April opens-up on lingering winter weather as March of 2023 goes out like a snowy lion. Local stages offer a wide spectrum of different shows including a contemporary family drama, a couple of historical dramas musicals and more. Here's a look at what lies ahead in warmer weeks.
Boozy Bard opens the month in a week and a half with its staging of King Lear. Shakespearean drama hits the stage with a breezy improv atmosphere in a show that features a different randomly-generated cast every single evening. Shakespeare RAW: King Lear runs April 10 - 12 at The Best Place Tavern. For more information, visit the show's Facebook events page.
Dominique Morisseau's powerful period drama debuted about ten years ago. Chelle and her brother Lank are starting-up a basement business to make ends meet. A mysterious woman enters the picture, throwing everything out of synch in the second production by VIP (Voices Included for People of Color.) It's a group operating under the umbrella of Marquette Theatre that is expanding the group of diverse productions that the University is bringing to the stage. The drama runs April 14-23 at the Helfaer Theatre. For more information, visit Marquette online.
I’M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD
Jaimelyn Gray directs Milwaukee theatre veteeran James Pickering and the talented Rebekah Farr in The Constructivists’ production of Halley Feiffer’s tale of a father and his daughter. He’s a playwright. She’s an actress who is work The Interchange Theater Co-Op on 628 N.10th St. The show runs April 15-29, Also of note: The Thursday, April 27th performance is a dedicated understudy show featuring William Molitor and Maya Danks in the roles of father and daughter. For more information, visit The Constructivists online.
The 2007 musical theatre adaptation Mel Brooks’ 1974 enduring horror comedy gets an Elm Grove staging this month as The Sunset Playhouse launches its production. Eric Nelson plays the title character of Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson Frederick Frankenstein (It’s pronounced FrahnkenSTEEN!) The charismatically tall and reasonably mesomorphic Steven Sizer the monster to Nelson’s Frankenstein The cast also features Cheryl Roloff as Frau Blücher, Tommy Lueck directs a show that should be a sizable hit for Sunset. It should be interesting what Sunset does with costuming and scenic design for a colorful horror comedy spoof. April 20, 2023 - May 7, 2023 at the Furlan Auditorium on 700 Wall Street. For ticket reservations, visit the Sunset Online.
BOB MARLEY’S THREE LITTLE BIRDS
Back in 2006, legendary reggae musician Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella wrote a children’s book called Three Little Birds. She named the main character after her little brother Ziggy. (An accomplished musician himself.) The. Ziggy of Three Little Birds is afraid to leave the house. He’s afraid of tropical storms, evil spirits and more. Ziggy learns not to be worried in a fun, little story. A little under ten years ago, Cedella worked with playwright Michael J. Bobbitt on a musical adaptation that opened in New York. The show gets a Milwaukee production this month courtesy of First Stage. Directed by Samantha D. Montgomery, the show runs APRIL 21 - MAY 21, 2023 at The Marcus Center's Todd Wehr Theater. For ticket reservations and more, visit First Stage Online,
Playwright Katori Hall focuses on a single moment in time: Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on Earth. King is in the Lorraine Motel, having just delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre stages a production of the drama this month. Cereyna Bougouneau plays a young maid goes to the motel room and has a conversation with the civil rights leader. Hall adds some perspective on the legend of the man who would prove to be so influential. Mikael Burke directs. The show was staged about ten years ago with the Milwaukee Rep. The Milwaukee Chamber production runs April 21 - May 7 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre. For ticket reservations and more, visit Milwaukee Chamber Theatre online.
Bombshell Theatre Company stages the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical adaptation of the classic 1950 film...on Broadway. (Or...at least...the Broadway Theatre Center's studio theatre.) The intimate space of the studio should serve as a cozy space for all the glamor that Bombshell can conjure. Featuring Kara Ernst-Schalk as the Hollywood diva Norma Desmond, Eric Welch as struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis and Rae Elizabeth Paré as script reader Betty Schaefer. The show runs April 21 - May 7. For more information, visit Bombshell online.
Bombshell always does a good show. This is one that I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to make it to. I would be tempted to make it a four-show week, but I've tried that once before and...it was not pretty...
The story goes something like this: contemporary playwright Bill Cain was simmering in COVID lockdown when he heard the same things all of us did: Shakespeare wrote some really great work during Bubonic Plague lockdown. Being a playwright, Bill Cain wrote a play about the playwright and thus was born God’s Spies. This month, Next Act Theatre presents the world premiere of Cain’s work. Directed by David Cecsarini, the show features an impressive cast including Mark Ulrich, Eva Nimmer and Zach Thomas Woods. The show runs April 27- May 21st, For ticket reservations and more, visit Next Act online.