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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, April 19, 2014

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"Avenue Q" runs through Oct. 14.
"Avenue Q" runs through Oct. 14.

Right wingers can't go left on "Avenue Q"

It's too bad that right wing wackos don't have a sense of humor, because they are missing out on a lot.

This week Mark Belling, the high priest of right wingers in Milwaukee, was in full fury over "Avenue Q," the outstanding production of the Broadway play which is being staged at Skylight Music Theatre.

Belling had gotten a call from some humorless listener who said he cancelled his subscription to the Skylight because of a reference to Scott Walker during the performance.

In the Broadway production there is a line in a song that mentions George W. Bush, and suggests that he will soon be gone. It's funny.

In the Skylight production they changed the Bush reference to Scott Walker. They wanted to use the best-known politician in the state and that' s Walker, hands down. It was funny.

But Belling took off about the liberal arts community and how they always make fun of conservatives; how the poor conservatives just keep getting beat down and don't have a place in the artistic world.

Then he said that "Avenue Q" was a "gay play" and that if people wanted to protest they just shouldn't go.

Geez, Mark, and your listeners, you are so out of your league on this one it's not even funny. It's clear you have no idea what this play is about.

It's like the old joke: What do you get when you combine a lack of knowledge with no sense of humor?

In Tandem Theatre will present the American premiere of "The Nightmare Room" Oct. 5-21.
In Tandem Theatre will present the American premiere of "The Nightmare Room" Oct. 5-21.

Coming soon: In Tandem Theatre's "The Nightmare Room"

There aren't many suspense and mystery writers better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and seeking a thriller to start its 15th season, In Tandem Theatre has turned to the master.

The play is "The Nightmare Room," adapted from the short story of the same name by highly regarded English playwright John Goodrum, who has built a career creating mysterious plays full of terror and suspense.

"The Nightmare Room" is about two women, best friends since childhood, who fall for the same man, a dashing former movie star. The play is dark and twisted and builds slowly to a stunning climax.

In Tandem is the baby of Chris and Jane Flieller, who have nurtured its steady growth while producing some memorable performances. They are widely known for their annual Cudahy Caroler Christmas, a hilarious romp through the holiday season.

"The Nightmare Room" features one of Milwaukee's favorite young actors, Libby Amato, who has worked with many groups around town. She has a delicate fawning beauty that brings wonderful sensibility to any role she plays. She will be joined in "The Nighmare Room" by Mary C. McLellan.

Tickets are available at the Tenth Street Theatre box office at (414) 271-1371.

Tulip's cuisine and atmosphere are top notch.
Tulip's cuisine and atmosphere are top notch.

Pick Tulip next time

I had been under the impression, proven false, that the Turkish restaurant, Tulip, had closed at some point.

So I was surprised when I found it open in the Third Ward last week and decided to give it a try before theater. What I found was a wonderful restaurant with very nice food and one of the best desserts I've ever had anywhere.

It's a very good-looking place and on a Friday night managed to fill a lot of tables as the dinner hour progressed.

I had a great dish of four French cut lamb chops, served under a delightful sauce of wild mushroom couscous and a bit of grilled asparagus.

I'm not usually much of a dessert guy, but our server recommended something called kadayif and I took the plunge. Talk about your good decisions.

Kadayif is made from shredded wheat, then mixed with some sugar and milk. Then they add some lemon juice and zest, and butter and put it in a small round baking dish. It's baked until a crispy crust forms on the top and then a syrup and crushed pistachio nuts are dropped into the center of the dish

It was sweet, yes, but not overly so. It kind of tasted something like something that if McDonald's could figure out how to make it they'd sell millions and millions. It alone is worth the trip to Tulip.

Michael Lew's "Microcrisis" opens at Next Act Theatre Sept. 27.
Michael Lew's "Microcrisis" opens at Next Act Theatre Sept. 27.

Coming soon: "Microcrisis"

Trying to make sense of the financial collapse and difficulties that have grown from it is an almost hopeless task, so we all might as well try and get a laugh out of it all.

That's the theory behind the play "Microcrisis," which opens Sept. 27 at Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre.

The play by Michael Lew promises an absurd look at the outrage and shock that the financial crisis provoked.

Edward Morgan, an experienced director with a long line of credits, will guide a cast of some very respected actors, including Michael Cotey who recently starred as Malcolm in the Optimist Theatre summer production of "Macbeth."

Veteran actors John Kishline and David Cecsarini are also in the cast.

A recent review of the play in New York said:

"Michael Lew's new play contains all of the ingredients that made our current recession possible, but with at least twice as many laughs.

"Satire, after all, is as good a way as any to try to comprehend how we got to where we are today, on the calamitous downside of a burst bubble that everyone seemed to believe would just keep getting bigger and bigger even though nothing real was sustaining it. Lew exposes the hypocrisy and greed and duplicity and sheer stupidity behind all of this, with intelligence, humanity, and enormous humor in this very funny, very apt comedy. Thank goodness it's hilarious – because otherwise we'd have to weep profusely at the truths it uncovers."

The play runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 21 at the new home for Next Act at 255 S. Water St. Tickets are available at (414) 578-5930 or nextact.org.