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Giving Tuesday – November 29, 2016

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Sunset Playhouse Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

 Sunset Playhouse has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.  

92Y −  a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around its core values of community service and giving back − conceptualized #GivingTuesday as a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving. In 2015, the fourth year of the movement, #GivingTuesday brought together over 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 Million online in the US alone.

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.

 

As a non-profit theater, Sunset depends on donations to continue to thrive and survive.  Every donation, no matter the size, is highly appreciated.  Please consider a donation to Sunset Playhouse on Giving Tuesday

To donate to Sunset Playhouse, please click here

Sunset Fundraiser at ParkSide 23 on November 15

Sunset Playhouse will be having a fundraiser on November 15th at one of Brookfield’s best restaurants: ParkSide 23.  

Please join us and enjoy lunch or dinner at ParkSide 23 and 25% of your food purchase will be donated back to Sunset Playhouse.  This is a great way for you to enjoy a wonderful meal and contribute to the playhouse.  

Please note:  you must present a flyer to your server when you order your lunch or dinner in order for Sunset to receive the 25% donation.  See below

Click here to view ParkSide 23’s menu.     

ParkSide 23 serves food from 11AM – 9PM    We hope you will join us at this event.  

ParkSide 23,  2300 North Pilgrim Road, Brookfield, WI 53005  262-784-7255

(click on form below to print)

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Costume Designing Through Time

Costume Designing Through Time

By Joanne Cunningham, Costume Designer

 

Certainly one of the most challenging and interesting aspects of designing costumes for a show is creating a look that is appropriate to the era in which the story takes place. Most scripts specify the time (sometimes the exact year, sometimes just a decade) when the action occurs. Sometimes the director has his or her own idea for the era they want to use.

Most designers have some eras with which they feel the most comfortable. For those shows, not a lot of research is involved. For example, I have a pretty easy time envisioning the look of the 1950s and 1960s, probably because I grew up in that era. I can close my eyes and see what the clothes looked like back then, and this makes it easier to find suitable costumes for shows that take place at that time.

Other decades…or centuries, for that matter…take research to understand. Women’s silhouettes, for instance, have changed drastically over time. Appropriate accessories, types of fabrics, sometimes even color choices need to be understood in order to create the proper mood on stage. In the past year or so I’ve designed a number of shows that took place in the Victorian era, a time I knew little about until I started researching it. Fortunately for me (and other designers, I’m sure!), it’s now pretty easy to Google “1890s women’s evening wear” or any other topic and get hundreds of images to start my research. I usually also seek out articles that explain more about the do’s and do not’s of fashion at that time, mainly because an online image search can just as easily lead to inaccurate examples as it can to accurate ones.

On rare occasions, a play or musical will cover a span of more than one time period, whether by chronological action (as THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB will do later this season) or by other theatrical devices. In the case of MOON OVER BUFFALO, there are two plays that take place within the play itself. The actual time period of the play is post-WWII, so the day-to-day costumes need to evoke a 1940s/50s feel. But embedded within the play there are two completely different eras as well. Some of the characters become actors in a scene from CYRANO DE BERGERAC, which takes place in the 1600s, and some are in a scene from PRIVATE LIVES which calls for 1920s evening wear.

Moon-costumesIn other words, this show has taken a whole lot of research on my part to figure out how to portray those three eras with some degree of accuracy so that they each evoke a certain “feel”. Make plans to come see MOON OVER BUFFALO to see if I’ve been able to pull it off!

Moon Over Buffalo Auditions are coming up!

Audtion Reminder: Sunset Playhouse
MOON OVER BUFFALO
 
Why not try out for this exciting comedy?  You will be a part of a quality production, meet new friends, and get out of the house! MOON OVER BUFFALO will be directed by Michael (Paco) Pocaro. Please come to Sunset Playhouse on one of the audition dates listed above. Auditions will consist of readings from the script.
 
 
Auditions: Monday, July 18th & Tuesday 19th 7:00-10:00 pm*
Callbacks: Wednesday, July 20th (if necessary) 7:00-10:00 pm
Rehearsals: Monday, August 1st, 2016 – Wednesday, September 7th, 2016**
Performances: September 8th – 25th, 2016
 
Scripts are available for check-out at the box office for a $10 deposit.
Box Office hours are Tuesdays 1 pm – 7 pm
Wednesdays-Fridays 1 pm – 5 pm & Saturdays 1 pm- 4 pm
 
Contact Ann Mather at amather@sunsetplayhouse.com or 262-782-4431, ext 221 if you have any further questions or
if you plan to arrive later than 8:30 pm for auditions.
 
SYNOPSIS
 
A hilarious comedy, MOON OVER BUFFALO centers on a couple of over-the-hill actors trying to keep their marriage and their ragtag touring company afloat. In Buffalo, New York, there’s suddenly one last shot at stardom — film director Frank Capra is rumored to be arriving for their matinee and might sign them to a Hollywood contract. But this is fun-filled farce at its finest so everything that can go wrong does go wrong. It’s the perfect recipe for an evening of madcap, door-slamming, belly-laugh adventures.
If you saw BOEING BOEING and enjoyed it, why not audition for MOON OVER BUFFALO.  This show will be directed by Paco, the same person who directed the hit BOEING BOEING.  Hope to see you at the auditions.

2016-17 Sunset Playhouse Single Tickets On Sale July 5th!

Single tickets for our 2016-17 Season will go on sale to the public on July 5th.  We have a great line-up so be sure to order your tickets online or stop at the box office starting July 5th for the best seating selection.

We will be offering 8 shows as a part of our Furlan Auditorium Productions.  The shows are:  MOON OVER BUFFALO, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and HELLO, DOLLY!

2016-17 Season of Sunset Playhouse Milwaukee

In addition to our Furlan shows, we will offer 6 Musical MainStage Concerts and 6 SideNotes Cabarets that are not-to-be-missed.

Season 2016 Sunset Playhouse Milwaukee

Our box office hours are:  Tuesday 1 – 7PM,  Weds – Friday 1 – 5PM and Saturday 1 – 4PM.   Be sure to stop in as soon as you can to get the best seats.  You can also call our box office at 262-782-4430 or buy all of your tickets on SunsetPlayhouse.com

What’s Happening At Sunset

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Well, spring has sprung and we can finally venture outside so why not get out of the house and head over to Sunset for one of our upcoming productions?  April will be a very busy month at the Playhouse.  Next week (April 7-9), our SideNotes Cabaret will present HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS, an evening of Broadway show tunes. Then you won’t want to miss the Sunset premiere of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE*, April 21st through May 8th.  This hilarious yet touching  musical tells the story of six students who vie for the championship of a lifetime. Our final Musical MainStage concert of the season, RING-A-DING-DING: SINATRA & CO. (April 25-26), will swing to the sounds of the big band era with hits from folks like Frank, Ella, Bing, and Rosie.

 

 

We hope you were able to attend our sold-out 2016-17 Season Preview Party! This wonderful celebration showcased Sunset’s upcoming season, with scenes and songs from our Furlan Auditorium Productions, SideNotes Cabaret Series, and our Musical MainStage Concert Series.season-preview-party

If you are a season subscriber, you should have received your season ticket packet. If you would like to subscribe, please contact the box office and we will be happy to mail you subscription information. We offer both full-season packages and our popular Pick & Choose option which allows you to purchase four or more vouchers good for any show at any time and save money!

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Finally, under the direction of Project Manager Jan Pritzl, work is underway on the creation of our new lower-level classroom/rehearsal hall.  Thanks to a grant from Heart of Canal, we are excited to create this wonderful and much-needed addition for all our students and volunteers.

 

 

*Suggested for mature audiences only

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS – SideNotes Cabaret, April 7 – 9, 2016

highlights-foot-lights-sidenotes-cabaret-sunset-playhouseBROADWAY HIGHLIGHTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT SIDENOTES CABARET

A trio of powerhouse performers will present HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS as part of the Sunset Playhouse SideNotes Cabaret Series April 7-9, 2016. Local favorites ADAM ESTES, SAMANTHA SOSTARICH, and NATHAN WESSELOWSKI will salute the best of Broadway in this homage to the timeless songs of the Great White Way. These stellar vocalists will perform music from the Golden Age of Broadway, current smash hits, and everything in between.

ADAM ESTES has appeared at Sunset Playhouse many times, as part of the Musical MainStage Concert Series and in his one-man SideNotes Cabaret. He has been seen at the Goodman Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Marriott Lincolnshire and with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, and Milwaukee Opera Theatre. SAMANTHA SOSTARICH created the role of Fortuna in FORTUNA THE TIME BENDER VS. THE SCHOOLGIRLS OF DOOM for Milwaukee Opera Theatre and has worked locally with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, Optimist Theatre, and First Stage Children’s Theatre. Most recently NATHAN WESSELOWSKI delighted audiences in the musical he composed for In Tandem Theatre, A TWISTED CAROL. He also has appeared with The Alchemist Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and will perform with Skylight Music Theatre later this season.

Musical selections will be included from Broadway hits such as ANYTHING GOES, OKLAHOMA, SOUTH PACIFIC, INTO THE WOODS, FOLLIES, THE FULL MONTY, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and SPAMALOT, among others. Songs will be presented in a combination of solos, duets, and trios.

Performances are Thursday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, April 8 at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, April 9 at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Erin Hogan: Rising Star – Musical MainStage

Erin-Hogan-Rising-Star-Musical-MainStage-Sunset-PlayhouseGrafton resident Erin Hogan has been named a Rising Star for Musical MainStage, a professional concert series at Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove.  She will appear in BROADWAY BUDDIES on March 14 & 15th.

The daughter of Chris and Mary Helen Hogan, Erin is a junior at Grafton High School, where she has been seen in MARY POPPINS, THE SECRET GARDEN, and HELLO, DOLLY! She recently participated in the Florentine Opera Company’s Young Singer/Actor Intensive and has received top honors in Wisconsin State Choir competitions and from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Erin will join Doug Clemons, Katherine Duffy, Joel Kopischke, and Tamara Martinsek in BROADWAY BUDDIES, a tribute to musical theater duos like Rodgers and Hammerstein and Kander and Ebb. Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, March 14th and 15th.

Be sure to call our box office – 262-782-4430 – to reserve your tickets or buy online today.  This is a show you don’t want to miss.

Will Durst returns to Sunset: March 11 & 12

Sunset Playhouse Presents:
BOOMERAGING with Will Durst
Written and Performed by William Durst

March 11, 2016 – March 12, 2016 : 7:30 PM
TICKETS
Adults – $20 (use code DURST and receive $5 off all adult tickets)

will-durst-sunset-playhouseWill Durst returns to Sunset Playhouse for two shows after sell-outs last year!
You don’t have to be a baby boomer to enjoy five-time Emmy nominee Will Durst’s new one-man show, “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG.” In fact, from the looks of the audiences Durst has been attracting in the long-running show this year in San Francisco, everyone loves to laugh at boomers, even young folk!

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media-induced identity crisis, WILL DURST, according to the New York Times is “quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” This equal opportunity offender is exceptionally adept at swatting both partisan and political pinatas upside their heads.
Reigning as C-SPAN’s favorite comic (8 appearances) Durst is a 5-time Emmy nominee and recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year. He is the first comic invited to perform at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the first American to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the show “Myth America.” He has racked up more than 400 television appearances in 14 different countries while slinging jokes around the globe in his one man crusade to make people laugh out loud on purpose against their will.

Getting old can be depressing, but Durst’s “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” is a morale-booster for his audience. “I am not as old as my parents were when they were my age,” he quips. “This is the oldest I’ve ever been … and I’m beginning to sense a pattern.”

Will Durst promises to “reveal the meaning of life by the end of the show.” Boomeraging is indeed a wonderfully uplifting show so grab your hearing aids and canes and see for yourself.

Will Durst’s performances are made possible by the First Amendment.

MRS. FUN To Appear at Sunset!

 

AWARD-WINNING DUO MRS. FUN TO APPEAR AT SIDENOTES CABARET

MRSFUN

 MRS. FUN

SUNSET PLAYHOUSE

SIDENOTES CABARET SERIES

FUN, FUN, FUN! with MRS. FUN

February 18-20, 2016

MRS. FUN, a multi-talented duo comprised of keyboardist/vocalist CONNIE GRAUER and percussionist KIM ZICK, will present four performances for the SideNotes Cabaret Series at Sunset Playhouse, February 18-20, 2016.  Combining a unique blend of jazz, funk, and spoken word, this acclaimed duo creates a sophisticated, complex, and adventurous style of music that has pleased audiences and reviewers alike.

 

Although Grauer and Zick are natives of Waukesha, Wisconsin (hometown of the legendary Les Paul) and attended the same high school, they had only a passing acquaintance until years later when Zick was putting together a band and needed a keyboard player.  She got in touch with Grauer and the duo has been gathering awards ever since.  MRS. FUN has been consistently praised for flawless musicianship and dynamic stage presence.

 

After relocating to Nashville, Grauer and Zick attracted the attention of many music industry leaders.  During their time there, MRS. FUN performed and recorded with k.d. lang, Indigo Girls, and Janis Ian, among others.  They also created several albums of their own, collaborating with renowned producers such as Jim Rooney and Victor DeLorenzo.

 

MRS. FUN continued to receive accolades, rave reviews, and awards after their return to Milwaukee. Voted “Best Contemporary Jazz Group” by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) for three consecutive years, Grauer and Zick also have received WAMI awards for Best Instrumentalists on keyboard and drums.  Grauer also has been awarded WAMI’s Best Female Vocalist and Best Stage Entertainer.

 

A busy touring schedule includes festivals and concert halls throughout the United States and Canada.  MRS. FUN has shared the stage with Billy Cobham, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Arlo Guthrie, Violent Femmes, and many other notables.  In addition, they are annual headliners at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, and have appeared on Wisconsin Public Television and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

Performances are Thursday, February 18 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 20 at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.  Sunset Playhouse, 800 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove, WI.

 

To reserve tickets, call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com.  Use code FUN and receive $5 off our adult priced tickets.

Musical MainStage TIME CAPSULE: THE SEVENTIES

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Meet the cast of TIME CAPSULE: THE SEVENTIES

February 1 at 7:30 pm, February 2 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

TOMMY HAHN – Tommy has become a Musical MainStage legend, named “favorite performer” in our very-unofficial poll. The original “Tank” in DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE for the Broadway in Chicago series, other area credits include Skylight Music Theatre’s LES MISERABLES, RENT, and MUSIC MAN, plus PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES for Fireside Dinner Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Madison Opera.

ALISON MARY FORBES – Alison is also a series regular, appearing earlier this season in our tribute to the Beatles. Area credits include HAIR, SUNDAY IN THE PARK, AVENUE Q, JACQUES BREL, LES MISERABLES, and RENT for Skylight Music Theatre. Also: Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theater, Milwaukee Shakespeare, In Tandem Theatre, Optimist Theatre, and Milwaukee Opera Theatre.

SARA HUBERTZ – Sara loves a good hootenanny and is happiest with a guitar in hand, warbling away with other music enthusiasts. Currently the Activities Director at Brookfield Rehabilitation, certified in “Music & Memory”, she brings the healing power of music to the residents in her care. Sara is also on the musical worship team at Crimson Way in Elm Grove.

JOSH KRAUSE – Josh recently enjoyed a run as Fred in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Children’s Theater of Madison. Other credits include Crumpet in JEEVES AT SEA with Artists’ Ensemble and Martin in FEEDING THE MOONFISH with Splinter Group. Josh received his MFA in Acting from Indiana University.

Our Rising Star, MOLLY HESS, is a senior at Wauwatosa West High School, where she’s been seen in ten productions with the Trojan Players. This National Honor Society student has also appeared in three musicals at Sunset including GYPSY (June), HOW TO SUCCEED…, and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.

Kerry Hart Bieneman on piano will be joined by Mark Mrozek on keyboard, Tim Karth on drums, Bob Monagle on guitar. Plus we’ll have a little strumming from Tommy Hahn on bass and Sara Hubertz on acoustic guitar. Come on out because we will rock you!

Ghosts at Sunset Playhouse

Ghosts

Any reputable theater is supposedly haunted. Indeed, Sunset has its share of ghost stories, although I have never seen or heard any phantoms myself.

Well, unless we count the dozens and dozens I’ve costumed, that is.

ghosts_SunsetPlayhouseIn October I designed both the adult and junior versions of Addams Family, which meant finding or building costumes for countless ghostly ancestors. Eighteen in the adult cast, probably close to 30 in the junior cast…that’s a lot of ghosts. The fun part of doing those shows was that those costumes could come entirely from my imagination. There are no preconceived notions of exactly what the Addams Family’s ancestors look like, so as long as I pulled ideas from many times in history, I felt confident that the audience would accept my choices.

There is a slightly different challenge with my latest group of ghosts (yes, add more ghosts to my costuming list!)…the four iconic spirits in A Christmas Carol. Unlike the aforementioned wildly imaginative ancestors, the spirits in A Christmas Carol are firmly fixed in most people’s memories. Whether having seen the show on another stage, on TV, or even in the Mr. Magoo classic cartoon, nearly everyone has an idea of just what the ghosts are supposed to look like.

I don’t believe that it is the job of a costume designer to simply copy what someone else has done (although, believe it or not, there are no patents on costume designs so I could copy one exactly if I wanted to), so I have been striving to find my own vision while staying true to what the audiences will expect. Jacob Marley needs to be ragged and ghostly, more on the order of the Addams Family ghosts and decided less cheerful than the Ghost of Christmas Present, who should call to mind a jovial Father Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come must be intimidating and terrifying. Those three are portrayed similarly enough in every show to help guide my own design.

2075baa9-b945-419f-9ddf-6d090204b852crThe Ghost of Christmas Past has been the most challenging, especially since every production seems to portray that spirit in vastly different ways. I needed to find a look that would suit this particular ghost’s demeanor and would provide a sharp contrast to Marley, whose arrival directly precedes that of Christmas Past.

All four of these Christmas spirits definitely have their own identities and looks. I hope that audiences will appreciate each of them in their own right, and that Sunset’s newest cast of ghosts will “live” up to expectations!

Joanne Cunningham