theater

Paul Ruffolo

About 10 years ago, actor and director Michael Coty founded Youngblood Theatre to give himself and his fellow UWM Theatre graduates a chance to do professional work and take creative risks.

Over the years, Cotey acted for other companies in town and continued to direct with Youngblood, before taking a break to go to grad school for directing - a move inspired by his experience directing theater outside of Milwaukee. 

ugljesaras / Fotolia

Milwaukee Theater Critic Dave Begel is a longtime lover and reviewer of Wisconsin theater. When the season is in full swing, he will often seen four or five shows over a weekend. It's his job, but it's also his passion. 

"If you go once you're probably going to go the rest of your life, cause it's an unmatched experience. It's not the same as going to a movie or binge-watching on television," he says. 

astronomy.com

On August 21st, parts of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s the first time in a century that the path of totality will be visible from the west coast to the east. Milwaukee isn’t in the totality path but it will still be darker than normal as the sun will be 86% eclipsed.

Courtesy of Theater RED

Shakespeare often finds a home in American summer theater. From big professional companies like Utah Shakespeare Festival to amateur productions in community playhouses, the Bard is indeed made glorious in summer.

Image courtesy of the Summit Players

The Milwaukee-based Summit Players will once again bring Shakespeare to Wisconsin's state parks. It’s always an adventure to perform in a new space for any actor, but being outdoors adds its own unique sets of challenges.

One of the biggest challenges the Summit Players face is ensuring their voices are heard during the show. Actor A.J. Magoon shares his past experience competing with Polish Fest that happened to be going on right next door:

Mark Frohna / Skylight Music Theatre

Pasties, or meat pies, are a staple of Wisconsin’s north country cuisine.  But it’s safe to say that once you see the classic Steven Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, you’ll never view meat pies the same again.

In Tandem Theatre

American composer and songwriter Bob Merrill is probably best known for the Barbra Streisand mega-hit Funny Girl, which opened on Broadway in 1964. But before that, in 1961, he debuted Carnival!

Based on an earlier film starring Leslie Caron, the show ran over 700 performances on Broadway before it closed in 1963. Some of its songs include Rum Ticky Ticky Tum Tum, Always, Always You and Love Makes The World Go ‘Round.

Courtesy of Luminous Theatre

The Simpsons achieved cult status years ago. It started off as a series of drop in shorts during the Tracy Ullman in 1987, but by 1989, the animated sitcom began its own run. It has recently been renewed through at least 2019, and is the longest running scripted television in history. 

Ross Zentner

 

Joe Hanreddy is a familiar name to theatre audiences in Milwaukee. He was the artistic director at the Milwaukee Rep from 1993 to 2010. During this tenure the company created and staged more than 50 new American plays in addition to classics from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams.

 

Maria Petrella / Umbrella Group Milwaukee Facebook

One of the signature lines of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth is “Is this a dagger I see before me?” In traditional productions of the play, only the actor playing Macbeth can envision that dagger. But thanks to advanced digital technology the audience for Umbrella Group Theatre’s new production can say, “Why yes, that is a dagger you see before you.”

courtesy of Renaissance Theaterworks

The end of the first world war in 1918 - the “great war” - heralded a marked shift in western culture. Music, theater, visual art, and literature all changed, both in response to the war’s carnage and as a way of deflecting its horror.

Frank Ferrante Productions

The great comedian Groucho Marx has been gone for nearly 40 years now, but his comic legacy lives on. Classic Marx Brothers movies like Duck Soup and Animal Crackers, or Groucho's long-running game show, You Bet Your Life, can still be seen on TV and YouTube. And, his influence is still seen in the work of many comedians, from Steven Wright to Jerry Seinfeld and countless others. 

© Carol Rosegg

Many famous stage musicals, like Funny Girl, Rent and West Side Story, have been adapted for the screen. But Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella made the opposite journey. The musical version of the classic children’s tale was written for TV in 1957, and starred Julie Andrews in the title role. It wasn't until 2013 that the R&H Cinderella made its Broadway debut.

Skylight Music Theatre

While most of us might be familiar with the Disney version of Beauty & the Beast, the opera of the same name is an entirely different spectacle. Based on the original, darker fairy tale, Skylight Music Theatre's staging of the 18th century light opera is a unique reimagining - featuring dance and larger than life puppetry.

Flortentine Opera Company

Mozart’s Don Giovanni - the Don Juan story - is one of the great operas in the Western canon. Many music historians consider it to be one of the greatest operas of all time. Glorious music, an intricate plot and a very satisfying ending have attracted audiences since its premiere in 1787.

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