Weekly Highlights from 12/23-12/29
Mark Shurilla’s 50th Anniversary of “The Day The Music Died,” Sunset Playhouse, 12/26
A full scale salute to the golden age of rock and roll, including a tribute to Johnny Cash by WAMI award-winning rockabilly/Americana artist Liam Ford, Danny J. (the “Pavarotti of Rock”), and Marvelous Marla’s girl group tribute. There will be a special appearance by Valor Yost, “The Kid in Black.” This concert will also function as Elm Grove native Jayne Taylors’ CD release for Firecracker (produced by Shurilla and his band, The Greatest Hits).
12/26 at 7:30 p.m. only. Tickets $28. Visit the Sunset Playhouse or call 262-782-4430.
Clay Bravo, Potawatomi Bingo Casino Northern Lights Theatre, 12/26
Clay Bravo’s one-woman show about growing up Italian and how it “belted” her into stand-up comedy. A Hollywood veteran with 30-plus national and international commercial credits, she can currently be seen vacuuming with a cow for Chick-fil-A, in the World Series premiere of “I Only Smoke When I Drink” as the secretary making margaritas at her desk, and around the globe as the security guard chasing Ashton Kutcher for Nikon.
Admission is free. 12/26 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. For more information, visit the Footlights website.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….
Here are some shows ending their run soon.
A Christmas Carol, The Milwaukee Rep on the Pabst Theater stage, 11/27 to 12/27
Jim Pickering has been slowly perfecting his Ebeneezer Scrooge role for more than a dozen years and has become The Rep’s go-to man in the production’s 34th year (read about it in the TCD archives). It’s a timeless classic and a holiday tradition for many theatergoers. Read Brian Jacobson’s review here. Visit The Rep website or call 414-224-9490 for ticketing details.
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.” Read Tom Strini’s review here. Call 414-291-7800 or visit the Skylight Opera Theatre website.
Best 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.” Read Ellen Burmeister’s review here. Call the box office at 414-267-2929 or visit the First Stage online page for this play.
Scrooge in Rouge, In Tandem Theatre, 12/4 to 1/3
The Premise: Twenty-three actors set out to put on a musical version of A Christmas Carol. Twenty come down with food poisoning, but the show must go on. The three left standing attempt to play all 23 parts, with unintentionally comedic results. Read Barbara Castonguay’s review here. Visit In Tandem or call 414-271-1371 for more details.
Who Killed Santa?, Bay View Brew Haus, 12/4 to 12/27
Local playwright Neil Haven and director Laurie Birmingham present this alternative, snarky holiday tale. Santa is hosting his annual party with Frosty, Rudolph, Tiny Tim and the Little Drummer Boy. Apparently, the Santa character is a lot like Mr. Body from Clue, as everyone seems to have an issue with him, and he meets his end with a candy cane through the ticker. Detectives show up and use the audience to help figure out whodunit. Billed as “an irreverent, naughty alternative to traditional sentimental holiday entertainment options,” it features a revised script from the 2008 showing, Dan Katula’s Muppet-style rod puppets, parodies of holiday songs, drag and four different endings chosen by audience members. Adult content, not suitable for children under age 16. Tickets can be reserved by calling 414-839-7801 or e-mailing Bo Johnson. Reservations recommended.
Inspecting Carol, Sunset Playhouse, 12/4 to 12/31
Billed as a blend of A Christmas Carol, Noises Off and Waiting for Guffmann, Sunset Playhouse takes a comic swipe at Dickens. A young man auditions for a play at a small theater and is mistaken as a government informer for The National Endowment for the Arts. The cast and crew cater to his every whim to try to win his favor and their government funding. Visit the Sunset portal or call 262-782-4430.
La Cage aux Folles: Off the Wall Theatre, 12/10-31
Artistic Director Dale Gutzman brings us the musical that inspired The Birdcage. In the show, Georges and Albin’s world is shattered after 20 years of domestic tranquility when their son, fathered during a one-night heterosexual fling, decides to marry the daughter of a bigoted politician. Amid the sleazy grandeur of the Drag Club, George agrees to pretend to be “normal” for one night to meet the father and mother of the bride-to-be, but Albin has other ideas. Read Peggy Sue Dunigan’s review here. Adult themes. Evening performances 7:30 p.m./Matinees 4:30 p.m./Final show 8 p.m. Tickets $23.50-$30. Visit Off the Wall Theatre, or call 414-327-3552.
The Nutcracker: Milwaukee Ballet, Marcus Center Uihlein Hall, 12/11-27
Michael Pink, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and Milwaukee Children’s Choir offer up this holiday staple, complete with lavish costumes and sets. Visit the TCD photo gallery of the production and read Tom Strini’s review. Evening concerts 7:30 p.m./Sunday matinees 1:30 p.m. Tickets $16-$66. Visit the Milwaukee Ballet or call 414-902-2103.
For more on the latest from stages and orchestra pits,
consult our partner website, Footlights Magazine.