THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION
Nov 24, 2011 – Jan 16, 2011
Directed by: Mark Bucher
The Milwaukee premiere of playwright Evan Smith‘s comedy of “Biblical” proportions ”THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION”. Evan Smith, the author of Boulevard’s smash scholastic comedy REMEDIAL ENGLISH (March, 2001), begets a comedy of two southern sisters beset by a Baptist beautician intent on saving their souls – if not their hairstyles!
The cantankerous elder sister (“Mary”) craftily convenes a dinner party with both the “Holy Roller” cosmetic consultant (“Melissa”) and their own tippling parish priest (“Father Murphy”) attending and all this occurs to the horror of her more affable, lady-like sister (“Margaret”). The genius of Smith’s writing is displayed with his dual abilities to craft razor-sharp comedic characters while injecting both characters and the narrative with a delicate, yet very real, humanity.
This Milwaukee premiere is a divinely redemptive comedy featuring Sally Marks, Joan End, Patrick Perkins and Jamieson Hawkins. Backstage artists Mark Bucher (director), Anne Blust (stage manager), Andrea Toussaint (scenic designer) and Holly Blomquist (lighting designer) round out a talented ensemble for this Milwaukee premiere that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
Feb 16 – March 20, 2011
Directed by: David Flores
The Milwaukee premiere of acclaimed New York playwright Gina Gionfriddo’s cracked comic valentine “BECKY SHAW”. This hard-edged comedy with a softhearted center tells the tale of a young couple (Suzanna and Andrew) who set up two friends (Becky and Max) on a blind date. This “good intention” paves the way for a “hellish” uproar for their marriage and rocks the lives of both couples. A mother from Hades (Susan) completes the comic quintet.
TWO TO GO: A VILLAGE WOOING & PULLMAN CAR HIAWATHA
April 20 – May 29, 2011
Directed by: Mark Bucher
The Boulevard Theatre closes its 25th anniversary season with “TWO 2 GO,” a double-bill of two rarely staged one-acts, including celebrated playwright George Bernard Shaw’s delightful marital romp A VILLAGE WOOING and noted playwright Thornton Wilder’s soulful comedy PULLMAN CAR HIAWATHA.
Opening the program is Shaw’s A VILLAGE WOOING (1934), which is a delightful “comediettina” about love and marriage. In two scenes, Shaw concocts a whimsical courtship in which the woman dominates and justifies Shaw’s idea that “Men and women are always driving one another mad.” Shaw’s recalcitrant lovers are a cranky travel writer and a talky village shop girl. The prickly, cynical male character is a spiritual cousin to the character of “Henry Higgins” from PYGMALION. The lower class, decisive female character is a sister to “Liza Doolittle” from the same play and full of what Shaw termed “the Life Force.” Actress and singer Liv Mueller appears as the shop girl and actor Michael Keiley appears as the travel writer.
Completing the program is American playwright Thornton Wilder’s (1897-1975) wistful theatrical travelogue PULLMAN CAR HIAWATHA (1931), which tells the story of a dozen passengers on a train car in 1930. S
et in a Pullman train car traveling from New York to Chicago, introduces techniques Wilder would use in OUR TOWN. The stage is bare and the play is narrated by a “Stage Manager.” One of the characters speaks words that foreshadow Emily Webb’s famous speech in OUR TOWN.
The cast includes the hours of the day, the weather, the planets, and supernatural beings. Conventional time is suspended, and the only true measures of existence are life and death. PULLMAN CAR takes audiences on a metaphorical journey by train through the American landscape, as a diverse band of travelers encapsulated in a Pullman car hurtle through time, space and a range of emotions. Headlining this unusual production are Boulevard favorites, Jaime Jastrab and Michael Weber. Mr. Jastrab directed Boulevard’s acclaimed production of CLARENCE DARROW (2009) and has appeared in past Boulevard shows, including Maughm’s THE CONSTANT WIFE, Moliere’s THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, and Gurney’s INDIAN BLOOD. Mr. Weber appeared with Boulevard in its early years and later seasons, in such varied shows as Shakespeare’s PERICLES, Mamet’s REUNION, and Durang’s THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE & BOO. Completing the “passenger manifest” are Boulevard’s Artistic Director Mark Bucher, Donald Madden, Rebecca Segal and Brooke Wegner.
VERSE and VINO
June 13, 2011
Summer 2011 South Shore Park Reading
CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION
AUG 17 – SEP 4, 2011
Directed by: Mark Bucher
This delightful snapshot of the travails of a community center’s acting class features actors Jaime Jastrab, Beth Monhollen, Christine Pollnow, Kate Sherry and Michael Weber. Ms. Pollnow recently appeared with First Stage Theatre’s COMPANY CLASS production of Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT and she makes her debut with the Boulevard. However, audiences may recall the many previous Boulevard appearances of the other actors. Mr. Jastrab and Mr. Weber performed in an acclaimed production of TWO 2 GO (a recent double-bill of Shaw and Wilder plays). Jastrab also appeared in Moliere’s THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, Gurney’s INDIAN BLOOD and Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM while Weber played in Shakespeare’s PERICLES, Guirgis’ THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT and McNally’s FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE.
The other performers are Boulevard “veterans,” as well. Ms. Sherry appeared in Beane’s AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN and in the smash hit about restaurants titled STATIONS OF THE CROSS (co-authored by Ms. Monhollen and Mark Bucher!). Ms. Monhollen has appeared in Luce’s THE BELLE OF AMHERST, Coward’s NUDEWITH VIOLIN, and Shakespeare’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE and countless other shows with the Boulevard.
Rounding out this talented ensemble is Hugh Blewett who makes his co- directorial debut with the Boulevard and Donald Madden (Stage Manager), Joe Fransee (Set Construction) and Holly Blomquist (Lighting Designer). Actors Rick Frecska and Tom Hanley assisted with the rehearsal process of this disarming script, which has consistently won critical praise.
PANTS ON FIRE
Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2011
Directed by: Brooke Wegner
TBoulevard continues it’s 26th season with a staged reading of PANTS ON FIRE , by Brooke Wegner! This short, sweet comedy features the talents of Beth Monhollen, Christine Horgen, Michael Keiley, Teresa Meyers, Lynda Diaz, Nicole Ray, Donald Madden and Jaime Jastrab!
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Oct 26 – Dec 3, 2011
Directed by: Mark Bucher
Wilde’s delightful comedy of romance and manners features local Milwaukee actors Clarence Aumund (Lane & Merriman ), David Matthew Bohn ( Jack ), Mary Buchel ( Miss Prism ), Margaret Casey ( Lady Bracknell), David Ferrie ( Canon Chasuble ), Tess Cinpinski (Gwendolyn), Megan Kaminsky (Cecily), and Kyle Queenan (Algernon).
Audiences will note and enjoy the many new faces debuting with the Boulevard on this production, including: Tess Cinpinski (of Milwaukee’s exciting theatre company YOUNGBLOOD THEATRE), Megan Kaminsky ( a recent UWM grad), Margaret Casey (who has won accolades for past appearances with Soulstice Theatre, Milwaukee Irish Arts Theatre and others), Kyle Queenan ( who has appeared with Carte Blanche productions as well as recently staging an evening of heretofore unproduced Tennessee Williams’ one-act plays with his new company, FRESH PAGE PRODUCTIONS ) and David Matthew Bohn (another UWM alumni, who recently appeared with Mr. Queenan in the Williams’ program ).