Home / Tag: Dale Gutzman
06.25.2012 | | Posted at 10:36 PM

Off The Wall stages THE RITZ

By Russ Bickerstaff
  The theatre district of downtown Milwaukee houses some relatively big stages. Huddled between a bar and a restaurant right across from the Pabst Theatre rests a much smaller one. Hidden there in plain sight is The Off The Wall Theatre--a quaint little studio theatre on 127 East Wells Street that has been home to quite a few different shows over the years. The show there sometimes reach for a k...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Off the Wall Theatre's production of the Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt musical Roadside is given the strange position of trying to cram the vastness of the Old West onto one of the smallest stages in town. Despite there being no real reason why it should...
05.15.2012 | | Posted at 12:42 PM

Off The Wall presents its season- closing musical

By Russ Bickerstaff
  Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt have had substantial success in musical theatre over the years. Best known for writing The Fantasticks, the pair originally met in college when the 20th century was still pretty young. Evidently they both came out of small, little West Texas towns in an era when there wasn't much going on for small town America. Tent shows would occasionally pop-up in a vacant lot...
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Off the Wall Theatre has conjured up a perfect storm of a production with its season finale, Shakespeare's The Tempest. The bard's classic tale of revenge and redemption marks a high point for director Dale Gutzman's company, due in large part...
04.01.2012 | | Posted at 07:22 AM

Off The Wall’s Latest Shakespeare

By Russ Bickerstaff
  The fun thing about Shakespeare is its multiplicity. Each show has at least two or three sets of characters in various plot entanglements. If one end of a production isn’t doing terribly well, there’s invariably some other end of it that’s remarkable. And so it is that Off The Wall Theatre takes a journey into The Tempest. One of my personal favorites, I’ve never really been satis...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
In Honour, Joanna Murray-Smith explores the cultural phenomenon of a man leaving his wife for a younger woman after decades of marriage. The stage drama makes its way to the Broadway Theatre Center courtesy of Renaissance Theaterworks...
09.16.2011 | | Posted at 12:19 PM

A Casual Cocktail Party At The End of the World

By Russ Bickerstaff
I just saw Off The Wall’s On The Beach last night. The adaptation of the 1957 Nevil Shute novel was at its best during a cocktail party that makes up roughly half of the show (or so I remember.) The setting is a clever one: A full-scale nuclear has come and gone, wiping out all life on earth, except those living far enough removed from it all in Australia. A group of people have a little get-t...
08.23.2011 | | Posted at 11:55 PM

Off The Wall's ON THE BEACH

By Russ Bickerstaff
Australian Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel On The Beach is a sharply romantic end-of-the-world premise. Set in a world after a 1963 nuclear apocalypse that never happened, the story concerns itself with the lives of survivors living on an earth where nuclear fallout has more or less wiped out all of the life in the northern hemisphere. Winds are blowing the radiation south, however, and the relativel...
07.16.2011 | | Posted at 04:42 PM

A hearty emotionally nourishing ensemble is formed into a gelatinous mess thanks to uninspired work by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

By Russ Bickerstaff
Romantic love lies at the heart of nearly all musical theatre (at least, all of the musical theatre I can think of right now . . . ) A piece of musical theatre that focuses entirely on various aspects of romantic love, Aspects Of Love comes across as astonishingly forgettable. People fall in love. People fall out of love . People get hurt. And it only takes Webber two hours to get through the wh...
05.20.2011 | | Posted at 04:39 PM

Three hours in a stuffy room can actually be FUN.

By Russ Bickerstaff
Dostoevsky’s classic novel The Idiot runs some 720 pages in length. So naturally, any stage adaptation of the work is going to have to be adjusted and distilled into something altogether more concise. Invariably things will get left out. It takes a great deal of courage to take a scalpel to one of the greatest works in the history of literature. David Fishleson doesn’t do a particularly cour...

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