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MOVIE REVIEWS

Pacino can't sing in 'Collins,' Isaac 
can dance in 'Machina' but both can act

'Lettice and Lovage' is sure to
 'enlarge, enlighten and enliven'

I really liked “Danny Collins,” despite some implausibilities. Agile and captivating, the picture stars Al Pacino - still capable of commanding the screen - as a pop singer who receives a letter, waylaid for 40-plus years, from John Lennon. 

MILWAUKEE - There is something about British wit that is easy to recognize but hard to define.  It usually appeals to those who relish subtlety as well as outlandishness, who see the blatant incongruities so prevalent in the human condition.

 

'Salt' worth 1,000 words, 'Woman' good as gold
That old adage “One picture is worth 1,000 words” rings true, time and again, in the documentary “The Salt of the Earth.” 

3-D 'Home' has endearing hero, J. Lo songs, memorable messages
From DreamWorks, the company responsible for the “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “How to Train Your Dragon” series, comes another example of stellar computer animation.

'Merchants of Doubt' pits spin 
doctors vs. climatologists
If, based on our last two Wisconsin winters, you’ve decided global warming is a myth, the new documentary “Merchants of Doubt” might just change your mind.

'71' captures turbulent Belfast on many levels
Affecting nighttime footage and daytime scenes of a dark nature; evil characters and good ones whose largesse stops slightly short of heroism;  long takes and a relatively - and appropriately - skimpy musical score in which a drum figures prominently.

Better 'Red' than dead
Slava Fetisov went from playing schoolboy hockey with flattened cans for pucks to captaining what some considered the best hockey team on earth, to building leagues and arenas - plus bringing the 2014 Olympic Games to Sochi - as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s minister of sport

Russian 'Leviathan' Worth Your Time
Put the Russian movie “Leviathan” in the worthwhile viewing category.  It isn’t light fare, isn’t a happy story (it’s a drama devoid of comic relief), but the subtitled “Leviathan” is well-acted, well-directed, well-photographed and definitely capable of holding an onlooker’s attention for its two-plus hours.  

Oscars likely to parallel Golden Globes
WAUKESHA - The prediction here is that Academy Awards night Feb. 22 won’t yield many surprises - at least not in the prominent categories of leading and supporting actor and actress, director and motion picture.

'Violent Year' tantalizingly cryptic
WAUKESHA - Tantalizingly cryptic. That adverb-adjective combination came to mind as a description of composer Alex Ebert’s jazzy-solemn score for “A Most Violent Year.”  

Time '4' movie buffs to 
brush up on Oscar history
WAUKESHA - Now that the Golden Globe Awards have been distributed, it’s time to turn our attention to the Oscars. 

‘Selma’: How far have we come?
WAUKESHA - “Selma,” the formidable screen story of the Martin Luther King Jr.-led civil rights march between Selma and Montgomery, Ala., in 1965, virtually ends with a rap number called “Glory.” 

Intense 'Foxcatcher' among 2014's best films
WAUKESHA - Terrifying pipsqueak may be an oxymoron, but it also seems a spot-on description of John du Pont - or least the du Pont portrayed by Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher.”


'Dr. Cabbie' mostly drives the wrong way
WAUKESHA - Cast an engaging actor (Vinay Virmani) as the lead in your comedic flick and a lovely actress (Adrianne Palicki) as his significant other. Surround the pair with cartoonish relatives and buffoonish current and former friends.

'Penguins' offers enough  for animation fans
WAUKESHA - “Penguins of Madagascar” opens on a snowy scene - a meandering march (or should I say wintry waddle?) of the titular creatures, who are generally unconcerned about an egg hatching in their midst. 

Turkeys of the year on the silver screen
WAUKESHA - In about a month, on the cusp of a new year, film reviewers near and far will be offering their top 10 lists for 2014.

'Theory of Everything' at 'St. Vincent' winners; 'Beyond the Lights' mired in mediocrity
Considerable Oscar buzz is attaching itself to “The Theory of Everything,” a film about physicist Stephen Hawking.

'Interstellar' boasts solid acting, story line
WAUKESHA - Director and co-writer Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” this year’s marginal comparison to last year’s “Gravity,” includes enough positive elements to qualify as recommendable.

'Birdman' flies high; 'Before' needs more
Directed and co-written by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”), “Birdman” has everything from A to Z: A: An apple - the Big Apple - provides “Birdman’s” setting. 

'Whiplash' recalls classics; 'Judge' raises objections
I once knew a guy who seemed happily married. He was even happier when he was performing in amateur plays, however, so he opted to act professionally. This new commitment, he decided, would necessitate breaking up with his wife.

'The Best of Me' hardly a winner
WAUKESHA - “The Best of Me” isn’t the best of movies and “The Judge” raises some objections, as well. Here are more detailed evaluations

Alexander's bad day makes for so-so movie
WAUKESHA - When I think of Judith Viorst, I think of an essay she wrote regarding the several varieties of friends. Brilliant as it was, that essay wouldn’t have made much of a movie.

Affleck, Renner power worthwhile new films
WAUKESHA - Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner star in recommendable new movies. Here are the reviews.  "Gone Girl" “This movie will be big,” I thought after learning about “Gone Girl’s” plot and pedigree and seeing the names of some of the Hollywood types involved.

Jimi Hendrix film and filmmaker feted
MILWAUKEE - While it qualifies for the biopic genre, “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” doesn’t exactly tell the story of Jimi Hendrix’s life. Rather, the new movie tells the story of a single year in the life of the musician-singer-songwriter.

'Equalizer' too heavy on Rambo,
 too light on Robin Hood
WAUKESHA - Two inscrutable individuals, a thoroughly bad man and a basically good one, play a cat-and-mouse game on their way to a lethal showdown.

Film festival encore presentations worth seeing
WAUKESHA - There were a number of fine movies that debuted last weekend at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Several are highlighted below, along with encore times and venues.  

'Boxtrolls' has much to offer moviegoers young and old
I was thinking about how far removed animated movies are from real life as I walked away from a screening of the 3-D film “The Boxtrolls” earlier this week.

'Love is Strange,' 'Tusk,'  contrast in quality
WAUKESHA - If “Love Is Strange” isn’t the very best American-made movie I’ve seen this year, it probably ranks second or third. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine “Tusk” could’ve been much worse. TimeOut reviews both movies this week.

'November Man' evokes television's 'Mission: Impossible'
WAUKESHA - First, let’s dispel any notions that “The November Man” is some kind of baseball biopic. 

Latest sports film won't stand tall for all
WAUKESHA - Jim Caviezel, portraying highly successful prep coach Bob Ladouceur, spouts out, “It’s only a high school football game” at one point of reality-based “When the Game Stands Tall.”  

'If I Stay' will give audiences 
lukewarm feeling
WAUKESHA - As “If I Stay” is winding down, Mireille Enos, playing a not altogether rehabilitated hippie, tells her mainstream daughter, played by 17-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz, “Life is this big, fat, gigantic, stinking mess.”

'Journey' and 'Land Ho!' 
cut above their peers
WAUKESHA - While “The Hundred-Foot Journey” and “Land Ho!” won’t become cornerstones of the movie comedy genre, both August releases are more amusing than many 2014 counterparts.   

Latest Woody Allen film really is ‘Magic’
WAUKESHA - Magician Stanley Crawford (played by Colin Firth), a.k.a., Wei Ling Soo, is “the greatest debunker of fake spiritualists in the world,” in a fellow illusionist’s opinion. The source of that flattering quote, Howard Burkan (a very watchable Simon McBurney), reports a fraud he’d like Stanley to debunk. 

New comedic movies have varying values
WAUKESHA - Comedy takes the spotlight as three new films hit the local cinema market: “Sex Tape,” “And So It Goes” and “Wish I Was Here.”

'Fire & Rescue' too much like 'Planes'
WAUKESHA - Enough, already, of the “Planes” franchise. The second installment, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” isn’t bad and certainly isn’t offensive  (It duplicates the original’s PG rating).

'Earth to Echo,' 'Third Person' 
share high ranking

WAUKESHA - One is PG-rated science fiction, the other a very serious R-rated film - and both “Earth to Echo” and “Third Person” - have been found to merit  3 1/2 stars. The following paragraphs tell why.

'Tammy' stretches credulity, lacks substance
WAUKESHA - For the record, Melissa McCarthy is 43 years old, Allison Janney is  54 and Susan Sarandon is 67. 

'Jersey Boys' vs. 'Obvious Child'?
Better to Listen to the Music!
It probably comes down to this: if you enjoy the music of the Four Seasons (and literally millions do), you’re likely to enjoy “Jersey Boys,” the Clint Eastwood-directed film version of the hit Broadway musical about the group.  

Opposite films likely to attract audiences
WAUKESHA - They say opposites attract. Maybe that means both “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “The Rover” will attract large audiences, for the two June-premiering films are dissimilar in several ways. 

Promising first-class film 'Million Ways' finds itself lost among classless chatter
WAUKESHA - In all honesty, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” doesn’t contain anywhere near a million uses of the F word. 

Much more cooking with 
British 'Belle than 'Chef'
WAUKESHA - Jon Favreau’s comedy “Chef” and the British period drama “Belle” are movies now in area theaters. Here is a look at each one: I think I’m on to the “Chef” filmmaking strategy. 

'Million Dollar Arm' and 'Godzilla contrasting films, but good ones
WAUKESHA - “Million Dollar Arm” and “Godzilla” both got off to banner starts in the movie theater in terms of gross earnings for the first weekend of their releases.

'Legends of Oz' has a few 
strengths worth mentioning
WAUKESHA - “This doesn’t look like the Oz I remember,” a computer-animated Dorothy declares early in “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.”

Wartime drama joined by 
Spider-Man sequel in theaters
WAUKESHA - The World War II drama “Walking with the Enemy” wraps up its first week in area theaters Friday, the same day “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” premieres. The following are reviews from both films:

'Greatest move never made' 
debuts in local cinemas Friday
WAUKESHA - “Jodorowsky’s Dune” comes to area movie theaters Friday following the release of three other films last week. The following are reviews of each film:

'Lunchbox,' 'Words' among new film releases
WAUKESHA - On Friday, “The Lunchbox,” a dramatic film, will join “Bad Words,” a comedy released March 28, in local theaters. Both movies are reviewed below with their ratings.

March: A month for different films
WAUKESHA - The month of March is being marked in our area by the release of three very different films: the comedy “The Grand Budapest Hotel” on Friday, one week after the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer” and two weeks after the graphic novel adaptation “300: Rise of an Empire.”

Oscar predictions and omissions
WAUKESHA - “12 Years a Slave” will win a few major awards - and leave another acclaimed 2013 movie, “Gravity,” in the lurch. That’s my take on Sunday’s Oscar festivities.


'3 Days' different, but hardly a unique film
WAUKESHA - It’s too bad they made a movie called “Shattered Glass” a few years back. That would’ve been a great title for the new Kevin Costner film that instead has been dubbed “3 Days to Kill.”

Praise for 'Her' is only faint
WAUKESHA - Star Joaquin Phoenix, as Theodore Twombly, dances around in his long underwear and accompanies a crooning computer on his ukulele.  A Twombly co-worker (Chris Pratt) praises the sensitive ghostwriter of personal letters as “part man and part woman.

Collection of films made for 
a very good cinematic year
WAUKESHA - In a fine year for cinema, such as 2013, it’s not all that challenging to compile a list of excellent movies. 

'Osage County' a must-see movie
WAUKESHA - Put “August: Osage County” near the top of your must-see movies list. The plot of Tracy Letts’ screenplay, based on his 2008 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning drama, revolves around kinfolk in Oklahoma. 

Reality-based stories make for good December cinema
WAUKESHA - Truth may or may not be stranger than fiction, but it can be just as interesting. And it certainly can make for good cinema.  

'Nebraska' more than a worthy successor
WAUKESHA - Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” is more than a worthy successor to the director’s “About Schmidt” (2002), “Sideways” (2004) and “The Descendants” (2011). For my money, Payne’s latest picture is the best of the formidable bunch.

'Dallas Buyers Club' is worth joining
WAUKESHA - Welcome medical inroads have dulled the once cutting-edge nature of films about the AIDS crisis (are we even calling it a crisis anymore?). 

'Book Thief' redeemed by 
acting, cinematography
WAUKESHA - Preachers, one of their number claimed, should be able to reduce their messages to a single sentence. Movies are not sermons; arguably, though, the best of them can also be summarized quickly.

'Parkland' is no typical Kennedy film
WAUKESHA - “‘Parkland,’” a synopsis states in part, “weaves together the chaotic events following the tragedy (of John F. Kennedy’s assassination) from perspectives as diverse as the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital.

'Kill Your Darlings' concept good; movie about poet doesn't resonate
WAUKESHA - “Thor: The Dark World,” sequel to 2011’s “Thor,” is an intriguing movie mixture of adventure, 3-D-enhanced special effects and humor. 

'Thor' sequel an intriguing blend
WAUKESHA - “Thor: The Dark World,” sequel to 2011’s “Thor,” is an intriguing movie mixture of adventure, 3-D-enhanced special effects and humor. 

Animated 'Free Birds' could fly higher
WAUKESHA - The lengthy list of holiday features has grown a little longer with the Jimmy Hayward-directed “Free Birds.” 

'12 Years A Slave' narrative moving and powerful
WAUKESHA - Very good. Very moving. Very powerful. That’s what I told the guy with the clipboard who asked what I thought of “12 Years A Slave” as I left a preview screening one afternoon last week.

'Enough Said' takes sophisticated 
and subtle look at love
WAUKESHA - After a certain point, every one entering a romantic relationship carries some baggage with them and falling in love with someone involves accepting their quirks and flaws.

Third time’s a clever charmer for ‘Jeeves’
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Chamber closes out its season with its third Jeeves show. The British playwright P.G. Wodehouse created this famous butler, who has become an iconic figure, appearing in countless of Wodehouse’s short stories for 59 years.

'Ten Questions' explores common ground in debate on evolution versus creation
MILWAUKEE - There are issues that can be variously interpreted.  They usually involve science, religion or politics, and some people feel so strongly about their position that they are willing to denigrate, torture or demolish their opponent. 

Play wrestles with gender roles for winning performance
MILWAUKEE - “Luchadora” is a premiere, an original work commissioned and produced by First Stage Children’s Theater. I’m sure it will find a market elsewhere for playwright Alvaro Saar Rios, for it is a beautiful story with an upbeat message for young people and their parents.  

'Low Down Dirty Blues'  spotlights performers
MILWAUKEE - As soon as Felicia Fields saunters onto the stage in that shimmery crimson gown and googles us with those big naughty eyes, we sense the power of her presence, but when she opens her mouth to sing “They Call Me Big Mama,” we know we’re in for one unforgettable experience. 

'Dead Man's Cell Phone' isn't ringing endorsement of technological society
WAUKESHA - Sarah Ruhl is a young American playwright who deserves our attention.   She is prolific and provocative and has already received her share of awards for her rather quirky plays.

It's hard to see 'Wizard of Oz' too often
I don’t think there’s another film I’ve seen more times in my life than “The Wizard of Oz” since my first thrilling experience of it in 1939, when as a child I watched Dorothy’s world suddenly turn into a rainbow of colors and a series of delicious adventures. 

Don't miss 'Five Presidents'
MILWAUKEE - Emmy-winning playwright Rick Cleveland, having contributed to many prominent TV shows such as “The West Wing,” “Six Feet Under” and “Mad Men,” saw a sterling opportunity to write about a rare gathering of four ex-presidents and the one presently holding office in 1994 when all five men came together to attend Richard Nixon’s funeral. 

It's OK to laugh at 'The Nerd'
Larry Shue once acted and wrote for The Milwaukee Rep Theatre. In the height of his career at age 39, he was killed in a plane crash, leaving a legacy of three plays, two of which have been staged hundreds of times - “The Nerd” and “The Foreigner.” 

'Diary of Ann Frank' poses introspective questions
Imagine what it must have been like for a young girl of 13, teeming with energy and hopes, to be trapped in a very confined space with seven other people, four of whom she barely knew, for almost two years. 

Will Durst gets a rage on with baby boomers
The Class of 1970 from Waukesha South High School might remember Will Durst.  Was he the class clown, the most likely to succeed or just a quiet guy you never expected to turn out to be one the best political satirists of our time.

'Neither Have I Wings to Fly' will close this weekend
Steve Decker, artistic director at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, found a sweet-sad Irish play many years ago when living in Chicago. Lucky for us, he never forgot it.  “And Neither Have I Wings to Fly” by Ann Noble is here for our perusal and enjoyment.

'The Amish Project' is 
a complex one-woman show
Deborah Staples has proved again that she is capable of handling the complexity of a one-woman show. 

'Bare: a Pop Opera' tackles the struggle for acceptance
Matthew Northey makes his directorial debut with an electric production of “Bare: a Pop Opera” at Soulstice Theatre in St. Francis.

'Prin' is a comic drama replete with memorable characters
Andrew Davies, a Welshman who early on settled in London, is best known for his film and TV scripts and adaptations.

Lake Country Players' 
music show off the charts
WAUKESHA - Along with jazz and spirituals, the American Musical is said to be an original with us. It has often been called the American Opera. 

'Funny Money' cashes in on some laughter
WAUKESHA - Ray Cooney is considered one of the best British playwrights. He has even been called the British Neil Simon, which I think is a stretch because their comedies are quite different.   

Patio Players' 'Mama' filled with hilarious moments
MENOMONEE FALLS - The Patio Players has discovered an outlandish comedy for our entertainment. A rather recent work by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, “Mama Won’t Fly,” is enjoying success since its inception in 2011, and I’m sure will continue to do so in many community theaters across the country.  

Skylight stages moving 'Once on this Island'
MILWAUKEE - The third production in Skylight Music Theatre’s fairy tale season is the delightfully colorful and soulful story of star-crossed lovers, set in the Caribbean French Antilles, where there is a big divide between the dark-skinned peasants and the lighter-skinned French upper-crust residents.   

Wade offers appreciation  for American music
WAUKESHA - Occasionally, one meets people that are hard to describe. They’re often referred to as “characters.”   Of course, each person is unique, one of a kind, but some stand out as being quite different from any others.

Next Act pulls at heart strings with 'No Child'
MILWAUKEE - It is gratifying to encounter a play that praises teachers for their grit and dedication. Having spent 35 years of my own life teaching high school (and 10 teaching college, which is a piece of cake by comparison), I often wanted to say to those who were quick to criticize and thought we had a cushy job and were overpaid, that they should try it sometime, even for one year, and then we’d talk.

Sunset's 'Cuckoo's Nest' delivers
ELM GROVE - The novel “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey was a very controversial one when it was published in 1962. It poked its nose into mental institutions and wrote a scathing story about the inhumane treatment afforded the mentally ill. 

Rep taps into struggles of lower class
MILWAUKEE - I always look forward to seeing a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, an American playwright with a quirky sense of humor, the ability to create characters we care about, and a man with many successes behind him, including a Pulitzer Prize for “Rabbit Hole.”

Renaissance stages engaging show based on Tolstoy
MILWAUKEE - Tolstoy, best known for his lengthy “War and Peace,” also wrote many lesser-known shorter pieces, one of which is being featured in its adaptation by Nancy Harris.  

Fireside brings 1970s music to life
FORT ATKINSON - I wouldn’t have believed that the Fireside Dinner Theatre could top its two recent musical revues from the 1960s.  

Bullying issue put front and center
WAUKESHA - The theme of bullying is still getting a lot of focus these days, and well it should. Often the person who is different is the one that’s bullied, whether it be a difference in religion, ethnicity or cultural practices. 

Soulstice's 'Macbeth' tackles greed and power
ST. FRANCIS - Because the themes of greed and power continue to resonate in the modern world, Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” will always have something to say to us. 

Lake Country Players offer unusual twist
HARTLAND - The Lake Country Playhouse has found an unusual offering to ring in the new year. Presently playing is a quirky creation by playwright Emily Schwartz, a writer who has garnered a few awards from her Chicago site of operation.

Songs headline production of
‘Anything Goes’

WAUKESHA - Many older musicals have little substance and rather vapid plots, but in “Anything Goes,” playing at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, with so many memorable tunes by Cole Porter, the production numbers compensate for the overall literary sparseness. The precise and elaborate dance numbers are also a visual and rhythmic treat.


Theater shows that made an impression in 2014
WAUKESHA - Another year has passed, and again we have been amused, instructed, inspired and awed by many memorable theatrical productions at professional, community and college theaters in the metro area.


'Candy Canes' offers
 fabulous holiday songs
WAUKESHA - The Waukesha Civic Theatre is staging its traditional “Candy Canes” Christmas show for the sixth time.  

Sunset brings back classic holiday favorite
WAUKESHA - “Miracle on 34th Street” originated in a black and white film in 1947. It has survived the ravages of time and is still a Christmas favorite. 

Lake Country Players go above and beyond with Christmas classic
WAUKESHA - Charles Dickens, when in financial straits himself, hurriedly wrote “A Christmas Carol.” It was an instant hit and has been sending a strong message to millions of people ever since its inception as a novella in 1843.  

First Stage brings back most 
famous reindeer of them all
MILWAUKEE - It’s always fun to re-experience an old classic with some new twists.    First Stage Children’s Theater dusted off “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and is offering the musical version again.

'Cudahy Caroler' celebrates
MILWAUKEE - They’re back for the ninth time - the delicious mix of beer, brats and bowling, ala Cudahy. This oxymoronic medley of beautiful harmonies amid the dissonance of relationship squabbles and unexpected lyrics is again gracing the stage at the Tenth Street Theatre.  

Rep's 'Harvey' delightful 
production for all to enjoy
MILWAUKEE - “Harvey,” the infamous imaginary rabbit, is back on stage to celebrate his 70th anniversary on the illustrious Milwaukee Rep stage.

Chamber Theatre sequel to Shakespeare amusing
MILWAUKEE - Shakespeare is on the docket again, this time in an abridged format, where a quartet of talented actors, all Whitewater theater program graduates, unite to amuse us with a penchant for parody, physical humor and expertise in rendering the Bard’s words whenever they actually quote him.  

Skylight shows why 'Oz' still captivates audiences
MILWAUKEE - I recall so well when the film of “The Wizard of Oz” came out. I think it was the first experience I had with Technicolor. I still remember how awesome it was for me as a little kid. There is something magic about the story as well, and of course, the music

In return engagement, 
Disney's 'Lion King' dazzles
WAUKESHA - It’s back in all its splendor - “The Lion King” - ready to enrapture us again. If you love visual feasts and technical miracles, the dazzling spectacle of the present production of this popular musical will more than satisfy.  

'Heresy' presents many societal cases and more
WAUKESHA - A.R. Gurney is probably best known for his plays, “Love Letters,” “The Dining Room” and “Sylvia.

Liberace impersonator spot-on
WAUKESHA - Excess fascinates us, whether it be money, power, talent, daring, generosity or even evil. 

First Stage's 'Sherlock Holmes' a cluttered mystery
MILWAUKEE - Another mystery has hit the boards at First Stage Children’s Theater on the heels of last season’s finale, “Nancy Drew’s Greatest Case.”  

Farces aside, 'Lend Me A Tenor' 
clever, entertaining
WAUKESHA - I am not usually a big fan of farces, yet I can appreciate the physical humor and the timing required to pull off their successes.  

Milwaukee Opera Theatre to stage 'Lucy'
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Opera Theatre is scheduled to open its first offering of the season, a rather unusual world premiere of an opera based on a true story.  

Musical numbers drives Sunset's 'Guys and Dolls'
WAUKESHA - “Guys and Dolls,” by Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, first opened in the 1950s, but it is set in the ‘30s, a time when gambling was illegal in the United States.  

'Amelia' examines harrowing times for women
 WAUKESHA - The Civil War continues to enthrall and appall us.  More than 50,000 books have been written about it during the last 150 years.  

'Fish Eyes' recalls why fishermen followed Christ
MILWAUKEE - Acacia Theatre Company describes itself as a group that offers plays of substance and moral fiber. 

Rep's 'all the terrible things' well-crafted story
WAUKESHA - J. Rey Pamatmat’s “after all the terrible things I do,” now playing at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Steimke Studio, is a drama about shame and the ways we try to deny and live with it. 

'The Diary of Anne Frank' compelling story of survival
WAUKESHA - Sometimes it is good to be reminded.   The Lake Country Players’ production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” does just that. This story was for many of us our first look at the Holocaust from a very personal viewpoint.   

'The Cupcake Killer' doesn't meet expectations
MILWAUKEE - “The Cupcake Killer,” written and directed by Katherine Beeson, opened at the West Allis Players on Oct. 3. 

Rep opens season with powerful 'The Color Purple'
MILWAUKEE - A searing production exploded onto the Quadracci Powerhouse stage last weekend.  

Underdog prevails in Skylight's 'Cinderella'
WAUKESHA - Everyone loves underdogs, especially when they win out over more powerful forces.  

Windfall Theatre's 'Indentita' features intriguing story
MILWAUKEE - I am not an historian. My knowledge of geography is also quite paltry. However, the present offering at the Windfall Theatre still intrigued me.  

Classic 'Glass Menagerie' rich with age
MILWAUKEE - Somehow I never tire of seeing “The Glass Menagerie,” one of Tennessee Williams’ first and best plays, and one which parallels his own life, reflecting his relationship with his younger  mentally ill sister, Rose.  

'Les Miserables' is brilliant
Fireside Dinner Theatre in Fort Atkinson is known for its quality musicals. Their recent productions of “Annie Get Your Gun,” 

Next Act Theater presents 'Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter'
Next Act, with its usual provocative choices, opens its 25th season with a post-war play called “Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter” by the prolific playwright, Julie Marie Myatt. The stage design by Maureen Chjavez-Kruger suggests an emptiness and aridity.  

'The Good Father' is a must-see
There are times when one is viewing live theater, that one feels privileged to be there. There are times when a theater critic feels doubly privileged to be able to tell others - GO SEE THIS PLAY

Four Guyz's newest tribute show serves up doo-wop, rock 'n' roll
WAUKESHA - The Sunset Playhouse’s Studio Theatre offers many musical confections along with their regular season in the Furlan Auditorium.  The popular Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets is filling the studio space with their harmonies and antics.

Stage comes alive with Civic Theatre's season opener
WAUKESHA - “The Sound of Music” by Rodgers and Hammerstein has been around for more than 50 years. 

Sunset Playhouse begins new season with classic Agatha Christie mystery
WAUKESHA - The Sunset Playhouse opened its season with a very famous mystery by the Grand Dame of mysteries, Agatha Christie, whose play “The Mousetrap” is running in London for the 60th year.  

'Doyle & Debbie Show' will get y'all in country mood
WAUKESHA - What a grand opening of the season at the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret with its excruciatingly funny parody of the country music scene, “The Doyle and Debbie Show.”