Author : Michael Muckian

  • ‘Les Miz’ hits 25

    Milwaukee and Madison audiences will have the chance once again to “dream the dream when hope was high and life worth living” when “Les Miserables” returns. The show, celebrating its 25th anniversary year, will return to the Milwaukee’s Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in April and Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts in May. This special production of Alain Boublil and Claude-M.... Read More
  • ‘Mother Courage’ is an epic take on war’s toll

    Throughout history, war has always been good for business. But what happens when the cost of doing business becomes too dear? That question drives the narrative in Off the Wall Theatre’s upcoming production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” which opens March 24. “Mother Courage,” considered by some to be the 20th century’s greatest play and one of history’s gre.... Read More
  • Sparks fly in ‘St. Ives’

    When strong women come together, hearts ignite, sparks fly and sometimes a combined clarity of vision emerges to reveal truths that aren’t always pretty. This thesis, brought to life by two compelling characters, drives Forward Theater Co.’s powerful production of Lee Blessing’s “Going to St. Ives” at Promenade Hall in Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts. Director Laura Gordon, coax.... Read More
  • Doing the Time Warp again in Madison

    If it’s been a while since you’ve donned Riff Raff’s hump, Brad’s horn-rimmed glasses or Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s eye makeup and bustier, never fear. Thanks to University Theatre on the UW-Madison campus, we’ll all soon be able to do the Time Warp again. UT is bringing live performances of “The Rocky Horror Show” to the Wisconsin Union Theatre in March. You’ll have the chance to act .... Read More
  • Speaking of love in Madison

    Just in time to help lovers of all persuasions celebrate St. Valentines Day, Madison’s Forward Theater Co. presents “The Love that Changed My Life,” a monologue festival featuring short works by playwrights from Wisconsin and across the nation. The individual readings take place in Promenade Hall at Overture Center for the Arts Feb. 11- 12. The call for material attracted local works, as wel.... Read More
  • ‘Mamma Mia!’ Here they go again

    As part of the ensemble for the North American touring company of “Mamma Mia!” for the past 18 months, Mario Matthews is well acquainted with the music of ABBA. The play revolves entirely around the Swedish pop group’s playlist, and Matthews knows all the words to all the songs that appear in the seemingly never-ending touring show. Matthews is one of a cadre of seven gay company members who.... Read More
  • Painting Hope

    When the actor Thom Bierdz returned to the CBS daytime drama “The Young and the Restless” to reintroduce his character of Phillip Chancellor III, he made history of a sort as the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay soap opera character. It was the only way he would return to the show, the Kenosha native said, because he had changed and needed his character to be true to who he is. As .... Read More
  • Museum shuttered but legacy lives on

    Musical legends never die, but every so often they lose their museums. Nearly a month ago to the day that the Milwaukee Rep opened “Liberace!”, a musical love letter to the flamboyant West Allis native who began his career as Little Walter Busterkeys, the Liberace Museum closed its doors after 31 years of operations just a little too far off the Las Vegas strip. Museum officials cited the econ.... Read More
  • APT’s gift: ‘Magi’ as musical

    Maybe it was an idea whose time has finally come, but American Players Theatre has at last embraced the Christmas holidays with a musical version of “The Gift of the Magi,” the Spring Green company’s first-ever holiday production. The only question is – what took them so long? Granted this is only the second season that APT has had use of the Touchstone Theatre, an intimate, 201-seat indoo.... Read More
  • Sedaris adaptation is tale of gays in Toyland

    For George Gonzalez, one the greatest challenges in directing “The Santaland Diaries,” author David Sedaris’ wickedly funny bitch session about a season spent serving time as an elf in Santaland at Macy’s department store, was what to do about Snowball, the fellow elf on whom main character Crumpet (R. Peter Hunt) has a crush. “Last year there was a ‘family-friendly’ version of ‘Th.... Read More