Matthew Reddin
On Stage 5/22

A quiet week with powerful performances

Boulevard Theatre reimagines a classic drama, Off the Wall goes Wild, Wild West, and the MSO returns to Milwaukee with an exclusively British program.

By - May 22nd, 2012 04:00 am


Wednesday, Boulevard Theatre closes its season with Cowboys Versus Samurai, a contemporary retelling of  Cyrano de Bergerac. Cowboys keeps the classic plot – a lovestruck man asks his friend to write him a letter of introduction to a new flame – but adds an exploration of Asian-American identity. The show runs May 23 to June 24 at 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $23; call (414) 744-5757.

Off the Wall Theatre ends the year with the Midwest premiere of Roadside, the last musical by The Fantasticks creators, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Based on a play by Lynn Riggs, the writer of Oklahoma!, the musical centers on a traveling theatrical company in the Wild West, complete with on-stage band, with every company member battling to both maintain freedom and find happiness. Roadside runs May 24 to June 3, most shows at 7:30 p.m., excepting 4:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $24.50 or $27.50 for reserved seats; call (414) 327-3552 or visit Off the Wall’s website.

In Six Degrees of Separation, opening Thursday at Sunset Playhouse, a New York couple is surprised one night by a man claiming to be the recently mugged son of Sydney Poitier. They offer him a bed for the night, but when the morning comes, they must determine whether or not they’ve been conned. The show runs May 24 to June 10, with performances at 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20, $16 for students/seniors, and can be ordered at (262) 782-4430 or the online box office.

Uprooted Theatre opens the world premiere of Hair, Nails and Dress Thursday night. The play centers on Gogo Hale, a young girl whose efforts to get ready for prom turn the entire family upside down. It’s also the first Uprooted production to include a “Family First Matinee” on May 27, where parents can bring their children with to the show and have Uprooted educators watch them during the show for free, although only the first 12 children (ages 5 to 13) to be registered at will be accepted. The play runs at In Tandem Theatre through June 3, with shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 and can be ordered at their online box office.


Violinist Jennifer Frautschi will perform Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy” at the MSO’s British Isles concert Friday and Saturday. Photo credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra returns to the city for its first concert since visiting Carnegie Hall, but their souvenirs aren’t from NYC. They’re from merrie old England. Guest conductor Christopher Warren-Green, recently seen as conductor at the 2011 royal wedding, will preside over a concert of quintessentially British pieces: Walton’s Crown Imperial, composed for King George VI’s coronation; Vaughan-Williams’ Fifth Symphony, written in the midst of World War II; and Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, performed by violinist Jennifer Frautschi. The concert will be performed both Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with tickets ranging from $25 to $102. Call (414) 291-7605 or visit the MSO box office to order.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday (May 23), the Festival City Symphony hosts its last Pajama Jamboree of the year, Spring Sing. The show features such tunes as “America the Beautiful,” Puccini’s “O Mio Babino Caro,” and “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, with guest soprano Kathy Pyeatt. The concert begins at 7 p.m. May 23, at the Marcus Center’s Bradley Pavilion. Tickets are free.

Visual Art

The Milwaukee Public Museum plays host to the Society of Animal Artists’s Art and the Animal exhibit, featuring more than 60 pieces portraying animals. The pieces were selected as part of a juried competition open only to society members, and the exhibit has been shown at more than 50 venues across the U.S. The show, free with museum admission, runs May 26 through Sept. 3. Visit the museum’s website for more information.


Skylight Music Theatre: Sunday in the Park with George, through June 10

Fireside Theatre: Legally Blonde, through July 1

Last Chance

Next Act Theatre: Summer Stories with John McGivern, through May 27

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