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Kay Allmand, Chris Klopatek, Chase Stoeger and Anna Cline (L to R) are part of the hilarity in "Jeeves Takes a Bow."
Kay Allmand, Chris Klopatek, Chase Stoeger and Anna Cline (L to R) are part of the hilarity in "Jeeves Takes a Bow." (Photo: Paul Ruffolo)

Chamber's "Jeeves" is a silly concoction that delivers lots of laughs

Borrowing a phrase from the famed Forrest Gump, silly is as silly does.

And nothing could be applied more accurately to the silliness that is "Jeeves Takes a Bow," the adaptation of the P. G. Wodehouse classic that opened at Milwaukee Chamber Theater Friday night.

Go to this play and forget about a lot of your normal theater-going experiences. There are no hidden meanings. There are no social implications. There is nothing that demands well-focused attention.

This is fun for fun’s sake. It’s the big bowl of trifle that you get even without stuffing yourself on bangers and mash or fish and chips.

And under the wise and detailed direction of Tami Workentin, this English delight moves along at just the right pace, allowing time for both laughter and breath without forcing a single moment.

At the heart of the story are high living joy seeker Bertie Woosteras and his manservant Jeeves, the two cloistered in an Apartment in New York. Joining in the early going is Binky, a member of the English mission to the United States.

The tone is set early when it’s revealed that Binky is in love with Ruby LeRoy, an actress who is starring in a new concoction called "Naughty Natalie." To further his love interest, Binky has told Ruby that he is really Bertie (hope you are with me thus far). And he has told her that his friend, Binky (who in this case is really Bertie) will write a special song for her show, even though in reality Bertie (who is being called Binky) doesn't know anything about music. 

Along comes Vivienne Duckworth, a tightly bound English dame who is in New York for two purposes: to write a book about the seedy side of the city and to announce her engagement to the real Bertie. We add to this mix the gangster Knuckles McCann, who turns out is Ruby’s dad, and you can see the ensuing adventures coming from a mile away.

It’s one thing after another, with Jeeves remaining both above the fray and the solver of problems and fixer of any dilemma that may ari…

Zaza Pachulia is going to play a big role in the Bucks first playoff game against Chicago.
Zaza Pachulia is going to play a big role in the Bucks first playoff game against Chicago. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Bucks strap it on Saturday for surprising playoff berth against Bulls

At the start of the year nobody gave a single thought to the Milwaukee Bucks reaching the playoffs this year.

Everybody thought they’d be better than the last year's 15-win season, but the playoffs seemed like a dream.

Well, the dream is here and the Bucks enter the playoffs as the sixth seed, opening against the Chicago Bulls Saturday night in Chicago. The second game will be Monday night and then it's back to Milwaukee for two games, Wednesday night and Saturday late afternoon.

"Chicago is a tough team," said John Henson after learning that the Bulls would be the opponent. "We are going to have to strap it on and bring it. They’ve been there before and for us we have a lot of guys who are don’t have that much experience."

The Bucks are 1-3 against the Bulls this year but did win the last meeting on April 1. And, for the first time they managed to keep Pau Gasol from killing them. Gasol averaged over 25 points and over 14 rebounds a game against Milwaukee but in that game he was held to 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Bucks double teamed Gasol early in the possessions and it was effective.

"That was one of the best games we played all year," coach Jason Kidd said. "We played well for 48 minutes, mentally and physically. We’ll have to go back and look at that. I’m sure there were things that we can fix, but we played well."

A big task for Kidd, and other veterans on the team, is to impress on these young players how important every possession is during the playoffs. Ersan Ilyasova is one of those veterans.

"This is playoff basketball," he said. "And no matter who we play, it’s all about us. If we play the way we have this year it will be okay. If we play well, we’ll be good."

While Chicago has some nagging injuries to Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose, the Bucks are healthy.

"We got out of that last game without anybody getting hurt," Kidd said. "So now it’s time for playoff basketball. It will be a great experience for these kids."

The parking spaces where you have to walk to the corner to pay are a tough hall for the disabled.
The parking spaces where you have to walk to the corner to pay are a tough hall for the disabled. (Photo: Bobby Tanzilo)

LUKE meters can test physical limitations of some parkers

I recently suffered a health issue that caused me to start walking with a cane, and I never realized how unkind the city of Milwaukee can be.

My stroke left me with a balance problem. So, I walk slower and with a cane.

I was going to the Public Market this week and the only parking spot was on the west end of the street, the last spot. It was one of those spots without a meter but with a sign showing the number of the parking spot. 

In order to pay for the spot I had to drag myself all the way to the east end of the block. It took me forever since I now move at a snail's pace. 

I've always hated these things, but my hate has now reached huge levels. I can't imagine what it might be like for someone in a wheelchair or on crutches to have to make this long journey. 

The city likes these things because it places less pressure on those lovely parking checkers and reduces the manpower needed to collect cash from other meters. This is yet another example of government doing something to make it easy on itself even if it mean that things are harder for its citizens.

The city makes almost $5 million a year in revenue from parking meters. And now they are making it harder for disabled people to park Downtown.

David Flores puts the Mascara Rosa on his daughter, played by Bree Kazinski.
David Flores puts the Mascara Rosa on his daughter, played by Bree Kazinski. (Photo: Paul Ruffolo)

In "Luchadora," First Stage and Rios create an electric, important world premier

The first thing that we have to get out of the way is that luche libre, professional wrestling in Mexico, is just as phony as the American version of professional ‘rassling, more theater than athletic competition.

Having said that, the production of "Luchadora" that opened over the weekend at First Stage is one of the most moving and important productions likely to be seen in Milwaukee this season – even though the main storyline is about something as fake as luche libre.

With a splendid cast of adults and children and a marvelous set from Sarah Hunt-Frank – all under the direction of Jeff Frank – the play fully realizes the work of playwright Alvaro Saar Rios who teaches playwriting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

This world premiere, commissioned by First Stage, is an intricate and affectionate look into a slice of the distinguished and romantic culture of Mexico.

This play, though, is about so much more than Mexican professional wrestling. Cradled in the web of the story is a magnificent paean to a world where there is nothing that a girl can’t do. Nothing.

Offered as proof is the story of Lupita, a young Mexican girl who lives in Texas with her father, who is rooted in the male-dominated culture so common in many cultures. It is also the story of Hannah, the older sister of Lupita’s best friend, who shuns dresses and enlists only to lose her life fighting for her country as a soldier in Vietnam.

The role of Lupita (played Sunday by Bree Kazinski) is the leading role in the play. The role of Hannah (played by Lizzie Porter) is a much smaller part. But both characters deliver the exact same message with a wallop: Get outta my way because I’m headed somewhere new, and you can’t stop me.

David Flores, who dazzled in Skylight’s production of "In the Heights" as a father troubled by a headstrong daughter, reprises a similar role here with the kind of joy and sensitivity he always seems to deliver onstage.

As it always does, Firs…