Footlights Blog

My Weekend Picks (Weekend of 6/4)

June 02, 2010

By: Kristin Godfrey

 

In Milwaukee:

UWM Peck School - Summerdances.  As I wrote last week, this promises to be a VERY exciting night of dance featuring five premieres and some incredibly talented students. The program also features a performance of Garth Fagan's "From Before"- a signature work by the Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King and the department's guest artist last year.

Sunset Playhouse - Leading Ladies. Comedy is certainly something Sunset EXCELS in and this show sounds hysterical. I am not sure what it is about men dressing up as women that is always funny, but it is!

In Chicago:

Next Theatre - War With The Newts. I am beyond intrigued. This book was written in 1936 - a satire about a global economy planting the seeds of its own destruction.  It has been adapted for Next Theatre in collaboration with a puppet master and that freshness combined with the timeliness of subject matter should make for some exciting theatre!

Have a FANTASTIC Weekend!

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Cheers to Chamber!

May 28, 2010

By: Kristin Godfrey

Many (if not most) non-profits have an annual gala.  They are a terrific way for the companies to connect with patrons and celebrate, and of course to raise funds.  Milwaukee Chamber Theatre is no different - and they are having a terrific summer gala next weekend - Friday, June 4. 

Arts galas, in my opinion, are always the most fun - because they have access to incredible talent pools of people to entertain their guests. For Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's gala, they will have internationally acclaimed accordion virtuoso Stas Venglevski throughout the evening (I LOVE Stas - he is unbelievable and makes accordion music a lot cooler than you'd think) as well as a special performance by Chase Stoeger and Molly Rhode to commemorate MCT's 35th Anniversary.

More reasons this will be a great gala... It is being held at the La Lune Collection World Headquarters, a beautifully restored historic cream city brick complex (the headquarters of La Lune's rustic furniture business), and will be both indoors and outdoors - a great way to enjoy the summer weather we've been treated to recently.  It is also having three theatre vacation live auctions (for three of my favorite places in the world) - for Breckenridge, Colorado, New York, and American Players Theatre in Spring Green.

If you'd like to attend (or get more information), call Milwaukee Chamber Theatre at 414-276-8842.

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My Weekend Picks (Weekend of 5/29)

May 27, 2010

By: Kristin Godfrey

In Milwaukee:

Skylight Opera Theatre - An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan.  This was the Skylight's 50th Anniversary Season and An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan is its final show of the season. This is especially fitting since An Evening ... was the first show the Skylight ever did.  (Read more about the history here.) Directed by Dale Gutzman (who was synonymous with the Skylight for decades), this is a terrific celebration of what has made the Skylight so unique for all these years.

Skylight Opera Theatre - RENT. I know I made it a weekend pick for last weekend, but I saw it Sunday night and I think my recommendation deserves repeating. The Skylight really did something extraordinary with this production and, as I predicted, Rick and Tommy (playing Mark and Roger) were absolutely amazing. It runs through June 20 - but see it.

In Chicago:

Northlight Theatre - Low Down Dirty Blues. I have been really impressed with Northlight. That being said, this show sold me with the name first (it just sounds gritty and fantastic) and through further investigation,  this review of "dirty blues" greats like Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, Pearl Bailey and Mae West make this a great pick for an enjoyable evening of performing arts!

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Openings and Closings (Weekend of 5/29)

May 26, 2010

By: Kristin Godfrey

Shows are starting to close more and more... but the arts are still cooking!

In Milwaukee:
Opening: Skylight Opera Theatre - An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan

Check out other shows still running...

In Chicago:

Opening: Northlight Theatre - Low Down Dirty Blues

Closing: Porchlight Music Theatre - Into the Woods, Chicago Dramatists - Jade Heart, Strawdog Theatre Company - The Good Soul of Szechuan

Check out other shows still running...

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Summer Dancing

May 25, 2010

By: Kristin Godfrey

I know I've been on my soapbox a lot about the work done in university arts programs, but I really mean it. Cool stuff.  And here comes another one...

UWM's Department of Dance is producing a work with five (count ‘em - FIVE) choreographic premieres (and we all know how much I love premieres) to kick off their summer dance season - called Summerdances: Uncovered.  I have a number of things I think are especially "of note" on this one - so I'm going to bullet point it for your ease.

  • This is the final experience for UWM students with Garth Fagan, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of Walt Disney's THE LION KING whose work they have been studying all year. Mr. Fagan will be attending opening night. Way cool, UWM.
  • This show celebrates the end of a year of investigation (by the Department of Dance students, faculty and guests) on the questions of Race & Identity. I love when artists investigate and express such contemporary and relevant topics.
  • This show has five faculty premieres - a high-energy performance inspired by Northeast Brazil, an exploration of mythic female characters, a "theatrical adventure" featuring showgirls, salsa and rumba, a piece interwoven with covers of popular songs and more. Good stuff!
  • They are hosting pre-performance talks before each show (at 6:45 PM) with selected choreographers. I LOVE attending these - especially with dance, which, though I love it, I don't always grasp without some hand-holding. These pre-performance talks give me an idea of the interpretations I can look for and visual cues to pay attention to. I find it enriches my experience exponentially.

UWM's Dance students are terrific and the talent of the faculty and choreographers all but guarantees a great night of art.  So, in closing, this is going to be COOL  Did you get that?

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