Mrs. Farnsworth

Feb 2005

Directed by: Mark Bucher

The Mandrake

March – April 24, 2005

Directed by: Jon Beidelschies

Louisiana Purchase

Sep 22 – Oct 23, 2005

Directed by: Mark Bucher
Musical Director – Donna Kummer

The Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre, Milwaukee’s premiere studio theatre located at 2252 South Kinnickinnic, opens its 20th Anniversary season with the Midwest premiere of beloved American composer Irving Berlin’s rare 1940’s musical comedy LOUISIANA PURCHASE.  Artistic Director Mark Bucher expands this neglected musical gem’s political satire by setting Irving Berlin’s music and Morrie Ryskind’s (a contributor to many Marx Brothers’ films) book in a contemporary setting of an arts board panel reviewing an unnamed theatre company’s bid for a grant (to fund a production of Berlin’s LOUISIANA PURCHASE!).  This clever simultaneous setting allows for the original story of boy-meets-loses-gets-girl comedy set amongst a political scandal in 1940’s New Orleans to both entertain and slyly comment on the machinations and tribulations arts groups face when applying for funding.

This Wisconsin premiere of this exceptionally rare Berlin musical is aided by the talents of noted local musician Donna Kummer serving as Music Director and emerging performer Joe Fransee as Choreographer.  An all-star cast is showcased in the opening production of the Boulevard Ensemble’s 20th Anniversary Season, including:  Joe Fransee, Julie Alonzo-Calteaux, Mary C. DeBattista, Don Devona, Al Dobyns, Jason Grooms, James Henderson, Toni Martin, & Liz Mistele.  Also featured are: Penny & Michael McCanles, Robert Dominguez, and Joseph Snyder. The production will benefit from the contributions of Kathy Smith (Costume Designer), Justin Titley (Scenic Designer), Michael Dornemann (Lighting Designer) and Jerry Proffitt (Stage Manager).


Nov 3-27, 2005

Directed by: Mark Bucher

Belluso’s engrossing tale tells of a young disabled web designer (Harry) who meets a financially and emotionally challenged mother-of- three (Louise) and their complex emotional and sexual relationship.  A second narrative arc is explored with the introduction of a young, pregnant HMO physician (Dr. Abbott) who is engaged in fighting battles with her corporate employer while struggling to maintain her own identity and marriage.

Artistic Director Mark Bucher stages the Milwaukee premiere of Belluso’s adroit indictment of both love and corporate America with a sterling cast that includes Eric Cherney as the mobility-challenged HarryMaureen Dornemann as the battered wife LouiseLindsay Nylen as the troubled Dr. Abbott, and Matthew Belopavlovich as the Orderly.  Ms. Dornemann has previously appeared with the Ensemble in last season’s sold-out productions of Gurney’s MRS. FARNSWORTH and Machiavelli’s THE MANDRAKE.  Both Ms. Nylen and Mr. Cherney enjoyed featured roles (Agnes and Horace, respectively) in Boulevard’s critically acclaimed September, 2004 production of Moliere’s delightful comedy THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES.

Production Manager/Lighting Designer Michael Dornemann, Scenic Designer Justin Titley, Costume Designer Kathy Smith, and Stage Managers Therese Guise / Jaime Jastrab complete this talented roster of artists.


PYTRETOWN playwright John Belluso was born in Warwick, RI and currently lives in Los Angeles. A wheelchair-user since the age of 13, Belluso’s work as a playwright has tended to focus on the experience of disability. He seeks to understand this experience through rigorous humor and by placing disability within its proper historical context.  He was the NEA/TCG playwright-in-residence at Trinity Rep and a Resident Artist at the Mark Taper Forum. He is the recipient of recent awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Berrilla Kerr Foundation.