Theater

1. Scanning last season for a theatrical tour de force, it was hard to overlook Jason Powell’s turn as Satan in Temptation’s Snare, the Danceworks/Present Music collaboration that modernized Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. We’re not sure if he’ll wax poetic in Destiny, Deviltry and Dentistry. But working with fellow funnyman Doug Jarecki, there’s certain to be a touch of the absurd in this evening of short plays. Sept. 4-20. Alchemist Theatre. (PK) 2. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre shines in intimate, probing dramas. And artistic director C. Michael Wright has found a gripping one in Christian O’Reilly’s The Good Father, a little-known…

1. Scanning last season for a theatrical tour de force, it was hard to overlook Jason Powell’s turn as Satan in Temptation’s Snare, the Danceworks/Present Music collaboration that modernized Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. We’re not sure if he’ll wax poetic in Destiny, Deviltry and Dentistry. But working with fellow funnyman Doug Jarecki, there’s certain to be a touch of the absurd in this evening of short plays. Sept. 4-20. Alchemist Theatre. (PK)

2. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
shines in intimate, probing dramas. And artistic director C. Michael Wright has found a gripping one in Christian O’Reilly’s The Good Father, a little-known play with a simple story: A man and woman find their lives intertwined after a drunken one-night stand, and looking to the future leads to dramatic soul-baring. We suspect Wright’s pick should yield great results. Sept. 17-Oct. 12. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)

3. The opera world was abuzz this year over the Metropolitan Opera’s star-studded production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Enter Viswa Subarraman’s Skylight Theatre with its own take on Cinderella’s story, kicking off a season of assorted fairy tales from The Wizard of Oz to Wagner’s Ring cycle. It promises to be a well-fitting glass slipper for Jill Anna Ponasik, the intrepid and innovative leader of Milwaukee Opera Theatre, who makes her “big stage” opera directing debut. Sept. 19-Oct. 5. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)


From the Rep’s The Color Purple. 


4.  The Milwaukee Rep scored with 2013’s Ragtime, a powerhouse version of a big, big Broadway musical about racially charged early-20th-century America. This year, the Rep opens with a show of similar subject and pedigree. The Color Purple cinematically spans 40 years and three continents as it follows the journey of Celie from poverty and degradation to personal triumph. Sept. 23-Nov. 2. Quadracci Powerhouse at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. (PK)
   
5. Angela Ianonne has had a busy summer, which is bound to happen when you’re über-talented and tackling two of the most iconic characters of the 20th-century canon. In August, Ianonne played opera diva Maria Callas in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Master Class. And less than a month after the last aria, she’ll be shouting “rise and shine!” for In Tandem Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie. Sept. 25-Oct. 19. Tenth Street Theatre. (PK)

6. The local theater landscape changed dramatically when the Boulevard Theatre sold its Bay View storefront and moved out. But a lack of bricks and mortar isn’t going to keep founder Mark Bucher from puttin’ on a show. The troupe opens its inagural season at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center with a concert staging of a classic, Pal Joey. Sept. 26-28. South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. (PK)

7. Renaissance Theaterworks also changed a bit this year when two of its founding members stepped down. But the female-centered company continues its tradition of staging affecting plays. This season’s opener, Amelia, is about a Civil War-era woman who goes behind enemy lines to search for her beloved. Oct. 17-Nov. 9. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)

8. After its disastrous Broadway debut in 1988, you might think that Carrie: The Musical would slip into obscurity. But it has made a comeback in recent years among smaller, hipper theater troupes. Theater Unchained is just one of those companies, and offers a Halloween edition of Stephen King’s classic. Oct. 10-26. Theater Unchained. (PK)

9. Playwright A.R. Gurney takes a turn into political satire with Heresy, the story of a guy who seems a lot like Jesus Christ, who is arrested by Homeland Security because of his anti-consumerist views. Mom and dad (Mary and Joseph) try to get some help from an old friend. But … well, you know how these things go. Nov. 13-Dec. 14. Next Act Theatre. (PK)

10. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee theater department adds to the fairy tale tally with Jose Rivera’s Giants Have Us in their Books, an expansive 1997 piece that was inspired by a conversation with his daughter. If we have giants in our fairy tales, she told him, then the giants must tell stories about us. Dec. 3-7. Kenilworth Studio 508. (PK)

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Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Theater

1. Scanning last season for a theatrical tour de force, it was hard to overlook Jason Powell’s turn as Satan in Temptation’s Snare, the Danceworks/Present Music collaboration that modernized Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. We’re not sure if he’ll wax poetic in Destiny, Deviltry and Dentistry. But working with fellow funnyman Doug Jarecki, there’s certain to be a touch of the absurd in this evening of short plays. Sept. 4-20. Alchemist Theatre. (PK) 2. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre shines in intimate, probing dramas. And artistic director C. Michael Wright has found a gripping one in Christian O’Reilly’s The Good Father, a little-known…

1. Scanning last season for a theatrical tour de force, it was hard to overlook Jason Powell’s turn as Satan in Temptation’s Snare, the Danceworks/Present Music collaboration that modernized Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale. We’re not sure if he’ll wax poetic in Destiny, Deviltry and Dentistry. But working with fellow funnyman Doug Jarecki, there’s certain to be a touch of the absurd in this evening of short plays. Sept. 4-20. Alchemist Theatre. (PK)

2. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
shines in intimate, probing dramas. And artistic director C. Michael Wright has found a gripping one in Christian O’Reilly’s The Good Father, a little-known play with a simple story: A man and woman find their lives intertwined after a drunken one-night stand, and looking to the future leads to dramatic soul-baring. We suspect Wright’s pick should yield great results. Sept. 17-Oct. 12. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)

3. The opera world was abuzz this year over the Metropolitan Opera’s star-studded production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Enter Viswa Subarraman’s Skylight Theatre with its own take on Cinderella’s story, kicking off a season of assorted fairy tales from The Wizard of Oz to Wagner’s Ring cycle. It promises to be a well-fitting glass slipper for Jill Anna Ponasik, the intrepid and innovative leader of Milwaukee Opera Theatre, who makes her “big stage” opera directing debut. Sept. 19-Oct. 5. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)


From the Rep’s The Color Purple. 


4.  The Milwaukee Rep scored with 2013’s Ragtime, a powerhouse version of a big, big Broadway musical about racially charged early-20th-century America. This year, the Rep opens with a show of similar subject and pedigree. The Color Purple cinematically spans 40 years and three continents as it follows the journey of Celie from poverty and degradation to personal triumph. Sept. 23-Nov. 2. Quadracci Powerhouse at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. (PK)
   
5. Angela Ianonne has had a busy summer, which is bound to happen when you’re über-talented and tackling two of the most iconic characters of the 20th-century canon. In August, Ianonne played opera diva Maria Callas in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Master Class. And less than a month after the last aria, she’ll be shouting “rise and shine!” for In Tandem Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie. Sept. 25-Oct. 19. Tenth Street Theatre. (PK)

6. The local theater landscape changed dramatically when the Boulevard Theatre sold its Bay View storefront and moved out. But a lack of bricks and mortar isn’t going to keep founder Mark Bucher from puttin’ on a show. The troupe opens its inagural season at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center with a concert staging of a classic, Pal Joey. Sept. 26-28. South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. (PK)

7. Renaissance Theaterworks also changed a bit this year when two of its founding members stepped down. But the female-centered company continues its tradition of staging affecting plays. This season’s opener, Amelia, is about a Civil War-era woman who goes behind enemy lines to search for her beloved. Oct. 17-Nov. 9. Broadway Theatre Center. (PK)

8. After its disastrous Broadway debut in 1988, you might think that Carrie: The Musical would slip into obscurity. But it has made a comeback in recent years among smaller, hipper theater troupes. Theater Unchained is just one of those companies, and offers a Halloween edition of Stephen King’s classic. Oct. 10-26. Theater Unchained. (PK)

9. Playwright A.R. Gurney takes a turn into political satire with Heresy, the story of a guy who seems a lot like Jesus Christ, who is arrested by Homeland Security because of his anti-consumerist views. Mom and dad (Mary and Joseph) try to get some help from an old friend. But … well, you know how these things go. Nov. 13-Dec. 14. Next Act Theatre. (PK)

10. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee theater department adds to the fairy tale tally with Jose Rivera’s Giants Have Us in their Books, an expansive 1997 piece that was inspired by a conversation with his daughter. If we have giants in our fairy tales, she told him, then the giants must tell stories about us. Dec. 3-7. Kenilworth Studio 508. (PK)

Comments

comments

Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.