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Sunset’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ captures all the beauty

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST review By MARILYN JOZWIK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At first blush, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” might appear an odd choice for a holiday show. But after seeing Sunset Playhouse’s lavish, fun-filled and thoroughly entertaining production there’s no doubt it was a wise choice. Plus, the transformation of the Beast is not unlike those in other holiday stories, like “A Christmas Carol.”

From the opening scene it is apparent the show is something special. A handsome, spacious set of large, dark side staircases is mostly in shadows as the full, accomplished orchestra – playing Alan Menken’s beautiful music — accompanies the scene in the prince’s foreboding, yet opulent, mansion where a ball is taking place. The prince is arrogant and selfish. His unkindness catches up to him after an old woman casts a spell, turning him into an unsightly Beast and his servants into objects. If the Beast can find a woman to love, who will love him in return, the spell will be broken.

Sunset’s version has all the makings of a full-scale Broadway production in the skilled hands of director Karl Miller and music director Mark Mrozek.

Each character we see is beautifully costumed, perfectly cast and gives a memorable performance as his or her unforgettable character. If this were a cake, Belle (Stephanie Staszak), Gaston (Tim Albrechtson), Lefou (Jim Donaldson) and the Beast/Prince (Keith R. Smith) would comprise it. Lumiere and Cogsworth would be the frosting. The remaining cast would provide sprinkles and other decorations, some to a greater degree.

The first act moves quickly. We learn about Belle, the widowed inventor’s daughter; both father and daughter are considered odd by the townsfolk in their French village. Belle is beautiful, but always has her nose in a book, which gives her escape from mundane village life. The town blowhard and braggart, the handsome Gaston, is convinced no woman would refuse his proposal of marriage, including Belle, whom he aggressively woos in his most arrogant manner. His sidekick, LeFou, only bolsters his selfishness and rudeness.

Belle’s world is turned upside-down when she goes searching for her father (Tom Marks), who has become lost deep in the woods and seeks shelter in the Beast’s mansion.  The Beast throws the intruder in a cell, which is where Belle finds him. She unselfishly offers to replace her father in the cell, where she becomes the Beast’s prisoner.

This development brings hope to the servants, who have been turned into a candle holder, clock, woman’s bureau, teapot, teacup, and feather duster. If they can tame the Beast’s unruly manners, perhaps he and Belle could fall in love, which would break the spell and turn them all back into humans.

In Act Two we see lots of the characters at the mansion, and these are an absolute delight. Topping that list are the stellar performances of Richards’ Cogsworth and Welch’s Lumiere. I have always enjoyed Richards’ performances and I missed seeing him in recent productions. His Cogsworth is a scene stealer as he toddles around in a near constant state of consternation, spouting off in a sort of snooty, affected English to the audience’s delight. Welch follows up on an outstanding performance as Cornelius in “Hello, Dolly!” with his Lumiere. Welch moves so well as the tall, stately candelabra swaying and bending like a graceful tree, while capturing a French accent nicely. The two play off each other wonderfully. They also are most comfortable with the objects they’ve been turned into. They move and act so easily in their characterizations that they are a surprise when seen as humans.

Of course, you wouldn’t have a successful “Beauty and the Beast” without a wonderful Beauty and a wonderful Beast, which is the case here. Staszak brings all the right qualities to the lovely Belle, including a lovely singing voice. She shows her wanderlust, her love for her father and her disgust for the loathsome Gaston. But her tenderness is really apparent in the moving finale as she expresses her love for the wounded Beast in a tear-inducing scene.

Smith’s Beast is also well-drawn. I really like all his soft growls and groans as he struggles to become charming. When he is told to be a gentleman by his servants, he repeats the line several times until the final time when he utters “be a gentle man.” It would have been perfect if his voice would have had a deeper timbre more befitting the Beast.

Albrechtson has all the bravado needed for the arrogant Gaston and leaves no doubt as to why he is admired by the villagers for his looks and athleticism as he sings “Gaston” with the ensemble. He is the ultimate chauvinist, dismissing Belle’s reading habit by saying, “Soon she’ll start getting ideas and start thinking.” Donaldson, as always, gives an energetic characterization, this time as LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick, mugging expressively to make for another memorable character.

As Madame De La Grande Bouche, the singer turned into a woman’s bureau, Sharon Tyler has the perfect diva presence and a soaring soprano voice to add effortless top notes to ensemble pieces.

There are so many outstanding scenes here, it’s hard to know where to begin. Every one is a gem. “Be Our Guest,” which features the dancing dinnerware and other kitchen items, is a centerpiece, marvelously staged with clever choreography and beautiful singing to Howard Ashman’s and Tim Rice’s clever lyrics.

The dancing is crisp, with all performers at a high level. The mug routine in “Gaston” is a picture of precision.  I especially enjoy watching A.J. Pawelski, who appears in several roles with sparkling presence and dance energy.

There are so many, many small moments that are gems, really showcasing the humor and wit in the play. I just love when the servants gather on the stairs as the Beast visits Belle in her room to convince her to have dinner with him. His anger quickly rises and the servants all encourage him, each in his/her own way in words and actions, “to breathe.” A funny bit.

 The servants, also including Marcee Doherty-Elst as Mrs. Potts, Agrim Cincotta as Chip and Lydia Rose Eiche as Babette, really gel and are so much fun to watch in “Human Again,” as they mull the possibility of returning to their former lives.

The finale with the entire cast is an incredible, joyous celebration, a perfect way to put a cherry on this exquisite holiday dessert.

If you go

Who: Sunset Playhouse

What: “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”

When: Through Dec. 23

Where: 800 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove

Tickets/Info: 262-782-4430/www.sunsetplayhouse.com  

ELLA KLEEFISCH NAMED RISING STAR

 

 

 

Oconomowoc resident Ella Kleefisch has been named a Rising Star for Musical MainStage, a professional concert series at Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove.

The daughter of Rebecca and Joel Kleefisch, Ella is a freshman at Oconomowoc High School. Her favorite theater credits include GYPSY (Baby June) at Sunset Playhouse, VIOLET (Young Violet) for Skylight Music Theatre, LITTLE WOMEN: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL (Amy) with Lake Country Playhouse, OPAL (Opal) for Acacia Theatre Company, and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (Nellie) with Waukesha Civic Theatre. Ella also enjoys archery, horseback riding, drawing, and painting.

Sunset Playhouse, now in its 58th season as one of the area’s premier community theaters, is also home to three professional series, including Musical MainStage. Each of its themed concerts offers one promising high school student an opportunity to work alongside professional singers and musicians.

Ella will join Karen Estrada, Johnny Rodgers, Alison Mary Forbes, Casey Olson, and Kerry Hart in a show called “Homeward Bound,” a 90-minute concert featuring songs from the popular duo, Simon and Garfunkel. Performances are on Monday and Tuesday, December 4th and 5th.

For more information about the production or tickets, you can visit sunsetplayhouse.com or call its box office at 262-782-4430.

Sunset’s ‘Sister Act’ gets into the habit of laughter

By Marilyn Jozwik

Published Oct. 16, 2017

When it comes to theater, nuns are fun to watch. Virtually every time we see them on stage, they are doing something outrageous and outrageously funny.

In ‘Sister Act” at the Sunset Playhouse the nuns are more fun than a barrel of church chimes as they depart from their usual habits, dancing and singing in 70s style, from disco to hand jive.

Perhaps next to “Mama Mia” this is my favorite musical for sheer joy and enjoyment. When that gaggle of nuns starts swaying their arms and lifting their voices heartily you’d have to be Ebenezer Scrooge not to smile.

And there was a lot of smiling going on at Sunset’s version of the show, set in 1977-78 Philadelphia. The show opens with our protagonist, Deloris Van Cartier (Ashley Levells), performing at a nightclub owned by her gangster boyfriend, Curtis (Nick Zuiker).

Deloris sees Curtis, who has connections to a record producer, as her ticket to stardom, which she craves. But when she catches Curtis in the middle of a murder, she panics and runs to the police station, where she meets a cop and former classmate, Eddie (Ernest Bell). Eddie believes that Curtis and his gang, including nephew T.J. (Greg Malcolm), Joey (James Ramos) and Pablo (Manuel Lupian), are out to kill Deloris and arranges for her to hide out in a convent while the police try to track the killer down.

Mother Superior (Sharon Sprague) reluctantly agrees, but soon finds that Deloris’ lifestyle is hardly a good fit for the convent. Deloris – who is introduced to the nuns as Sister Mary Clarence – takes over musical direction for the lackluster nun choir and turns them into a singing sensation patterned after her nightclub act. Mother Superior is dismayed at the influence Deloris has on the sisters as she sings, “I’ve got celibate nuns shaking their buns.” But when Monsignor O’Hara (Mark Batory) sees the church filled with people and donations needed to maintain the church pouring in, she has no choice but to let Deloris stay, much to the delight of the other sisters who have grown fond of her.

In the meantime, the nun choir under Deloris’s direction has gotten so good, it’s attracted the attention of the pope, who is coming to town to hear the nuns perform. Curtis and his gang recognize Deloris when her nun choir is featured on the TV news, so he and his trio of thugs plot to take her from the convent. But with the close bond Deloris has created, she’s found a new peace and persona in the convent as she sings, “I’ve got my sisters by my side. I’ve got my sisters’ love and pride. And in my sisters’ eyes, I recognize the star I want to be.”

Director Diana Alioto has this cast performing at a high-octane level, but none higher than Levells, whose Deloris delivers attitude in every song and move. She has all the star quality her character possesses. Levells loves the spotlight – as her character does – and vice versa. Every line is pure Deloris, as is every look, such as the look of smugness she wears when the monsignor tells the doubting Mother Superior of Deloris’ value to the convent. She can drip with sarcasm on a line like “Ain’t this my lucky day – I got a man who wants to kill me and a cop with a gun. Goody. Goody.” Or, really ham up a sequence, like the Lord’s Prayer she ad libs to the nuns, her version containing fragments of famous non-religious speeches instead of the usual text.

Sprague’s Mother Superior is the perfect counterpoint to Levell’s Deloris. Sprague has an appropriate no-nonsense attitude in her scenes with Deloris and really shines with pitch perfect vocals on songs like “Here Within These Walls” and a wonderfully nuanced “Haven’t Got a Prayer,” in which she prays for a sign from God to know what to do about Deloris.

One of the most popular tunes of the evening was Bell’s “I Could Be That Guy,” wherein his Eddie character muses about what it would take for him to win Deloris.  Bell displays a range as wide as a Nebraska prairie and a romantic, soulful, Barry White style. Adding to the scene’s appeal is the nifty outfit transformation Eddie undergoes with a little help from several other performers. It is a beautifully delivered piece and well-executed scene.

Another audience pleaser was “Lady in the Long Black Dress,” in which Curtis’ three henchmen, played by Malcolm, Ramos and Lupian, describe in song and dance how they’re going to woo the nuns. It’s a cute bit that the three execute admirably. The trio’s crowd-pleasing antics balanced out some uneven vocals.

But the stars of the show are the nuns. Vocally this ensemble had a nice full sound on opening night, and really excelled in performing Nancy Visintainer-Armstrong’s choreography with precision and energy. It is just a hoot watching a dozen or so nuns do a hand jive!

Allan Menken’s pleasant music and Glen Slater’s clever lyrics give each song bounce and appeal. Mark Mrozek and a handful of musicians produce a hearty sound, much of it reminiscent of the ’70s and “Saturday Night Fever.”

The Act 1 and Act 2 endings were especially joyous celebrations, sending audience members out to the lobby and out into the parking lot with smiles.

If you go:

Who: Sunset Playhouse

What: “Sister Act”

When: Through Nov. 5

Where: 800 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove

Info/Tickets: sunsetplayhouse.com/262-782-4430

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND opens the SideNotes Cabaret Series

SIDENOTES CABARET SERIES AT SUNSET PLAYHOUSE CELEBRATES TEN YEARS – Limited seating remains!

SideNotes Cabaret opens its season with YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND, a tribute to Carole King and James Taylor, October 5-8, 2017. Audiences will enjoy an assortment of compositions by two renowned singer-songwriters of the Baby Boom era in Sunset’s intimate Studio Theatre.  

The cabaret features the combined talents of three outstanding performers well known to audiences in southeastern Wisconsin. KERRY HART BIENEMAN (Music Director, piano, vocals) received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and served as a voice professor at Carthage College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  For the past several years she has been Music Director for Sunset’s popular Musical MainStage Concert Series. CASEY OLSON (guitar, vocals) received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Finger-Style Guitar from UWM’s Peck School of the Arts.  In addition to his solo performances, Olson appears regularly with ACOUSTICATS, a duo specializing in music of the 60s and 70s. MELISSA KELLY CARDAMONE (piano, vocals) has vocal performance degrees from The Eastman School of Music and Lawrence University.  She has performed with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and will make her debut with Skylight Music Theatre in 2018.

Sunset’s SideNotes Cabaret Series is proud to provide one of the few cabaret venues in southeastern Wisconsin.  Now in its tenth year, SideNotes continues to offer a unique assortment of musical entertainment presented by talented professionals in a relaxed, comfortable setting.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday, October 5-7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday,

October 8 at 3:00 p.m.

To reserve tickets, call 262-782-4430 or visit www.sunsetplayhouse.com.  

Sunset serves up delicious Italian food for thought – OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS

By Marilyn Jozwik

I was told that there would be laughter and there would be tears during Sunset Playhouse’s presentation of Joe DiPietro’s “Over the River and Through the Woods,” my first viewing of the show.

I didn’t quite get to the tears part – though there were some wonderfully done, emotion-filled scenes – but there was plenty of laughter. In fact, throughout most of the first act, there was a constant array of laughter, ranging from tittering to belly laughs.

The theme of the show is family. Nick (Ben Braun) is the 29-year-old, single grandson of Frank (Scott Kopischke) and Aida (Joan End), as well as Nunzio (Raffaello Frattura) and Emma (Linda Wirth). Nick’s parents have moved to Florida, but Nick still lives in New Jersey and has Sunday dinner with both sets of grandparents every week. Nick is often reminded of the importance of his family. “Tengo familia” his grandparents repeat to him often, impressing upon their grandson his role in the family.

Nick loves his family dearly but is frustrated by their old ways and lack of empathy for his generation. They don’t want to learn how to use the new devices he gives them as gifts, they argue endlessly about minutiae and they fuss over him like mother hens, especially his grandmother Aida, whose first remark when he arrives – or when most anyone arrives, for that matter – is “You look hungry.” She moves in and out of her kitchen, bringing splendid meals and desserts like a short order cook. “That’s their secret – they suck you in with the food,” says Nick.

Food is a big part of the play. And these are some of the most relatable moments. Early on, Aida asks Nick what kind of cheese he wants on his sandwich, “chedda” or “Muensta,” as they say with their New Jersey accents, in a hilarious bit. Next comes the crumb cake that Aida serves as Nick tries to make a big announcement. “This is a one-sentence announcement. You don’t have to cater it,” says Nick. The grandparents make a production  of serving the cake and coffee, chattering about who wants what, how good the cake is, and on and on. Nick is becoming more and more frustrated with their habits.

When Nick finally tells them news they don’t like – which seems like a betrayal of family, to them — the grandparents set in motion a whole series of events to try to undo Nick’s plans. Along the way, Nick learns a lot more about his grandparents and their past that gives him an even deeper appreciation of this incredible gift of family.

DiPietro, the playwright, has a gift for comedy, as he also displays in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” There is lots to laugh at in both these shows, with “I Love You” having perhaps a meatier script.

This cast, under the direction of Brian Zelinski, does a fine job with the comedy and capturing the emotional pitches the show attains.

As the tightly-wound Nick, Braun has all the right qualities. In the first act, he is in a near constant state of annoyance as his grandparents’ whirl around on a merry-go-round of small talk, food presentations and petty arguments. He communicates with his hands, his face, his whole body, conveying his emotions. His is a demanding role and Braun is up to the challenge. In Act II, Nick sees a different side of his grandparents, and we see a different side of Nick. Braun plays the transformation beautifully.

Kopischke and End as Frank and Aida are the more subdued set of grandparents, while Raffaello and Wirth as Nunzio and Emma have only one volume to their conversations – loud.

I have loved Joan End in every play I’ve seen her in, most recently in “The Foreigner.” Here, she plays a sort of Edith Bunker character that knows only one mode – maternal. End has such warmth and sweetness about her character that Aida draws you in. She beams at every compliment about her culinary skills and unabashedly shows the joys of service.

As her husband, Frank, Kopischke seems to always be in the center. His emotional stories of leaving his home in Italy when he was 14 are touching and his slightly out-of-touch and myopic view of the world is endearing.  Kopischke gives Frank an introspective quality, a thoughtful manner. Nunzio, played by Frattura, is just the opposite. He’s boisterous and demonstrative, and says what he thinks when he thinks it. Nunzio’s wife, Emma, played by Wirth, rivals her husband in tone and passion. These two, as are End and Kopischke, are a perfect pairing.

As Caitlin O’Hare, a family friend, Deanna Strasse brings just the right amount of bemusement as she meets Nick’s warm and expressive Italian family. While Nick is visibly angered at his family’s mealtime conversation, Caitlin is charmed. Strasse’s pleased look is a nice contrast to Nick’s look of exasperation. The two handle wonderfully a pivotal scene in which Caitlin helps Nick learn to appreciate just what he has.

The ensemble cast is first-rate, tackling some of the tricky exchanges expertly. When playing Trivial Pursuit, Nunzio has a hard time coming up with a name and the grandparents go off on a rollicking discussion of “the guy with the ears” and “the woman with the hair” without ever coming up with names. It’s hilarious, with Wirth and Frattura verbally dueling as if in a tennis match.

Nick Korneski’s set of Frank and Aida’s living room is warm and inviting, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off the big picture above the window. It just seemed an odd place to put it. Marty Wallner’s lighting is spot on, highlighting various characters and scenes to home in on the emotions.

You don’t have to be Italian to appreciate the messages delivered so well here, mainly that family matters. But the need to succeed and to reach our potential is important, too, as long as we don’t lose sight of those who formed us. Those values are articulated with humor and emotion in Sunset’s presentation of “Over the River and Through the Woods.” If nothing else, it will make you want to start a tradition of Sunday family dinners.

If you go

Who: Sunset Playhouse

What: “Over the River and Through the Woods”

Where: 800 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove

When: Through Sept. 24

Tickets: (262) 782-4430; www.sunsetplayhouse.com

 

Meet the cast of ELVIS!

Our first Musical MainStage of the 2017-18 Season is ELVIS!  The show runs September 18-19, 2017. 

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Then put on your Blue Suede Shoes ’cause we’ll be rockin’ and a-rollin’ all the way to Graceland. 

Meet our cast:

RYAN CHARLES’ (lower left) credits include In Tandem Theatre’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Jesus) and CARNIVAL (Grobert), Skylight Music Theatre (LES MISERABLES, PIRATES OF PENZANCE), and the Boulevard Theatre (TWELFTH NIGHT, THIS IS OUR YOUTH). He’s also lead singer of the rock band “Independent Idols.”
 
SARALYNN EVENSON (upper left) made her Sunset debut in the concert version of SHE LOVES ME. Favorite NYC credits include Off-Broadway workshops DEX! (Laguerta) and YEAST NATION (Jan). Regional credits include INTO THE WOODS (Witch), URINETOWN (Pennywise), CHICAGO (Velma), SECRET GARDEN (Martha), TAMING OF THE SHREW (Kate), and the national tour of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
 
After a short break to tackle a new career as a medical assistant, HEATHER REYNOLDS (upper right) is thrilled to return to Sunset, where she appeared most recently in THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Alice). This is her second Musical MainStage concert and she’s particularly delighted since she grew up listening to Elvis with her dad.
 
DOMINIC RUSSO (lower right) is excited to make his Musical MainStage debut. No stranger to the Sunset stage, his recent appearances include LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Dominic also performs as one half of THE RUSSO BROTHERS.
 
Rising Star TRAVIS CHEEVER (right) is a Jr. at Oak Creek High School. Credits include LOVABYE DRAGON and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at First Stage Children’s Theatre, Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa, Milwaukee Youth Theater, and the Oak Creek Production Company (Harold in FLY BY NIGHT and Dobie in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS).
 
Our talented cast also includes KERRY HART BIENEMAN on the keyboard, TIM KARTH on drums, BOB MONAGLE on guitar, along with narrators SUSAN LOVERIDGE and BOB HIRSCHI.
 
Note:  This production does not feature an Elvis impersonator.

Share Your Heart!

When you play the Canal Street Bingo game at Potawatomi Hotel & Casion now through Dec. 14, you’re helping raise funds for area children’s charities, giving them the gift of a promising future.  Half of each $3 or $7 Canal Street Bingo game purchased goes to the Heart of Canal Street fund, which totaled more than $1.1 million last year!  SUNSET PLAYHOUSE is excited to be in the running to be a benefiting charity.  Visit paysbig.com/heart to learn more. 

Volunteer Appreciation Night, August 12, 2017

Sunset held a wonderful Volunteer Appreciation Night on Saturday, August 12th.  The event kicked off with cocktails from 6 – 7PM, followed by the entertainment/awards emceed by Spencer Mather and Brian Zelinski, culminating with a wonderful food buffet.  Over 150 people attended the event which was themed Old New York.  Many thanks must be extended to co-chairs Jennifer Allen and Nikki Lueck as well as their entire committee for creating this fabulous evening!  

    

Thanks to all who attended. We hope to see you next year on August 11, 2018.

    

The volunteers that were recognized at this event are listed below:

Trouper recipient Georgia Yanicke

Supporting Actress in a Play recipients Susan Zuern in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and Frances Klumb in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Supporting Actress in a Musical recipients Ava Thomann in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and Mikhela Rosko in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

UnSung Hero recipient Dick Katschke

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) recipient Erika Navin

Newcomer recipient Donna Harris

Supporting Actor Play recipients Zach Zembrowski in MOON OVER BUFFALO and Ralph Fattura in MOON OVER BUFFALO

Supporting Actor Musical recipients Dominic Russo in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and Eric Safdieh-Nelson in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

No Small Parts recipient Kevin Fuller in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Professional Series recipient Mary Gensler

Principal Actress Play recipients Harper Navin in THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT and Caitlin Elftman in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Principal Actress Musical recipients Liz Norton in HELLO, DOLLY! and Katie Katschke in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Principal Actor Play recipients Michael “Paco” Pocaro in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and James Boylan in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Principal Actor Musical recipients Rick Richter in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and Landon Quinney in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Alan Furlan Legacy Award recipient Paul Armstrong

Rudy Award recipient Duane Bauer

Play of the Season recipient THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

Musical of the Season recipient FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

 

Sunset Playhouse named Theater of the Year! 2016 Broadway World Awards

The Sunset Playhouse has been named THEATER OF THE YEAR in the Milwaukee BroadwayWorld Awards!

Votes were cast; polls are closed; and results have been tabulated! This was the biggest year yet! After a record number of voters in more than 75 regions worldwide, BroadwayWorld announced the 2016 Milwaukee winners!

We are excited to announce that Sunset Playhouse received four awards this year!

THEATER OF THE YEAR

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL – ADAM STEFFAN FOR THE ADDAMS FAMILY

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY – BRIAN ZELINSKI FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY – DONNA DANIELS FOR STEEL MAGNOLIAS

BroadwayHD is exclusive Presenting Sponsor for this year’s awards, representing a record-breaking 75 theater regions. Voters participating in this year’s awards receive special offers and subscription opportunities to BroadwayHD, whose co-branding will extend through the voting and winners announcements.

Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 160 Theater Productions from the comfort and convenience of their own homes-or wherever streaming is possible. It’s the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.”

In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “She Loves Me,” marking the first-ever Broadway live stream. On January 14, BroadwayHD will live stream Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical.”

Click here to view a complete list of the Milwaukee BroadwayWorld Awards

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT & HOLIDAY BELLES to perform 12/16 -18 – The show must go on!

Yes, both THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT and HOLIDAY BELLES will be performed tonight, Saturday and Sunday. The Show must go on!

Friday, 12/16 – CHRISTMAS PAGEANT AT 7:30 & HOLIDAY BELLES at 8PM

Saturday, 12/17 – CHRISTMAS PAGEANT at 3PM & 7:30 & HOLIDAY BELLES at 8PM

Sunday 12/18 (PAGEANT at 2PM and BELLES at 3PM)

SideNotes Cabaret Rings in the Season with the HOLIDAY BELLES

Sunset Playhouse continues its ninth season of its popular SideNotes Cabaret Series with a sleigh full of jazzy harmonies and delicious melodies in a production titled HOLIDAY BELLES, December 14-18, 2016.

 

Area favorites LAURA MONAGLE, PEGGY PETERSON RYAN, and BECKY SPICE combine their talents to create a sparkling vocal confection of swing, jazz, and boogie-woogie.  Together with a trio of outstanding backup musicians, Laura, Peggy, and Becky pay tribute to classic standards popularized by groups like the Andrews Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, and other legends of the swing era. Also included will be a hearty helping of seasonal music to promote the festive holiday spirit.

 

All three vocalists have extensive performing experience in and around the Midwest and bring a wealth of talent and professionalism to the production.  LAURA MONAGLE has been seen locally with Boulevard Theatre, Windfall, Off the Wall, and Optimist Theatre.  PEGGY PETERSON RYAN is known to audiences for her work with Skylight Theatre and First Stage Children’s Theatre.  BECKY SPICE has appeared with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Skylight Theatre, and Madison Rep. The performers will be accompanied by Mark Mrozak on piano, Tom Burgermeister on bass, and Jim Ryan on drums.

 

Performances are Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m., Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m.

1641d1003c9d84bfc1c18910b9c51f25     peggy-peterson   becky6

                 

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 ÔêÆ  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 ÔêÆ 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