Theme of overcoming adversity and redemption by doing better is a heartland homily and Off Broadway hit.
High School Theatre
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Heartland values of redemption carried composer through tragic phase as musical made its way to the big stage.
Composer and playwright James Valcq didn't go to Wauwatosa East High, but he sure came close – and he knows the place well. He grew up in Milwaukee not far from Wauwatosa and went to St. Bernard's Parish School as a kid, just a stone's throw down Wauwatosa Avenue from East High. He attended Marquette High School, where he met Fred Alley. Both were committed to theatre, and after graduation they became collaborators and eventually co-authors of "The Spitfire Grill," a critically acclaimed and widely reproduced Off-Broadway musical. Valcq and Alley's creation opens Friday night as the fall production by the Tosa East Players – acclaimed in their own right. It will be performed this weekend and next under the direction of Tom Thaney. "…
Friday, October 19, 2012
Tim Catlett, brought in two years ago to rebuild drama program, has resigned going into huge production, but show will go on with new director already hired.
With exactly two weeks to go before the opening of "Cats," probably the biggest theatre production the Wauwatosa West Trojans Players have attempted, the drama group's director has resigned and has been replaced. Tim Catlett, who was hired in 2010 to rebuild the stature of West theatre, is resigning effective Friday. He has been replaced by David Adam Steffan. School Superintedent Phil Ertl confirmed the changed Friday morning and said that the transition in direction of the play had taken place within the past two weeks. "(Catlett) has resigned," Ertl said. "It was a smooth transition. I believe they went one day without a director. (Steffan) was able to sub in right away, and he's been hired as West's new theatre director and teacher." …
Friday, May 25, 2012
Fundraiser for Tosa East Players features two nights of one-acts created and presented solely by students in the theater program.
Each spring, the young thespians of Tosa East Players take over the stage to perform their own work – student-written, student-directed and student-designed, as well as acted. The Student Play Festival this year takes place next Friday and Saturday nights (June 1 and 2) in the Dale K. Hidde Theatre at Wauwatosa East High School. Showtime each night is at 7 p.m. The Play Festival also functions as a fundraiser. Admission to the shows is free, but donations to the Tosa East Players are greatly appreciated, said Holly Wilinski, secretary and student director for the group. The student-written shows that will be presented are: The student directors are Isaac Anderson, Sara Armstrong, Kerry Billings, Nora Maltz, Christian Siebert, Gilly McBride…
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Families with young children demand more of the magic – at an earlier hour.
Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, Capt. Hook and Neverland will stay one more day at Wauwatosa West High. Due to demand from families of younger children, a special encore matinee performance of West High Trojan Players' "Peter Pan" will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday. The show opened last week with two evening performances and one matinee, and was set to close this week after two more 7 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday nights. But as word has spread on the musical, featuring high-flying special effects, requests have been made for one more matinee to accommodate younger children and families who wish to see production – but who have earlier bedtimes. Tickets can be purchased online with a major credit card up to the night before each performance at …
If you can't vote next Tuesday at the polls, you can still cast a ballot if you hurry. And final curtains will fall on two ambitious school musicals, at West and Longfellow.
"Last Chance" is Patch's reminder that deadlines and fleeting opportunities arise every week, and Wauwatosa residents have but days to plan and execute. Some deadlines this week: Absentee voting in person at City Hall ends at 5 p.m. Friday. The Wauwatosa City Clerk's office will mail out ballots through 4:30 p.m. Thursday upon receiving a written request; and your ballot must be filed back with that office by 5 p.m. Friday. Your request must include your address and signature. More than one eligible voter living at the same address may file a joint request, as long as the letter is signed by all requesting ballots. If you want a ballot mailed out Thursday but can't get to City Hall during business hours, you may drop off a request in the …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
'Pixies and Pirates' fundraiser party a week in advance of opening will give young children a taste of the stage magic to come.
The timeless tale of a boy who never wanted to grow up will come to life both on stage and off at Wauwatosa West High School in the musical "Peter Pan" and at a party for young "pixies and pirates." The curtain will rise on the first of five presentations of the West High Trojan Players’ production April 27, continuing that weekend and the next. The Trojan Players will present Piers Chater Robinson’s musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s original tale of “Peter Pan.” This adaptation is much more faithful to the original story than the commonly known "Mary Martin/Cathy Rigby" version. The production will include flying effects designed and engineered by ZFX Flying Effects of Louisville, KY. Children and adults will feel like lifting off their…
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Backstage, freshmen learn theatre skills while contributing largely to the success of major productions.
The premiere production of Elton John and Tim Rice's renowned musical Aida – a test run in Atlanta before being fine-tuned for Broadway – was originally billed as Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida. That long, bipartite title did not survive to crowd a marquee on the Great White Way. But "elaborate lives" could certainly describe the experience of more than 100 members of the Tosa East Players for the past couple of months as they prepared for yet another full-scale, no-corners-cut, Broadway-style production. Aida opens Friday night at East High, and as usual, audiences in the Dale K. Hidde Theatre will be wide-eyed at the spectacle from curtain to curtain. Also as usual, the shining stars for theatre-goers will be the upperclassmen …
Friday, February 10, 2012
Limited seating is available for three performances.
The Tosa West Trojan Players will put on the comedy Harvey this weekend for just three performances with limited seating. Director Tim Catlett has built a set that will put theater patrons on the stage in an intimate and nearly in-the-round "black box" theater experience. Only 150 seats are available for each performance. Harvey is a comedy about Elwood P. Dowd who claims to have an invisible friend – not just any friend mind you, but a 6-foot, 3 1/2-inch-tall anthropomorphic rabbit, named Harvey. Written in 1944 by American playwright Mary Chase, the comedy centers on Dowd, played by West senior Matt Zanton, an affable man who introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. His social-climbing sister, Veta, increasingly finds his eccentric …
Monday, February 6, 2012
Greg Koch, world-renowned guitarist from Tosa, will lead talented trio helping out Friends of Theatre Arts.
The Tosa East Friends of Theatre Arts will present a fundraising concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in the school's Dale K. Hidde Auditorium being billed as "An Evening of Musical Mayhem." Leading the onstage carnage will be internationally renowned guitarist and local resident Greg Koch. Koch is one of the most sought after guitar clinicians in the world for both Fender Musical Instruments and the Hal Leonard Corp., the world's leading publisher of sheet music and music books, headquartered at 7777 Blue Mound Road. Koch is also a frequent guest on WKLH's "Dave and Carole Show," where he is known as "The Gristleman." Koch is appearing for the first time in years with a rhythm section featuring bass guitarist Roscoe Beck (who has played and …