Monday, Nov. 16, 2009

Holiday Alternatives

A Few Stages Avoid The Coming Avalanche of Christmas Shows

By Russ Bickerstaff
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With the flurry of openings this past weekend, local stages are beginning to gear-up for the holidays. There are well over a dozen Christmas shows opening right after Thanksgiving . . . and almost nothing opening this coming weekend, so I have little to do but sit and wait for the avalanche of Holiday shows for the next couple of weeks. Luckily enough, there are a few bright spots in the next couple of weeks . . . a few shows opening up that will be really nice alternatives to the Holiday far that will dominate even some of the smallest stages in town. Here are a few that I’m kind of looking forward to:

 

Christopher Durang

The Marriage Of Betty And Boo
The day before Thanksgiving, the Boulevard Theatre opens a dark comedy by Christopher Durang (who wrote Betty’s Summer Vacation.) The cast includes Ken Dillon, Anne Miller, David Flores and Michael Chobanoff.




The Lady With All The Answers
The Milwaukee Rep’s annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst leaves the main stage open for a rather large show with a rather small cast. Wasn’t real excited about this one until I found out the actress in question. Five words: Laura Gordon as Ann Landers. Sounds fun. Opens November 24th

 

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare—Abridged
This is a fun one for the holidays—an irreverent, fast-paced jaunt through every piece Shakespeare ever wrote. A feverish run through Shakespeare in those feverish days leading-in to Christmas. It’s staged by Soulstice Theatre December 3rd – 19th.



La Cage Aux Falles

While there is little doubt that Off The Wall will be launching another  Holiday Punch (it’s not specifically scheduled, but the annual holiday comedy is a long-standing OTW tradition . . .okay, so maybe they'll be skipping this year.) it’s nice to see that they’ll be opening something a bit less traditional. Karl Miller stars in the Jerry Herman musical. It opens December 10th and runs through the end of the year. There’s a performance the day after Christmas. There’s even a New Year’s Eve performance.

 

 

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