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11.04.2010 | | Posted at 08:14 AM

Seeing the Musical Right After the Film

By Russ Bickerstaff
As it had been a couple of decades since I�d seen Young Frankenstein,I decided to sit down and watch it just a couple of hors before going to see the musical. � According to Mel Brooks, the entire idea for the original film was Milwaukee native Gene Wilder�s. The comic actor/writer evidently agreed to do Blazing Saddles if they could work on Young Frankenstein next. Wilder�s distinctive prin...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Theater Review

As the stigma begins to lift on older women dating younger men, traditional gender roles start to shift as well. Hansberry-Sands Theatre Company explores some of the implications in its production of Celeste Bedford Walker’s Sassy Mamas. This comic drama explores the relationships of three successful women dating far younger men in Washington...
04.14.2010 | | Posted at 08:33 AM

Hollywood to Broadway To Milwaukee

By Russ Bickerstaff
The latest touring Broadway production to roll through Milwaukee opened last night to an appreciative audience. One of the latest big, shiny musicals to make it out of Broadway and into the big, wide world, Legally Blonde is a nice little bit of business for motion picture company MGM. The film grossed $150 million worldwide when it was released in 2001. A few years later, MGM is owned by Sony a...
Monday, March 29, 2010

Milwaukee Ballet’s hurricane of gorgeous, complicated dancing

In my decades of touring with Theatre X, we always said that you can’t begin to know a show until you’ve played it...
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009

Tonight @ The Marcus Center, 7:30 p.m.

A modern interpretation of Puccini’s La Boheme, Billy Aronson and Jonathan Larson’s 1993 musical Rent is one of the decade’s defining theatrical works, a very contemporary exploration of the life of young...
12.31.1969 | | Posted at 06:00 PM

Still Waiting For The Skylight's Production . . .

By Russ Bickerstaff
  The Touring Broadway production of RENT made it into town again last night. I saw it some time ago when the production made it to the Milwaukee Theatre. I wasn’t all that impressed with it at the time. Shoot ahead to just a few months ago and I’m seeing a local production of it with the Greendale Community Theatre and I’m beginning to see the appeal. With the rough-cut grunge aesthetic i...
12.31.1969 | | Posted at 06:00 PM
By Russ Bickerstaff
I find myself a little less than an hour away from my first show in over a week. This will be my third time seeing RENT—the second time I’ve seen a touring production of the ‘90’s musical. I’ll be seeing it again when Skylight does its production at the end of the season . . . and seeing the official production again after having seen a remarkably passionate production of it with the Gre...
12.31.1969 | | Posted at 06:00 PM

Ambitious Broadway Fusion Hits The Marcus Center

By Russ Bickerstaff
According to the literature, the late 19th Century was a very sexually repressed time. Around the time that Sigmund Freud was starting to discover memories of childhood sexual abuse in his patients, a German playwright named Frank Wedekind wrote a play sharply criticizing the sexually repressive culture of Germany at the time. Wedekind’s Spring Awakenings  covered a lot of ground in a single pl...
09.08.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
It’s not often that I find myself looking forward to the arrival of a touring Broadway Musical. I’d first read about Spring Awakening� when I’d found out that it was coming to the Marcus Center in a series that included shows like Legally Blonde and Wicked. In comparison to nearly everything else on the schedule of touring Broadway shows, Spring Awakening actually looks good. Here’s a q...

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