Cabaret Milwaukee Settles Unfinished Business with 'Curse of the Apothecary'
Cabaret Milwaukee concluded their Apothecary trilogy with a finale titled The Curse of The Apothecary at Blue Ribbon Hall of Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. Directed by Josh Bryan, this production featured a cast of fear-mongering villains, awe-inspiring heroes and even a troupe of immigrants dubbed the Howling Radio Hour Jinglers. The Curse of The Apothecary provided a night full of ’40s-themed humor, music and drama for the audience who were seated within touching distance of the performers.
The main story in the production revolved around the conclusion of the evil plot hatched by brother and sister Jerimiah and Eleanor Sutkowski (played by Thom Cauley and Michelle Paura). Their plot is thwarted, however, by a myriad of undercover agents. One of these agents is private investigator Robert Lago, played wonderfully by Michael Keiley. The battle between good and evil is prevalent, as historical and local references keep the audience receptive throughout the night.
The story is accompanied by a recreated ’40s-style radio program, “The Howling Radio Hour,” with Nick Firer playing the show’s host, Richard Howling. The program’s productions add humor to the dramatic events that unfold in the main plot. Laura Holterman as Mrs. Millie and Michael Palmisano II as “the Comedian” gave delightfully comedic monologues that kept the audience laughing.
In between the drama were multiple skits and songs performed by the Howling Radio Hour Jinglers (Brian Bayer, Sarah Therese and Hayley San Fillippo) and Dora Diamond, who performed three solo ballads accompanied by pianist Elias Holman. The Jinglers sang jingles that praised local Milwaukee favorites such as Usinger’s Sausages and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. These musical numbers kept the production moving along and even provided a chance for the audience to contribute to the play. The Curse of the Apothecary was a light-hearted, entertaining yet dramatic piece, which surely helped Milwaukeeans feel proud of their city.