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Theater
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Theater Review

Les Misérables is a universally admired staple of musical theater, and with this production it is easy to see why. Considering its popularity, it seems disrespectful to imply that it's not above reproach. But the politics have never been too clear. Much is made of the “manning of the barricades” motif, but the...
A&E Feature
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rossini's madcap 'L'Italiana in Algeri' bursts into Milwaukee

Beethoven said that Rossini would have been a great composer if his music teacher had turned him over his knee and spanked him. Then again, Beethoven's taciturn temperament is so far removed from...
Theater
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Theater Review

In Tandem Theatre's energetic production of Murder at the Howard Johnson's is neither murder mystery nor satiric comedy, but rather a delightfully old-fashioned, three-character romantic farce close to the Marx Brothers school. Arlene and her dentist lover, Mitchell, plan to kill her husband...
Books
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scott Eyman reviews life of iconic filmmaker

Cecil B. DeMille gave us the Ten Commandments by grace of Charlton Heston's descent from Sinai. He parted the Red Sea for us, as graphically pictured on the dust jacket of Scott Eyman's carefully detailed new...
Theater
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
The Waukesha Civic Theatre’s engaging offering Alone Together hits just the right warmhearted tone for a chilly winter evening. It’s as smoothly palatable as the champagne frequently imbibed onstage. The story deals with a couple who can’t seem to keep the empty nest empty enough to suit them as they approach their middle years...
Books
Monday, Feb. 14, 2011

James Kaplan covers first 40 years of iconic singer’s life

Frank: The Voice (Doubleday), James Kaplan’s terrific new look at the most iconic singer of the 20th century, is a refreshing example of how an upscale celebrity biography can remain stylishly objective—reading like good fiction while capturing the vernacular pungency that humanizes...
A&E Feature
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

MSO visits Wagner’s classic

If Die Walkre weren’t the centerpiece of Wagner’s great four-part cycle, “The Ring of the Nibelung,” it would still hold its own. One of the world’s great operas, Die Walkre is unsurpassed for the lyrical tenderness imbedded within an eloquent musical fabric that underscores Wagner’s conception of redemption through the healing power of love. As the second of the “Ring” cycle, Walkre departs from the...
Theater
Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010

Theater Review

Liberace is an empress among the queens of gay icons. Yet his talent as entertainer and pianist outranked them all. Liberace did not view himself as a campy performer. His famously glitzy accoutrements were intended only as self-parody. With Liberace, the Milwaukee Rep’s remarkable world premiere at the Stackner Cabaret, Artistic...
Books
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

New book explores ‘The Marriage of the Century’

Officials at 20th Century Fox didn’t know what was in store for them when they signed Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in a mammoth production intended to shore up the studio’s declining profits. At 29 she was acknowledged as one of the most beautiful women in the world...
Theater
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010

Theater Review

The beguiling appeal of pre-World War II decadence and the glamour of hedonistic abandon are indelibly captured in the ever-popular Cabaret. Audiences are inevitably delighted by a charm that so easily sets aside the impending juggernaut that will soon darken the horizon. Yet Cabaret is a fun show and its pleasure quotient...