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 – 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 March 3, 2015
Last year spring training was something we needed. As fans of the pro sports teams in Milwaukee and Green Bay, our spirits needed to be lifted out of the doldrums. But now we've got other stuff to be excited about so spring training doesn't have the urgency it once did.
Published March 2, 2015
"Come Back" is the work of local playwright Neal Haven, one getting its world premiere at In Tandem Theatre. It's a play about the grief of losing a loved one and tries to find humor in the situation.
Published March 1, 2015
There's a song they sing when there is a funeral in some of the rural parishes of Louisiana. "The graveyard ain't got no memories," they sing. It's not just the dead who are afraid of the memories, but the living are fearful as well, and it can be even tougher on those left behind if they try to make those memories clear. That is the essence of "The Train Driver," the powerful drama by Athol Fugard that opened over the weekend at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Published Feb. 28, 2015
Being in sixth grade can be a real problematic time, full of the turbulence of hopes and fears all at once. First Stage captures the whole thing in "Big Nate: The Musical."
Published Feb. 26, 2015
After losing a half-million-dollar judgement, the City of Milwaukee is looking at ways to avoid paying the money. One of the solutions being explored is granting Silk a license in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.
Published Feb. 24, 2015
Sports movies are among the greatest films ever made, so what better time to list the top 14 sports movies of all time than right after the Oscars?
Published Feb. 20, 2015
"God of Carnage" is a biting comedy about two couples who turn from civilized to animals before our very eyes. But when two of the actors can't remember their lines, the evening turns out to be a real dud.
Published Feb. 19, 2015
The owners Silk Exotic today won a big victory in federal court as a jury awarded them a judgement of almost half a million dollars for revenue lost because the city would not grant them a license for a Downtown strip club.
Published Feb. 19, 2015
Domestic violence is something that most of us think doesn't touch those close to us. But in fact this familial violence cuts across all economic, social, geographic and ethnic boundaries.
Published Feb. 17, 2015
Bo Ryan has been coaching for 30 years in Wisconsin and he's had success wherever he's been. What's more, he's done it with a unique coaching style that features a deliberate offense and a tenacious defense that has the Badgers ranked among the best teams in the country.