2007-03 Vital Source Mag – March 2007

  • The Days of Wine and Roses

    By Russ Bickerstaff As anyone who has been anywhere near it could attest, there is little if anything romantic about alcoholism. And as quaint and idealized as the picture of Irish drinking culture has become in this country, there is little that separates an Irish alcoholic from a Russian alcoholic from an American alcoholic from […]

  • The Glass Menagerie

    By Jill Gilmer It’s beginning to show its age… or is it? When Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie was first produced in 1945, it drew praise from audiences and critics for its portrayal of a man’s struggle to balance his family responsibilities with his longing for inner fulfillment. This theme, which had broad relevance in […]

  • The Voysey Inheritance

    By Russ Bickerstaff The forced perspective is ominous in every single detail and I’m not just talking about the set. Scenic designer Linda Buchanan has taken what probably is little more than glass, plywood and metal strips and turned them into something that brilliantly conveys a feeling of overwhelming immensity in the finite space that […]

  • Smokey Joe’s Café

    By Peggy Sue Dunigan The sparks on stage opening weekend for Smokey Joe’s Café at the Skylight Opera were more than electric. Every facet of this musical revue was on fire. Celebrating the most prolific songwriting team from the ‘50s and ‘60s, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the review celebrates about 30 of their songs […]

  • Bob Mittnacht and the Crowning Glories

    By Blaine Schultz Tuning into WMSE on Tuesday nights for the Midnight Radio program might give you some advance warning of the influences that figure into Bob Mittnacht’s talents as a songwriter. Coming off somewhere between Garland Jeffries and T-Bone Burnett, Mittnacht and his band combine guileless lyrics with an organic rock sound the features […]

  • A Lie of the Mind

    By Russ Bickerstaff Playwright Sam Shepherd is known for some pretty brutal drama. People go through intense stress. People get hurt. Sometimes things get weird. And, in the case of A Lie Of The Mind, sometimes things get REALLY weird. Windfall Theatre continues its 14th season with a thoughtful staging of one of Shepherd’s most […]

  • Macbeth

    By Russ Bickerstaff It’s a bombed-out brick wall that looks like it’s just barely survived some sort of apocalypse. There are sweetly sick trees dotting the stage. There’s a decaying playground merry-go-round over to the left. Civilized civilization has been here and left. What else could this be but Macbeth? Marjorie Bradley Kellogg sets the […]

  • Trouble

    By Matt Wild Asked why he decided to dismantle The Pixies, frontman Frank Black once replied that when another bandmate’s lifestyle “starts to irritate you,” it becomes virtually impossible to be in the same room as that person, much less share a stage together. Black was no doubt referring to bassist Kim Deal, whose unexpected […]

  • Consolidating control of the Titanic

    By Donald Kaul Admit it, you were fooled. You listened to that wimpy State of the Union address and you thought President Bush was in full retreat before an angry electorate. Yet again you misunderestimated the man. The retreat was merely tactical. Less than a week after the speech, he returned to the fray, guns […]

  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

    Ted Leo might occasionally feel nostalgic – one of his best-known songs, “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?,” yearns for old-fashioned ska – but he’s not. Better than any other current musician, he understands that punk rock is unfinished business: a promise that needs to be kept. He also understands that punk rock is […]

  • By Evan Solochek + Photo By Richard Galling With Milwaukee’s strong Irish heritage, it’s no wonder that traditional Irish music is a fixture in this city. For proof, just check out Irish Fest, the Badger State Feis, the Cream City Feis, the renowned Celtic Irish Studies Program at UWM and the numerous pub sessions that […]

  • After the party – How to handle the pox

    By Lucky Tomaszek In February, I shared with you all my friend Jesi’s successful quest to expose her two children to the chicken pox. The reactions I received from people were wildly varied, with some readers telling me about the chicken pox parties they had when their own children were young and others telling me […]