By Mary Boyle
Aging is a certain and unavoidable fact of life, and caring for the elderly in our families is something every generation from the beginning of time has had to do; and yet, the way it is done, and the landscape it is done in, has changed dramatically over time—particularly over the past 50 years. While the wonders of modern medicine and improved safety, keep us alive longer, it also means we live long enough to experience the decay of old age: loss of mobility, memory issues, and long-term health problems. At the same time, family dynamics have changed; quite often, both parents need to work to support a family, and can no longer bear the burden of caring for an aging parent. The growing number of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care businesses attest to the fact that families are often choosing, or are forced, to relinquish the responsibility of care to others. What, then, is an elderly person to do when they can no longer care for themselves, but don't wish to be a burden to their family or to enter a care facility? This is just one of the questions to ponder in The Outgoing Tide, written by Bruce Graham and directed by Chris Flieller, at In Tandem Theatre in Milwaukee.
Gunner (James Pickering) and his wife, Peg (Susan Sweeny), have enjoyed a quiet retirement at what was once their summer home on Chesapeake Bay, but Gunner has begun to experience frequent bouts of dimentia. When their son, Jack (Simon Jon Provan) comes for a visit, his mother begs him to help her convince his father to move into a retirement home; however, Jack has already visited it, and he's not so sure it's the best place for his Dad. While Gunner has moments when he doesn't recognize his own son, he does know one thing for certain: he didn't work hard all his life to give his money to "a bunch of doctors," and he isn't going to be one of those "vegetables" sitting in a wheelchair. In fact, Gunner has a plan to make sure that he doesn't end up that way, but he wants Jack and Peg's approval. Will they give it to him? More importantly, should they?
While the topic may not seem like a good time at first glance, Gunner is quite the character, and he keeps the audience laughing throughout the play, often at his own expense. A blue collar, hardworking man's man who loves to fish and married his high school sweetheart, Gunner, played flawlessly by Milwaukee's own James Pickering, is easily recognizable—everyone has a father, grandfather or uncle like Gunner. In fact, all of the characters are relatable and familiar, and their experiences and struggles are the experiences and struggles of our age, making this production as personal as perhaps any play I've ever seen. Alternatingly funny and poignant, The Outgoing Tide forces us to ask ourselves difficult questions about life and death, and opens conversations that we all should have. People have asked me, "Is it a sad play?" It's not. That being said, what it is will likely look different to each viewer: thought-provoking, surprising, eye-opening—perhaps even hopeful and heroic. You have to see it for yourself to decide.
The Outgoing Tide runs through March 18th at In Tandem Theatre, located at 628 N. 10th St. in Milwaukee. Tickets are available by calling (414) 271-1371 or online at www.intandemtheatre.org.
About In Tandem Theatre
In Tandem Theatre, a 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre located in Milwaukee, was founded in 1998 by Chris and Jane Flieller with the commitment to produce exciting, innovative and professional live theatre by presenting creative and eclectic programming that enlightens, inspires, provokes, and entertains a diverse audience in an intimate atmosphere. Its name, In Tandem Theatre, reflects the connection between audience and actor, the audience and the written word – an intimate experience obtained when live audiences are engaged in strong storytelling. In Tandem Theatre is committed to creating innovative, exciting live theatre designed to inspire, enlighten, provoke and entertain a diverse audience through comedy, drama, musicals, classics and new works.
By Mary Boyle
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
These are the opening lines to one of Shakespeare's most beloved histories; the final play of the tetralogy that begins with Richard II and continues with Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II, in which we meet the future king as Prince Harry. After his father's death, Henry assumes the throne of England and leads an army to claim France as his own at the famous Battle of Agincourt. A tale as epic as can be, played by a company nationally renowned for their excellence in performing the Bard: this is Young Company's Henry V.
The Young Company is the advanced, college-level actor training program at First Stage Theater Academy, open to high school students who are serious about their training and development as actors. Young Company has a strong focus on Shakespeare; they produce two public shows with First Stage each season, and one of them is always by the Bard. Each year, Young Company takes a team to compete at the Utah Shakespeare Festival High School Competition, and they never fail to bring home awards. This past Fall, they won Sweepstakes First Place and Ensemble First Place in the Essex Division. Now in its fourteenth season, Milwaukee's own Matt Daniels was named Director of the company this year, while former Director and the founder of Young Company, John Maclay, is now the Director of Artistic Development.
The Young Company cast for HENRY V includes: Bree Kazinski (as Constable of France/Ensemble) from Dousman; Casey Dobson (as Duke of Bourbon/Ensemble), Emily Repetti (as Fluellen/Ely) and Megan Watson (as Chorus/Ensemble) from Wauwatosa; Chantae Miller (as Katherine/LeFer) from Waukesha; Dakota Komorowski (as King Charles VI of France/Ensemble) from Kansasville; Elliott Brotherhood (as King Henry V) from Mequon; Eloise Field (as Boy/Ensemble) from Oconomowoc; Jacob Badovski (as Duke of Exeter) and Jennie Babisch (as Pistol/Canterbury) from Milwaukee; Kate Ketelhohn (as Duke of Gloucester) from Cedarburg; Kate Lepianka (as Duke of Orleans/Ensemble) from Grafton; Kayla Salter (as Hostess Quickly/Gower) from Germantown; Mary Jensik (as Dauphin/Nym) from Greenfield; Molly Boyle (as Alice/Ensemble) from Port Washington; and Sylvie Arnold (as Bardolph/Williams) from Hubertus.
Elliott Brotherhood, a Senior at Pathways who plays Henry, hails from Mequon, and was in the Young Company's production of The Skin of Our Teeth earlier this season, as well as Animal Farm last season, where he made his Young Company debut. When asked about how it felt to play Henry, Elliott said, "It's a monumental challenge, and one that I'm incredibly humbled to tackle and be a part of with so many talented actors. Under Matt Daniel's direction, and the support of an awesome group of people, it's been a ton of fun."
Molly Boyle, a homeschooled Freshman from Port Washington, makes her Young Company debut playing the Duke of Bedford, Captain Jamy, and Alice, a lady-in-waiting to Katherine (played by Chantae Miller). "It has been a brilliantly fun time working with the cast and crew of Henry V, and I enjoy working and playing with so many talented actors and wonderful people," Molly said. "Henry V is complex, and everyone has done such an amazing job bringing it to life."
Kate Lepianka, another homeschooler from Grafton, and Kate Ketelhohn of Cedarburg, who is a Freshman at Kettle Moraine Lutheran School, expressed that being a part of Henry V brought them much closer to their Young Company classmates, as well as helping them to understand what Shakespeare was trying to say.
In the opening to this play, Shakespeare apologizes for the unworthiness of a mere stage to tell such a grand tale; instead, he asks the audience to use their imaginations. Going with that theme, Director Matt Daniels went with a stark, modern set with minimal props, forcing the audience to do as the Bard encouraged. With wooden dowels for weapons and the exchange of a hat, scarf, or jacket to denote lightning-quick and on-stage character and scene changes, the play charges along to a refreshingly modern, yet incredibly fitting, playlist of songs, and 2 1/2 hours pass remarkably quickly. Perhaps more than any of Shakespeare's works, Henry V feels very contemporary, even with its original language left intact, so that this play feels completely at home, rather than at odds, in this twenty-first century setting. Once again, the Young Company nails it: powerful, moving, funny, romantic; this is must-see Shakespeare.
Henry V runs through March 24th at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee. Tickets are $14 and are available online at www.FirstStage.org or through the First Stage Box Office at (414) 267-2961. This production is recommended for ages 12 and up.
About First Stage
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in the 2016-2017 season, First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young audiences and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 2,100 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs use theater to promote active learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students throughout southeastern Wisconsin each year. In 2012, First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. First Stage is the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award in 2013 and 2015, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education, and the arts. First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Theatre Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Arts Partners, and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).
By Drew Kassner
The cheel in downtown Thiensville will be hosting the first annual fundraiser, “March into kindness with the cheel,” during the week of March 19th, 2018.
As the cheel approaches their four year anniversary, owner and executive chef Barkha Limbu Daily wanted a way to give back and celebrate some of the non-profits that continually do outstanding work for the community. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Thiensville Fire Department, and Thiensville Village Park Re-Imagined are the four handpicked organizations to be featured during the week.
Each participating organization is assigned a day (Monday through Thursday) where 10% of the gross revenue (not including gratuity) will be donated to their respective organization. During the weekend, the funds will be distributed equally to all participating organizations.
Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center – Monday, March 19th, 2018
Thiensville Village Park Re-Imagined – Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
Thiensville Fire Department – Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
In addition to that, the cheel will be providing a locked box for each participating organization that our guests are encouraged to donate to as they wish. The box can only be opened by respective organization.
"I am very excited to kick off this annual event to help local non-profit organizations achieve their mission," said Daily. "We dine out for numerous reasons, including birthdays, first dates, and anniversaries--or for no reason at all-- so why not dine out and be kind.”
The cheel is located at 105 S. Main Street in Thiensville. Named as one of the Top Restaurants in Milwaukee, the cheel promises to pack that spice-infused wallop in the traditional “tidbits,” or small plates, it offers. Indeed, the menu features “flavors from the Himalayas to the Rockies” and incorporates flavor-profiles from Burmese and Tibetan cultures, as well, which commingled along the historic and famous Kathmandu trade route. With just 3.5 years under their belt and over 30 awards, in just the last year the cheel has been named in the Top 50 Restaurants by M Magazine, 4 Instagram-Worthy Boutique Restaurants in Wisconsin by Travel Wisconsin, The Milwaukee 50 by the Journal Sentinel, Best Chef by M Magazine, Best Splurge Restaurant by M Magazine, Best International Fare Restaurant by M Magazine, Best Fish Fry by M Magazine, Best of ‘Burbs: Food & Drink by Milwaukee Magazine, Great Fish Fries (Readers’ Pick) by Milwaukee Magazine, 7 Wisconsin Destination Restaurants in 2016 by Travel Wisconsin, and #1 restaurant in Mequon/Thiensville (yelp & trip advisor – best rated).
By Mary Boyle
The reason live theatre is so important is that it demands empathy. Without even being aware of it, the audience members go on a journey with the characters on the stage in a way that film can never quite acheive. Like Atticus Finch said in To Kill A Mockingbird,
If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view; until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
Live theatre gives us the ability to climb inside another's skin; to experience their story almost first-hand, and truly begin to understand them. This is empathy, and a strong dose of empathy is what the world needs right now. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater understands this, and it's why they created The Neighbor Series: three plays about community that invite conversation about what it means to be a neighbor. The first of these plays is One House Over, which is making its World Premiere at The Rep.
The play is set in Chicago in 2010; President Obama was recently elected, and Joanne Vancura (Elaine Rivkin) is a divorced, progressive, middle-class violin teacher struggling to care for her aging father, Milos (Mark Jacoby). She hires Camila Hernandez (Zoë Sophia Garcia) to be a live-in caretaker, and gives her and her husband, Rafael (Justin Huen), an apartment in the basement of her home. When Joanne finds out that Camila and Rafael are undocumented, she assures them it isn't a problem for her, and that nobody cared about that anymore.
At first Milos, an immigrant himself who escaped Hitler when his parents put him on a train from the Czech Republic, resents his new caregiver and gives both Camila and Joanne a lot of trouble, but Camila gradually wins him over—so well that Joanne feels jealous of their relationship. When Joanne has health problems, Rafael, who is in need of a new job after losing his position as a chef at a local restaurant, offers his services, and he and Joanne's close relationship makes Camila jealous. In the meantime, Joanne's neighbor, Patty (Jeanne Paulsen) isn't thrilled that Joanne has "renters" in her house, which has nothing to do with the ethnicity of said renters, mind you. As personal and professional boundaries become blurrier and blurrier, what seemed at first like an ideal solution threatens to become a giant mess.
Written by Catherine Trieschman, an award-winning new playwright, and directed by The Rep's Artistic Director, Mark Clements, this story could not have come at a better time. As poignant and thought-provoking as it is funny and shocking, One House Over is powerful in its familiarity: these people could be us, or the people around us, just one house over.
One House Over runs through March 25th at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, located within the Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex at 108 E. Wells St. in Milwaukee. Tickets can be purchased by calling (414) 224-9490, in-person at the Box Office, or online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com.
Talks and Events
Rep-in-Depth: a pre-show conversation with Justin Huen. Rep-in-Depth occurs approximately 45 minutes before curtain for every performance.
TalkBacks: a discussion with members of the cast and artistic team following the 2 pm performance on the following Sundays: March 11, March 18, and March 25.
"Stories of Immigration: Creating Communities" - Wednesday, March 7, following the performance. Milwaukee's immigrant heritage is present throughout the city--in our dining, shopping, festivals, and more. Join leaders from across Milwaukee to learn how immigrants have helped shape our city and to hear more about the unique vitality of immigrant communities today.
"Building Fences & Walls: Immigration Policy & Sanctuary Cities" Wednesday, March
14, following the performance. Current political policies on immigration are a point of contentious discussion and the idea of sanctuary cities is fraught on the local and national level. This discussion approaches the conversation on a personal and interpersonal level, presenting the real-life stories of those who are at the heart of the debate.
"The Future of Elder Care" Wednesday, March 21, following the performance. As America's elderly population increases, we discuss how the growing need for eldercare affects our city and how local individuals and organizations are supporting and enriching our community through unique senior programs and centers.
The Neighbor Series
This spring, The Rep is launching a community engagement series around One House Over, Until The Flood, and Our Town, that invites the community into a conversation about what it means to be a neighbor. The Rep is responding with a concentrated engagement initiative to connect the stories on stage to the stories of Milwaukee. The Rep will host over 80 Neighbor Series engagement events, from March to May 2018, created from a variety of opportunities for our audiences--and our neighbors—to add their voices, tell their stories, and participate in Milwaukee Rep's initiative to ignite positive change in our community. For more information on these events please visit: https://www.milwaukeerep.com/MKENeighbors
About The Rep
In its 64th Season, Milwaukee Repertory Theater is dedicated to providing the highest level of professional theater to Milwaukee and Wisconsin, in addition to offering a wide range of educational and community programs. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Mark Clements, and Managing Director, Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee's rich diversity.
By Mary Boyle
The name Stephen Sondheim is synonymous with musical theater: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies, Sweeny Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and, of course, Into the Woods. Interestingly, both Sweeny Todd and Into the Woods have been given a boost in popularity in recent years thanks to Johnny Depp, who played the lead in 2007's Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and made an appearance as the wolf in 2014's Into the Woods. While there's never a bad time to choose Sondheim, Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove was wise to take advantage of the popularity and choose Into the Woods for their lineup this season.
Directed by Nate C. Adams, with Music Direction by Mark Mrozek, Into the Woods is a combination of some of our favorite fairy tales (Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood) all rolled into one story. The one thing each of these classic tales have in common is a wish: Rapunzel (Lydia Rose Eiche) wishes to leave her tower, the Baker (Nathan Marinan) and his wife (Carrie A. Gray) wish for a child, Cinderella (Hannah Esch) wishes to go to the ball, and Jack (Simon Earle) and his mother (Paula Garcia) wish for wealth. Throw in a Witch (Laura Monagle) to grant those wishes, a snarky little girl in a red cape (Ella Rose Kleefisch), a couple of princes (Seven Sizer and Kevin Gadzalinski), a wicked stepmother (Barbi McGuire) and a couple of terrible stepsisters (Ashley Patin and Sarah Briana Monahan, and a charismatic narrator (Bob Carroll) and you've got yourself a really good story.
By the end of Act I, Jack and his mother are wealthy (and Jack and his cow are reunited); the curse on the Baker is broken; both Cinderella and Rapunzel marry their respective princes, and their tormentors are punished; and, Little Red Riding Hood has a much-needed attitude adjustment after she and her Grandmother are saved from the belly of the wolf. Everything appears to end "happily ever after," as they say...but does it really? Into the Woods brings a hefty dose of reality — and comedy — to these idyllic stories, and Sunset Playhouse brings an incredibly talented cast to tell the tale. As the witch says, "Children will not obey, but children will listen. Careful the wish you make, wishes are children."
Into the Woods runs through March 18th at the Furlan Auditorium at Sunset Playhouse, located at 800 Elm Grove Rd. in Elm Grove. Tickets are available by calling (262) 782-4430, in-person at the box office, or online at http://www.sunsetplayhouse.com.
About Sunset Playhouse
Over the past 60 years, Sunset has benefitted from the leadership of Ian Dobbie, Alan Furlan, Michael Spicer, Thomas Somerville, Michael Duncan, Mark Salentine, Jonathan West, Diana Alioto, and our current Artistic Director, Nancy Visintainer-Armstrong. The theater’s staff consists of an Education Director, Technical Director, Business Manager/Volunteer Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Box Office Manager, Box Office Associates, and Theater Technicians. In addition, Sunset benefits from a large pool of talented and dedicated volunteers who work in conjunction with these professionals and are essential to the on-going success of the Playhouse. Sunset is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership.
Sunset produces eight Furlan Auditorium Productions per season consisting of comedies, mysteries, musicals, and dramas. The Playhouse is also home to three professional series–Musical MainStage Concert Series, with six concerts each season, a six-show cabaret series titled SideNotes Cabaret Series, and a three-show children’s series called Bug in a Rug.
By Mary Boyle
The story of The Wizard of Oz is ingrained in American culture Written by L. Frank Baum, an American children's novelist, the story was a hit upon publishing in 1900, and was made into a Broadway musical just two years later. The movie we all know and love, based on the musical, arrived in 1939, and has the honor of being the very first film made in Technicolor. Then, in 1975, a new musical version of this classic tale made its way to Broadway with a modern African-American setting. The Wiz won seven Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical, and was one of the first Broadway productions with an all-black cast. Now, you can see this groundbreaking musical for yourself, thanks to First Stage.
On a farm in Kansas, Dorothy (Camara Stampley/Reese Parish) lives with her Aunt Em (Cynthia Cobb, who also plays Glinda) and Uncle Henry (Shawn Holmes), and her little dog, Toto, of course. When a twister hits, Dorothy's house is flung to the land of Oz, accidentally landing on the Wicked Witch of the East. The munchkins rejoice, and the Good Witch of the South, also known as Addaperle (Candace Thomas), gives Dorothy the silver slippers off of the deceased witch's feet, and sends her off to see The Wiz to see if he might be able to send her back home. Along the way, Dorothy meets a Scarecrow (Dimonte Henning) in need of a brain, a Tin Man (Darrington Clark) in need of a heart, and a cowardly Lion (James Carrington) in need of some courage. They arrive in the Emerald City and meet The Wiz (Shawn Holmes) at last, but he won't give them anything unless they kill the Wicked Witch of the West, Evilene (Raven Dockery).
Alex Radtke, of Cedarburg, who makes his debut with First Stage in The Wiz, is a part of the "Winkie" cast of young performers. Alex plays a Munchkin, Winkie, and a crow in Scarecrow's garden. Though he isn't a complete stranger to acting, Alex said First Stage "is more of a real deal." By the end of the show, Alex will have performed his parts 27 times to both public and school audiences.
Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell and Ameenah Kaplan, The Wiz remains true to its roots. The costumes by Theresa Ham feature traditional African designs and fabrics, and the adult cast is populated by some of Milwaukee's best black performers. The set, designed by Kurtis Boettcher, had the amazing ability to go from a Kansas Farm to the Emerald City by a simple change of lighting. The Wiz, himself, is inspired by none other than the great James Brown, and Shawn Holmes truly creates a larger-than-life character. James Carrington is absolutely perfect as the Lion, and Raven Dockery is spectacular as Evilene. The Young Performers are double cast, and I saw the Winkie Cast, featuring Camara Stampley as Dorothy, who really held her own with the adult performers. If Todd Wehr Theater could only hold an orchestra, this would be a Skylight-worthy musical. All in all, this family-friendly telling of The Wiz is a road everyone will want to "ease on down" together!
The Wiz runs through March 25th at the Todd Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets may be purchased at www.firststage.org or through the Marcus Center box office, in person at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee or by phone (414) 273-7206 or toll free at (888) 612-3500.
About First Stage
First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 2,100 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs promote literacy, character building, and experiential learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students each year. First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2012), and was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education, and the arts for its Next Steps program for students with autism (2013, 2015). First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Theatre Wisconsin, Milwaukee Arts Partners, and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).
By Mary Boyle
Even if you've never seen Shakespeare's Henry V, it's likely that you're familiar with these words from the play:
From this day to the ending of the world,
This is the story of the young English King, Henry, son of Henry IV and the second English monarch from the House of Lancaster, who invaded France and won the Kingdom at the famed Battle of Agincourt.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Dramatic. Powerful. There's even a little romance with Catherine. How could it possibly get better? Why, you add some bourbon, of course! The Bard & Bourbon Theatre Co., directed by Grace DeWolff, takes this amazing work and, with a sparse cast of 8 actors on a tiny stage with hardly any props, does it absolute justice, but then makes it completely unpredictable by getting one of the actors (a different one each night) completely drunk over the course of the play. Trust me, you don't want to miss this.
Zach Thomas Woods is an admirable Henry V, and the only cast member to play just one character. Ian Tully shines as the Dauphin, Pistol, and Gower. Jeremy Jaymes La Belle, who was drunk when I saw the play, managed the French exchange wonderfully as Catherine's maid, Alice, and Ashley Retzlaff, who played Catherine, was impressive. Christopher Braunschweig was particularly notable as Bardolph. LeAnn Vance returns to B&B as Exeter, Susie Duecker makes her mark as Montjoy and the French King, among others, and Bekah Mitton rounds out the cast as Fluellen, Bourbon, and more. Once again, Bard & Bourbon proves that they do "Serious Shakespeare" with "One seriously drunk actor."
Henry V (drunk) runs through February 17th at the Underground Collaborative, located in the basement of the Grand Avenue Mall, 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets can be purchased by calling (414) 792-9223, or online at https://www.bardandbourbon.com/
By Mary Boyle
William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest playwright and writer in the English language, though, in our modern times, his works are often considered too difficult for your average Joe. Interestingly, the average Joe was exactly who Shakespeare wrote for; his plays are filled with bawdy jokes and songs, slapstick comedies, romance and war --
the very things we crave in our entertainment now. Luckily, the Waukesha Civic Theatre is giving everyone an opportunity to experience The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), so that we may get a taste of the wonder of the Bard. Thirty-seven plays in ninety-seven minutes...what could go wrong?
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield (former founding members of The Reduced Shakespeare Company), and directed by Dustin J. Martin, Complete Works is pulled off with only three actors, using their real names, and a great deal of audience participation. Nicholas Callan Haubner is supposedly a "preeminent Shakespearean scholar" who, along with Jillian Smith and JJ Gatesman, will present an overview of each of the Bard's plays to the audience. After a 12 minute run-through of Romeo & Juliet, the actors realize they're going to have to speed things up a little. Titus Andronicus is done as a cooking show, Othello as a rap, and all 16 Comedies are squished into one play entitled, "The Comedy of Two Well-Measured Gentlemen Lost in the Merry Wives of Venice on a Midsummer's Twelfth Night in Winter," or "Cymbeline Taming Pericles the Merchant in the Tempest of Love as Much as You Like It for Nothing," or "Four Weddings and a Transvestite," and played with the use of some Barbie dolls and stuffed animals.
The amazing thing about the play is that it manages to make fun of all of Shakespeare's works while maintaining an absolute reverence for them and their author at the same time; thus, fans of the Bard will be delighted instead of offended, and those who are new to the Bard will become fans. It's a win for everyone, really, and a wonderfully good laugh, to boot! If nothing else, see the play because it holds two World Records: one for the shortest-ever performance of Hamlet, and one for the fastest performance of Hamlet — backwards.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) runs through February 18th at the Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre Building, located at 264 West Main Street in downtown Waukesha. Tickets can be purchased by calling (262) 547-0708, or online at www.waukeshacivictheatre.org.
The Waukesha Civic Theatre, Inc. is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide quality live theatre performances and educational opportunities that will enrich, challenge and entertain both participants and audience members. In July of 2006, the Waukesha Civic Theatre began its 50th season. With that historic season, WCT joined an elite group: according to the American Association of Community Theatres, of the roughly 7,000 community theatres in the United States, only about 100 can claim 50 years of continuous operation. It has undergone many positive changes from its beginnings in 1957 with productions at Waukesha High School. In 1999, WCT moved from a former church to a beautiful new facility in the heart of historic downtown Waukesha. The building, a former historic PIX movie house, was donated to WCT by Bryce Styza, a prominent local developer who saw the power that the theatre could exert in revitalizing downtown. Since the theatre opened in 1957 to the start of its 51st season in September of 2007, over 10,000 people have volunteered and 200,000 audience members have been entertained.
Everything's Sweeter During Maple Sugarin' Season
Wisconsin winters can be long and that last stretch of waiting for spring can be even longer. Luckily, there's something we like to call "the fifth season" to help fill the gap- maple sugarin'!
With over 40 years of history and around 400 maple trees tapped each year, Riveredge has maple sugarin' in it's blood. Maple sugarin' is a time to celebrate the changing of the seasons, teach about the wonders of the forest and trees around us, and experience the pure magic of turning a byproduct of nature into a delicious treat. Whether this is your first season or your 20th, we hope you'll join us for a season of fun, community, and appreciation for the wonder of nature!
Some of the season highlights include:
LEARN MORE AT OUR BRAND NEW MAPLE SUGARIN' PAGE
This Wednesday is Valentine's Day and, though many consider it a "Hallmark" holiday, the celebration actually dates back to Roman times; a fertility festival called "Lupercalia."
Times have certainly changed. Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated by friends, family, and lovers, alike, and whether you need a treat for your kids or a romantic gift for your significant other, there are plenty of great, local choices in Oz.
Chocolate Chisel in Port Washington has fresh, chocolate covered strawberries available for the occasion, as well as a wide variety of milk and dark chocolates to choose from. Bring in your own bottle of wine, and they'll even help create a special gift basket for you. CoCa LeNa, also in Port, can help you send a special Valentine Box all over the country!
A beautiful caramel apple from Amy's Candy Kitchen in downtown Cedarburg makes a wonderful Valentine's gift and, while you're in town, make it a gift from Cedarburg with something from Ashley's Confectionery, too!
If you're in the Grafton area, stop into Sweet Trio for a delicious variety of chocolates, candy and caramel apples, or, if you're in the southern Ozaukee neck of the woods, Mequon has Get Happy.
It's hard to believe, but some people don't like chocolate and candy. If flowers are what you're looking for, you're in luck - there are plenty to choose from! In Saukville, try Lighthouse Florist; in Grafton, there's the Bloomin Olive. Cedarburg has Rachel's Roses, while Mequon has A Floral Affair or Fantasy Flowers.
Perhaps the lovely lady in your life has jewelry in mind? You can't go wrong with Armbruster Jewelers in Cedarburg or Sharbuno Jewelers in Port Washington; both family businesses who have been in their community for many years.
Looking for a special dinner out? There's Twisted Willow or Newport Shores in Port, and Galioto's Twelve21 in Cedarburg. Over Valentine's weekend, Shully's Cuisine in Thiensville is offering five course dinners inspired by romance movies (get your tickets here!). No No's in Newburg is another consideration.
However you share the love, put some Oz into it! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.