Saturday, May 19, 2012

Looking Forward to Help Wanted

Summer Theatre Starts with 1940's Business Onstage at the Alchemist

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Operating outside of the standard commercial theatre framework, Alchemist Theatre tends to have kind of a fresh sense of promotion. Their advance promo art for their latest show Help Wanted has kind of a flashy fusion to it. Kind of a cross between promo imagery for The Sopranos and Mad Men. Look closely and you'll see a few different pop cultural references . . . One of those images is taken directly from a movie poster for the 2002 comedy Secretary. Kind of fun . . . and of course, in this job market, any show with a name like Help Wanted is going to have kind of an intrinsic appeal to most people. (The fact that tickets are only roughly as expensive as 3D Imax tickets doesn't hurt either.) The show focusses on, "Lies, sex, scandal & a world war. Business as usual in the 1940's." Sounds fun. 

 

But what's even more fun than the premise is the fact that they've announced the cast. Clayton Hamburg has made quite an impression on a number of different stages as overwhelmingly intense characters. In a recent Carte Blanche production of Streetcar, his Stanley Kowalski was fiery and aggressive. More recently, he played a prison guard for a highly memorable show with the World's Stage Theatre.

 

Michael Keiley has shown up on a number of studio theatre stages over the past couple of years as well. He's got a charming sense of humor onstage, but he's also played some very heavy roles . . . putting in some pretty serious work on recent productions at Cate Blanche and . . . possibly most memorably, the Boulevard Theatre, where he starred in Shaw's A Village Wooing opposite Liv Mueller. He and Miller developed what might have been the single most charming romance on a Milwaukee stage in 2011. 

 

Randall T. Anderson is a brilliant retro actor. He's Wisconsin Hybrid Theatre's Jack Farwell . . . a very charismatic stage presence that genuinely feels like it came out of the mid-twentieth century. 

 

When a third of the cast is this good, a new show like this looks really promising. 2012 Summer theatre in Milwaukee starts on June 7th with the opening of Alchemist's Help Wanted. The show runs through June 23rd. For ticket reservations, visit Alchemist online. 

 

 

 

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