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Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dance Review

The Milwaukee Ballet brought its season to an exuberant end with a finale that showcased the depth and breadth of the talent in this company, ranging from the classical to the modern, surefooted every step of the way. For sheer visual fun, Antony Tudor's take on the Moulin Rouge, "Offenbach in the Underworld" literally provided a glimpse of the "under" world of the can-can dancers (along with their frilly undergarments) as the different social classes meet up in an 1870s café, rife with jealousy, flirtations and ensuing brawls. Drawing upon the music of Jacques Offenbach, Tudor . . .
Theater
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Theater Reviews

It’s that “perfect period” in the mid-20th Century circa 1959: Eisenhower was president, Ed Sullivan was introducing a nice young man by the name of Elvis Presley to millions of viewers glued to the new medium of television, and kids, for the most part, still listened to their superiors—parents included (the ’60s are just around the corner). Perfect timing for 12-year-old Rudy Pazinski to question his catechism teachings—and life in general—at the hands, literally, of the militaristic Sister Clarissa.
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Classical Preview

They are called Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, or translated, “The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices.” As enigmatic as the name sounds, they are best known for the incredible sounds they produce, particularly when singing the multi-choral folk songs of their native Bulgaria. Composed of 26 performers, this all-female a capella ensemble is touring for the first time in 18 years, making a rare appearance at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater, Friday, May 16. And the music they make is exceptional. Originally known as the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, Le Mystere was first “discovered” . . .
A&E Feature
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lake Wobegon comes to Milwaukee

Sue Scott remembers it well. As a veteran performer on “A Prairie Home Companion,” she was preparing for the start of another live radio broadcast (Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sundays noon to 2 p.m. on WUWM 89.7 FM). But this time something was wrong—specifically, the script. Everybody on stage, including host Garrison Keillor, had the wrong script. “Garrison is live on the air and he’s literally hugging [performer] Tim Russell, writing lines in the margin of Tim’s script as Tim is speaking,” she recalls. “Garrison’s got his black Sharpie out—he must have stock in those Sharpies since we have cases backstage—and there’s no time to bring out a new script.
Theater
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Theater Reviews

Ida, Lucille and Doris are three women who have something in common: they’re widows who’ve lost their respective husbands within a few years of one another. As members of “The Cemetery Club” they visit their husbands’ graves once a month. There’s clean-up to do around the headstones, news to tell of weddings and grandchildren and memories rekindled along with the pain and grief that resurfaces in the remembering. Sunset Playhouse has created a warm greeting card of a production out of Ivan Menchells’ play The Cemetery Club that opened last week. And as good friends as they are, Menchell has created three very different women, setting the stage for conflict, comedic and otherwise.
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Dance Review

In the midst of this winter of our discontent the Milwaukee Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream conjures up a magical world filled with fairies and mortals and the expressive freedom of summer—at least onstage. Based on Bruce Wells’ choreography with Felix Mendelssohn’s score, this Midsummer condenses Shakespeare’s play to one hour, 45 minutes (with intermission) while still keeping intact the storyline of three couples bewitched by magic potions and mistaken identities, all under the mischievous doings of the spritely Puck, whose devilish horns serve him well. The dreamlike atmosphere is all the more pronounced as Wells has set the entire dance in the forest of Oberon and Titania, the fairy king and queen.
Today in Milwaukee
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

Dance Review

In the midst of this winter of our discontent the Milwaukee Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream conjures up a magical world filled with fairies and mortals and the expressive freedom of summer—at least onstage. Based on Bruce Wells’ choreography with Felix Mendelssohn’s score, this Midsummer condenses Shakespeare’s play to one hour, 45 minutes (with intermission) while still keeping intact the storyline of three couples bewitched by magic potions and mistaken identities, all under the mischievous doings of the spritely Puck, whose devilish horns serve him well. The dreamlike atmosphere is all the more pronounced as Wells has set the entire dance in the forest of Oberon and Titania, the fairy king and queen.
Theater
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Theater Reviews

It is in the opening moments of the staged musical version of The Lion King that the visual spectacle of puppetry and theater creates its own magic and literally takes flight. Birds soar above the audience while giraffes amble along amid lumbering elephants, graceful gazelles and other African creatures, all making their way toward Pride Rock. There, they pay homage to their lion king, Mufasa, on the birth of his son, Simba, while the strains of “Circle of Life” play on. Those familiar with the 75-minute Disney movie will be dazzled by the feats of daring design within this two hour, 40 minute production that opened last Thursday night at the Milwaukee Theatre (Wednesday’s snowstorm cancelled the planned opening). Now entering its 11th year as a stage musical, The Lion King departs from other Disney musicals transported to the stage, note for note, scene for scene. Director Julie Taymor has created spectacular images of actors integrated into the shapes and forms of animals through the use of multidimensional large scale puppets, African masks and shadow puppetry. The effects are dazzling . . .
Theater
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008

Theater

Frank Hardy is a man plagued by many demons, among which are alcohol, women and ironically faith healing. His is “a craft without an apprenticeship…a vocation without a ministry.” Is he a medicine man? Performer? Con artist? The answer lies somewhere in the well-staged production of Brian Friel’s play, Faith . . .
Off the Cuff
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008
He is an actor, a published writer, a playwright and a native of Long Island, N.Y., who makes his home in Spring Green, Wis. He is Jim DeVita. And this artist-for-all-seasons will be appearing in the Rep’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry...