Archive for the ‘Marquette’ Category

Anything Goes at Marquette Theatre

April 7, 2017
Anything Goes

Kristi, Erin, and I just got back from seeing Anything Goes at the Helfaer Theatre on the Marquette University campus. Normally, I would wait until the morning and then post something on Facebook or Twitter letting all of my friends know how much I enjoyed the show and reminding them to get tickets if they can. Instead, I decided that this message can’t wait. Tonight, I saw one of the best shows that I’ve seen in quite a while. And that is saying something because I’ve been very impressed with the whole season at MU this year.

Over the years, I’ve seen Anything Goes no less than four times. The first being at the Helfaer Theatre in 1985 (the last time MU performed this show) when my college roommate, Wally Schmidt, played one of the sailors in the show. I have to say that, without a doubt, I enjoyed tonight’s performance more than any of the others. The music was well performed, the set was clean and functional, and the costumes were just short of phenomenal. But it was cast and their acting, singing, and dancing that impressed me the most.

With A.J. being a junior at Marquette, I’ve seen many of this show’s performers in other productions and I am always impressed with how they practice their craft. All of the principals in this production are so very good and I could name something amazing about each of them, but I won’t. It is obvious that the actress playing Reno, Aileen O’Carroll, has put in a lot of work preparing for this role. She was a joy to watch. Also fun was watching the chemistry between Billy and Hope (Nick Parrott and Lindsay Webster). They really clicked. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the comic antics of A.J. Magoon as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh stole the show for me. I may be slightly biased but he was perfect for that role. The last two that I will call out for their comic genius were Michael Nicholas and Caroline Norton as Moonface and his sidekick/girlfriend, Bonnie. The two of them never dropped their NY accents and were a delight to watch even when they weren’t the focus of the scene.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to see this extraordinary show. There are two more performances this weekend, Saturday night and Sunday matinee. And then they take a week off for Easter and have five more performances, April 19th through the 23rd. I’ve already got tickets to see it at least one more time. Go! Get your tickets! You won’t be sorry.

AJ’s Busy Theatre Schedule

October 15, 2015

As a disclaimer, I should mention that this post will contain quite a lot of fatherly pride and may even border on being a bit braggy. Okay, who am I kidding? It is going to be very braggy. I wouldn’t blame anyone if they decided to bail right now.

Is anyone still there? Good. Let’s get started. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned it before but if you’ve forgotten, my son, AJ, is studying theatre at Marquette University and last year was his freshman year. We were very proud that he was cast in the ensemble for In The Red And Brown Water last November and was chosen to play the role of Philiste in The Liar in February. That’s him as Philiste in green in the adjacent photo.

Normally, at the end of the spring semester, Marquette holds auditions for the first show of the fall semester because rehearsals have to start before the semester does. This past spring was a little different in that they also held auditions for the final show of the season in April as it is going to be a collaboration with Renaissance Theaterworks in downtown Milwaukee. As luck would have it, AJ was cast in both shows.

You may recall from a previous post, AJ was cast as the “enjoyable awkward” Eric Richards in Loose Lips Sink Ships, a musical comedy about women shipbuilders in Sturgeon Bay during World War II. The adjacent picture is from that show. The other role that he was cast in last spring was that of the Artillery Trainee in Censored On Final Approach at RTW next spring. Getting cast in both of those shows for this season before school year even started was pretty amazing and I couldn’t have imagined a better way for his sophomore year to turn out.

On the first two days of class in the fall semester, Marquette holds auditions for the November show and the January, kid-centric, show. As both of these shows rehearse at the same time in the second half of the semester, a student can only be cast in one of them. Fortune again smiled on AJ as he was chosen to play the role of Jem Finch in the iconic To Kill A Mockingbird, the November show. And, now, as I thought things couldn’t get any better, I just got news that the results of the auditions for the final show to be cast were announced this week. AJ was cast as Silvius in the February show, Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

So if you are keeping count, that’s a total of four shows this year while also carrying a full load in college. I’m not sure when that boy actually sleeps. All I can say is that I am very proud of that young man and I’m glad that he is having so much fun.