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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...
Friday, Sept. 4, 2009

September Marks a New Era for Milwaukee's Symphony Orchestra

If there’s one thing that leads to the creation of a good orchestra, it’s bad weather. For Edo de Waart, new maestro for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin’s blustery, frigid winters have helped nurture a body of musicians with the potential to one day become a world-class...
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009

Milwaukee's Memorable History of Performing Arts

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, a venue that has hosted artists ranging from Bob Hope to Bob Marley, from Alvin Ailey to cast members of Zorba the Musical, turns 40...
05.16.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
When I got home and checked out the address 2653 North Downer Avenue, I found out it was more or less where I’d pictured it. I’d lived just a few blocks from the area a couple of years back. I remember the bank. I remember the grocery store. I remember the liquor store. It’s not at all the type of place where one would expect a murder to happen. The Marcus Center on the other hand? There ha...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Week in Milwaukee

Thursday, April 30, Guster @ Marquette University, 7:30 p.m. Following the jam-band business model even though they don’t much care for jamming, Guster has gradually built their following by encouraging tape trading and touring colleges like the one that spawned them 18 years ago, Tufts University. They've become...
03.27.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
I found myself at Marquette last night seeing what must’ve been my second production of The Spitfire Grill. (I’d first seen it at Acacia some time ago.) I was sitting waiting for the show to start when I overheard that there was a girl in the row behind me who was seeing the performance for a class on he history of the American Musical . . . and I always find it vaguely odd going to university...
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...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This Week in Milwaukee

Thursday, March 5, The Seventh Seal @ The Weasler Auditorium, 8:30 p.m. The two book-ending images in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 existential masterpiece The Seventh Seal, Death playing a game of chess and Death’s victims dancing, are two of the most parodied in film, satirized by everyone from Woody Allen to...
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009

Theater Review

Prejudice is a difficult subject to tackle, but First Stage Children's Theater is no stranger to such thorny subjects. Based on a popular book by Karen Hesse, Witness deals with race in the 1920s, showing how a small Vermont town is affected by the infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan. First Stage's production runs through Feb. 22 at the Marcus Center. Hesse does a nice job of contrasting the specter of the Klan with the town's longtime reputation for friendliness and neighborliness...

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