Home / Tag: John McGivern
06.02.2010 | | Posted at 08:14 AM

John McGivern and Renaissance Theaterworks Bring AMERICAN FIESTA to Kohler Arts Center

By Russ Bickerstaff
I was recently at a very traditional religious wedding. Knowing the couple in question very little, I felt a bit out of place. I wish the two of them nothing but the best and hope to, at some point, get to know them a little better. They seem like nice people. That being said, the very, very Christian wedding service made me feel a bit uncomfortable and I came to the striking realization . . . t...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Theater Review

Talented storyteller John McGivern proves that a play about pottery can be entertaining, funny and thought-provoking, and may even leave the audience a bit teary-eyed. At least that’s the case when McGivern appears in a solo show, American Fiesta, which opened on Friday night. The Renaissance Theaterworks production continues through May 23...
04.27.2010 | | Posted at 07:30 PM

Renaissance Theaterworks Latest Offers Another Look At The Talent Of One Of Milwaukees Best-Known Actors.

By Russ Bickerstaff
John McGivern is a really, exceptionally nice guy. A stage personality as charming as he is approachable, McGivern'�s one-man shows have firmly established a comfortably endearing quality about them. The John McGivern one man show has had the kind of success that lends itself to its own sort of brand-name image. It's easy to overlook that McGivern's style is, essentially his personality. More co...
02.17.2010 | | Posted at 06:07 PM

Renaissance announces its upcoming Salon Soiree in May

By Russ Bickerstaff
Earlier today, Renaissance Theaterworks�sent out a press release announcing some of what to expect for its upcoming fundraiser—Salon Soiree. Starting at 6pm on May 3rd at the Skylight Bar in the Broadway Theatre Complex, Reniassance will be presenting a classy, little fundraiser hosted by John McGivern. The affable McGivern is set to appear in Renaissance’s production of American Fiesta, whic...
12.31.1969 | | Posted at 06:00 PM

McGivern and Tarjan Shine in Pate Hazell Comedy

By Russ Bickerstaff
Pat Hazell and Matt Goldman’s Bunk Bed Brothers opened this past Friday to a packed house at the Marcus Center’s Vogel Hall. The man who also wrote The Wonder Bread Years, Director-co-writer Pat Hazell’s work here looks very familiar. The set is a childhood bedroom of two baby boomer brothers. It’s a big collage of pop cultural stuff that should be particularly familiar to anyone who grew-up in the late ‘60’s/ early ‘70’s. Where The Wonder Bread Years derives most of its material from the culture of the era, Bunk Bed Brothers uses it as a backdrop for a light comic story about a pair of brothers getting back together in the physical terrain of their childhood and returning to that fraternal relationship the two of them always had growing up. It’s the comedy of two grown men regressing into childhood. The two grown men in question are Christopher Tarjan and John McGivern. The play has been done a handful of times at various places all over the country and each production is distinctly different, re-worked a bit for the actors in question. The material itself is has the kind of light comic pop one would expect out of a couple of guys who’ve written for television, but the real genius here is Pat Hazell’s direction. Hazell has put a substantial amount of trust in McGivern and Tarjan’s comic instincts. It pays off big time. There IS some pretty good comic dialogue in here, but the comedy of Bunk Bed Brothers rests in putting all the right comic elements in pace onstage and letting the situation become funny on its own. This absolutely requires that the actors in question be really good at taking advantage of the comic potential of the situations presented in the script. The current Milwaukee production of the show has a perfect pair of comic actors with McGivern and Tarjan. The two bring two distinctly different comic elements to the stage. McGivern plays the responsible career brother with a pithy sense of humor . . . and McGivern’s delivery of the dialogue brings the character that characteristic McGivern charisma. Tarjan has an opportunity to relax and have fun in the playfully comic  role of the brother who never really achieved to his full potential. It’s a really fun role and Tarjan seems to be genuinely having fun with it, which would be nothing if he weren’t so successful at delivering that sense of fun to the audience. McGivern and Tarjan were particularly well-poised opening night . . . managing to walk gracefully through a couple of technical mishaps. Early on, Tarjan was alone onstage getting out an album to play

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08.22.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
There’s always something going on . . . and though there are no theatre shows specifically opening up this weekend, there are a couple of things from opposite ends of the theatre scene going on tomorrow— First—Tickets go on sale for Marcus Center’s staging of Bunk Bed Brothers tomorrow. Pat Hazell, the man who brought the world The Wonder Bread Years and numerous jokes on Seinfeld and the ...
03.05.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
As the performing arts season enters its final few months, summer-based theatre companies begin to announce their schedules for upcoming shows. The Marcus Center recently announced its upcoming 3-show Vogel Hall Series. Not fitting into a particular season, the series is a set of three shows promoted together which appear intermittently between next April and the following November. Here’s a qui...
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008

Theater Review

It was a matinee on the last Saturday before Christmas. Cell phones of absentminded patrons intermittently chirped through the cozy Off Broadway Theatre throughout the performance. A bracingly caustic laugh would occasionally contrast against the rest of the laughter whenever local theater icon John McGivern would hit a punch line. And in spite of the fact it had already been one of the snowiest Decembers in recorded history, and in spite of imminent wind chills around 30 below zero, and in spite of another significant snowfall due to hit by the end of the afternoon, McGivern...
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Tonight @ the Off-Broadway Theatre - 7:30 p.m.

In one of his most popular productions, The SantaLand Diaries, local actor John McGivern narrates the popular David Sedaris Christmas story, but in his new self-penned production Winter Tales with John McGivern, which is staged tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Off-Broadway Theatre, McGivern gets a chance to share his own Christmas yarns. McGivern shares much of Sedaris’ wit, but not all of the cynicism, so expect a warmer, less jaded take on the holidays.
Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

Tonight @ the John Michael Kohler Arts Center - 7:30 p.m.

In one of his most popular productions, The SantaLand Diaries, local actor John McGivern narrates the popular David Sedaris Christmas story, but in his new self-penned production Winter Tales with John McGivern, which is staged tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, McGivern gets a chance to share his own Christmas yarns. McGivern shares much of Sedaris’ wit, but not all of the cynicism, so expect a warmer, less jaded take on the holidays.

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