Home / Tag: Carte Blanche
08.01.2012 | | Posted at 07:51 AM

A look back at the 2011-2012 Theatre Year In Milwaukee

By Russ Bickerstaff
Intro Being a theatre critic who attends 100+ shows per year, my year is defined a bit differently than a standard calendar will allow for. My year starts in August with the first shows of the new theatre season,  continues through May as regular season switches gears for the summer shows and finally ends in July as the new theatre season gets underway the following month . . . and so each ye...
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
When light hits photosensitive paper through a lens, a moment is captured. Generations later, however, that moment is likely to be forgotten. Ultimately it's the stories behind a photo that connect an image to the present. Madison-based playwright...
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Theater Review

A ragged yet beautiful constellation of passion and imperfection, Carte Blanche Studios' Titus Andronicus offers the perfect start to summer theater in Milwaukee. The play itself, arguably one of Shakespeare's least-accomplished pieces, treads a razor's edge between absurdly poetic and merely...
06.05.2011 | | Posted at 10:18 AM

The Beauty of the Rough Edges in Carte Blanche’s TITUS ANDRONICUS

By Russ Bickerstaff
Theatre lives in the flaws bring out the visceral reality of human drama. You want perfection? Go see some big, artificial Hollywood movie in 3D Imax. You want the flaws that make us human? You go to some small, little studio theatre space and immerse yourself in the rough edges of a show with a modest budget. The Carte Blanche Studios’ production of Titus Andronicus lives in the kinds of flaws that make theatre what it is. It’s notoriously difficult to stage a show that includes a rape, and multiple dismemberments. Two heads, three hands and a tongue, among others. And in the intimate studio environment, it’s painfully obvious that the full grizzly of the reality of the play is not adequately represented in the show. There are however, interesting moments here. A hero is killed and there is the smell of fragrant shampoo. An odious meal at the end of the play isn’t delivered quite as it should be . . . that special magic in the production manages to turn a pair of villains into . . . what I would find out later is a chicken pot pie with strawberry sauce. The costuming is brilliant in places and awful in others, but so is the script—a huge success in Shakespeare’s time but not exactly universally-respected since. But just like in the script there are moments of sheer brilliance. Andrew Parchman makes what I think is a big debut performance in Milwaukee theatre. Never saw the guy before—here he’s playing the archvillain—a Moor named Aaron. Really amazing performance. The guy looks totally bada$$ in the role, too. That’s him from his facebook profile above. There was a really interesting moment opening night—prior to the offstage rape, a sword got inadvertently left behind onstage. (Really good hardware for the show, by the way. Provided by actor Christopher Elst and Adam Meitz—the swords look remarkably solid

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09.22.2010 | | Posted at 05:30 AM

Five Comedies Open This Weekend

By Russ Bickerstaff
September continues unabated. And as September continue, September continues to be busy. Five shows open this weekend and they�re all comedies. Here�s a look at some of the theatre openings that lie ahead:   THURSDAY THE 23RD   Cart Blanche Studios presents the classic Shakespearian farce The Taming of the Shrew in a production that opens on Thursday. Michael Keiley and Liv Mueller play unlike...
08.05.2010 | | Posted at 05:12 PM

Comedy Slowed By An AC-less Opening Night

By Russ Bickerstaff
The second in Carte Blanche Studios’ Summer of Farces is Not Now, Darling--another by Ray Cooney. While it feels like a bit of a slow mover, the ensemble brings enough fun to the stage to make Cooney’s 1967 comedy entertaining throughout. The stage is set very similarly to the way it was for Carte Blanche’s last farce Out of Order . . . which means that many of the structures have been use...
06.26.2010 | | Posted at 10:13 AM

The Unique Voice of a Studio Production of Out Of Order

By Russ Bickerstaff
The unique personality of Carte Blanche Studios’ latest farce is apparent from the first moment you walk into the theatre. The general rhythm and language of a traditional farce has been bent and twisted into a strikingly bizarre parallel world. Quite often the focus of this kind of comedy is the comedy itself, but Carte Blanche seems to have taken a different approach to this one that slants ...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Theater Review

The domestic drama of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire has an explosive intensity in Carte Blanche’s intimate studio environment. This is a Streetcar that billows with cigarette smoke and bursts with sudden anger. Katrina Greguska renders multiple layers of complexity to the role of fading Southern belle Blanche. As Blanche’s sister Stella, Samantha Paige adds considerable...
04.25.2010 | | Posted at 11:35 PM

Carte Blanche’s Intimate STREETCAR

By Russ Bickerstaff
Renaissance Theaterworks has a question on a current survey asking, “If Renaissance Theaterworks was a person, how would you describe her personality?” An interesting idea. While each theatre group has it own personality, it’s difficult to distill that personality into a single identity. There are too many people involved. A theatre group is more like a family related by interest and exper...