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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Wed
Hi: 31
Lo: 22
Thu
Hi: 26
Lo: 14
Fri
Hi: 32
Lo: 29
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1. Chamber stages all 37 Shakespeare plays in just under two laugh-filled hours
Hard to imagine, but four college chums go through all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in just under two hours. It's a laugh-filled romp onstage at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre that has frat party mixed with the Three Stooges as models.
2. Skylight's "Wizard" takes a wonderfully imaginative trip to Oz
"The Wizard of Oz" on stage at the Skylight is a warm and wonderful journey into the Emerald City and beyond. The search for the wizard who can get Dorothy home and a heart, courage and brain for her three friends gets a creative treatment good for the holiday season.
3. Milwaukee Winter Auction features African art pieces
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers announced the sale of over 100 works owned by African art collector Judith Wright. The firm is presenting her collection as a single-owner session in the Milwaukee Winter Auction. The sale will take place on Dec. 5. A preview exhibition begins on Saturday, Nov. 22.
4. "Frankenstein" is constantly intense but could use a break or two
"Frankenstein" has all of the intensity and drama you'd expect from the creation of a monster, but the pace is relentless and that can wear you out. It would have been helpful to have a little bit of room to breathe and sit back in your seat.
5. "The Lion King" roars triumphantly into Milwaukee Theatre
"The Lion King" has sold out on Broadway for almost 15 years, and they've brought that caliber show to the Milwaukee Theatre. It's a spectacular pageant that's wonderful for the entire family.
6. "Liberace!" hits all the right notes in a delightfully honest production
When you set out to tell the story of a man, there are at least two ways to go about it. One is to focus on something sensational, some single aspect of the man's life and build your story around it. This approach is exploitive and rarely captures the story you hope to tell. The other way to to do it honestly, upfront with everything. That's the kind of honesty that fuels the remounting of "Liberace!" which opened over the weekend at the Milwaukee Rep.
7. Soulstice's "Moon Over Buffalo" is an eclipse that doesn't quite shine
When you produce a farce, you want to come out with high energy and get the audience laughing in the early going so that they are used to it and will laugh along the rest of the night. Unfortunately, Soulstice Theatre's production of "Moon Over Buffalo" doesn't get going until there are only about five minutes left in the play. By then, the urge to laugh has left on a train to nowhere, and it's hard to get into the mood after all this falderal.
8. New stars are born at Milwaukee Ballet's "Don Quixote"
One of the major commitments Michael Pink has as the artistic director for the Milwaukee Ballet is to provide opportunities for dancers to stretch and move into roles where they are challenged to progress in their careers. As a result of that commitment, it is possible to sometimes see a star being born. That was the case Thursday night when the ballet opened Pink's "Don Quixote" at the Marcus Center.
9. AIGA celebrates 100 years with "Futura Extra Bold"
The Wisconsin chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, marks its 100th anniversary with an interactive musical and visual celebration called "Futura Extra Bold." The event takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 at Turner Hall.
10. Next Act combines dinner, wine and a provocative play in one package
What could possibly deliver more fun than a night of cool food, great wine selected just for you and an evening of wonderful theater? That's the idea behind the Saturday Date Night package created by David Cecsarini's Next Act Theatre.
11. MAM hires Obniski as new curator of 20th and 21st century design
This morning, the Milwaukee Art Museum announced the appointment of Monica Obniski as the museum's next Demmer curator of 20th and 21st century design.
12. Chappelle packs the Pabst
After nearly 10 years of more or less being off the radar with only the occasional stand-up gig, comedian Dave Chappelle decided to embark on an earnest comeback tour and many presumed - although some questioned if - he could bring it back.
13. Milwaukee's Druecke contributes "Art Dividends" to Temporary Art Review
Milwaukee writer and artist, Paul Druecke, published the first in a series of articles about Brew City art on Temporary Art Review, an international art blog, on Friday.
14. Dysfunctional family lies at the heart of Splinter Group's "Gamma Rays"
One of the greatest American plays ever written, "The Glass Menagerie" is about a controlling, difficult mother and her two children, both trapped by their own devils. Take that famous play, shoot it full of steroids and you've got "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds," the Paul Zindel play currently getting a striking and emotional treatment by Splinter Group.
15. Milwaukee Ballet dances "Don Quixote" into the Marcus Center
Michael Pink, the artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, is an artist who has a great respect and affection for the literary and musical giants of past, just has he has a diligent commitment to encouraging and producing new works. But more than anything else, Pink is a storyteller, a man in love with a good yarn that tells a tale of romance, adventure and the forces of good and evil.
16. Gigante's "My Dear Othello" is a spare, to-the-point production of a classic
Betrayal, revenge, a little more betrayal, a little more revenge, then even more revenge and a white lace handkerchief. That's about all you have to know about "My Dear Othello," the Theatre Gigante production opening tonight at the Kenilworth Studio 508 Theater.
17. MOWA announces first winner of Artist-in-Residence Program
This afternoon, the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) - in partnership with Ansay Development Corporation - announced Milwaukee artist Lois Bielefeld as the first winner of its Artist-in-Residence Program in Luxembourg, the first opportunity of its kind offered through MOWA for Wisconsin artists.
18. Take a virtual tour of The Pfister's art collection
The Pfister Hotel was the first hotel in the United States to launch an augmented reality tour. Ten pieces in the hotel's art collection are now interactive, with the goal of adding additional pieces in the coming months.
Tagged with: Pfister Hotel app
19. Florentine's "Flying Dutchman" is a chance to hear opera at its very best
It was just a rehearsal - no costumes, no set, no orchestra, no chorus, no plush seats, no lights on stage. As a matter of fact, there was no stage at all, just a piano. And the whole thing was in German. In spite of all of those things that weren't there, the thing that was there was a fascinating story and some amazing voices that told the story with such romance and strength that I followed the whole thing from my folding chair.
20. Renaissance creates absolute magic with Civil War-based "Amelia"
From "Romeo and Juliet" to "Love Story," the tale of youngsters who fall in love, only to see death and a search for meaning in it all is so often told that it seems to have become almost a cliche of itself. But when that story gets mixed with history and put into the hands of a small coterie of very creative people, the story creates the kind of theatrical magic that comes only on occasion. That's what happened when "Amelia" opened Saturday night.
21. First Stage's "Sherlock" shines a bright light in the theatrical sky
Most of the time when a play opens, it's easy to figure out who the star is - usually an actor with a major part. Sometimes, the star can be something else, like a director or a composer or a costume designer. Rarely would anybody pick a lighting designer as the star, unless they see the wonderful production of "Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars" that opened the season for First Stage.
22. Alchemist's "Suicide Sleep" is a wildly fascinating Halloween treat
Alchemist Theatre billed "Suicide Sleep"as its Halloween show, but nobody in the audience was trembling or closing their eyes to keep phantoms away. Instead, they were all on the edge of their seats - as was I - riveted with curiosity about just where this journey was going to take us.
23. "Shear Madness" is nothing but sheer joy for McGivern and company
There's this thing about cheap jokes: They can either be just cheap jokes, or they can be incredibly funny cheap jokes. And it's the incredibly funny kind that fill the two-plus hours of "Shear Madness," what may well be the longest running non-musical play in history.
24. Searing "after all the terrible things I do" gets world premiere treatment
Some plays roar along on a speeding train, carrying an audience to a climactic moment when, even though they are breathless, the play asks for even more breath. Others, some of the finest, invite you along for a leisurely walk among the marigolds and then, with a sudden twist of the fates, stops you in your tracks and slaps you right in the face. That's "after all the terrible things I do."
25. "Identita" is a troubling mess from start to finish and in between
I hardly know where to begin with "Identita," which takes an idea that hardly anybody has ever heard of, wraps it in a confusing collection of ever increasingly incredible ideas and casts it with some of serious overacting.