Leave it to the boys and girls at Youngblood Theatre Company to continue their mission of bringing offbeat, challenging and colorful theatre to Milwaukee audiences.
They opened their season with "(sic)," which may well be the funniest play I've seen this year.
Now they are set to test and entertain us again when they open "Cartoon" Nov. 30 for a couple-week run.
Written by Steve Yockey, this play has quite a reputation around the country. It's funny and daring, but it has a dark allegoric underside that some reviewers have said may well have something to do with our political system.
The performances will be at a place called the Milwaukee Fortress, 100A E. Pleasant St., in Brewers Hill. You know it, it's that big red building across the street from Schlitz Park that looks, well, like a fortress.
The story of this play is enough to make your head swim.
Incredible chaos arises when a character named Trouble steals the giant hammer bratty dictator Esther uses to maintain a monotonous but peaceful order. Their mismatched cartoon world is sent spiraling into a violent free fall in which friendship is betrayed, romance is twisted and no one is safe â€“ including the audience.
"I am both excited and terrified by 'Cartoon,'" says director and Youngblood Artistic Director Michael Cotey. "It's a big machine of play. In addition to each actor playing stylized cartoon stock characters, we have musical numbers, stage violence and live animation while trying to find a balance between the wackiness and severity of the play.
"We live in a culture of violence that Wisconsin has seen its fair share of this year," says Cotey. "We picked 'Cartoon' long before any of those tragic events occurred, but it will be interesting now to see how the play's take on violence resonates with our audiences in the midst of this twisted cartoon world."
"Cartoon" features actors Alexandra Bonesho, Lindsey Gagliano, Jordan Gwiazdowski, Sydney Ruf-Wong, Jessie Mae Scibek, Michael Traynor, Jason Waszak and one of my favorite young actors, Andrew Voss.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Sept. 28, 2016
Something like the presidential debates is, in essence, theater. And both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump need to have a better sense of what to do onstage. Over the years directors have helped me, and I want to pass some of that on to the two candidates.
Published Sept. 27, 2016
They don't get much credit or recognition, but the artists who operate behind the scenes are critical to the success of any play. The artists who helped create "Man of La Mancha" at The Rep are all at the very top of their game.
Published Sept. 25, 2016
Don Quixote, a man with a twisted sword and a broken lance, is living proof of the nobility of love, duty, honor and passion. And that's all on magnificent display in "Man of La Mancha," which opened to spectacular applause at the Rep Saturday night.
Published Sept. 24, 2016
"A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur" is one of the less frequently produced Tennessee Williams plays, but the character portraits are familiar to anyone who knows Williams. And thanks to a perfect production from the Chamber Theatre, it feels valuable and vital.
Published Sept. 23, 2016
Off the Wall Theatre opened Dale Gutzman's version of "A Passage to India" Thursday night, and though Gutzman both wrote and directed this production, the whole thing fails to reach the high level of work Off the Wall normally delivers.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
Having struck artistic and critical gold once before, the Florentine Opera is preparing another world premiere with the same team that won two Grammys - except this time they are trading Sinclair Lewis for Theodore Dreiser.
Published Sept. 13, 2016
First Stage is taking another step with Fineghan Kruckemeyer and developing a play around themes suggested by Milwaukee kids. First Stage has co-commissioned Kruckemeyer to craft a new play inspired by conversations with area young people and their parents.
Published Sept. 12, 2016
Few performers ever live up to their legend, but Billie Holiday, the singer and sinner who died tragically over 50 years ago, was one who absolutely did. All of it is on parade at "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," at the Stackner Cabaret.
Published Sept. 9, 2016
Eric Von, a longtime leader in black community talk radio, died Thursday at the age of 58. Cause of death was an apparent heart attack. Von had survived a heart attack just one month earlier. He was a radio host at WNOV when he died.
Published Sept. 8, 2016
The recent uprisings in Sherman Park have once again brought to attention the conflict between the black community and the Milwaukee Police Department. Mike Crivello is the president of the Milwaukee Police Association and he's been a member of the force since he was hired in 1991.