Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

Winter In Late Fall At UWM

UWM’s latest production is a modern re-telling of the ancient Greek story of Medea

By Russ Bickerstaff
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There’s just so much white on UWM’s main stage. Sandra J. Strawn’s set is a big, gauzy winter affair with long, tattered white sheets. It may have been a bit cold last night, but the set made it feel substantially colder. I was there for UWM’s production of Marina Carr’s By The Bog of Cats. A loose, modern, Irish re-telling of the story of Medea, the show stars an electrifyingly earthy Ashley Sevedge as Hester—a discarded woman not ready to let go of the bog that she has grown-up in. Megan Watson (who evidently showed-up as Want in Milwaukee Rep’s Christmas Carol last year) puts in a charming and heartbreaking performance as Hester’s daughter Josie. There’s a very authentic mother/daughter dynamic between Watson and Sevedge that’s fun to watch for the most part. As expected from the ancient Greek bones the contemporary story rests upon, it’s a pretty dark ending.

UWM’s production of By The Bog of Cats runs through October 31st at the Peck School of the Arts’ Mainstage Theatre. A comprehensive review of the show runs in this week’s Shepherd-Express.

 

 

(I found myself not far from resident Milwaukee Theatre Irish American Robert W.C. Kennedy. He commented on the darkness of the show after the curtain call. Kennedy’s been busy these days—working with Windfall on an upcoming show. There’s a small-market indie feature film he’s appearing in that makes its Milwaukee premiere this weekend at the art museum. He’s on the poster with Bai Ling. It’s a film called Petty Cash. For a guy who has worked extensively in local theatre, filmmaking is a bit of a departure. Here he’s playing a scumbag strip club owner. He evidently didn’t have much time to prepare prior to shooting the film, but how much time do you need to prepare for work as a scumbag strip club owner? Bai Ling’s the big stare. Her name is above the title here, but it doesn’t sound like she did a whole lot of work on the film. Evidently she loved shooting in Milwaukee, though. In and amidst all of the concern over the government-induced cash incentives for filming in Wisconsin, the culture here is often overlooked as a draw for filmmakers. Ling was evidently impressed with how down to earth the crew was on the film . . . I’m guessing it’s kind of difficult to market that to filmmakers in Hollywood. It sounds way too cliché . . .  

Petty Cash screens this Saturday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The show starts at 9:15 pm.)

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