theater

SUMMIT PLAYERS THEATRE / FACEBOOK.COM

For local Bard enthusiasts, summertime means a full slate of Shakespeare in parks throughout Wisconsin, thanks to the Summit Players. The Milwaukee-based troupe has been performing Shakespearian plays at an ever-growing roster of Wisconsin State Parks for four seasons.

Theater RED

Theater RED has been presenting shows on Milwaukee stages since 2013.  That’s relatively young, as far as Milwaukee theater companies go, but it’s positively a veteran group compared to the brand-new [untitled] Productions group.  The two organizations are teaming up to present a one-woman show on stage this weekend.

UPAF

The annual campaign for the United Performing Arts Fund, or UPAF, wrapped up this week. It successfully raised more than $12 million for local performing arts groups. In addition to the financial support it provides, the UPAF campaign connects people who have performed in Milwaukee over the years.

This year, acting couple Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry were UPAF’s special closing week guests. People of a certain age will probably remember the husband and wife team from the iconic 1980s TV series, “LA Law."

Mark Frohna

Urinetown, The Musical won three Tony Awards for best book, score, and direction of a musical in 2002. It's a very tuneful satire that takes on our legal system, social responsibility or lack thereof, corporate greed and mismanagement, and musical theatre itself.

Hear What's in the Heart / youtube.com

Steve Scionti’s “Hear What’s in the Heart: An Italian Shoemaker's Tale,” is a one-man exploration of the Italian-American experience. Scionti is the playwright and sole performer of the show, which documents his experiences growing up in Middletown, Connecticut.

Jeff Zmania Photo, Twitter

Danceworks’ spring performance, Secrets From the Wide Sky, takes flight Friday evening at the Danceworks Studio Theatre on Water Street. The show is a mix of original choreography, music, and the shared secrets of its performers.

Danceworks’ Artistic Director Dani Kuepper explains more about the show, which originated with company founder Sarah Wilbur’s idea of a wide sky performance:

Michael Brosilow

Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder's Our Town is an iconic and Pulitzer-prize winning piece of American theatre. In the 80 years since it was first produced, there have been innumerable productions from grade school to Broadway.

courtesy of First Stage

Antarctica, WI. It's not an actual place. But it is a play about Milwaukee, about its divisions and its places of connection, and about a group of teenagers trying to navigate their world and hopefully make it better.

Renaissance Theaterworks

Sometimes it feels like nothing really changes. The same battles seem to come around to be fought again and each generation thinks, "Wait a minute, I thought we settled this one..."

So for Renaissance Theaterworks to stage British playwright Caryl Churchill's 1982 play, Top Girls, now seems fitting. Many of the play's themes - the price women pay to have both families and careers, the definition of success for women - are still relevant today, 36 years after its first production.

Cirque du Soleil

Thursday through Sunday, the BMO Harris Bradley Center will be taken over by the magic of Montreal's Cirque du Soleil. A number of Cirque shows have been here before, but this is the first time the troupe is bringing Corteo to Milwaukee.

Like all of Cirque's shows, Corteo is both a story and a spectacle of precision acrobatics, beautiful music, and dramatic lighting and costumes.

Theatre Gigante

Most of us know the story of Tarzan, the boy raised by apes in the jungle.  We also know about the object of his affection - the woman called Jane. A play getting its U.S. premiere in Milwaukee starts with those well-known characters, but rapidly veers into uncharted territory.

Photo by Mark Frohna

Offenbach’s operetta The Tales of Hoffmann is a classic. It’s the story of the poet Hoffmann, his quest to find true love, and his three ill-fated love affairs. In its full glory, the original lasts well over three hours, requires a couple of dozen singers, and, in true operatic fashion, various characters die after singing.

Paul Ruffolo

The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play The Brothers Size tells the story of two brothers trying hard to find, or cling to, their paths in life.

Michael Brosilow

Immigration is a hot-button topic, but it is not a new hot-button topic. From the time the first Europeans displaced the indigenous peoples in this hemisphere (and probably even before that), who was welcome to make their home here has always been up for heated debate.

Jeremy Daniel

Will Ray can thank his mother, and a bet, for his career. The Kenosha native is currently starring as J.M. Barrie, the author of the original Peter Pan, in the National Broadway Touring Company production of Finding Neverland.

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