Monday, April 14, 2014

STOREFRONT CHURCH

The Cast of Windfall Theatre's STOREFRONT CHURCH
L to R: Shayne Steliga, Ben George, Jason Will, Howard Goldstein, Ericka Wade, Bill Jackson
Bill Jackson as Reverend Chester Kimmich and Shayne Steliga as Donaldo Calderon in STOREFRONT CHURCH
 

Windfall Theatre continues its 21st Season with
STOREFRONT CHURCH
by John Patrick Shanley

Pulitzer Prize, Academy and Tony Award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley's sharply affecting comedy for our timestells the tale of a Bronx Borough President forced by the mortgage crisis into a confrontation with a local minister causing them both to confront a question of conscience that faces us all: What is the relationship between spiritual experience and social action?

STOREFRONT CHURCH by John Patrick Shanley
May 2 - 17
(Fri. 5/2, Sat. 5/3, Fri. 5/9, Sat. 5/10,
Mon. 5/12, Thu. 5/15, Fri. 5/16, Sat. 5/17)

FEATURING
Ben George, Howard Goldstein, Bill Jackson, Shayne Steliga, Ericka Wade, Jason Will
DIRECTION
Carol Zippel
STAGE MANAGEMENT
Mohammad N. ElBsat

All Windfall performances are at 8pm
At Village Church Arts, 130 E. Juneau
Tickets $20.00
Box Office: 414-332-3963
www.WindfallTheatre.com
BROWN PAPER TICKETS ADVANCE PURCHASE $20.00
TICKETS AT THE DOOR $23.00
Box Office: 414-332-3963


TICKETS AT THE DOOR $23.00
Box Office: 414-332-3963
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE PETRIFIED FOREST

The Cast of Windfall Theatre's THE PETRIFIED FOREST
Heat up your winter at Windfall Theatre's production of Robert Sherwood's THE PETRIFIED FOREST a play that is at once funny, romantic, political, violent and ironically resonant today as it was in 1934 when it opened on Broadway and captured the restless mood of the country. It was a huge hit and became a popular film. It tells the tale of hostages held by gangster Duke Mantee in an isolated gas station/diner in the Arizona desert. Their stories revolve around two restless souls: Alan Squier, a drifter searching for meaning to his existence and Gabrielle Maples, the diner's waitress who dreams of escaping to see the world.
 
FEATURING: Randall T. Anderson, Mark Boergers, Cleary Breunig,
Marcee Doherty-Elst, Mohammad N. ElBsat, Christopher Elst, Thom Gravelle,
Amanda J. Hull, Robert W.C. Kennedy, Tom Marks, Joe Picchetti
DIRECTION: Carol Zippel
STAGE MANAGEMENT: Dan Austin
COSTUMES: Kathy Smith
LIGHTING: Kevin Czarnota
 
Windfall Theatre Presents
THE PETRIFIED FOREST
by Robert Sherwood
February 14 - March 1
(2/14, 2/15, 2/21, 2/22, 2/24, 2/27, 2/28, 3/1)
at
Village Church Arts
130 E. Juneau Avenue
All performances at 8pm
Tickets $20.00
BOX OFFICE: 332-3963
www.windfalltheatre.com
 
TICKETS AT THE DOOR $23.00
Box Office: 414-332-3963
 

PETRIFIED FOREST REVIEW By Julie McHale

        Robert Sherwood is remembered for his stage plays, movie scripts and film reviews.  He is also the winner of four Pulitzer prizes. “The Petrified Forest” and “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” are two of his most famous plays, and “The Best Years of Our Lives” often makes the list of the 100 best films ever made.
         It is always satisfying to encounter a classic play again, and Windfall is not afraid to take the chance of unearthing a good one. I remember their production of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in 2010, proving again that scripts written many years ago still have relevance with human nature being the constant.
        “The Petrified Forest” takes place during the Great Depression in a small café in Arizona. The National Park by the same name is alluded to as a parallel to the lives of all the characters. Their dreams have been aborted, and except for the ending, when there is a glimmer of hope for one of the characters, the mood is dark and the prospects, stagnant.
         Three generations of family members run the Black Mesa Bar-B-Q Gas Station/Diner in the Arizona desert – Gramps, Jason and Gabby Maple.  Gramps wallows in his memories; Jason, in his glory days in WWI and his involvement in the American Legion, and Daughter Gabby in her dreams of going to France to re-unite with her mother and pursue art. Each of these characters is well developed as are several of the patrons who drop in for a beer,  a bite and a little comraderie.
         Boze, a former football star, works in the Café and is in hot pursuit of Gabby, who has bigger dreams. The arrival of another visitor, Alan Squier, changes the dynamic completely.  His inglorious failure as a gigolo, a husband and a would-be writer, colors his perception of himself and the world.  His allusion to T. S. Eliot’s “Hollow Men” pretty much sums up his dismal philosophy. He is smart, handsome, and disillusioned and depressed.  BUT, his conversation with Gabby elicits a few humane sparks in him. The contrast between Boze and Alan is stark and creates some tension and some suspense.
        A buildup of drama occurs when Duke Mantee (a character modeled after Dillinger) arrives with two of his henchmen and holds all the characters hostage. They have hi-jacked the car of the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm, so these two characters and their chauffeur Joseph have also joined the trembling assemblage.
        Several surprises are in store for us as this encounter proceeds.  People’s characters are often revealed in crises, and that is certainly true here. Even Dillinger is seen as a human being, not just a bad guy.
        Well paced and directed by Carol Zippel, “The Petrified Forest” holds our interest throughout.  The standouts in a well chosen cast include Joe Picchetti as the cynical Squier, Amanda J. Hull as the tough-minded but innocent Gabby, Tom Marks as the fearless Gramp Maple, and Robert W. C. Kennedy as the slippery Duke Mantee.  Marcee Doherty Elst is memorable in her cameo role when she unearths some of her long-hidden frustrations.
        This production runs through March 1 with showings on February 21, 22, 24, 27, 28 and March 1.  There are no Sunday performances because Windfall’s Theatre is the Village Church at 130 E. Juneau in Milwaukee.  Call 414-332-3963 or visit their website at www.windfalltheatre.com  If you’ve never attended a performance at Windfall, I recommend that you do if you’re looking for quality theatre in an intimate space at a reasonable price. The fact that they’ve been around since 1992 says a lot in a city where good theatre abounds.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FEARLESS 2013-2014 SEASON 21

 
RAVENOUS RAVE REVIEWS!
 
 
 
 
 
 

The cast of Windfall Theatre's production of An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf
L to R: Lindsey Gagliano, Matt Wickey, David Flores (seated),
Christopher Elst and Mohammad ElBsat

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

Follow the links and read below the Rave Reviews and listen to a wonderful preview!
Julie McHale, Review (Waukesha Freeman and Bay View Compass)
Stephen Sondheim, considered by many as the ultimate composer of American musical theater, first gained notice when he wrote the lyrics for Bernstein’s score for “West Side Story.” Sondheim has a very unique musical style and is an exceptionally clever lyricist as well.  One doesn’t want to miss a word, so vocalists have to articulate very carefully when delivering his compositions.
Windfall Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary with a stunning production of “A Little Night Music.”  One can hardly believe the assemblage of talent that Carol Zippel gathered for this show.  Sondheim himself would probably revel in this showing of his musical on its 40th anniversary.
Set in Sweden in the early 1900’s, it is based on an Ingmar Bergman film, “Smiles of a Summer Night.” There definitely are smiles in this show.  It swirls along with graceful dancing, sexual intrigue, amid the witty wisdom of Madame Armfeldt, the elder of the tribe, so deliciously portrayed by Michelle Waide.
The opening overture introduces us to five strong vocalists – Matt Wickey, Kristin Pagenkopf, Marcee Doherty-Elst, Isaac Brotzman, and Heather Reynolds – who set the tone of the whole production.  We already sense, under the musical direction of Christopher Wszalek, that we are in for a melodic banquet. This quintet of voices appears regularly to provide transitions and emphasize main turning points in the story.
The plot revolves around Fredrik Egerman, masterfully rendered by the incomparable David Flores, his second wife, the still innocent Anne, nicely depicted by the lovely vocalist Emily Pogorelc, his former lover and actor Desiree, a complex mix of flamboyance and confusion, cleverly captured by Tamara Martinsek, and another unforgettable couple, the blustering Count Malcolm (Christopher Elst) and his acerbic wife Charlotte (Laura Monagle), both of whom cross paths with Fredrik via Desiree.
Two other characters provide supreme delight – Doug Clemons as Henrik, Fredrick’s tortured son, and the flirty, dirty maid Petra, hilariously rendered by the inimitable Liz Mistele.  Alison Pogorelc does a good job as Desiree’s daughter and companion to her grandmother, Madame Armfeldt.
Few of Sondheim’s songs enjoy a life beyond his musicals, with the exception of “Send in the Clowns,” which provides the moving climax of this show when Fredrik and Desiree realize that they may finally get their timing right. There are many numbers, however, that are vital to the context of the story and are beautifully delivered by these gifted vocalists.
Several of these include, “Later” by Henrik; “Soon” by Fredrick, Anne and Henrik; “In Praise of Women” by Carl-Magnus Malcolm and “Every Day a Little Death” by Anne and Charlotte. The ensemble number “A Weekend in the Country”is especially well done, emphasizing in its lyrics Sondheim’s supreme sense of irony.  Mention must also be made of Petra’s strong rendering of “The Miller’s Son.”  Mistele has such a mischievous quality about her that one has to smile just anticipating her next move.
I can’t rave enough about this powerful show.  It already has made my list of “The Best of 2013” and it’s only May.  I can’t imagine another show that will match this one.  Because Windfall Theatre has its home in the Village Church at 130 E. Juneau in Milwaukee, there are no performances on Sunday. The remaining dates include May 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18. Call 414-332-3963 or visit www.WindfallTheatre.com before all the seats are taken. This is a small theater and a great production directed by the multi-talented Carol Zippel.
PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY AT BROWN PAPER TICKETS
 
 


Monday, February 18, 2013

A Time To Live by Howard Goldstein

 
 Guarantee your seats to A Time To Live 
today by clicking the link below
to purchase your tickets at
 
"A TIME TO LIVE" by Howard Goldstein*****This new play is superb! Highly, highly recommended. Opening night played to a full house. It is such a pleasure to be totally involved in a theatre performance with wonderful humour, the input of Buddhism and the rich symbology of the waters of the Great Lake of Michigan and the seasons. The two actors had incredible chemistry - an essential for this play. I've seen Romeo and Juliet where all was dead - ghastly. Do go and see this play written by talented local playwright - Howard Goldstein at the charming, intimate Windfall Theatre in the Village Church on 130 E. Juneau, downtown Milwaukee. This is a writer who knows how to use his words well - shear poetry.
~Chris Merritt, Opening Night, February 15, audience member
 
There's nothing that terrifies us more or gets talked about less than what it means to die - or the related prospect of soldiering on when those dearest to us are gone. That's the subject of Howard Goldstein's "A Time to Live," now receiving its world premiere courtesy of Windfall Theatre - an intrepid company that consistently stages plays involving those thorny subjects that matter most. 
~ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Review of “A Time To Live”                              
By Julie McHale, Waukesha Freeman
“A Time to Live” is the kind of sweet-sad play that quietly breaks your heart. Written by local playwright Howard  Goldstein and performed at The Windfall Theater in The Village Church on Juneau in Milwaukee, the story features a recently-married couple – she, a doctor, and he,  a professor of Eastern philosophy, living through the last year of their life together.

The setting is in Milwaukee, near Lake Michigan, a phenomenon of nature that figures prominently in the story.  The structure is episodic as the journey of Madeline and Richard unfolds through the four seasons of the year.  Besides the dialogue between the two characters, both speak directly to the audience at times, giving us some thoughts they don’t share with each other.

The set design is simple but effective.  It was a collaborative effort, shared by Carol Zippel (who also directed the play), Dan Austin and the playwright Howard Goldstein. Lighting was designed by Kevin Czarnota and is an important component in the story as time changes and wanes. The bed dominates the setting, but the window, the folding screen and the bookshelves filled with the “stuff” of their lives together also contribute to the story.

Madeline is dying of cancer and has chosen to stop treatment and try to enjoy the time that remains. Richard doesn’t totally agree with her decision but tries to be supportive and accepting.  A plethora of human emotions reveal themselves here – confusion, sadness, frustration, anger, love, fear, despair, hope.  Because their personalities are quite different, of course each character deals with pain and uncertainty quite differently, but the constant in the story is their steadfast love; albeit how to express it is far from simple and straightforward.  Madeline often seems to be pushing him away, helping him to learn to live without her, and Richard is either clinging or escaping.  Ironically, his knowledge of Buddhist teaching doesn’t seem to be a very helpful guide for him.  However, by the story’s end, one feels a peace and acceptance, indicating that both characters have reached some measure of wisdom in the painful process of facing their mortality.

Beth Monhollen and Christopher Elst are superb in their roles.  We grow to love them both but can’t quite understand how two such different people ended up together (but isn’t that always a mystery).

The references to and descriptions of Lake Michigan, which becomes a symbol of forces beyond our control, a source of beauty and enjoyment, and a reminder of how life is forever changing, greatly  enriches the  poignant, poetic script.

The intimate space of The Village Church is the perfect vehicle for a lovely but heart-wrenching piece such as this. Remaining performances of “A Time to Live” are February 22, 23, 25, 28, and March 1 and 2.  All shows start at 8:00 at 130 E. Juneau Avenue.  Call 414-332-3963 or visit www.windfalltheatre.com for tickets. There was a full house on opening night, so don’t wait to reserve a seat.

By Matthew Reddin, Third CoastDigest
 Milwaukee doesn’t see a ton of world-premiere shows in a given season, so A Time to Live, at Windfall Theatre, has high expectations built in...this not-quite-a-play – a portrait, perhaps – has a poetry all its own. Goldstein and director Carol Zippel have brought us something a traditional play – with a clearly defined rising action, narrative beats, through-line, climax, etc. – might not have been able to provide with such simplicity: an honest, unpretentious look at a couple forced to live through dying earlier than they ever could have imagined...as Time to Live develops, Monhollen and Elst gradually draw us in; every momentary success earns a smile of gladness and every reminder of her disease provokes a visceral tension...Portraits like this have existed in various mediums for decades, and will for decades more. But Windfall’s production of Goldstein’s play works because it stays on the right side of sentimentality and melodrama. Especially for a world premiere, that’s something to love.

Friday, September 28, 2012

NOVEMBER by David Mamet

 

It's a "Landslide of Laughs"...the critics vote for NOVEMBER
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Review
OnMilwaukee Review
Third Coast Digest Review

Guarantee your seats to NOVEMBER
today by clicking the link below
to purchase your tickets at

Brown Paper Tickets

OnMilwaukee Preview Article
Third Coast Digest Preview Article


 The Cast of Windfall Theatre's production of NOVEMBER by David Mamet.
Left back to right front: Christopher Elst, Michael Weber, Beth Monhollen and Robert W.C. Kennedy
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FEARLESS SEASON 20!

Windfall Theatre’s 2012-2013 Season celebrates the intrepid company’s 20th anniversary of bringing Fearless theatre to Milwaukee audiences staged in their intimate performance space located at Village Church Arts, 130 East Juneau Avenue, in the heart of Milwaukee’s downtown theater district. The three production season brings Milwaukee audiences a regional premiere, a world premiere and a legendary musical theatre masterpiece.
 
The season opens on October 12, 2012 with the regional premiere of David Mamet’s timely pre-election comedy NOVEMBER.  Written in 2007, Mamet’s hysterically satirical outrageous Oval office send-up revolves around fictional president Charles Smith days before his second election.  With his poll numbers tanking, Smith is desperate and willing to do anything to turn things around including using the annual turkey pardoning ceremony as his last stand political power play.
Directed by Maureen Kilmurry. Featuring: Robert W.C. Kennedy, Kevin Hogan,
Christopher Elst, Beth Monhollen and Michael Weber.
Milwaukee Premiere!
NOVEMBER by David Mamet
October 12-27, 2012
(FRI.10/12; SAT. 10/13;
THU. 10/18; SAT. 10/20;
MON. 10/22; THU. 10/25; FRI. 10/26; SAT.10/27)

Guarantee your seats to NOVEMBER today by clicking the link below
to purchase your tickets at
 

The season continues February 22 – March 9, 2013 with the world premiere of Milwaukee playwright Howard Goldstein’s poignant love story A TIME TO LIVE.  Goldstein’s intimate play centers on Richard, an Eastern philosophy studies professor, and his wife Madeline whose decision to stop her cancer treatment sets Richard on a caregiver’s journey to keep them both in the present moment together in A TIME TO LIVE.
World Premiere!
A TIME TO LIVE by Howard Goldstein
February 22 – March 9, 2013
(2/22, 2/23, 3/1, 3/2, 3/4, 3/7, 3/8, 3/9)

Windfall’s season 20 finale celebrates the 40th anniversary of Stephen Sondheim’s legendary A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC playing May 3-18, 2013.  A Little Night Music is the gorgeous ¾ time witty waltzing musical masterpiece based on Ingmar Bergman’s classic film Smiles of a Summer Night. It is a breathtakingly haunting tale of past loves, missed opportunities, worlds changing and time wasted that touches the heart of our too hurried society today with its illusion of communicating yet rarely connecting and the regrets left in the wake of all those fading facades. 
Season 20 Finale
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC by Stephen Sondheim
May 3-18, 2013
(5/3, 5/4, 5/10, 5/11, 5/13, 5/16, 5/17, 5/18)

All Windfall performances are at 8pm
At Village Church Arts, 130 E. Juneau
Tickets $20.00
Box Office: 414-332-3963
Please call the Box Office for information on Season Subscriptions,
Group, Senior, Student and Military discounts.