Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Night Another Show

Three Years in A Row on March 19th

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Seeing something like 110 shows per year means that I’m seeing about one show every three days. It’s inevitable that I’ll be seeing one on my birthday. Such is the case tonight. Really, there is almost nothing significant about the middle of March aside from the official end of Winter. It bears little significance in local theatre anyway . . . and so for the third birthday in a row, I am seeing a show tonight. I’ve had kind of a mixed experience on March 19th over the course of the past three years . . .

On March 19th of 2008 . . . (I believe) I went out to the Rep Cabaret to see its production of Hula Hoop Sha-Boop. It was a traditional Rep Cabaret show . . . lots of boomer-era pop hits celebrating an innocent time that never actually happened. . . and one that I couldn’t really relate to all that well. Looking back on the promo video for the production that’s still available online, I can’t say that I feel like it was a waste of time. It was enjoyable . . . but not the type of thing that I would’ve wanted to spend time with on my birthday. This was one of those instances where going to the show really felt like going to work. 

March 19th of 2009 was a completely different story . . . I went to an intimate studio theatre production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? at the Alchemist Theatre. Kirk Thomsen and Liz Shipe played Nick and Honey in a remarkably dark drama with moody, environmental lighting. It was one of the more memorably dark experiences I’d had at the theatre in over half a decade of covering shows in Milwaukee . . .

Tonight, my wife and I are attending the opening night of BITE Theatre’s inaugural production. Kill The Rich! Kill The Poor! Sounds like it could be a fun evening. I don’t recall ever having seen anything by Kill! . . . Kill! playwright Robert Lawrence. Judging from the video promo on Bite’s Facebook Page, this could easily end up being kind of a savvy fusion between the dark drama of last year’s Alchemist Show and the light humor of the Rep Cabaret show . . . then again . . . I’ve never seen anything by this guy before, so I really have very little idea of what to expect. And the unexpected onstage could be exactly what I’m looking for a birthday. . .

Bite Theatre’s Kill The Rich! Kill The Poor! opens tonight and runs through  March 27th at the Off-Broadway Theatre.

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