UWM Stages ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is best known as the 1988 film by director Pedro Almódovar which scored big with movie audiences in its tragi-comic depiction of the battle between the sexes and all its emotional fallout, funny and otherwise.
Last week, UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts staged the 2010 musical adaptation by Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek, featuring its theater majors in a stripped down, thrust stage-like production. And for those who had a chance to see it, a number of those student performances held steady and impressed, despite the book’s wandering storyline and undeveloped characters.
Under the direction of Raeleen McMillion with choreography by Krislyn World, the cast of 21 filled Kenilworth Studio Theatre 508 with exuberance and energy and a glimpse at some strong talent in the making. A number of the senior students excelled in their lead and supporting roles. As the jilted wife, Vanessa Schroeder-Weber owned the show, her vocal range and stage prowess demanding the audience’s attention. Playing her meek son, Lucas Pastrana’s strong tenor rang clear, and his sense of comic timing was right on the mark. Ditto for Grace Yeager as the “model” friend mixed up with a gangster. As the main love-hate interests, Solana Ramirez-Garcia and Brian Tuel worked well together and separately, which is what happens in the “breakdown.”