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Spring Arts Guide 2017 Calendar: Theater in April

Feb. 21, 2017
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Don’t Dress for Dinner
Bay Players
Through April 1

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Uihlein Hall
Through April 2

Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Stiemke Studio
Through April 2

What the World Needs Now: A Tribute to Burt Bacharach
Sunset Playhouse (Sidenotes Cabaret)
Through April 2

Mockingbird (family friendly)
First Stage
Through April 9

The Glass Menagerie
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Quadracci Powerhouse Theater
Through April 9

The Iliad, The Odyssey, and all of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less
Racine Theatre Guild
Through April 9

A Doll’s House
Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa
Through April 9

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Anything Goes (student production)
Marquette University Evan P. and Marion Helfaer Theatre
April 6-9; April 19-23

“In olden days a glimpse of stocking / Was looked on as something shocking / But, God knows / Anything Goes.” These lyrics, written by Cole Porter for the title song of his musical Anything Goes, are perhaps truer today than they were in 1934. The screwball story of love, mistaken identity, high society and second-rate gangsters still delights, and Porter’s classic songs “I Get a Kick Out Of You,” “You’re The Top,” “Anything Goes,” “You’d Be So Easy to Love” and “It’s De-Lovely” haven’t aged a bit. (Tyler Friedman)

Next Act Theatre
April 6-30

In Steven Dietz’s romantic drama Bloomsday, 50-somethings Robert and Cait reconnect in Dublin after years apart. Inevitably their thoughts turn to their brief courtship 35 years prior, when he was an American exchange student and she was a tour guide specializing in the city’s ties to James Joyce, and each wonders what could have been had circumstances not cut their romance short. Joseph Hanreddy directs the Milwaukee premiere of the show, which garnered strong reviews when it debuted at Seattle’s ACT Theatre in 2015. (Evan Rytlewski)

“Post Comedy Theatre featuring Robert Post”
South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
April 7

Men Are From Mars...Women Are From Venus (Live)
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (Wilson Theater)
April 7-9

The Violet Hour
Renaissance Theaterworks
April 7-30

John Pace Seavering, the young publisher at the center of playwright Richard Greenberg’s Woodrow Wilson-era yarn The Violet Hour, faces a life-changing decision. He only has the resources to publish one book, either his friend’s impressive novel or his mistress’ lurid memoir. Through some magical intervention, he learns that either book will bring him great fortune, but each will cost him a relationship. Neil Brookshire stars in this Suzan Fete-directed comedy. (Evan Rytlewski)

Shakespeare Raw
Boozy Bard Productions
April 10-12

“Faith and Jealousy: Othello and Much Ado About Nothing” (student production)
UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts Theatre Department
April 12-24

In a series entitled Faith and Jealousy, UW-Milwaukee presents two of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays in a rotating schedule, with gender-blind, five-person casts playing 18 roles. Experience two starkly contrasting explorations of the meaning and implications of love, highlighting the comedy and tragedy, loyalty and envy present in each story. (Hannah Klapperich-Mueller)

“RepLab Short Play Festival”
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Stiemke Studio
April 13-17

Great Expectations
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre with First Stage
Broadway Theatre Center Cabot Theatre
April 13-30

In collaboration with First Stage, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations in a boldly reinvented, tight and suspenseful take by Gale Childs Daly. Directed by Molly Rhode and starring Josh Krause (Pip) and Jonathan Gillard Daly (Magwitch), this unpredictable story—full of plot twists and turns—follows a young orphan’s troubled journey to adulthood. The unfolding mystery of Pip’s life hinges on his assistance of an escaped convict. Will all of Pip’s “great expectations” about his life come true? (John Jahn)

Broadway Bound (musical revue)
Waukesha Civic Theatre
April 15

Paw Patrol: Race to the Rescue (family friendly)
Milwaukee Theatre
April 15-16

Jay Wright: The Abandoned Eye
Marquette University
April 20

The Dixie Swim Club
Sunset Playhouse
Furlan Auditorium
April 20-May 7

A comedy full of heart and Southern spice, The Dixie Swim Club follows the lives of five women whose friendships were forged on their college swim team and are maintained through an annual weekend trip to the same Outer Banks beach cottage. The friends rely on each other’s humor, loyalty and love to carry them through all the ups and downs of marriage, parenting, careers, aging and unexpected surprises. (Hannah Klapperich-Mueller)

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play
Luminous Theatre
April 20-May 8

Since 2013, Leda Hoffman’s Luminous Theatre has presented works in non-traditional spaces. Hoffman notes that this “changes the dynamic between audience, performers and space,” giving all present a shared experience without the psychic and physical divisions of traditional performance venues. The company’s upcoming offering, Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, is staged in a converted warehouse in Riverwest called The Goat Palace. The script imagines a post-nuclear future in which the human population is greatly reduced and survivors recount TV shows to entertain and connect with one another. Hoffman reflects, “Storytelling is really, really important. No matter what happens, people will always feel the need to come together and tell stories.” (Selena Milewski)

In Tandem Theatre with Milwaukee Public Theatre
April 20-May 14

A nuanced character study about wounded people who can’t help but undermine their own happiness, the 1953 MGM film Lili wasn’t the most obvious subject for a Broadway musical spinoff. Nonetheless the resulting musical Carnival was an instant hit with critics and audiences alike when it opened in 1961, and its songs “Love Makes The World Go ’Round” and “Yum Ticky Ticky Tum Tum” have become Broadway standards. For this adaptation of the tale of a jaded puppeteer who falls in love with an optimistic young carnival worker, In Tandem Theatre has partnered with the Milwaukee Public Theatre. (Evan Rytlewski)

Of Mice and Men (student production)
UW-Washington County Theatre Department
April 21-22

Fefu and Her Friends (student production)
Carroll Players
Carroll University Otteson Studio Theatre
April 21-23

Fefu and Her Friends are a group of high-society women in the 1930s, bored with their extravagant wealth and with too much time on their hands. They gather at Fefu’s country home to rehearse a presentation for a charity benefit, but before the day is done, gender roles are rattled, insults are thrown and bullets fly. (Hannah Klapperich-Mueller)

The Way Things Go
Theatre Gigante
Averno College Pitman Theatre
April 21-29

Falls Patio Players
April 21-30

Restroom at Rosenblooms
Memories Dinner Theatre
April 21-30

The Amish Project
Outskirts Theatre Company
The Underground Collaborative
April 21-30

Now in its third season, the almost entirely student-run Outskirts Theatre presents Jessica Dickey’s acclaimed one-woman play, The Amish Project. The story examines the aftermath of a 2006 school shooting in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa. Abigail Hess will portray a staggering nine characters linked to this tragedy, from family members of victims to the shooter’s widow. Director Ryan Albrechtson notes, “With the countless tragedies we’ve experienced as a country, from Sandy Hook to Pulse Night Club, it’s encouraging and important to share a story of hope and grief and love.” (Selena Milewski)

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap (student production)
Cardinal Stritch University
April 21-30

Bob: A Life in Five Acts
Over Our Heads Players
April 21-May 7

The Fantasticks
Off the Wall Theatre
April 22-30

This beloved 1960 musical by lyricist Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones!) and composer Harvey Schmidt boasts some decent tunes: “Try to Remember” being the biggest, but also “Soon It’s Going To Rain” and “They Were You.” It’s loosely based on The Romancers by Edmond Rostand, which itself drew from the ancient tale of Pyramus and Thisbe as well as William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and even Gaetano Donizetti’s fine lyric opera, L’elisir d’amore. The Fantasticks’ original off-Broadway run of 42 years (yes, years) yet makes it the world’s longest-running musical. (John Jahn)

Animal Farm (student production)
UW-Whitewater Theatre Department
April 24-29

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Uihlein Hall
April 25-30

John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse’s musical Chicago is set in the era that many people think of when they hear of the Windy City—the Prohibition ’20s with its bootleggers, gangsters and mobsters of legend and lore. It’s precisely that criminal chic and celebrity that it focuses on, and for good reason: Our culture still finds fascination with the dark side. That said, the musical is glorious and has never left world stages since its 1975 debut. This winner of six Tony Awards is the second-longest-running musical revival in Broadway history. Come see why. (John Jahn)

Jane Eyre
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Quadracci Powerhouse
April 25-May 21

aLL wRoNG (world premiere)
Cooperative Performance Milwaukee
April 28-29; May 4-5

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (student production)
Carthage College Theatre
April 28-May 6

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (student production)
UW-Parkside Theatre
April 28-May 6

The Drowsy Chaperone
Waukesha Civic Theatre
April 28-May 14

A musical neatly wrapped up inside a comedy, or perhaps the other way around, this Tony Award-winning romp is complete with mistaken identities, oil tycoons and ’20s glamor. The play within the play makes a charming escape for both an agoraphobic Broadway aficionado whose favorite show comes to life in his living room and real world audiences. (Hannah Klapperich-Mueller)

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (family friendly)
First Stage
April 28-June 4

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