July is going to be kind of a weird month in local theatre. Yes, there IS going to be the traditional visits with Shakespeare. (And this month I get to see two Shakespeare shows on consecutive nights, which should be fun.) Also...there IS going to be at least one Broadway-style musical, but...things get a little weird as well. Sir John Falstaff, Helen Keller, the Nanny Named Fran, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West. Here’s a look at some of what lies ahead the month of July.
Optimist Theatre returns to Milwaukee area parks this summer with a production of Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline. As in years past, Optimist has put together a remarkable cast for the production including Ken Williams, Libby Amato, Michael Stebbins, Susie Duecker, and Zachary Woods. Ron Scot Fry directs the show. Optimist always does such a good job of putting together stylish productions that can easily sneak into a section of a park, weave a little Shakespeare and then...vanish like they were little more than a strange dream. The show runs for an hour and a half without intermission and it explores innocence, jealousy and love. The show runs July 9 - Aug. 13. For more information, visit Optimist Theatre online.
Shakespeare RAW: The Merry Wives of Windsor
Y’know...Sit John Falstaff’s natural habitat would appear to be a bar. The legendarily comic knight makes his way to The Best Place Tavern this month courtesy of Boozy Bard in its production of The Merry Wives. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect fit for a casual night at a bar. So...who’s playing Falstaff? That’s going to depend on the night and the whims of the casting director...that just happens to be a hat. Roles are determined at random at the beginning of each performance in a fun sort of an improv kind of an atmosphere. The. show runs Monday through Wednesday July 10th -12th. For more information, visit the show’s
This month, playwright Tim Backes debuts a coming-of-age drama at Wulff Lodge in Grant Park. The Milwaukee County Park lodge should serve as a warm and inviting place for Backes’ coming-of-age story of a group of friends who meet-up four years after high school graduation. What was intended to be an opportunity for the group to meet-up and get nostalgic turns into something altogether more dramatic as secrets are revealed and friendships shift. The showm which is produced by Backes in partnership with Milwaukee County Parks, runs July 13 - 15 on 215 S. Lake Drive in South Milwaukee. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook events page.
The Miracle Worker
William Gibson’s adaptation of the real-life story of Helen Keller welcomes outdoor audiences courtesy of Summerstage of Delafield. The peaceful space of Lapham Peak State Park should match the overall mood of Colbert County Alabama in the late 19th century. Helen Keller’s relationship with her teacher Annie Sullivan should be a very natural fit for the organic feel of outdoor theatre. The drama is directed. by Elaine Rewolinski. It runs July 13th – 29th in Delafield. For more information, visit Summerstage online.
The Nanny: A Fine Parody
Purse String Productions will be staging a spoof on the popular 1990s sitcom. Typically TV sitcoms are kind of a weird thing to try to put on the local live stage, but...this one looks like it’s got a really fun cast Samantha Sostarich is brilliant with light comedy. She’s going to be playing the Fran Drescher role. Parker Cristan plays the butler Niles. Ceci Rodriguez plays Fran’s longtime friend Val. The show runs one weekend only July 14 - 16. For more information, visit Purse Strings’ Facebook Page.
Greendale Community Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary Summer show with The Prom--a really cool idea for a musical based on real-life events. Back in 2010, a student at a high school in Mississippi planned to attend her senior prom with her girlfriend. The school banned her from attending. With the aid of the ACLU, she successfully sued the school district, which promptly caused the school to cancel the prom altogether. The drama continued from there. Six years later, a Broadway musical was based on the real-life drama. At the end of this month, GCT stages a production of the musical. The show runs July 27th - August 5th at Greendale High School Auditorium on 6801 Southway in Greendale. For more information, visit GCT online.
The Wizard of Oz
Courtney Denzer stars as Dorothy in Bombshell Theatre Co.’s upcoming production of the beloved fantasy The Wizard of Oz. The land of Oz heads. to the stage of the Broadway Theatre Center in a big staging featuring costuming, puppetry. (The crows that popped-up on Bombshell’s Facebook feed look adorable.) Those crows and a whole lot of other elements that should have little difficulty bringing the fantasy to life onstage. The show runs July 28th - August 6th. For more information, visit Bombshell Theatre online.