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Kelsey Lawler

Kelsey Lawler

  Kelsey Lawler is a copywriter by day and zealot for local theater by night. She earned her BA in Writing Intensive English from Marquette University in 2009, and has been working as an editor, creative & freelance writer, and blogger ever since. Kelsey is thrilled to be doing her part to spread the word about Milwaukee’s vibrant performing arts scene.
 




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: 5 Reasons to Mask Up & See FIRST LADY OF SONG PhotoBWW Review: 5 Reasons to Mask Up & See FIRST LADY OF SONG
Posted: May. 7, 2021


BWW Review: Milwaukee Opera Theatre & Danceworks Team Up for ENCHANTED PARK(ING LOT) PhotoBWW Review: Milwaukee Opera Theatre & Danceworks Team Up for ENCHANTED PARK(ING LOT)
Posted: Oct. 16, 2020


BWW Review: Take Comfort in the Classics with MILWAUKEE BALLET's TO THE POINTE PhotoBWW Review: Take Comfort in the Classics with MILWAUKEE BALLET's TO THE POINTE
Posted: Mar. 5, 2021


BWW Review: ESCAPE FROM PELIGRO ISLAND Makes a Streaming Splash at FIRST STAGE PhotoBWW Review: ESCAPE FROM PELIGRO ISLAND Makes a Streaming Splash at FIRST STAGE
Posted: Feb. 15, 2021


BWW Review: SistaStrings bring THE SOUND to MILWAUKEE OPERA THEATRE PhotoBWW Review: SistaStrings bring THE SOUND to MILWAUKEE OPERA THEATRE
Posted: Feb. 23, 2021


BWW Review: 5 Reasons to Mask Up & See FIRST LADY OF SONG
May 7, 2021

A scintillating, scatting, sensational return to live theater -- who could ask for anything more? The Milwaukee Rep delivers a heaping portion of the good stuff in the triumphant 'First Lady of Song,' a concert salute to America’s favorite jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald.

BWW Review: Take Comfort in the Classics with MILWAUKEE BALLET's TO THE POINTE
March 5, 2021

The On Demand experience is nicely handled and smoothly filmed. Through the use of both wide and close-up shots, we’re given an intimate vantage point that many may otherwise miss when seeing a ballet on stage. The setting is a simple colored backdrop, making for a performance that relies solely on the dancers themselves to carry the spectacle. I’m happy to report they more than carry it -- they make it soar.

BWW Review: SistaStrings bring THE SOUND to MILWAUKEE OPERA THEATRE
February 23, 2021

The music video for The Sound opens with footage of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests. The chants of the protests mingle with the strings warming up. “The sound drives me crazy,” the refrain repeats. Harmonious voices and strings, sparkling face masks, shades of purple and blue in braids, puppets, lighting -- this is a marvelous collaboration, and it’s one that is better seen and heard, not read about. 

BWW Review: ESCAPE FROM PELIGRO ISLAND Makes a Streaming Splash at FIRST STAGE
February 15, 2021

This is a choose-your-own-adventure play, and First Stage rigged it so that audiences could vote by phone to help our hero Callaway Brown make key decisions: Should he pack his inhaler or his eyeglasses? Follow mysterious footsteps or radio for help? 

BWW Review: Milwaukee Opera Theatre & Danceworks Team Up for ENCHANTED PARK(ING LOT)
October 16, 2020

In their sixth collaboration, Directors Jill Anna Ponasik and Dani Kuepper take the theatrics to an Enchanted Park(ing lot). Finding a way to go out of doors -- now that’s thinking outside the black box.

BWW Review: THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS Wins at First Stage
March 9, 2020

Take the little ones to see this show for the laughs, the silliness, and the kind of theater for which we only have the kids to thank. Without their willingness for turning the ordinary into something wildly imaginative, plays like 'The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors' would likely remain just picture books.

BWW Review: Sunny & Funny 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at Skylight Music Theatre
February 12, 2020

The bottom line is: 'Spelling Bee' is a feel-good musical comedy that could fall flat if not cast right. The Skylight has gathered a group of top-tier performers and behind-the-scenes superstars to ensure the show soars. Can you spell a?oedoldrumsa??? This is your answer to them.

BWW Review: After 21 Years, THE LION KING is a Royal Treat at Marcus Center
February 7, 2020

I always expect greatness from 'The Lion King.' To have a cast without a weak link among them. To blow me away with choreography and costumes, even if I've seen it before. 'The Lion King' never fails to meet every one of these great expectations, and the show currently on stage at the Marcus Center is no exception.

BWW Review: Lift Up Your Hands for HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at the Milwaukee Rep
February 4, 2020

Days later I'm craving the songs, the performances a?" to witness the staging once more, to see what else I can pick up on, or to experience what new twist Rodin will bring to another evening's show. No two will be alike. But I feel I can confidently say that each one will end with a standing ovation, hands lifted in openness and praise.  

BWW Review: First Stage's A WRINKLE IN TIME Coaxes the Imagination
January 28, 2020

It makes for a most dynamic piece of theater. The ensemble cast, shrouded in black, are used to push props and people about the stage. Whether our heroes are catapulting through space and time or confronting an immense, pulsating brain, the use of physical movement and intense lighting effects help propel the story.

BWW Review: The Milwaukee Rep Stages a Must-See Drag Show in THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE
January 21, 2020

Milwaukee, have your dollar bills handy! Though it's only been on stage since 2014, Matthew Lopez's Georgia McBride is on its way to becoming a bonafide dragtastic legend. Now on stage at the Milwaukee Rep, under the fantastic direction of Meredith McDonough, the heat and heart in this play about an Elvis impersonator turned drag queen is the uplifting, energizing show audiences need right now.

BWW Review: Comic Opera RUDDIGORE is Here to Charm Your Socks Off & Lift Your Spirits
January 7, 2020

Is there anything the Milwaukee Opera Theatre touches that doesn't turn to gold? Their latest collaboration with Skylight Music Theatre is Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, a sweet, hilarious, melodramatic comic opera made exceedingly charming under the inspired watch of co-directors Jill Anna Ponasik and Catie O'Donnell. With these creative cohorts in tow, I swear there's nothing attached to Ponasik's name that I've not adored. Her vision is a special kind of magic, and Milwaukee is lucky to have her.

BWW Review: ELF at First Stage is the Merriest Show in Milwaukee!
December 13, 2019

First Stage has given us all an early Christmas present in Elf the Musical. Yes, the merriest show in Milwaukee right now is one about a human raised by elves. Elf is a joyful, exuberant, super-playful night of theater that caters to kids and full-sized humans alike. It's also running through December 29th and so would make a fantastic Christmas present or holiday outing. 

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Upholds Tradition at The Milwaukee Rep
November 30, 2019

Now in its 44th year, this production is firmly rooted in tradition. Since its 2016 reenvisioning, there's been little in the way of new surprises, but that's what traditions are all about: passing down an experience and, hopefully, maintaining the integrity of that experience. Through its dedication to this holiday tradition, The Rep creates a Christmas Carol that feels like coming home a?" familiar, warm, and inviting.

BWW Review: Beautiful & Unexpected THE BAND'S VISIT Arrives in Milwaukee
November 27, 2019

For 'The Band's Visit,' I have nothing but praises to sing. It's an uplifting reminder of all that we share and of what good and beauty can come when we open our doors and hearts to the unknown.

BWW Review: Kids Cast Carries NEWSIES at Skylight
November 18, 2019

Overall, this is a play about the young having their voices heard. Says Director of this Skylight production, Molly Rhode, a?oeThe Newsboys Strike of 1899 may have been at the turn of the century, but it doesn't feel far away. The way these young people stand up and say, 'Listen to me!' is happening right now, all across the globea?? Young people are paying attention. And they deserve a seat at the table.a?? 

BWW Review: The Milwaukee Rep Unleashes THE NERD
November 18, 2019

The thing about 'The Nerd' is it's a farce, which The Rep's audience guide breaks down as a?oea specific style of comedy characterized by unlikely predicaments, verbal humor, mistaken identities, and physical comedy.a?? So within farce, one encounters absurd situations, fast-paced wit, and a touch of slapstick. In other words, there's a little something funny for everyone. 

BWW Preview: ASL-Interpreted Performance of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS Puts Inclusion First at Theater RED
November 13, 2019

Theater RED and Carroll University will join forces with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's American Sign Language/English Interpretation Program to become a veritable triple threat. Says Theater RED co-founder and Once Upon a Mattress Producing Director, Marcee Doherty-Elst: a?oeThis is the first time Theater RED has had American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at a performance, but it has been something I have been wanting to do for some time.a?? 

BWW Review: NUNSENSE Is One Helluva Holy Romp At Milwaukee Repertory Theater
November 12, 2019

It's a hoot! The answer to your prayers! Five nuns on stage, four in the freezer!

BWW Review: HAMILTON National Tour Brings Non-Stop Energy to the Marcus Center
October 26, 2019

Part of what makes Hamilton such a beloved work is the way it balances sorrow and upset with lightness and fun. Revisiting history doesn't have to be a slog. We all can learn a thing or two about our country's formative years while singing along to a?oeCabinet Meetinga?? rap battles in your car. Hamilton makes history accessible and relevant, reminding us in song of the power of the written word, how immigrants shaped our nation, and that the world is wide enough to coexist and learn from each other's ideals. Those are some profound lessons, all courtesy of a show that's so much more than a hip-hop musical. 



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