October 23rd, 30th and 31st NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD PUPPET SHOW with ANGRY YOUNG MEN and QUASI PRODUCTIONS There’s a good chance that most of the people who go to the trendy Moct Bar in the fashionable shadow of downtown don’t realize that it’s actually a very puppet- friendly venue. I’ve seen at least one puppet show there with Bad Soviet Habits some time ago and saw one other advertised since. It’s a natural that a venue like that would be paired with the Night of the Living Dead Puppet show. This is a very, very fun show complete with piata-headed zombie puppets. It’s practically a scene for scene recreation of the classic, old public domain horror film. The show this Friday is at 7pm. The other 2 shows are at 8pm.
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