April 26 – May 8, 2016

Directed by: Mark Bucher

The Boulevard Theatre (Milwaukee’s premiere alternative theatre company) continues its 30th anniversary season with a staging of acclaimed playwright Eugene Ionesco’s absurd one-act comedy THE BALD SOPRANO at Milwaukee’s Plymouth Church (in the church’s cozy, welcoming second-floor Graham Chapel hall).
THE BALD SOPRANO, Ionesco’s hilarious satire on the ordinary English middle class (and middle-class conventions, everywhere), is a game-changing absurdist comedy in which “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” talk to each other at cross purposes, while their guests, “Mr. and Mrs. Martin” fail to understand the Smith’s conversation while also misunderstanding one another. The Smith’s feisty maid and a loquacious Fire Chief enter into the absurd fray and the entire audience finds itself in a bizarre and brilliant comic universe, where time is out of joint, language has misplaced its meaning, and identity itself is up for grabs.
The Boulevard’s superlative cast includes (in alphabetical order): Hugh Blewett (“the Fire Inspector”), JJ Gatesman (“Mr. Martin”), Hannah Klapperich-Mueller (“the Maid”), Sasha Katherine Sigel (“Mrs. Martin”), Zoe Schwartz (“Mrs. Smith”), and Mitch Weindorf (“Mr. Smith”).


Aug 20 & 21, 2016

IRISH FEST@Theater tent

Directed by: Mark Bucher
Romance is a distant memory for two lonely animal-lovers living in Dublin.  When forlorn Dan (Mark Bucher) and his dog Chapatti cross paths with the amiable Betty (Donna Lobacz) and her nineteen cats, an unexpected spark begins a warm and gentle story about two people re-discovering the importance of human companionship.  CHAPATTI was originally written for the radio and Milwaukee’s Boulevard Theatre is proud to present a concert reading of this tender, affecting comedy.

     A concert reading focuses on the pictures painted by the spoken word (and not sets or scenery).  O’Reilly’s exceptionally well-crafted, intermission-free comedy is really a mix of story-telling and scene work, so this approach works very well in this festival atmosphere.  It runs just over 80 minutes and is presented through both monologue (shared with the audience) and dialogue between the two leading characters.  In this delightful play, we meet Dan and Betty and many, many other characters (Peggy, the staff at Hanlon’s Veterinary Clinic, Martha, and many others). 
     Milwaukee’s Boulevard Theatre is thrilled to participate in this year’s IRISHFEST.   Boulevard thanks the Festival, Pam Kissinger, Eamon O’Neil, and Joan End.


Oct 22-30, 2016

Hop “on board” for an entertaining double bill! Milwaukee’s Boulevard Theatre and the Plymouth Chorale (of Milwaukee’s Plymouth Church) present a collaborative journey of comedy and song with an October staging of WHERE THE STREETCAR BENDS THE CORNER, DOWN BY THE ZOO! This compendium of creativity showcases two linked pieces: WHERE THE STREETCAR BENDS THE CORNER (a narrated historical tour of Milwaukee, with sketches and songs) and THE ZOO (a concert staging of a rarely performed one-act opera, which comically portrays “love, uncaged!”).

The first stop on this amusing journey is WHERE THE STREETCAR BENDS THE CORNER, a spoken and sung tribute to Milwaukee, circa 1955. Featuring comedy sketches and satirical song, this whimsical tour is devised by Milwaukee actor/director David Flores and Boulevard Theatre Artistic Director Mark Bucher and is a frothy, narrated jaunt inspired by streetcars returning to downtown as well as Milwaukee’s nationally recognized, wacky “M’waukee-Talk” (as in “Meet me down by Schuster’s, where the streetcar bends the corner!”). In STREETCAR, a mythological, time-traveling streetcar showcases the colorful history of key local areas and, along the way, audiences meet local icons (entertainers, politicians, singers-impersonated by STREETCAR’s wacky troupe of players). A comic collision of PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION meets MR. RODGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, STREETCAR will charm and amuse both young and old, alike.

Following STREETCAR, audiences will enjoy a concert version of the Arthur Sullivan (music) and B.C. Stephenson’s (libretto) one-act comic opera, THE ZOO, which tells of two young couples and the romantic complications that ensue on a day when both couples (and an irate father!) reconnoiter at their local zoo in England, circa 1875 – but director David Flores transfers the zany fun to Milwaukee, circa 1955. With music by Sir Arthur Sullivan (of the esteemed team of Gilbert & Sullivan) and libretto by B.C. Stephenson (who also wrote under the name of Bolton Rowe), this 40-minute opera is a comedic cameo of mistaken identity, delayed love, and paternal meddling. All ends happily, of course! Music Director Donna Kummer and pianist Elna Hickson corral the musical talents of the Plymouth Chorale (as the commenting townspeople). This carefree, collaborative presentation by Boulevard Theatre and Plymouth Chorale is a musical menagerie of mirth for all ages.

Besides the two charming halves of the program, this delightful enterprise also boasts of a stunning collection of Milwaukee artists, including a stellar list of musical artists involved in THE ZOO: Don Lobacz, Julianne Frey, Zachary Dean, Lydia Rose Eiche, Daniel Koplitz, Donna Kummer (Music Director, THE ZOO), and David Flores (Co-Creator/STREETCAR and Director/THE ZOO). Also featured in this omnibus of talent are Elna Hickson (THE ZOO, pianist) Donna Lobacz (performer, STREETCAR), Alice Wilson (performer, STREETCAR) and the talented members who make up the Plymouth Chorale. Featuring over two dozen members/singers, the Chorale’s members will portray the chorus/townspeople in THE ZOO and some selected members will step into small sketch roles in STREETCAR. And both Flores and Bucher will also appear in STREETCAR in the comedy sketches. All performances are held at Plymouth Church.