Skylight Music Theatre Stages An Ingenious “URINETOWN”

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta
Highly Recommended
Did I really want to see a politically charged Broadway show about corporate greed and social irresponsibility, that’s also supposed to be a bit on the gross side, especially on the night of a bad news day?  (There was another tragic school shooting, this time in Texas, earlier in the day.)  This was the question occupying my mind as I headed to the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward to review the Tony Award-winning Urinetown The Musical staged by the Skylight Music Theatre as its season finale. 

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Milwaukee Rep’s “OUR TOWN“ Brilliantly Shatters Stereotypes

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Highly Recommended

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town typically makes the distinguished list of “Greatest Plays Ever” by magically weaving a simple yet powerful tale about ties that bind us together as a community, the journey we take from adolescent love, marriage and to our final resting place, and to those things we unfortunately take for granted.  Although it made its debut in 1938, Our Town retains a potent timelessness that was evident in a beautiful and touching production by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the finale of its current season in the Quadracci Powerhouse.  Read more

First Stage’s Exhilarating “ANTARCTICA, WI“ Is Too Important A Play To Be Missed

Reviewed By: Matthew Perta

Highly Recommended

First Stage, a 30-year theater group in Milwaukee aimed at youngsters and families, bills itself as “transforming lives through theater.”  In staying true to its mission First Stage has partnered with the Filament Theatre in Chicago to co-commission the world premiere of Antarctica, WI, a play that recently opened in the Todd Wehr Theater of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. Read more

Milwaukee Rep Stages a Powerful & Provocative ANIMAL FARM

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Highly Recommended

On a snowy Sunday night, as I was leaving the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s quaint Quadracci Powerhouse nestled in downtown Milwaukee after having seen a production of George Orwell’s political novel Animal Farm, I overheard a woman tell her companion that what she just saw on stage made her sick.  My sentiments exactly.  Read more

Milwaukee Rep’s Grand Scale “A Christmas Carol” Is Sweeping and Spectacular

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

Highly Recommended

If you’re a theater lover with a thirst for holiday traditions there’s a good chance you’ve seen Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol performed many times on stage.  What do you retain from it year after year?  Is it a classic ghost story about a miserly old man who’s visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future?  Maybe you see it as a tale of forgiveness and redemption.  Read more

Milwaukee Rep’s “HOLMES AND WATSON” Is Bold and Thrilling Theatre

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Highly Recommended

Nothing appears as it seems.  That’s what Dr. Watson needs to keep in mind as he tries to figure out which of three men he comes face to face with in an asylum is the real Sherlock Holmes, his old friend who supposedly died at Reichenbach Falls.  That’s about all this reviewer is allowed to reveal of the twisted plot of Holmes and Watson, an intriguing new play which made its Midwest debut recently in the Quadracci Powerhouse of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Read more

Skylight Music Theatre Stages A Heartwarming & Rousing “ANNIE”

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Some theatergoers may cringe at hearing that yet another theatrical group is staging yet another production of Annie, a musical that first opened on Broadway back in 1977, and may cringe yet again at being reminded of yet another adorable little actress in red curls belting out “Tomorrow.”  Set during the darkest days of the Great Depression of the early 1930s, Annie is the story of an 11-year-old orphan who manages to inspire President Franklin Delano Roosevelt into launching his New Deal.  The theme is worn out, some might say.  The story is too far fetched for today’s audiences.  Well, think again.

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