Milwaukee Theatre opens the Autumn with a few moments of very heavy drama punctuating a largely light month of pleasant comedy. From the intimate comedy of Placeholder Players to Shakespearian romantic comedy with Boozy Bard to offbeat laughs with Next Act...it looks like a largely fun and breezy time on local small stages this month. Here’s a look.
Stupid Fucking Bird
Back in 1896, Anton Chekhov wrote The Seagull--a large ensemble drama involving a novelist. About ten years ago, Aaron Posner wrote Stupid Fucking Bird--a contemporary adaptation of the ensemble drama involving a struggling playwright. This September Placeholder Players present a staging of Posner’s play at Sunstone Studios on 127 East Wells Street. The ever-charismatic Zach Thomas Woods plays the playwright in question: a guy named Con. The cast includes quite a bit of talent including Mary Grace Seigel, Rick Bingen and Grace Berendt. The show runs one weekend only: September 1st - 3rd. For more information, visit Sunstone online.
The Boulevard Theatre hosts one more performance of a remarkably thoughtful and nuanced staged reading of Joshua Harmon's Significant Other in the back room of Sugar Maple this month. Director Mark Bucher has put together an impressive cast for the show including Kyle Conner, who also stars as the title character in Richard II with Voices Found Rep. It also features Grace Berendt and Mary Grace Seigel who appear in Stupid Fucking Bird...so it's kind of a cool opportunity to spot a few actors meeting-up for a quick matinee performance after a couple of shows close. Significant Other's single performance takes place on September 9th at 2pm at Sugar Maple on 411 East Lincoln Ave. For more information, visit Facebook.
Love’s Labours’ Lost
Four guys attempt to avoid the company of women in the interest of focussing on their studies. Naturally, they fall for the Princess of France and her ladies. It’s a fun, little premise for a Shakespearian comedy that makes its way to a fun and informal stage by way of Boozy Bard this month. Roles are chosen at random before each performance in a fun comedy environment Sep. 11th - 13th at The Best Place Tavern on 917 W Juneau Ave. For information, visit Boozy Bard’s place on Facebook.
Milwaukee's longest-lived sketch comedy group clearly has enough experience to provide more than a few helpful tips. There's real wisdom that comes from hanging out together onstage for quite a few years. All-Woman comedy group Broadminded continues its relationship with the stage in a series of shows at The Interchange Theatre Co-Op this month. Each show is preceded by an opening act. Broadminded's Lifaehacks runs Sept. 16th - 30th. For more information visit the show's page on Eventrbrite.
Splash Hatch On the E Going Down
Next Act Theatre opens its season this coming month with a contemporary drama. Jada Jackson plays Thyme--a 15 year-old pregnant Harlem girl. She’s an A student who is eco-conscious and coming to terms with a great many things in a world that suffers from environmental racism. Playwright Kia Cothron touches on quite a few different very serious issues with a promising drama that debuted back in the late 1990s. The Next Act production runs Sep. 20th - Oct. 15th on 255 S. Water St. For more information, visit Next Act online.
Laughs in Spanish
Isa Condo-Olvera stars as the owner of a Miami art gallery that has become a crime scene in an offbeat murder comedy that opens the season for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. It’s described as a cross between a Telenovela and a Wes Anderson movie. So in other words...it’s the perfect opening to what appears to be a really impressive season for Milwaukee Chamber. September 22nd - Oct. 8th at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre on 158 N Broadway. For more information, visit Milwaukee Chamber Theatre online.
A Piece of My Heart
Playwright Shirley Lauro explores the lives of women who served in Vietnam from their own perspective in a very gripping emotional drama that I’ve seen a couple of times before. Marquette University Theatre celebrates 100 years with a season that opens with Lauro’s drama. The show runs Sep. 29th - Oct. 8th at the Helfaer Theatre on 1304 W Clybourn St. For more information, visit Marquette University online.
Three Other Sisters
Theatre Gigante closes-out the month with a show that manages to fit so many different moods...a strangely engaging fugue starring Simone Ferro, Isabelle Kralj, and Tori Watson. I’ve seen Gigante do this one once before and it’s a great deal of fun. Sep. 29th - Oct. 1st at Kenilworth 508 Theatre on 1925 E Kenilworth Place. For more information, visit the show’s page online.