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Performing Arts Weekly: February 23, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017
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In Tandem Theatre's production of Time Stands Still


Time Stands Still @ Tenth Street Theatre, Feb. 23-March 19

Time Stands Still is undoubtedly Donald Margulies’ best play since his Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner With Friends,” comments In Tandem Theatre’s Chris Flieller, director and set designer for this production. “It asks important questions about the world by engaging us in a very personal story. I think that the play, at its core, is about damage: damaged bodies, minds, hearts, lives—and how we each choose to repair that damage, or not.”

American playwright and Yale professor Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still was penned in 2009. It opened on Broadway the following year (after a world premiere in Los Angeles) and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 2010. In Tandem’s new production stars Milwaukee theater vets Kay Allmand (Sarah), Richard Ganoung (Richard) and David Sapiro (James); Jordan Watson, graduate of Western Washington University, makes her In Tandem debut in the role of Mandy.

To coincide with In Tandem’s production of the War on Terror-themed Time Stands Still, pictures taken by photojournalist Mike Nelson, who’s worked extensively in the U.S., Africa and the Middle East throughout his 30-year career, will be on display. (John Jahn)

Love Letters @ The Alchemist Theatre, Feb. 23-26

A lifetime of love letters exchanged between a man and woman, both upper-crusters but with widely different fates, has managed to keep them close, despite physical separation, through many ambitions, dreams, hopes, victories and defeats. Danny Polanski directs Outskirts Theatre Company’s production of Albert Ramsdell Gurney’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Love Letters (1988)—a play that centers on the nearly five-decade relationship in writing between Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (here played by Mary Buchel and Kevin Koehne). Performances take place at the Alchemist Theatre. (John Jahn)

The Glass Menagerie @ Underground Collaborative, Feb. 24-March 4

The Company of Strangers performing arts ensemble takes to the lower level of Downtown Milwaukee’s Shops of Grand Avenue for what they describe as a “classic drama brought to the stage with a unique analysis on relationships and hope,” with “a surrealistic delivery complete with live blues music.” Company of Strangers’ Co-founder Jessica L. Sosnoski directs this production at the Underground Collaborative of Tennessee Williams’ now legendary five-character “memory play” The Glass Menagerie. Its original debut was in Chicago in 1944, but quite soon thereafter, Menagerie made its way to Broadway—and concomitant worldwide critical as well as popular acclaim. (John Jahn)

That Darn Plot! @ Racine Theatre Guild, Feb. 24-March 12

Directed by Christopher Elst, That Darn Plot! features both RTG newcomers and regulars in the cast. Penned by David Belke, this humorous and heartfelt comedic play won 2000’s Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Contest. The eponymous “plot” indicates that this work is about playwriting; indeed it is, as its central character, Mark Transom, is a well-known writer assigned to create, from scratch, a new play in a single night. Things take an unexpectedly personal turn when Transom includes his own estranged son in his play and, thus, his plot begins to veer uncomfortably close to real life. (John Jahn)


Fine Arts Quartet @ Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 26

UW-Milwaukee’s Fine Arts Quartet welcomes guest artist Rob Kassinger, bassist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Alon Goldstein for its third concert this season, taking place in UWM’s Zelazo Center. The three works on the program span some 180 years. Wolfgang Mozart’s four-movement String Quartet in D Major, K. 499 was penned for his friend, Hans Hoffmeister, in 1786—thus acquiring the nickname Hoffmeister Quartet. From the same year came his ambitious, large-scale Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491. Fast-forwarding to 1966, we find Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s seven-movement, at times sinister-sounding and grim String Quartet No. 11. (John Jahn)


Hyperlocal MKE #12: Ornate/Activate @ Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Feb. 26

Hyperlocal MKE presents pure music and dance improvisation at inspiring local sites. This new experiment includes performers from Lawrence University, UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison along with local artists assembled by Tim Russell (composer and music director of UW-Milwaukee’s dance department) and Maria Gillespie (artistic director of Oni Dance and assistant professor of dance at UWM). Environmental inspiration comes from a new Villa Terrace exhibition, Onate/Activate, organized by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective. Cultural pluralism and tradition are cue words. The hour-long show starts at 6:00p.m. $5-$10 suggested donation. (John Schneider)

Sensoria/Caught Up in the Moment @ UW-Milwaukee Kenilworth Square East Gallery, March 1

Wild Space Dance Company and choreographer Debra Loewen will improvise to improvised music by vocalist/composer Amanda Schoofs, percussionist/composer Tim Russell and saxophone virtuoso Nick Zoulek in the gallery space (formerly INOVA) at 2155 N. Prospect Ave. The free performance is part of a series initiated in 2014 by Schoofs and artist/photographer Paul Mitchell called Sensoria: Experiments in Time-Based Media and Performance. The evening will also include collaborative performances by UW-Milwaukee students in dance and music composition. (John Schneider)


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