This Sunday, Munchknihead and I had a theater day. It turned out to be more of a “professional imitations of life with the Schultzes” day, but it was still rather fun.
The first show we say was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] at Milwaukee Chamber Theater. The play very much reminded me of the NG antics the neighbor kids and us would get into in Mommy and Daddy’s basement. Friends goofing around, grabbing this thing and that for props, wearing Christmas tree skirts, writing scripts, goofing around, pretending there was an audience. In that sense, it felt a little silly to have paid to come watch such a thing.
The show was amusing – although honestly the most amusing part was watching a bunch of 70 year-old white woman laugh at what they probably didn’t know was a “Gin and Juice” parody. I especially loved the local things worked in, like the cheeshead. The four-man cast included Rick Pendzich, who played Max in the Lend Me a Tenor show Munchkinhead and I saw in April. He’s excellent, and so pretty to look at I’d probably watch him play a tree.
The show’s good for quite a few laughs, and now I know the plot lines to a lot more Shakespeare plays. It runs at the Chamber Theater through December 14th, so there’s still time to check it out. Warning, it’s somewhat interactive – How Munchkinhead and I keep accidentally going to interactive theater, I don’t know! Tickets.
After playing dress-up with the Shakespeareans, Munchkinhead and I decided to do dinner somewhere on KK we hadn’t been yet. So we drove down KK. We seemed to comment more on the places we had been, as if checking off “nope, can’t go there.” As we neared the end of the Bay View part of KK, we passed Pastiche. Neither of us had been there, so we triangled around the block (KK is a crooked street) and parked next to the restaurant.
Woo eee! Fancy! There was a couple dining there so finely dressed, the man entered in a top hat, a long black coat with a cape on the shoulders and a tall cane with a metal knob. Very elegant! There was a sign on the table in French. Neither Munchkinhead or I knew enough French to parse it out completely, so we took out our phones to find out what it said. It said “please don’t use your mobile devices.” Oops! Good thing we had explained to the waitress when she came to take our order that we were just looking up the words we didn’t know. She politely explained douphinoise potatoes to us.
The food was delicious. Munchkinhead even had the waitress pair a wine with her meal! Though I still don’t understand ratatouille; it always feels like someone forgot to put pasta under the sauce.
After dinner, we headed back downtown to see Harvey at the Rep. Yup, we went from four guys playing in their basement to a man with a giant invisible rabbit. You see what I mean about this “life with the Schultzes” thing? (Lewin would.)
Harvey is a very cute play, so of course the show was cute. But it wasn’t nearly as good as the production I saw with Daddy Bunny (his post here) at the Contra Costa Civic Theater. The Rep has a much bigger budget and quite frankly, it just feels like they’re trying too hard. A lot of the characters felt too high-strung. Not quite over-acting but ridiculously intense in a way that made intermission feel like coming up for air. The one exception to that was Mr. Wilson, played by Justin Brill, who felt properly toned. The person in a bunny suit behind the windows was also over the top. Imagination is far more powerful than a man in a bunny suit.
Still, as I said, Harvey is a very cute play. It’s running at the Rep through December 21. Tickets.