Brian Jacobson
On Stage with TCD

Weekly Highlights from 11/25 to 12/1

By - Nov 24th, 2009 12:41 am

The 2009-10 Milwaukee Rep production of A Christmas Carol. Photo by Jay Westhauser.

Thanksgiving Day might mark a short work week for many, but not for Milwaukee performers. A few  giants of the holiday season make their splash this week during this installment of On Stage.


header On Stage 1

scroogeA Christmas Carol, The Milwaukee Rep on the Pabst Theater stage, 11/27 to 12/27
It’s a timeless classic, but there is always room for improvement in an age of 3D computer effects. In this case, the human element is at issue. Jim Pickering has been slowly perfecting his Ebeneezer Scrooge role off-and-on for a dozen years and has become The Rep’s go-to man in the 34th year of this production. Watch Pickering’s Dickens Project now, and be sure to read and listen to an exclusive TCD interview with the veteran actor on Thanksgiving Day. For tickets and information (opening night is sold out), visit The Rep website or call 414-224-9490.

Christmas_Pag_FINAL_colorBest Christmas Pageant Ever, First Stage Children’s Theater on the Todd Wehr stage, 11/27 to 12/24
Milwaukee’s premier children’s theater decided to bring this one back after popular demand. In this story, the Herdman kids are chosen to put on the annual Christmas pageant — much to the horror of the whole town. “What ensues are laughter, tears, a small fire and the best Christmas pageant ever.” Stay tuned for our review next week. For tickets and information (opening night is sold out), call the box office at 414-267-2929 or visit the First Stage online page for this play.

Santaland1The Santaland Diaries, Laboratory Theatre on the Enjue Stage in Madison, 11/27 to 12/19
The Bartell Theater plays host to an adaptation of David Sedaris’ scathing diaries that chronicled his stint as a department store elf. It features a singing/dancing cast of elves, harried shoppers and a go-go dancing reindeer or two. It’s also not appropriate for children under 10, according to Director Michelle Gerard Good. For information and tickets, visit the new Bartell website or call the box office at 608-661-9696.

Golden Corral, Jeff Steiff at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 11/28
One performance only! Joe Steiff comes directly from the Dublin Gay Play Festival to present Golden Corral. His poignant solo show about growing up gay in rural Appalachia is sad and funny, the nostalgia cut with a keen hindsight that’s piercingly honest. An old-fashioned storyteller, Steiff spins his tale in a soothing voice that takes us into his hometown of 300 souls, where there are guns in the glove box, people play bluegrass on the front porch and young gay men are abandoned by their family, friends and community. For ticketing information, call the MGAC at 414-383-3727.


header on stage 2


Plaid Tidings, Skylight Opera on the Cabot Theatre stage, 11/27 to 1/3
“Plaid Tidings offers the best of Forever Plaid and more, tied up in a nifty package with a big plaid bow on top. At the beckoning of the heavenly Rosemary Clooney, The Plaids return from their untimely death to bring a little harmony to a discordant world.” This version of the stage classic has been upgraded for the holidays, with songs like “Let it Snow” and “Carol of the Bells.” It also features medleys like “Calypso Christmas.” Watch for our weekend review from Tom Strini. For tickets or venue info, call 414-291-7800 or visit the Skylight Opera Theatre website.

Soulstice Songs and Stories, Soulstice Theatre at the Marian Center for Nonprofits, 11/28
Call it a fundraiser, a homage to White Christmas or a sing-along, but the folks from St. Francis way have the big Reception Room this time for a benefit gala in time for the holidays. Advance tickets are $20 and includes hors d’oeuvres and wine along with your entertainment. Silent auction proceeds will benefit the Soulstice STArS program. For details, call 414-431-3187 or visit the Soulstice website.


header on stage 4

…we would have mentioned the Vienna Boys Choir appear at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center on Friday, but it’s already sold out in advance — like it does every year. Instead, we offer you news of the return of Mondo Lucha to the Turner Hall Ballroom. That’s about equal, right?


header on stage 5

airplaneBe sure to check out the right-hand column on the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s website, where a great silent auction is going on until Dec. 10. Five items include a few plane rides (some with flight attendants), a quilt, china and a concert. Proceeds benefit the Conservatory. Visit the WCM website, or check out the auction’s PDF.

Audition Notice from Sunset Playhouse:

If you loved Escanaba in da Moonlight, you’ll adore Escanaba in Love. This prequel to The Playhouse’s hit deer-hunting comedy lands us back at the beloved Soady deer camp 40 years before the action in the first play. But this time it’s not ten-point bucks in the Soady sights; it’s a lady named Big Betty Baloo.

Auditions: Dec. 7 & 8 (7-10 p.m.); Callbacks: Dec. 9; Rehearsals: Jan. 25-Feb. 25, 2010; Production dates: Feb. 26-March 20, 2010; Roles available: 1 woman, 20s; 4 men, 18-70s.

Escanaba In Love will be directed by Mark Salentine, Sunset Playhouse’s  artistic director. Please show up at 7 p.m. on either Dec. 7 or Dec. 8 at The Sunset Playhouse, located at 800 Elm Grove Rd., and be prepared to read selections from the script. Scripts can be checked out at the box office Monday-Friday (1-5 p.m.) and Saturday (1-4 p.m.) with a $10 deposit. Contact Artistic Director Mark Salentine at with further questions or visit the Sunset Playhouse website and click on the “Auditions” tab for more details.


For more on the latest from stages and orchestra pits,
consult our partner website, Footlights Magazine.


Categories: Classical, Theater, VITAL

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us