Breaking News

The curtain has had to come down on theater performances due to COVID-19. Now, theaters are working to stay afloat when their main source of revenue has vanished until further notice.

To be eclipsed is to be overshadowed, overpowered, diminished. The play “Eclipsed” introduces us to five women who lived through the scourge of the civil war in Liberia in 2003. Our country has been connected to turbulent Liberia since the early 1800s, but we did little to intervene in its s…

ELM GROVE - A farce is a farce is a farce - lots of doors and often staircases, lots of physical comedy, lots of impossible situations and wacky characters. “Noises Off,” written in 1982 by the British playwright Michael J. Frayn, is considered to be the ultimate farce because it is a farce …

WAUKESHA - I have never encountered “Carrie, the Musical” nor read the book by Stephen King from which it is derived. King is not my thing, nor are horror movies or spooky plays my genre of choice. But many people like them, so I decided to open my mind and give one a chance. I was quite ple…

MILWAUKEE - It’s amazing how Charles Morey’s adaptation of the Mozart opera “The Marriage of Figaro,” written in 1785, still rings true.

MILWAUKEE - The original work “The Beauty of Psyche” is said to be the inspiration of the popular “Beauty and the Beast.” This imaginative re-fashioned tale by JJ Gatesman, now playing at Brumder Mansion, the home of Milwaukee Entertainment Group, deals with love and beauty and the relations…

MILWAUKEE - The Skylight Music Theatre delivers this relatively recent musical with verve and a goodly dose of humor. There have been films that have dealt with the subject of spelling bees, but this stage production is a first and is geared more for adults than children. When it hit Broadwa…

HARTLAND — “Mars Lost,” a premiere play by aspiring playwright, Justin Spanbauer, is fascinating. It gets you thinking about your own life and whether or not you’re satisfied with it, what you should or could do to make it better. What to accept, what to hang onto, what to let go of.

MILWAUKEE - The Steimke Theatre was re-configured to simulate a nightclub where edgy entertainers perform. In this case, the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” took over with all its pomp and pain and sizzle.

MILWAUKEE - The title “A Small Fire” is a fitting one. In an early scene Emily and John Bridges are enjoying a glass of wine together after work and suddenly John smells smoke and discovers that Emily had left a paper napkin on a hot burner. He chides her for her carelessness, but she says t…

Samuel Beckett certainly had his tongue in his cheek when he titled the play now showing at Renaissance Theaterworks “Happy Days.” Perhaps “Dismal Days” would have been more fitting.

FORT ATKINSON - With a vigorous song-dance number for openers, the “Stayin’ Alive” disco musical “Saturday Night Fever” explodes on the stage with its spectacular choreography, lively music and poignant story of young adults trying to find love and their place in the world.Featuring the musi…

ELM GROVE - First off, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” lived up to its name. The four gifted vocalists with comic flair kept us amazed and amused for two hours with their music and their antics, bringing back memories of the ‘50s and ‘60s musical styles as well as what it was like to be in high …

Despite the rather atypical winter weather we’ve been having, theaters in the surrounding area have many an interesting play to offer for your enjoyment as an alternative to cross-country skiing or other winter pursuits.- Through Jan. 19 - “Ruddigore” - Skylight Music Theatre, 158 N. Broadwa…

As another year ends, one always looks back on those productions that stand above others in creativity, power and entertainment value. Because we have so much good theater in the greater Milwaukee area and beyond, these choices are difficult, but here goes my assessment of the best of 2019.

MILWAUKEE - The British humorist P. G. Wodehouse continues to have appeal, whether it is by means of his many books, his TV series or in Margaret Raether’s adaptations of some of his short stories into four stage plays. She is presently working on her fifth. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre has pro…

ELM GROVE - Ken Ludwig never disappoints. We’ve enjoyed his witty creations before in “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Moonlight over Buffalo ” and “Leading Ladies,” to name a few. Now a mystery-comedy set on Christmas Eve unfolds at William Gillette’s mansion in Connecticut where he has invited a few gu…

WEST ALLIS - ”The Lilies of the Field,” a novel by William E. Barrett, was glorified in 1963 by the very successful film starring Sidney Poitier, an Oscar-winning role for him.  It is back and now playing at the Village Playhouse in West Allis , and a charmer it is, thanks in large part to R…

WAUKESHA - In order for “Elf, the Musical” to work, you have to have an actor that is musically talented, agile, lovable, sincere and naïve. Timothy Conn fulfilled all the requirements for this challenging role. Many people will compare his performance with Will Ferrell’s, fairly or not. The…

It is hard to find an adjective to describe the Milwaukee Rep’s “A Christmas Carol” at the sumptuous Pabst Theater. In its 44th year, it continues to draw huge audiences that marvel at the set design, the harmonious ensemble numbers, the sound and lighting effects, the colorful costumes, and…

MILWAUKEE - ”Nunsense” is a good title for this musical. It does feature nuns not making much sense, but having some fun in the process while entertaining us along the way.  Because nuns used to live a fairly cloistered life, there has always been an air of mystery about them.  Often the aut…

An unusual treat, the winner of a host of awards, 'The Band's Visit,' an Israeli musical that emerged from a 2007 film with the same name, has enjoyed great acclaim since it opened on Broadway in 2017.

MILWAUKEE - Picture a room with seven comic writers trying to collaborate in putting together a 90-minute TV show. In this case, the “Show of Shows,” featuring Sid Caesar.  “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” is a Neil Simon reflection on what it was like working with a potpourri of humorous talent…

WAUKESHA - Some fairy tales take on a new life. Perhaps Carol Burnett’s successful run of the original story “Princess and the Pea,” translated into the musical “Once Upon a Mattress,” might have had something to do with its longevity and continued popularity.

MILWAUKEE - Squalor versus wealth, children versus adults, determination versus weakness, creativity versus blind obedience, the users versus the used. “Newsies” is replete with sharp contrasts.

MILWAUKEE - It is always interesting to travel back in time when women wore hats and gloves and dresses and high-heeled shoes, even to shop. “She Loves Me” is an older musical, but it has recently been revived on Broadway. It is quaint, old-fashioned in many ways, but some issues are univers…

MILWAUKEE - What is art and who decides what qualifies? This is the question that is struggled with in the fascinating play now running at the Boulevard Theatre.“Bakersfield Mist” by Stephen Sachs pits an art expert against an unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, a woman who thinks…

David Flores as art critic Lionel Percy in the Boulevard Theatre’s concert reading of “Bakersfield Mist.” The painting is “Summertime: Number 8A, 1947” by Matt Specht.

WAUKESHA - ”Bad Seed” is an older play, the language is somewhat dated, but the subject matter is still relevant. It raises the age-old question of nature vs. nurture, genetics vs. environment.

MILWAUKEE - The long-awaited, much-touted musical “Hamilton” is finally here. Some people couldn’t wait so they drove down to Chicago to see it, but many are seeing it again here. Though it has a much longer run than is the usual Broadway series schedule, tickets are selling fast.

MILWAUKEE - The title of The Milwaukee Rep’s production of “Niceties” is somewhat ironic, for there are few niceties exhibited in this escalating fiery dialogue between a teacher and her student at a prestigious university, probably an Ivy League one, though that is never specifically cited.

ELM GROVE — A musical that has a lot to offer, “Mamma Mia!” is a favorite for those who love ABBA’s music and like a good story with its share of emotion. Sunset’s production, well-directed by Nate C. Groonwald, features a stellar cast, a harmonious ensemble, vigorous dancing, and a surprise…

MILWAUKEE - The scene opens as we observe Mark Rothko contemplating his latest abstract expressionist paintings. He is diligently working on a series of them for the upscale Four Seasons restaurant, designed by the prestigious architect Mies van der Rohe’s for his Seagram Building, presently…

MILWAUKEE - I vividly remember seeing my first musical, “Oklahoma!,” on my 16th birthday.  Considering that was in 1948, it tells you how long this show and I have survived. Recently hitting Broadway again, this 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration continues to entertain audiences.