‘Monsters, Mayhem’ in Potluck for Kids
Humor and tenderness
abound. Potluck presents the
stereotyped women I associate withappliance
commercials presenting pastel casseroles at a potluck picnic and competing for
acclaim. The sole male is flat-footed and off-tempo. The fact that it’s all set
to the “Emperor Waltz” by Johann Strauss is already hilarious, and the full-out
acting of the dancers kept me in stitches. The waltz was performed with immense
charm by seven musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Both Frogs and Wild Things feature engagingly nonhuman movement by the titular
characters, excellent costumes and narrative suspense: Will the princess escape
the frogs; will the boy control the beasts?
For When the Bough Breaks, the all-ages audience was given props to arrange on stage as an obstacle course symbolic of real-world dangers. In Maestro,the audience stole the show by design, dancing steps they’d (sort of) rehearsed in a joyous pre-show workshop, while Kuepper in a tux—mom as vaudeville clown—conducted.