If live theatre is going to make a comeback on local stages in June, there’s no question that William Shakespeare is going to be involved. This coming June, live theatre climbs its way back onstage in a big way with no fewer than three Shakespeare shows making it to the stage. But first: there’s this Beatles thing in Elm Grove.
The Sunset Playhouse has a live in-person performance with a title that kind of sounds like something out of a really, really weird game of Clue. Sgt. Pepper with a Revolver on Abbey Road is a cabaret-style show featuring songs from Revolver, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. As this is an indoor show in an actual theatre, patrons, volunteers, and staff MUST provide and wear face masks when inside Sunset Playhouse. The show run June 7 and 8. For more information, visit Sunset Playhouse online.
Boozy Bard’s Shakespeare Raw returns to The Best Place Tavern this June with a one-night-only staging of The Merry Wives Of Windsor. This is a fun comedy featuring Shakespearian favorite Sir John Falstaff. Who will play him at the Best Place this June? No one knows until the show. Actors take roles at random in a fun environment that can result in some incredibly memorable performances.
The one-night-only show takes place on June 23rd starting at 7pm.
For more information, visit the show’s Facebook events page.
Admission is $10 at the door and $5 if you show-up in “quarantine clothes” (whatever that means for YOU.) But if you’re looking to support the Boozy Bard, you might consider showing-up in a t-shirt, skirt, stockings (or possibly all three) featuring the group’s eerily iconic “Shakespeare in a Beer Helmet” logo. All this and more is available from Redbubble. It's real merch. Go to the show be-merched, drink and be crazy. It's June.
The Summit Players Theatre is launching another traveling season this June featuring a new production of The Winter’s Tale. The free production will visit 24 different Wisconsin State Parks over the course of this summer starting on on June 12th at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. After the Bong opening, the show goes to High Cliff on the 13th and Three Bridges on the 18th. It’s a truncated version of the show that starts with a 5:30 pm workshop for those interested and then a 7 pm show. For more information, visit Summer Players online.
Door Shakespeare will be opening its outdoor production of Hamlet at month’s end...with both in-person and “stream at home” options for those who might not be able to make it all the way up to Sister Bay this year. The show features the conspicuously talented Milwaukee-based actor Ryan Schabach in no fewer than 17 roles. That’s right: it’s a one-actor Hamlet. This would be kind of harrowing for any audience were it not for the fact that the one-actor in question is Schabach. He’s really good at holding an audience. It should be fun to see him tackle the entirety of Hamlet in the idyllic wonder of Sister Bay’s Björklunden performance space.
Door Shakespeare’s Hamlet runs June 30 through August 17. For more information, visit Door Shakes online.
Zoom Comedy with Broadminded
Veteran comedy group Broadminded makes it online this month with a new offering: The First Zoom Comedy Show Ever. The all-woman comedy group runs a series of bits live and online in a surprisingly smooth hour of comedy. (Okay...so the first of two performances had its glitches, but for a multi-sketch Zoom show it was surprisingly smooth.) The show successfully uses the Zoom format for a few clever sketches about culture in. An age of COVID. There is school. There is multi-level marketing. A coffee maker and a bag of beans are used as puppets. It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s Broadminded.
Amazon user reviews Are going to be an interesting thing for future generations to look at. It’s such a bizarre distillation of the values of a contemporary society. The Broads take a look at it this in a series of dramatic readings of reviews of a certain electric pencil sharpener that serve as on of the better bits in the show.
Fringe Politics as MLM
Stacy Babl dives into a little bit of political commentary with a fascinating little sketch in which the extreme rate is depicted as someone selling Avon or Mary Kay style cosmetics on Zoom. The MAGA crowd does have a tendency to come across like a multi level marketing group, which makes the sketch all the more clever, that one gets the sinking suspicion that perhaps the sketch doesn’t go quite far enough. It’s hard to outdo the absurdity of actual political extremists on this sort of thing. It’s not hard to imagine...say...Babl’s concealed carry themed concealer being sold at a Trump rally or a gun show.
Education About Education
By far the best skit in the entire show had to be one in which Melissa Kingston play a teacher of grade school students during her office hours. And comic fashion, the rest of the brides played kids with a host of different problems and concerns that had almost nothing to do with school itself and the math class that her character was teaching. There’s a profound depth in about that sketch that speaks to many of the issues that teachers are facing right now. More than simply funny, this bit is actually...edifying. Teachers are going through a lot right now. It’s fun to watch one of them actually playing with that for the purposes of a comedy sketch online...in the exact same format that so many teachers have ACTUALLY been forced to deal with recently.
And Some Other Stuff
Not everything worked perfectly. The two instances in which the group talked about sketches they done in the past were played with choppy video. The sketch at the end involving a video conferenced wake seems to go on for a bit longer than it probably should have. But on the whole this is very fun hour’s performance.
The more sketch comedy group that’s been around for quite a long time continues to deliver some very interesting stuff and yet another program. There’s one more chance for everyone to check out what is a fun, little one-hour excursion into Zoom-land with some funny people.
Broadminded’s The Very First Zoom Comedy Show Ever will return for one more performance on May 22nd at 7:30 pm. For more information, visit Broadminded online.