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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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MILWAUKEE - In the 1950s and ‘60s, our TV palettes often featured shows that glorified marriage and family life.Edward Albee, always a controversial playwright, came along and started stripping off stereotypical veneers and disregarding societal proprieties, uncovering the darker side of hum…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.