Performing Arts Weekly 10.18
The Drowning Girls
Renaissance Theaterworks @ Broadway Theatre Center, Oct. 21-Nov. 13
Canadian author Beth Graham met fellow writers Daniela Vlaskalic and Charlie Tomlinson while attending the University of Alberta. It was a fortuitous meeting; the three collaborated on The Drowning Girls in 1999, which premiered at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. This reflection upon betrothal and love and all the many misconceptions we have about such things is enhanced by a somewhat chilling milieu.
“This is a spooky Halloween show, perfect for anyone who hates haunted houses or wants a break from the plethora of political plays this October,” says Renaissance Theaterworks’ Kat Tow. Similarly, the Chicago Reader has described The Drowning Girls as “lyrical, disturbing and tantalizingly indecipherable,” and the Chicago Tribune contributed that it’s “a morbidly funny and sometimes wistful trip through the minds of women who paid the ultimate price for trusting the wrong man.”
Mallory Metoxen directs Renaissance Theaterworks’ production, which features actresses Marcee Doherty-Elst, Susie Duecker and Elyse Edelman. Audiences on Nov. 4 and 6 will be treated to a bonus item: Christine Kallman’s one-woman short play Duck, starring Flora Coker, directed by Marie Kohler and presented as part of Renaissance Theaterworks’ ongoing Br!NK New Play Series. (John Jahn)
Murder on the Nile, Aquila Theatre
@ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, Oct. 20
Aquila Theatre heads to South Milwaukee for their touring production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile with a twist. The murder mystery and colorful characters of the original production are present, but Aquila Theatre presents it as a radio drama at the BBC Home Service studios in London during World War II. An air raid during the production prevents the full cast from assembling, so hijinks are sure to ensue (Jack Fennimore)
Milwaukee Youth Theatre @ Lincoln Center of the Arts, Oct. 20-21
Being thought of as “different” or, worse, “ugly,” is never comforting—least of all in those already awkward teen years. Hence, a fantastic fable like The Ugly Ducking by the great Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen is perfect for young people to learn about tolerance and not judging books by their covers. Milwaukee Youth Theatre is presenting a modern-day adaptation of the tale with book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, music by George Stiles and direction by Dan Tellez and Eric Regal—a retelling whose lessons for all ages is vive la difference! (John Jahn)
@ Racine Theatre Guild, Oct. 21-Nov. 6
Kitchen Witches’ title might give you the wrong impression. This is not a Halloween-themed play about chilling chili or haunted haute cuisine. Rather, it’s a comedic play by Canadian playwright Caroline Smith that pits two all-too-human “witches” against each other—rival TV cooking show hostesses Isobel and Dolly. They are legendary rivals with an equally epic loathing for each other; this somewhat complicates the fact that they now find themselves together on the same show! RTG’s production stars Donna Daniels (Isobel Lomax), Cathy Marschall (Dolly Biddle) and Peter Jones as Stephen, Dolly’s discomfited TV producer-son. (John Jahn)
Where the Streetcar Bends the Corner, Down by the Zoo!
Boulevard Theatre @ Plymouth Church, Oct. 22-Oct. 30
The title of this production is not that of a single work but, rather, a double-bill. Where the Streetcar Bends the Corner is a song-and-sketch-filled tour of 1955 Milwaukee; The Zoo is a one-act comic opera. Streetcar, devised by Boulevard’s Mark Bucher and Milwaukee actor David Flores, is a comedic nostalgia piece about our city’s, shall we say, unique qualities. The Zoo was composed by Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) and given a libretto by B.C. Stephenson. Flores transported the comic opera’s setting—originally a 19th-century British zoo—to 1950s Milwaukee. This is a collaborative production between Boulevard Theatre and the Plymouth Chorale. (John Jahn)
The Book of Mormon @ The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 25-30The nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical, The Book of Mormon, is playing at the Marcus Center this fall. This religious satire by “South Park” creators Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, is sure to have you laughing out loud. The musical follows Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, two Mormon missionaries who attempt to convert the citizens of a Ugandan village. Not everything goes according to plan, though, as they realize that this village has much bigger problems to deal with than their Mormon mission.