By Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor Published Aug 09, 2011 at 2:02 PM

John McGivern, Al McGuire and the Blues Brothers will make appearances in Vogel Hall this coming theater season as the Marcus Center launches its off-Broadway series in the venue.

The Vogel season begins with "A Kodachrome Christmas Starring John McGivern," a holiday comedy written by Pat Hazell, who also authored "The Wonder Bread Years," a previous McGivern hit at the Marcus Center. The new show opens Nov. 18 and continues through Dec. 31.

"A Kodachrome Christmas" is separate from the Vogel flexible series subscription package, but subscribers are eligible for priority ticket purchases for the holiday show. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 28.

The relationship comedy "Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage" will play Vogel Feb. 16-19, 2012, and "The Official Blues Brothers Revue," with Wayne Catania as Jake and Kieron Lafferty as Elwood, is scheduled for March 2-4, 2012.

Former Milwaukee actor Cotter Smith will return with his one-man show about the late Al McGuire, "Coach: The Untold Story of College Basketball Legend Al McGuire," March 28-29, 2012. The piece was written by sportscaster and longtime McGuire colleague Dick Enberg, and it was developed by Smith when he was living here.

Finally, the humorous marriage memoir "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up," will be presented April 26-29, 2012. It is based on the book of the same name written by actor-writer Jeff Kahn ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Ben Stiller Show") and actor-author Annabelle Gurwitch.

Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor

Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.