Home / Articles / By Russ Bickerstaff
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
It must be very strange touring as someone else. There’s a guy who does Twain. He travels around the country performing as Mark Twain. That must be a weird life. There are people traveling around to places they’ve probably never been pretending to be people they’re not for one-person stage performances. There are probably hundreds of people circulating about the country like ...
Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
Next month, Potowatomi Hotel & Casino plays host to an extended run of an off-Broadway show for the first time. It’s kind of an interesting milestone for the Northern Lights Theater. The theater has been around for a long time. In over 10 years of covering 800+ shows in Milwaukee I’ve never once been to the Northern Lights. Visiting acts come in and perform there regularly, but it�...
Friday, Sept. 26, 2014
In 1980, Irish playwright Brian Friel wrote Translations. It was a three-act, “about language and only about language,” that actually dealt with a lot of issues involving communication and cultural imperialism. The original production was staged in Northern Ireland 24 years ago. The cast included a younger Liam Neeson. It was performed amidst the conflict that was...
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
The Bronzeville Arts Ensemble recently collaborated with First Stage in a program that worked with playwrights to develop short plays that could be produced. The effort has paid off in a program of three shorts that will be staged at the end of this month. Playwright’s Showcase features three shorts: Just a Conversation Over Chicken and Dumplings by Michelle Do...
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
In the years to come, online video just might become indispensable in promoting upcoming local theater shows. There are bound to be a lot of soft-sell approaches that have more to do with image than they do the actual show that’s being promoted. These can be really cool if they’re done right but they can be really confusing if they’re not. (I understand that’s the performer in front of a b...
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014
Four young working-class people struggle with increasing dissatisfaction in dead-end lives and increasing dissatisfaction with each other in Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty. The third part of a contemporary thematic exploration of the modern-day obsession with the superficial signifiers of identity, the comedy follows The Shape of Things and Fat Pig. ...
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Deliciously moody comic drama

Next Act Theatre plays host to a tender portrayal of a family of emotionally fractured people with Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter. Directed by Deborah Staples, Julie Marie Myatt’s script is a deliciously moody comedic shuffle across a small stage. Chelsea D. Harrison dances with shadows and subtlety in her portrayal of the title
Monday, Sept. 22, 2014
It’s always nice to hear about an upcoming show in an intimate venue. Later-on it’s nice when the show in question happens to feature really good actors. If it also happens to be a world premiere, that’s kind of a bonus. Only recently did I get formal word on further details on Windfall Theatre’s upcoming world premiere of Identita. Written by University of Wisconsin-M...
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014
Soon to be celebrating its 50th anniversary, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was likely seen as being incredibly revolutionary when it made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1966. Now the existentialist look at the lives of two hopelessly doomed minor characters from Hamlet is pretty standard fare that’s found stages in colleges, universiti...
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
A little over a decade ago, a gentleman by the name of George Reinblatt sought out approval from Hollywood film director Sam Raimi and B action movie icon Bruce Campbell. What was he looking to get approved? A stage musical adaptation of the Evil Dead trilogy. I can’t decide whether it’s surprising or not  that he actually got the clearance to go ahead with the project. The ...