theater

Mark Frohna

The 1950s kicked off what was known as “the Space Age,” an era in which real Cold War fears were manifested in popular culture’s monsters and space aliens.

Original artwork by Ian Anastas / Cooperative Performance

Immigration, and the stories of immigrants, are front and center in this country - from the debate over the future of DACA, to the proposed border wall, no-fly lists and travel bans.  It is a challenging time to be an immigrant in this country.

Ross Zentner

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the word “equivocate” was in 1590. The dictionary further states the word has a couple of meanings: To use language especially with intent to deceive, and to avoid committing oneself in what one says.

Playwright Bill Cain says there is a further meaning, that equivocation can be a way to get to the deeper truth. How we use what appears to be the language of lies to tell a more profound truth is at the core of his 2009 play of the same name.

Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a book many of us studied in school. You probably learned that the play is a thinly veiled allegory, whose political animals and their actions closely resembled what led to the Russian Revolution and the beginnings of the totalitarian Soviet state.

Photo courtesy of Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Marquette University Libraries

Editor's note: Dick Enberg died Thursday at his home in La Jolla, California, at age 82. Lake Effect spoke with him in January of 2017 while he was in Milwaukee for performances of his one-man play based on the life of Al McGuire.

UWM Peck School of the Arts

Starting Wednesday, December 6, the UW-Milwaukee Theater is presenting George Bernard Shaw’s classic Major Barbara.  The play is typical of Shaw in its subject matter - it tackles arms manufacturing, pacifism, women’s rights, class and the evils of poverty.

Photo by Michael-Brosilow

Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Rep opened the 42 consecutive year of its production of A Christmas Carol. The adaptation of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic has gone through a number of changes at the Rep over the years.

Courtesy of InTandem Theater

Scrooge in Rougewhich opens this week at InTandem Theatre, features some characters familiar to fans of the Dickens novel A Christmas Carol, but the setting might be a bit less familiar to modern audiences. 

The play is set in a late 1800s, English music hall. Set designer and muralist, Linda Freund, created the setting not just on the stage but in the lobby as well. 

Syda Productions / Fotolia

As the holiday season gets underway, there are a myriad of new productions opening at theaters throughout Milwaukee. Lake Effect contributor and local theater critic Dave Begel, regularly joins us to talk about shows on stage around Wisconsin and some of the big topics impacting theater around the world. Begel offers his opinions on the latest round of theater openings and the must-see productions this season. 

Mark Frohna

There are a lot of holiday options on stage around town right now, from First Stage’s production of A Charlie Brown Christmas to the Milwaukee Rep’s annual A Christmas Carol. Just across town, there's another production at Skylight Music Theatre that is playing to rave reviews and packed houses. 

Michael Brosilow / Milwaukee Rep

There's nothing elementary about the new production Holmes and Watson at the Milwaukee Rep. This Midwest premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's play is directed by the Rep’s former artistic director Joe Hanreddy.

It stars Norman Moses and Mark Corkins - two men very familiar to Milwaukee theatre audiences. Between them, they have decades of on stage experience and in this play they get to show off all of that skill and experience to great theatrical effect.

Austin Bean

Mayfield, Wisconsin native Joe Kinosian met his writing partner Kellen Blair at a musical theater writer’s workshop in 2008.  It wasn't long until their successful two man murder-mystery musical comedy, Murder for Two, was born. The show debuted in Chicago in 2011 and has basically remained in production ever since.

Feast of Crispian

In a neon-lit rehearsal room in the basement of the UW-Milwaukee theatre building, a troupe of actors is blocking a scene from Othello. As Shakespeare’s words fill the room, you begin to notice the unit patches on the actors' jackets, the pins on hats.

Quasimondo Physical Theatre

Writer Jeff Grygny has long been interested in how philosophy, culture, science, and spirituality intersect. His latest work, The Performance Ecology Project, factors in the natural world. The production is a collaboration of Quasimondo Physical Theatre and Cooperative Performance.

Image courtesy of Brenda Wesley

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in five adults in the United States has a mental illness – and rates of suicide attempts and deaths by prescription drug overdose are on the rise nationally.

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