Archives for posts with tag: Angela Iannone

Master Class Iannone

Master Class is showing for one more weekend at the Broadway Theatre Center and you should attend.  Not only is the play exquisitely penned, but you are unlikely to see a better portrayal of Maria Callas in this lifetime or any other.  Angela truly puts herself out there each and every performance.  I would expect no less than such professionalism from her on any show, but let’s be frank, most performances do not require such an effort.  And I’m quite certain that her first Callas, eight productions in the past, was grand, but having lived with this same character over the course of the years has raised her performance to the rarified air of the sublime.  Think about it: to be able to revisit such a character over and over again, to bring the experience of all those years and productions into this one, we should all be so lucky to have such an opportunity.

 

You may think that I am drifting into the realm of hyperbole, but unless you see the show you will never know.  I am not given to false praise and I can only assure you that I am giving none here.  And you may never get another chance to see her in such a production.  If she reprises it again it’s unlikely to be done in Milwaukee, and I dare say she may not be supported by the same gifted singers and accompanist that she has here.  Rush tickets and artist tickets are available for $10 each every day.  For more info visit Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s website at:   http://www.chamber-theatre.com/

—Fletcher

Maria Callas


Over the course of the thirteen years we have been producing Combat Theatre, there are any number of the plays produced that have deserved attention and a life outside of the single night they were produced.Certainly one of the highlights of all those productions was Patrick Holland’s The Cowboy.  Patrick’s play has been published in The Best American Short Plays 2011-2012 along with the likes of plays by such hacks as John Guare.  Well done, Master Holland!

Fletcher

Hey Fletcher,

 

Well the book is out! It’s so weird to me to see “The Cowboy” published especially in this particular anthology. I keep flashing back to writing it at three in the morning at a Starbucks for Combat! But I am so grateful to everyone from Combat. Without your support, this play would have never been written. And what a wonderful acknowledgement of the work we all do than to have it included in the “The Best American Short Plays Of 2011-2012.”

 

For the anthology William Demastes, the editor, wrote this about “The Cowboy”:

“The Cowboy by Patrick Holland is haunting in its own way. The work is perfectly crafted to present a collection of improbabilities leading to a fantastic accident that generates the feeling that the accident was no accident at all. The messy lives of three women come together in an unexpectedly appropriate manner, overseen by the silent hand of a character known as the Cowboy, begging the question: What forces lie beneath daily events beyond our control and even understanding?

Preview the first few pages:

But it on Amazon:


 


Have you heard?  A special holiday season Combat is coming your way this weekend.  Bunny Gumbo has put together a superb cast of Milwaukee talent to create 16 brand new shows in just 48 hours.  Work off that Thanksgiving meal, put Black Friday and Cyber Monday out of your head, and forget about your Christmas shopping list for a while.  Come see the show that’s both naughty AND nice.

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company presents Combat Theatre.

8 writers

8 directors

30 actors

16 plays is 48 hours

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) 325 W. Walnut Street (on the corner of Walnut and MLK Drive)

Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st at 8:00 pm.

Tickets are $18 and available at the door only.  Weekend packages are available for only $30.

For more info, visit us at http://www.bunnygumbo.com or https://bunnygumbo.wordpress.com

Bunny Gumbo; we do it because we can!

 


Rentmeester in The Triumph of the Still

Tami Rentmeester is one of the funniest actors I know.  She’s got the rare ability to send an audience over the edge with a single look.  She’s also got the guts to extend a pause further than it has a right to go.  It takes a special kind of actor to wait a gag out, let it get to that point where it’s not funny and the audience gets uncomfortable, go past the point where most actors break and give in and thus suffer the joke falling flat on its face.  Tami will wait until it’s funny again.  Then she’ll wait a little longer.  Then she’ll wait a bit longer until it’s hysterical.

As such, she’s a hot commodity at Combat.  Not that anyone has a choice, the actors are cast at random, but your day gets a little better when Tami’s in your play.  “Whether Tami is in a play of mine or not, she usually comes to mind during my writing process” says playwright John Van Slyke.  “She’s so versatile and fearless, Tami typically comes to mind for as at least one of the roles. And when she is picked for one of my plays, I know all will be well. Tami brings comfort with many exciting surprises.”

Rentmeester in Fiddler

She’s also a favorite amongst directors.  Katie Cummings has had the opportunity to work with her several times.  “Some of my favorite moments of Tami in Combat are her portrayal of  the madam in the whorehouse that Maclay was interviewing for PBS, playing Sesame Street’s Ernie in Patrick Hollands, “Scalp Those Muppets” and Floyd the Barber in Tony Woods “Triumph of the Still.”  Katie adds, “She’s genuine, she’s the real deal, she has the ability to transform into any character she chooses and she works hard.  Bottom line, she is beautiful inside and out and I can’t imagine doing a Combat without her.”

So who doesn’t like working with Tami?  Just one person: John Maclay.  “I don’t like being in scenes with Tami because she is really quite a bit funnier than I am and I don’t like getting shown up at Combat Theatre.  Each Combat morning I sit and pray that she will be cast across Bo Johnson or Doug Jarecki as she is also funnier than them.  And I have no problem with them getting shown up.”

So enough of the love, let’s have Tami speak for herself.

What first got you involved in theatre?

My folks used to take my brother & me to see the high school musicals when we were little, which is an inexpensive way to introduce your kid to the arts.  I saw Brigadoon when I was only about 4 years old and I was BIT.  HARD.  Plus, we had a ton of cast albums that I listened to all the time.  When I was 12 or 13, a friend’s mom was directing a children’s play for the local community group, and I was cast.  I never really stopped after that.  Weirdly, during high school, I was too chicken to audition for the school shows, but I was continuously doing community theater on the side.

Where did you grow up?

Greendale, Wisconsin.  Or, “The Bubble” as all residents between the ages of 13 and 19 refer to it.

Where did you go to school?
Greendale High School.  No college.  Well, a little bit of UW-Oshkosh for seasoning.  No theater/drama/acting school.  I got all that training in the trenches.

What was your first professional gig?

I was in the chorus of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” for Milwaukee Opera Company.  Which has since changed names a whole bunch of times and may not even exist anymore.  I think I made around $40 or $45.  Woot!  I did a few more shows for MOC, then some Music Under the Stars.  It was a while before I made much more than gas money.  But hey – at the time, $45 bucks filled my Horizon more than 3 times.

Why Milwaukee?

It’s just home.  I’ve never strayed, apart from a brief period travelling for regional stuff.  When I decided  a) It was time to stay in one place.  b) That place will not be New York; it just made sense to stay here.  I like it here.

The first time I met you was on the docks outside of Skylight (I was doing something in the other theatre and we were having a smokey treat).  What show were you doing then?

Ooooh, what was I doing?  I think it had to be A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  Mr. Bo Johnson was in that show, and I believe he is the one who introduced us.  I beat him up every night in Funny Thing.  And my wig was made of yak hair.  Awesome.

Michelle Smith, Bo Johnson and Tami Rentmeester in Forum

You’ve got a great singing voice, were you trained?

Yes, I was trained.  I started out lucky – just accidently sang correctly when belting out Loverboy’s “Get Lucky” album in the living room after school.  But I knew that in order to advance in musical theater I needed real training.  I studied classical technique privately with Patricia Nelson for several years.  I even did the regional Met Auditions.  Holy carp, that was terrifying.  But rewarding.  But seriously terrifying.

Rentmeester as the Fairy Queen in Skylight’s Iolanthe

You’re a great comedian, do you prefer comedy to drama?

I do.  I enjoy drama as well, but comedy’s just more fun.  (Duh)  Plus, I think I’m better at comedy.  I think I’m more believable in funny situations than dramatic ones.  (Or so I assume.  I know people who think I’m hilarious when I’m angry.  I hate them.)

What was your favorite gig?

Am I a brown-noser if I say Combat?  ‘Cause I love that.

Playing Fruma Sarah in Fiddler at the Skylight fulfilled a childhood dream.  I loved doing Honk! at Music Theatre of Wichita, being Ruth in Pirates of Penzance and Sr. Mary Hubert in Nunsense.  ONE real favorite?  Impossible.

Rentmeester in Honk

What was your scariest gig?

See above re: Met Audition.  Not really a gig though.  This:  Michael Wright cast me in “A My Name is Alice,” and he gave me a pretty sizeable monologue.  I was perfectly comfortable standing alone in the middle of the stage to sing.  But to TALK?  It was the first time I was expected to actually TALK that much.  Scared the crap out of me. (thank you for kicking my butt, Michael)

Is there a dream role out there?

I consider myself mostly retired now, so I doubt I’ll ever do it, but there was I time I would have hurt someone for the chance to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.

What’s your day job?

I’m a secretary.  I get in trouble when I use that word, but I prefer it.

I’m officially Executive Administrative Assistant in Communications & PR and Assistant Vice President at Baird, a financial services company.  I really love it.

Besides Sheepshead, what else do you enjoy?

I read like it’s a sickness.  I’m such a book nerd that I set myself ridiculous reading challenges with spreadsheets to track & calculate how I’m doing.  It’s embarrassing.  Don’t tell anyone that.

Tami playing Sheepshead with the boys


Ah, the holidays.  Shopping, food, drink, travelling, family, friends, office parties, football…and heartburn, lots and lots of heartburn.  That time between Thanksgiving and the New Year seems to fly by and sometimes we forget to simply take some time to relax and be entertained.  So in the spirit of giving, we wish to give you an evening of pure entertainment.

 

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company proudly presents The Best of Combat Theatre…so far!  One night, and one night only, you can revisit 8 of the best plays from the last decade.  8 gifts which will be presented one last time before they are put away forever.

 

The Cowboy by Patrick Holland

Desperately Seeking Septums by Michelle Hoffman

Heartbeats and Hoofbeats by Jim Thibodeau

Love Bites by Doug Jarecki

Pee Wee’s Fan Adventure by Randy Rehberg

So-So Sorenson Saves the Day by John Van Slyke

To Pee or Not to Pee by Julie Pandl

Triumph of the Still by Tony Wood

 

Saturday, December 17th at 8:00 pm

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)

325 W. Walnut (on the corner of Walnut and MLK Drive)

Tickets for this special benefit show are $25 and available at the door only.

 

In addition to this fine evening of entertainment there will be many items up for grabs at our silent auction, so bring your checkbooks.

 

Bunny Gumbo; we do it because we can!

 

www.bunnygumbo.com

https://bunnygumbo.wordpress.com


Welcome to City Anywhere, USA.  Oh it might be just a town or it might be a thriving metropolis.  Size doesn’t matter; not in this story.  Joy has left this city, at least for the women.  They go to work at unsatisfying jobs, to gyms as much to stave off  boredom as stay in shape, they stop at grocery stores to pick up meals for one and they go to clubs hoping to find a companion if only for a night.  And so goes their routines, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Yes, nothing much of anything happens here in Anywhere USA and no one seems to mind.  And time, it does seem to pass.  But there’s a warm wind blowing through the streets of Anywhere, and it’s bringing something with it.  The change is subtle at first, nothing more than a little dust blowing through the streets, hardly worth mentioning.  But then the tumbleweeds begin to roll through.  Strange as that may seem, the citizens of Anywhere take no note of the change, or at least most of them don’t.  Seems there are these three women, three women who have never met each other, Linda, Kim and Amanda, and they do indeed see what is happening.  All three of these women set out to find the source of this strange wind and find…

…The Cowboy!  Patrick Holland brings us the uplifting tale of a man who isn’t what he appears to be.  A man who has one mission; to bring joy to the women of Anywhere, USA.  The Cowboy strikes up a relationship with each of these women, opening up their minds and their hearts.  He brings bliss where all hope was lost.  But can it last?  What happens on the fateful day when they all run into each other?  Will they continue to live out their new lives, or will they go back to their old ways?  Or is it all some kind of joke?  The answer can only be found in one place and on one night.

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company presents The Best of Combat Theatre…so far!
8 of the finest plays from the last decade.
Saturday, December 17th at 8:00 pm.
The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)
325 W. Walnut Street, on the corner of Walnut and MLK Drive

Tickets for this benefit show are $25 and available at the door only.

Bunny Gumbo: We do it because we can.

For more info visit us at http://www.bunnygumbo.com


Combat 18 was not the first time Angela played an elf during Combat.

Have her do her elf voice for you.  It’s disturbing.

Speaking of disturbing, Nick Harazin as a prostitute.

Not sure where Nick found that outfit, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong to Bunny Gumbo.

And if that wasn’t enough, here he is joined by fellow pros, Bo Johnson and Chase Stoeger “Hi, I’m Pincone!” written by Steve Midthun.


It can be difficult to write a serious piece during Combat.

Bur every now and again everything comes together just right.

That was the case with Patick Holland’s “The Cowboy” directed by Todd Denning.

It featured Rachel Williams, Angela Iannone, Allison Katula and John Maclay.  Also doesn’t hurt when Jason Fassl designs your lights.