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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014

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Calling all Milwaukee "bad girls"

Do you have what it takes to be a bad girl?

Can you pull out someone's weave while holding a drink in the other hand and never spill a drop on your sequin mini-dress?

Do you sometimes make out with people to get attention?

Do you pee in the sink?

Have you ever been banned from a club – for life?

If the answer to any (or all?) of those questions is "yes," then the casting directors from Bunim/Murray Productions want to talk to you. The creators of "The Real World" and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" will hold an open casting call for Oxygen's so-bad-it's-good hit reality show "Bad Girls Club" here in Milwaukee at JB's on 41, 4040 S. 27th St.,  Saturday, May 4 from 1 to 7 p.m.

Here's the official description of the show:

"Bad Girls Club will bring together a cast of self-proclaimed ‘bad girls’ in a beautiful mansion. These women recognize that their fun, outrageous behavior has hindered their relationships, careers, and lives. Will living together help them move forward and turn their lives around – or will the claws come out and chaos rule?"

I think you all know the answer to that question.

Visit bmpcasting.com for details on how you can apply. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and are asked to bring a recent photo of themselves and a photo ID.

And if you're too busy bar-fighting to make the open call, you can submit your application via email.

The "Catch Me If You Can" tour company.
The "Catch Me If You Can" tour company. (Photo: Carl Rosegg)

"Catch Me If You Can" is a high-flying, fun ride

I recently interviewed "Catch Me If You Can" cast member and Wisconsin native Travis Mitchell, who plays FBI Agent Branton in the musical version of the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio/Tom Hanks movie.

I asked him how he thought the addition of Broadway-caliber musical numbers enhanced the story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a young con man who passes himself off as a doctor, pilot and lawyer and counterfeits checks to the tune of millions of stolen dollars.

"It really gives you a big sense of that time period, the ‘60s music," Mitchell said. "It has a very glamorous feel to it, which I think is really exciting."

‘Glamorous’ is definitely the right adjective. The music is big, the costumes are flashy and the dancing is arresting in this lavish production that runs at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday, April 28.

But glamor is only half of Abagnale’s story. The other half is despair. And the musical version of "Catch Me If You Can" captures that well – maybe even better than the movie did.

Abagnale begins his life of deception and crime after he discovers his mother’s infidelity and a divorce and custody battle between his parents ensues. The 16-year-old’s family disintegrates and so does his identity. So he makes up a new one.

His father, an unapologetic semi-swindler under investigation by the IRS, always taught him to "make butter out of cream" – to do whatever it takes to get what’s coming to you. The musical is good at driving that point home and emphasizing that beneath the glitz and glamor of Abagnale’s high-flying lifestyle is a very scared, lost boy.

The name of the piece, after all, is something of a challenge - catch me if you can. The character of FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, who doggedly chases Abagnale throughout his forging career, represents all the pain – and just plain dullness – of ordinary life. Abagnale is trying to escape this pain and dullness, maybe more vigorously even than he is trying to escape Hanratty. But at…

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Milwaukee company Ink to the People is helping Boston-area college students create these T-shirts for charity.
Milwaukee company Ink to the People is helping Boston-area college students create these T-shirts for charity.

Get "Boston Strong" with these charity T-shirts

Milwaukee company Ink to the People, 6600 W. Calumet Rd., is helping two young Boston-area college students raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15.

Nick Reynolds and Chris Dobens attend Emerson College in Boston. After Monday’s deadly bombing, they decided to sell T-shirts to raise money for The One Fund Boston, a charity created by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. The students discovered Ink to the People online, and liked that the company allows the easy creation and selling of T-shirts with no investment and without the need to carry inventory.

The shirts Reynolds and Dobens designed bear the phrase "Boston Strong" (inspired by President Obama's Monday press conference) in bright yellow letters on a royal blue background, similar to the Boston Marathon color scheme.

Ink to the People offered to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the first 1,500 T-shirts sold.

"When Nick and Chris approached us with their idea, their hope was to make a small mark and help those in need with their T-shirt fundraiser," said Jay Berman, principal of Ink to the People. "This tragedy in Boston hits close to home and we wanted to help give back. We were honored to donate 100 percent of the sales from the first 1,500 Boston Strong T-shirts sold as we anticipated their fundraising idea would be extremely well-received."

Reynolds and Dobens originally hoped to sell 200 T-shirts. So far, they’ve sold over 11,000 and have raised $172,500 for The One Fund Boston – and sales are still going strong. Initially all proceeds from the first 1,500 T-shirts sold went to the charity, and now an impressive $15 out of every $20 T-shirt is still being donated.

Wives and kids of Boston Red Sox players had planned to wear the Boston Strong T-shirt today at Fenway Park in support of the tragedy’s victims, although the game against the Kansas City Royals may now be canceled due to the lockdown.

"We are thankful for people a…

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"War Horse" will run at the Marcus Center Jan. 7-12, 2014.
"War Horse" will run at the Marcus Center Jan. 7-12, 2014. (Photo: © Brinkhoff/Mögenburg)
Joey, the Tony Award-winning puppet from "War Horse" is brought to life by three dedicated actors.
Joey, the Tony Award-winning puppet from "War Horse" is brought to life by three dedicated actors. (Photo: © Brinkhoff/Mögenburg)

"Evita," "Flashdance," "War Horse" and more at Marcus Center 2013-14 season

The world can definitely use a good song and dance this week. That’s why it was so refreshing to attend last night’s preview of the the 2013-14 Broadway at the Marcus Center season. The lineup includes old favorites and new shows, and I smell a few blockbusters in there, so you might want to buy your tickets early if something strikes your fancy.

Die-hard Andrew Lloyd Webber-philes, rejoice: two of Sir Andrew’s greatest hits are coming our way. I’m particularly excited about "Evita," which rolls into town Feb. 4-9, 2014, and so was the crowd last night – there was an audible gasp and an outbreak of applause as this high-flying adored musical was announced.

It was also revealed that Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of "Phantom of the Opera" will sing the music of the night next summer, July 23-Aug. 3. It’s the same beloved plot but all-new costumes, staging and choreography.

And there’s more good news for you fans of ‘80s pop rock – break out your leg warmers for "Flashdance," which runs March 4-9, 2014. Remember, Milwaukee: when you give up your dreams, you die (Sorry. That’s my favorite line from the movie. I promise I’m done now.)

"Jersey Boys" is also returning to the Marcus Center after a successful run in 2011. Audiences will get to hear the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons brought to life Oct. 16-27, 2013.

Judging on the reaction of the audience at the preview, "War Horse" will likely be the most talked-about show of the season. This five-time Tony Award-winner follows young World War I soldier Albert and his beloved horse, Joey. You might recognize this title from its 2011 Steven Spielberg adaptation for the big screen.

What’s interesting about this play is that the horses will be represented by life-sized puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company - who also created the puppets for the Broadway production, and won a Tony for their work.

"Joey" was present at Uihlein Hall last night in all his g…

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