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Midwest Premiere of ‘The Lizard King’

A psychedelic experience at Arcade Theatre

Sep. 8, 2015
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Playwright Jay Jeff Jones’ The Lizard King was inspired by the mythic “Lost Paris Tapes” and details the final days of poet and singer Jim Morrison’s life. The piece was last performed on stage 24 years ago. Independent producer/director and owner of KACM Theatrical Productions Ken Morgan accidentally discovered the existence of the play two years ago. As luck had it, Jones was already updating the script and the refreshed play will make its Midwest premiere in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

“This play is not a biography. It’s an opportunity for the audience to come into, live in and share the poetry world of Jim Morrison,” says Morgan. “Max Tomaszewski, the extraordinarily talented actor playing Morrison, has put it best: ‘For someone as complex, creative and dangerous as Morrison, the media spotlight was never enough to paint the complete picture. As a mystic musician obsessed with transcending mortal limits through music, drugs and poetry, there can be no more meaningful and desperate period to explore than those final moments leading up to [Morrison’s death].’”

The performance includes a live band led by music director Al Cooper, who composed an original score for the play that is suggestive of The Doors’ music as well as the Sunset Strip culture of the time. Additionally, The Lizard King crew worked for 14 months creating the show’s production plans, which Morgan believes will “provide an audience with a wild and totally unexpected night at the theater using music, special effects and the remarkable talents of the actors we engaged. The play will be a genuine psychedelic experience tied to an intriguing story and the audience will be thrilled with it.”

Morgan adds, “This play is not going to be a look at what theater can be, but what it is in all its immediacy: a wild and totally unexpected journey to a fabulous world that will leave the audience agog. As I said to a friend when I first read this play, I would have nothing but regrets if I didn’t produce it.”

The Lizard King runs Sept. 15-27 at the Arcade Theatre/Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit kacmtheatrical.weebly.com.

Theatre Happenings:

Off the Wall Theatre opens its 2015-’16 season with Dale Gutzman’s modern translation of Molière’s Tartuffe. This lewd comedy is full of hypocrisy, misguided faith, politics, scandalous behavior, family antics and, of course, love. Show runs Sept. 17-27 at 127 E. Wells St. For more information and tickets, call 414-484-8874 or visit offthewalltheatre.com

Since the 1970s, the Milwaukee Public Theatre has been true to its name by taking theater out of the usual venues and bringing live performance into public places. Free to the public, their ongoing program of socially relevant parades and community events needs funding to flourish. MPT’s scheduled Steampunk Circus benefit has been cancelled and replaced by “A Night of a Thousand Veils” featuring music by the Lucy Chamberlain Band and belly dancing by Dimitra plus jugglers, palm readers, a hookah bar and hors d’oeuvres. The fundraiser takes place 7-11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, at the home of Max Samson and Nancy Pinter, 1250 W. Dean Road, River Hills. To RSVP, email npinter44@gmail.com.

Waukesha Civic Theatre (264 W. Main St., Waukesha) presents Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy A Little Night Music, which features the famous song “Send in the Clowns.” Follow the stories of Fredrik, Anne and Desiree Sept. 18-Oct. 4. For more information and tickets, call 262-547-0708 or visit waukeshacivictheatre.org.

Over Our Head Players (318 Sixth St., Racine) opens their 24th season with Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood’s Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, a “hilarious send up of 1950s Cold War anxiety and kitsch culture.”  Show runs Sept. 18-Oct. 4. For more information and tickets, call 262-632-6802 or visit overourheadplayers.org.

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