Milwaukee, WI Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: URINETOWN Brings Potty Humor At Its Best To Milwaukee's Skylight Music Theatre BWW Review: URINETOWN Brings Potty Humor At Its Best To Milwaukee's Skylight Music Theatre
by Kelsey Lawler - May 21, 2018

In the end, you may leave Urinetown wondering, as Little Sally does, what kind of a musical is this? Officer Lockstock would have me remind me you that it isn't supposed to be a happy one. It's one full of mixed signals: comedic tropes, untimely death, catchy music, rich vs. poor, hope for tomorrow,... (more...)
BWW Review: American Classic OUR TOWN Celebrates the Beauty of Everyday-ness at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: American Classic OUR TOWN Celebrates the Beauty of Everyday-ness at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - April 15, 2018

Beautifully written, with minimal sets and moments that suggest the characters are aware of the parts they're playing, this is a wonderful and enduring work of dramatic art - and one that the Milwaukee Repertory Theater carries out with ease. ... (more...)
BWW Review: World Premier of Michael Pink's BEAUTY & THE BEAST Enchants at the Milwaukee Ballet BWW Review: World Premier of Michael Pink's BEAUTY & THE BEAST Enchants at the Milwaukee Ballet
by Kelsey Lawler - April 13, 2018

Roses wave hello, storybook pages spring to life, the townsfolk are actually nice, and the troupe of orphan children are a little creepy. This isn't Disney's Beauty & the Beast. Instead, Michael Pink gives us a world premier Milwaukee ballet where 'Belle is the hero of her own story; a voracious rea... (more...)
BWW Review: Bold & Beautiful I AND YOU Shines at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre BWW Review: Bold & Beautiful I AND YOU Shines at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre
by Kelsey Lawler - April 10, 2018

Anyone who's taken a poetry class knows that there's so much more to poetic words than meets the eye. If you look the right way, there's often something grand underneath - a hidden meaning waiting to be discovered through focused reading and an open mind. Lauren Gunderson's soul-stirring I and You i... (more...)
BWW Review: National Tour of LES MISERABLES Stands the Test of Time & Trends at Milwaukee's Marcus Center BWW Review: National Tour of LES MISERABLES Stands the Test of Time & Trends at Milwaukee's Marcus Center
by Kelsey Lawler - March 29, 2018

Les Miz, based on the book by Victor Hugo, is now in its 32nd year, having played to more than 70 million people in 44 countries and 22 languages. It's the fifth-longest-running Broadway musical of all time. And if the enthusiastic reception at the Marcus Center on opening night is any indication, B... (more...)
BWW Review: Good, Plain Fun & A Remarkable Friendship Fill the Cabaret at the Milwaukee Rep's ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE BWW Review: Good, Plain Fun & A Remarkable Friendship Fill the Cabaret at the Milwaukee Rep's ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE
by Kelsey Lawler - March 29, 2018

Unbridled enthusiasm - that's what this show's got. Even if Ms. Cline isn't your personal hero, the entire Patsy package is still guaranteed to leave you grinning.... (more...)
BWW Review: Intense & Searing UNTIL THE FLOOD Brings Timely Truth to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: Intense & Searing UNTIL THE FLOOD Brings Timely Truth to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - March 22, 2018

Ripped from the headlines. Raw emotion. Affecting stories. Diverse perspectives. The kind of stuff that makes you search your soul. That's what playwright and performer Dael Orlandersmith is bringing to the Stiemke Studio at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater with her one-woman show, Until the Flood. ... (more...)
BWW Review:  Skylight & Milwaukee Opera Theatre Breathe Fresh Life Into THE TALES OF HOFFMANN BWW Review: Skylight & Milwaukee Opera Theatre Breathe Fresh Life Into THE TALES OF HOFFMANN
by Kelsey Lawler - March 20, 2018

The overall tone of 'Hoffmann' is rife with broken hearts and a healthy dose of the macabre. With this comes a wondrous, dreamlike quality that the Skylight and Milwaukee Opera Theatre have captured exquisitely. The scenery itself, the on-stage orchestra, the celestial lighting, and creative ways in... (more...)
BWW Review: World Premiere ONE HOUSE OVER Tells An Immigrant Story Full of Humor & Heart at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: World Premiere ONE HOUSE OVER Tells An Immigrant Story Full of Humor & Heart at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - March 05, 2018

'One House Over' smartly addresses timely issues with quiet honesty, revealing American immigrants' struggles, hopes, and fears through heartfelt dialogue. That's the true beauty in 'One House Over' - the natural way events unfold through a dozen backyard conversations.... (more...)
BWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND Soars into Milwaukee's Marcus Center BWW Review: FINDING NEVERLAND Soars into Milwaukee's Marcus Center
by Kelsey Lawler - February 22, 2018

For the child in all of us, feet are (mostly) off the ground for this Peter Pan-inspired musical.... (more...)
BWW Review: Aliens Invade & Voices Slay in Zany Milwaukee Musical ZOMBIES FROM THE BEYOND at Skylight Music Theatre BWW Review: Aliens Invade & Voices Slay in Zany Milwaukee Musical ZOMBIES FROM THE BEYOND at Skylight Music Theatre
by Kelsey Lawler - February 08, 2018

Cartoonish to the last, the entirety of Skylight's 'Zombies from the Beyond' is a tongue-in-cheek romp chockfull of 1950s space fascination and Cold War paranoia, with each moment played for lots of laughs and loads of kitsch. ... (more...)
BWW Review: GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES is a Quirky & Heartfelt Debut for Milwaukee's New Constructivists BWW Review: GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES is a Quirky & Heartfelt Debut for Milwaukee's New Constructivists
by Kelsey Lawler - February 02, 2018

Two people and the simultaneously cringe-worthy and fascinating ways in which their messy lives get all mixed up. At 90 minutes without an intermission, this is a wonderfully well-written piece of theater, and one that's a worthy kick-off for Milwaukee's new Constructivists. Artistic Director Jaimel... (more...)
BWW Review: BLACK PEARL SINGS! Brings Soulful Storytelling to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: BLACK PEARL SINGS! Brings Soulful Storytelling to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - January 23, 2018

Black Pearl Sings! drives home the power of song as a means of passing down a rich, storied past. It's a fascinating concept the idea of gathering words and melodies as a way to preserve and honor history.... (more...)
BWW Review: Hearts Open Wide for THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at Milwaukee's First Stage BWW Review: Hearts Open Wide for THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at Milwaukee's First Stage
by Kelsey Lawler - January 19, 2018

Even on paper, Edward's story sounds enchanting: Can a toy rabbit, swept away on a decades-long journey of joy, loss, fear, and loneliness, truly come to know the miracle of love? First Stage delivers on that enchantment.... (more...)
BWW Review: ANIMAL FARM Makes for Relevant, but Rocky Theater at the Milwaukee Rep BWW Review: ANIMAL FARM Makes for Relevant, but Rocky Theater at the Milwaukee Rep
by Kelsey Lawler - January 17, 2018

Bleak. Cold. Apocalyptic. Even before the house lights dimmed, the mood was already dreary. The stage is laden with a mess of concrete, metal, and a visual manifestation of shattered dreams for what would be a rather brain-wrenching, hope-dashing 90 minutes. Of course, that's just what Orwell's nove... (more...)
BWW Review: WAITRESS Serves Up the Power of Pie & What's Inside at Milwaukee's Marcus Center BWW Review: WAITRESS Serves Up the Power of Pie & What's Inside at Milwaukee's Marcus Center
by Kelsey Lawler - January 04, 2018

Waitress is indeed a triumph, and the hope of it speaking to women everywhere encouraging fortitude, shining a light on female friendships, and pushing us all to be brave enough to stand up to our enemies in the pursuit of happiness it's incredibly moving, and leaves me hungry for more.... (more...)
BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Spreads Tidings of Comfort & Joy at Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Spreads Tidings of Comfort & Joy at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - December 06, 2017

The Milwaukee Rep boasts the second-longest-running professional production of the Charles Dickens classic in the country, and given the magnificent caliber of its set and costume design, stage direction, original score, veteran actors, and touch of Panto-style (interactive) theater, this is one 'Ca... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SECRET MASK Moves with  Subtle Power at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre BWW Review: THE SECRET MASK Moves with Subtle Power at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre
by Kelsey Lawler - December 05, 2017

At the Next Act Theatre, there's something subtle, raw, and real now on stage. These are the kind of fine performances that stick with you, and if you're an avid theatergoer, that's one of the best gifts you could receive this season.... (more...)
BWW Review: Beloved Family-Favorite ANNIE Delivers a Dose of Optimism at Milwaukee's Skylight Music Theatre BWW Review: Beloved Family-Favorite ANNIE Delivers a Dose of Optimism at Milwaukee's Skylight Music Theatre
by Kelsey Lawler - November 24, 2017

Waiting for the show to begin, dozens of families trickled into the Skylight's Cabot Theatre, toting little girls in their Sunday best. Eyes gleaming, some of them were lucky enough to snag a booster seat, while others hung over the orchestra railing to sneak a peek at the conductor during Annie's o... (more...)
BWW Review: The Heart-Pounding HOLMES & WATSON Brings Murder-Mystery Drama to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: The Heart-Pounding HOLMES & WATSON Brings Murder-Mystery Drama to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - November 20, 2017

Suspense, plot twists, believability, a dash of humor, a satisfying finale that's what successful murder-mysteries are made of. When a play possesses all of these hallmarks and even boasts the company of everyone's favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, a surefire hit seems elementary, my dear Watso... (more...)
BWW Review: MURDER FOR TWO Delivers Laugh-Out-Loud Murder & Mayhem at Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: MURDER FOR TWO Delivers Laugh-Out-Loud Murder & Mayhem at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - November 16, 2017

Confession: They had to resuscitate me before I could write this post because I had died from laughter. Murder for Two, running now through January 14th, is a mix of music, murder, and mayhem - or as Joe Kinosian, the show's co-author and Milwaukee High School of the Arts alumnus, calls it: 'a love ... (more...)
BWW Review: THE MERRY WIDOW Romances Milwaukee at The Florentine Opera Company BWW Review: THE MERRY WIDOW Romances Milwaukee at The Florentine Opera Company
by Kelsey Lawler - October 22, 2017

As a sometimes-self-identifying Millennial, it may come as little surprise that opera is relatively new territory for me. I've grown up as a lover of musical theater, but classic opera is a whole other ball o' wax. Mainstream media doesn't exactly drop Verdi, Mozart, Leh r, or even Gilbert & Sulliva... (more...)
BWW Review: Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre's SILENT SKY Explores Life, Legacy & Where We Are BWW Review: Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre's SILENT SKY Explores Life, Legacy & Where We Are
by Kelsey Lawler - October 13, 2017

With Lauren Gunderson's Silent Sky, the Next Act Theatre invites us, for a couple of hours, to orient ourselves in a place and time before the 1990 Hubble telescope, before the 1969 moon landing, before the first rocket launch in 1926, and before Edwin Hubble proved the vastness of galaxies far beyo... (more...)
BWW Review: SOUVENIR Delights at Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: SOUVENIR Delights at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - October 13, 2017

It's said that lovers of good music had to stuff their handkerchiefs in their mouths to keep from bursting out laughing at the operatic recitals of eccentric Manhattan socialite, Florence Foster Jenkins. Madame Flo once declared, 'People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing.' ... (more...)
BWW Review: GUYS & DOLLS is a Sure Bet at Milwaukee Repertory Theater BWW Review: GUYS & DOLLS is a Sure Bet at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
by Kelsey Lawler - October 13, 2017

Though GUYS & DOLLS might not offer deep self reflection, it continues to be a staple of the American musical tradition for accomplishing the one thing musical theater set out to offer in the first place: An escape. A sense of sheer joy. A break from the monotony of reality and our own personal prob... (more...)