Lots of Great Theatre

The Dramagoons have seen a lot of live theatre over the last several weeks and it was all wonderful. I had intended to submit each one of these shows as separate posts but I didn’t take the time after each performance. So now it makes more sense to put them all together in one long post.

Before it closed, we all saw Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak and The Milwaukee Rep. This was the first time any of us had seen a show in the Quadracci Powerhouse. We sat in the “cheap seats” in the balcony but still had a pretty good view of the show. The show was reminiscent of the stories found in the trade paperbacks of the 1920s. There was lots intrigue, romance, and murder… and 28 gun-shots if I counted correctly. The show was adapted from a George M. Cohan play by the Artistic Director, Joseph Hanreddy. The adaptation was amazingly funny and a perfect finale for Mr. Hanreddy. The show was made up of The Rep’s entire Resident Acting Company minus Rose Pickering and was augmented with a couple of local actors to fill out the cast. Each member of the cast was completely suited for their roles. It was quite an enjoyable evening. I didn’t even mind when the show dissolved into a tongue-in-cheek Quentin Tarantino style gun battle followed by a scene out of Night of the Living Dead.

In the middle of April, we all went to see the Hamilton High School production of Lend Me a Tenor. We had won the tickets in a silent auction at Erin’s school carnival. Kristi and I had seen this same show about a year ago at Soulstice Theatre but it was the first time for the kids. For a high school production, it was really well done. The boys that played Max and Tito and the girls that played Maggie and Diana did a superb job. The acting overall was very good. Max and Tito’s blackface makeup in the second act needed to be a lot darker to make you believe that they could have been mistaken for each other but otherwise it was a fairly flawless production. My only gripe is with the facility itself. The acoustics in the now 5 year old Hamilton Fine Arts Center are awful. I realize that a 750 seat theatre is rather large and it requires some actors to wear mics, but nothing sounds natural. It all sounds like it is coming through some old car speakers.

This last Friday night, we saw the other production for which had won tickets in the silent auction at Erin’s school carnival, Falls Patio Players production of Oliver! It was a fantastic show. The set was beautiful and the singing was outstanding. We all especially liked the performances by the actors/actresses that played Oliver, The Artful Dodger, Fagin, and Nancy. The show had an extremely large ensemble cast. It is a good thing that they have such a large stage to play on.

Finally, on Saturday night, Kristi and I went to see The Kitchen Witches at Waukesha Civic Theatre. This has to be the funniest show we have seen all season. In the spirit of full disclosure I must admit that I am the one that proposed this show to the play advisory committee last year so I may be slightly biased in my opinions of the show. The entire cast of four did an excellent job. I was very happy to see Denise Meagher in the role of Isobel Lomax. Denise and I worked together in Little Women at WCT. The whole cast had me in stitches for over half of the show. Kudos to Matt Lovison for an outstanding job as Stephen. What I love about the show is that it was written less than 10 years ago. That mean that the language is current day and many of the references and humorous situations are topical. This show has as much appeal for the 20 to 50 year old crowd as it does for those over 50. There are some risqué situations in this show. I’ve heard it referred to as a “naughty-but-nice show” but I don’t think it would even get a PG-13 rating as a movie. You have two more weeks to see this show. Don’t miss it.

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