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1. Truth rings out loud and clear in Next Act's important "No Child"
"No Child" is the latest in a long line of important plays to be staged at Next Act Theatre. Marti Gobel wondrously plays all 16 characters in the play that examines the vexing question of how we can do a better job of educating our children.
2. Skylight's delivers a lackluster production of "Once On This Island"
"Once On This Island" is a rollicking fairy tale that takes place on a fictional Caribbean island. The production at Skylight Music Theatre just doesn't capture the magic that you expect.
3. Milwaukee Irish Fest announces 35th anniversary entertainment lineup
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Milwaukee Irish Fest is pulling out all the stops for this year's festival, offering the widest selection of Irish and Celtic music to date. Taking place Aug. 13 - 16 along Milwaukee's lakefront, the festival will honor tradition with some of the biggest and brightest stars, as well as previously undiscovered new artists.
4. Comedian Kevin Hart coming to the Riverside for six shows in April
Kevin Hart is one of the hardest working men in the business, appearing in "The Wedding Ringer," "Ride Along," "Top Five," "About Last Night" and "Think Like a Man Too" all just in the past year - with "Get Hard" along side Will Ferrell still to come in March. This morning, his busy schedule got even busier as the comedian added a live tour stop in Milwaukee.
5. Milwaukee Public Museum set attendance record this weekend
The Milwaukee Public Museum and Greater Milwaukee Foundation teamed up this weekend to present the first of 12 "Gifts to the Community," a program established by the Foundation to provide the public with unique experiences that showcase the people, places and opportunities that make greater Milwaukee special. More than 26,000 people visited MPM during the all-access, free weekend, making January 24 and 25, easily the busiest two days in the Museum's 130-year history.
6. "The Kreutzer Sonata" is a sound of music with a story of love and treachery
Nothing entertains like a great love story with a murderous ending, and that's what you get in "The Kreutzer Sonata" at Renaissance Theaterworks. The one man play starring James Pickering is a story you won't soon forget.
7. Alchemist's "True West" is a tortured tale of brotherly love and hate
Sam Shepard's "True West" is a tale of brothers, joined by blood and driven apart by everything else in their lives. Alchemist Theater gives it a daring and bold production until the end of the month.
8. Milwaukee Press Club announces winners of Milwaukee Made contest
In honor of the City of Milwaukee's 169th birthday the Milwaukee Press Club hosted a Milwaukee Made contest to recognize the people, products and places that contribute to Milwaukee's greatness. The public was invited to vote online and the winners were officially announced today.
9. "Beautiful Music" at the Rep belongs more in a classroom than a theater
"The Beautiful Music All Around Us" is a long and involved journey through the early days of American folk music. The problem is that the whole thing, with Stephen Wade as the professor, seems more like a college lecture than a night of theatrical entertainment.
10. Forward Theater's "The Other Place" is an unforgettable, difficult journey
The play by Sharr White at Madison's Forward Theater Company is a spectacular production of a play fraught with difficult situations and one that strikes home for each of us. We each have "The Other Place" and what waits for us there is part of the joy of living.
11. Soulstice Theatre misses badly with an uncertain all-female "Macbeth"
Taking a play like "Macbeth" and casting it with all women may well be a daring attempt to bring something new to the play. But there has to be a reason to do it, and Soulstice Theatre just seems to be doing it for no other reason than it could.
12. Betty Brinn Children's Museum debuts new "Word Headquarters" exhibit
Today, the Betty Brinn Children's Museum announced the debut of "Word Headquarters," a new feature exhibit highlighting literacy and its role in children's success in academics, as well as in life.
13. When MAM remodel is complete, a quiet piece of history will be harder to spot
When the Milwaukee Art Museum reopens its reinstalled collection in revamped galleries something will be missing, but many won't likely even notice. What have been called the "Bradley Rooms" or the "Bradley Apartment" will have vanished.
14. Unique theater experience coming to Oconomowoc Arts Center
A unique play by an Iranian playwright will be staged in Oconomowoc to help pay for a trip for high school kids to a huge theater festival in Scotland. Each night a different actor - some of Milwaukee's best - will open the script in front of the audience and perform it.
15. Marcus Broadway production of "Anything Goes" doesn't go anywhere
A national tour of the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes" has a lot of promise and some great songs, but the young and inexperienced cast can't make it come alive.
16. Theatre Unchained's "Trailer Park Musical" hits all the wrong notes
Theatre Unchained has had a couple of great productions this season but their Christmas offering doesn't come close to matching what they have done. It's a story that's trite, confusing and doesn't belong in anyone's Christmas stocking.
17. Layton Art Collection Board expands partnership with MAM
The Layton Art Collection, Inc. has renewed its historic agreement with the Milwaukee Art Museum to preserve and protect the Layton Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The collection, which served as the foundation for Milwaukee's first public art gallery, has been housed at the museum since 1957.
18. New theater company debuts with a spectacular "The Last 5 Years"
All In Productions is a new theater company that made its debut with a wonderful production of "The Last 5 Years." The musical is a romantic and intelligent story of a relationship, with one side told from the end to the the beginning and the other side telling the story in reverse
19. World's Stage takes a long subway trip to nowhere in "Dutchman"
A 50-year-old play about race seems like a perfect fit for the discussions raging across American today. And while the play has lessons, they get lost in too many amateur moments in the production by World's Stage Theatre Company.
20. Lakefront IPA named in "The 35 Most Hipster Things That Happened in 2014"
BuzzFeed posted "The 35 Most Hipster Things That Happened in 2014" and Fixed Gear American Red IPA by Milwaukee's Lakefront Brewery is No. 8.
21. Catching up with the Cratchits from The Rep's "A Christmas Carol"
When it comes to the classic story of "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge has always been the star. But just as important to the story are the Cratchits, who embody the Christmas spirit and the human spirit so essential to Dickens's fable. For the past few years, the two characters have been played in the Milwaukee Rep's annual production by the same two Milwaukee actors: Jonathan Wainwright and Marti Gobel.
22. Skylight Music Theatre receives National Endowment for the Arts grant
This morning, National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) chairwoman Jane Chu announced that the Skylight Music Theatre received an NEA Art Works grant. The $20,000 grant will support Skylight's upcoming world premiere of "The Snow Dragon."
23. NEA supports recording of Florentine's "Wuthering Heights"
Carlisle Floyd's iconic American opera will be recorded for the first time in a live concert performance -- right here in the Milwaukee area -- through support from the NEA.
24. First Stage proves that Rudolph can transform lives in this theater
First Stage's mission is to transform lives through theater. With "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical" on one magic opening night the lesson is driven home with a couple of six-year-old girls who found things that took them to places they'd rarely been before.
25. Ladies lead the way in the hilarious "Cudahy Caroler" at In Tandem
Trying to get the choir back for one final performance is a task of immense difficulty, but four of the ladies provide enough laughs to make any holiday Merry. In Tandem stages "A Cudahy Caroler Christmas" for the last time and it's sad to see them go.