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Going Out a Chorus Girl; Coming Back a Star!

Feb. 14, 2017
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Dear Ruthie,

I think I’d like to dip my toe in the local theater scene. What’s the best way to break into the biz in this town?

Toe Tapper

Dear Tap,

You’ve come to the right place, honey. Not only do I shake my money maker on stage weekly, but I’ve played everything from a chorus girl and a maid to Auntie Mame and Baby Jane Hudson—all with Milwaukee’s professional theater companies.

First thing’s first…don’t quit your day job, kid. Be sure you cover your keester with a day job until you know theater is the direction you want to go. Remember, this is Milwaukee not the Catskills.

Secondly, start attending the theater companies in town. Hit as many performances as you can. Take a moment before or after the show and introduce yourself to the director. Let the company know you’re interested in working with them, and ask how you might get involved as an actor in the future.

Lastly, don’t expect to nail the lead on your first time out. If a director offers you the role of spear-carrier, you carry that friggin’ spear like no one’s business, doll face. Join the theater, listen and learn, and you’ll be a Cream City favorite in no time! 


Feb. 15: ‘Paris is Burning’ at UW-Milwaukee Union (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., Union WG-89): The documentary that swept the nation hits Pride Movie Night at UWM! Check out the movie that many believe started the “vogue” craze with this 5 p.m. showing.

Feb. 16: Opening of ‘Women of Troy’ at Off the Wall Theatre (127 E. Wells St.): Like strong, smart, determined women? Then don’t miss the latest offering from Milwaukee’s favorite black box theater. Known for brilliant performances, smart staging and thought-provoking productions, Off the Wall tackles Euripides with this modern translation by Dale Gutzman. See offthewalltheatre.com for $25 tickets. The play runs through Feb. 26.

Feb. 16-19: Spring Home Improvement Show at Wisconsin Expo Center/State Fair Park (8200 W. Greenfield Ave.): Give su casa a redo with help from this popular expo that features more than 300 vendors, presentations and more. See milwaukeenari.org for hours and discounts on tickets.

Feb. 17: Mask-4-Mask Masquerade Ball at Hybrid Lounge (707 E. Brady St.): Combine Valentine’s Day with Mardi Gras and you’ve got this naughty night. You’ll receive a bolt or a nut. Find your match within the crowd, and you’ll both enjoy a free shot. Drink specials, a DJ and more round out the 9 p.m. party.

Feb. 18: UW-Milwaukee Annual Drag Show at The Milwaukee Theatre (500 W. Kilbourn Ave.): When I hosted a little event at the UWM Union some 17 years ago, I never dreamed it would grow into a must-attend annual soiree…at the Milwaukee Theatre, no less! Don’t miss this outrageous show featuring Cream City up-and-comers as well as your favorite Brew City staples. Sponsored by the UWM LGBT Resource Center, the event runs 7 to 10 p.m., with a pay-what-you-can door charge.

Feb. 18: ‘Feel the Courage’ Benefit at This Is It (418 E. Wells St.): The gang at Courage Milwaukee is at it again with this fundraiser at one of the city’s favorite watering holes. Stop in for a drink (or seven), and relish the fact that 20% of your purchase will go to Courage, helping fight homelessness among LGBT youth. Bring your ticket stub from the UWM Drag Show for a 2-for-1 special during the 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. benefit.

Feb. 21: LGBT Gives Back Celebration and Happy Hour at Holiday Inn Milwaukee Riverfront (4700 N. Port Washington Road): If you’d like to volunteer someplace but you’re not sure what your options are, this happy hour is for you, darlin’! The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Cream City Foundation team up for this networking opportunity that puts the emphasis on nonprofits looking for volunteers. Free and open to the public, the party runs 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22: The Remedy Event at Boot Hill Pub (1501 Saint Andrew St., La Crosse): Let’s get fancy! For the fifth year, The Remedy Event sweeps into La Crosse to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS overall. Your $25 door charge gets you access to the glamor, which includes live music, silent auction, drag performances and more. Proceeds benefit ARCW, so don’t miss the fun from 5 p.m. to midnight!

Want to share an event with Ruthie? Need her advice on a situation? Email DearRuthie@Shepex.com. Be sure to follow her on Facebook (Ruthie Keester) and Twitter (@DearRuthie). 


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