left are Kelley Faulkner, Brian Russell Carey,
Katherine Thomas and Jonathan Spivey in “The All
Night Strut!” The Milwaukee Repertory Theater
musical will run through Jan. 13.
Photo by Michael Brosilow
- For starters, “All Night Strut” has a snappy,
energized medley of music from the 1930s and ‘40s
delivered by five talented musicians.
use their voices and an array of musical instruments,
including piano, drum, bass, guitar, violin, saxophone
and trombone, with even a few blasts from a trumpet.
Three men alternate between the instruments, which in
itself was quite impressive.
numbers were all rendered with skill and speedy pacing.
It was quite amazing to watch them scooting around that
stage without missing a beat and making the difficult
look easy. Their timing was flawless.
would have preferred to hear a few more ballads from
that two-decade period, where there were many memorable
ones. I also would have enjoyed hearing Nygel D.
Robinson sing a few more solos because he has the
richest voice. Not, however, to minimize the talent of
the other four singers, who were all quite engaging.
generous list of songs included such hits as
“Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Fascinating Rhythm,”
“Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” and “Java Jive,”
all of which were performed with skill and spirit.
of the tunes from World War II included “White Cliffs
of Dover,” “Rosie the Riveter,” “Praise the Lord
and Pass the Ammunition,” “Comin’ in on a Wing and
a Prayer,” and the beautiful ballad “I’ll Be
the segment after the intermission, my favorites were
“Ain’t Misbehavin,” “As Time Goes By” and, the
closer, “Lullaby of Broadway.”
script used the train metaphor as the ensemble traveled
to different areas of the country where certain songs
their singing and their orchestrations, there was also
some lively dancing - tap and jitterbugging
predominantly. Kelley Faulkner seemed the most
comfortable with tap. When all three men took turns on
the piano, it was amusing and I’m sure difficult to
three other performers included Brian Russell Carey,
Jonathan Spivey and Katherine Thomas, whose sister,
Bethany, just entertained us in “Songs for
and originally choreographed by Fran Charnas, with
musical arrangements by a variety of artists, this show
was directed by JC Clementz with Dan Kazemi directing
the music. The set design was eye-catching, thanks to
Arnel V. Sancianco, and the women’s costumes,
well-chosen by Jason Orlenko, were very true to the
styles of the time.
audience was attentive and responsive, with the older
patrons probably experiencing nostalgia and the younger
ones marveling at how much the style of music has
changed in the past eight decades. But every era
makes its contributions to the history of
American music and in all cases, the music reflects a
given time frame.
you’ve never visited the Stackner Cabaret, it’s
known for its fascinating shows, which are often musical
and always entertaining. The house is usually packed
with appreciative fans.
“All Night Strut”
musical jamboree runs through Jan. 13 at the Stackner
Cabaret Theatre, 108 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Call
414-224-9490 or visit