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Madeleine Michelle Bertch's Blog (20)

First Impressions: The "New Look" of Evita


You know what it’s like, when your friends talk endlessly about that one-in-a-million person?  Upon seeing pictures, hearing of their incredible achievements, or uncovering their tragic history, you begin to feel as though you know that person already. Still, all the buildup serves to produce is an expectant and awkward introduction. Nothing compares to a personal, first impression.


Openings-wise, Evita gave me the Andrew-Lloyd-Webber impression right away. It…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on January 31, 2014 at 12:00am — 1 Comment

"Cabaret" Celebrates Life in Dead of Winter


Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theater Trust, ©2014 Michal Daniel

      It’s not every day that you get to see a flawless trapeze act going on immediately above a gang of Nazis as they pummel a poor, American fellow.  However, little spectacles like this…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on January 17, 2014 at 5:24pm — 1 Comment

Wait, You Mean THAT Louis? - My Wide-Eyed Look at Billy Crystal's "700 Sundays"

             Imagine someone handed you his diary. Not just a standard, stale journal: a beat-up, beloved diary, filled with his most intimate thoughts, since birth.  Now, imagine the owner of this diary was well connected enough to refer to Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis Jr. by their first names.  If you can, imagine that diary was narrated by the distinctive, nasal voice of Mike Wazowski.  Hard to imagine anything more amusing, eh?

             Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on October 25, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Against All Odds: My Heart Won Over by War Horse

    “I heard that the puppets are better in this show than in Lion King,” one elderly patroness said to her friend. I felt my blood run cold, then quietly started compiling evidence against her statement. The lights went up, and the first thing I saw was a man’s hand on the giant, mechanical foal tail. It twitched, and I literally jumped in my seat, utterly creeped out. Then, out of nowhere, a chorus of puppeteers gave out a shrill, all-too-human whinny. “Is that supposed to…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on June 14, 2013 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Rock of Ages: Not Talkin' About the New Arby's

An equally fitting title for Rock of Ages would’ve been That’s-What-She-Said: The Musical. Indeed, the humor and the nature of the show, with it’s G-strings and liberal use of the word “balls”, is anything but high-brow.  You’ve got to suspend disbelief (and to some degree, your moral compass and intelligence) in order to enjoy it. The Les Miserables sect of the Broadway empire need not inquire further, unless if they’re ready to…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on May 19, 2013 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

You Can't Teach an Old Dog to Not Eat His Own Poop Jokes (An R-Rated Review)

Last night, Lydia and I were in the city to see Tracy Morgan's "Pardon My French". What we saw was Tracy far gone. We were lucky to be there, because another friend of mine couldn't make it. She had planned to sit through the standup sitting beside her father, however, I assured her that would've been death by mortification. Here's why: Mr. Morgan loudly impersonated a female masturbating to Billy Joel.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the 30 Rock persuasion, Tracy Morgan was…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on May 5, 2013 at 11:41pm — 1 Comment

FLASHDANCE: You Can’t REALLY Have It All, but...

“First, when there’s nothing, but a slow glowing dream...”

At the prompt of Irene Cara’s heroic voice, my mom takes in a deep Ujjayi breath, from the bottom of her soul. She can feel her well-worn leg warmers against her shins, as she begins a series of ballistic stretches. Her worldly instructor, enlightened by her experiences in African dance, calls out the name of each exercise. This is the warm-up routine she remembers so clearly. This is the warm up being…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on April 4, 2013 at 6:01pm — 1 Comment

Ushered Into Amon Tobin


Enter the theater, escorted by an usher.

I guess it's a minimalism shtick. Spotlight on the fingers of a crouching man.…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on September 7, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments

MDQ Blues

MDQ Blues

They slapped the set on the stage

Oh, they slapped that set on the stage

This looks like a set made with minimum wage

And my neighbor says “Jerry Lee” like he’s 10x my age

They slapped the set on the stage

Why can’t I see Jerry Lee Lewis’ face?

I said why can’t I see Jerry Lee Lewis’ face?

The staging made him seem a little outta place

Till those fingers got the piano keys in pace’

Now I get why I can’t see Jerry’s…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on March 28, 2012 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Go Ask Alice, or Rather, the Jesus of Suburbia

    All of suburbia shuffles to the Orpheum, to bask in the lights of the Seven-11. They flock, an intrigued congregation, to meet Johnny, the Jesus of Suburbia. People proceed to shuffle into their seats, iced drinks in hand, even well into the first act. “Entertain us with head-banging therapy,” the audience whispers. “Please fill the void.”

    Ladies and gentlemen of Suburbia, I give you Billy Joe Armstrong’s American Idiot:  A nearly-plotless collage of shameful American…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on February 23, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Scratching the Surface

"Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience."

~Randolph Bourne

    I recall the sixth grader (who was having a particularly horrid year in school) experiencing the awakening, hope and inspiration that seeing a show like The Lion King can give to youth and adults alike.  My mother had saved for us to go and experience the best of her trade, crème de la crème costume design. She was determined to have…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on January 22, 2012 at 7:06pm — 1 Comment

24601: Still Deciphering Les Miserables

    Well, I’ll be honest as can be. The truth is, Les Miserables is still sinking in. Les Miserables is in itself, an entire world of theatre, revolution, of sound. Les Miserables is disheartening and compelling, it’s destitute and overflowing in golden talent. Les Miserables is three hours of images and music notes one never can forget.  It would be quite impossible for a teenager to breach the surface of the ocean of all that could be said with regards to Les Miserables, the longest…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on December 7, 2011 at 11:28pm — 1 Comment

"Judas! Traitor! Heterosexual!" Recalling an Uproarious Affair with La Cage Aux Folles

  Yeah, drag queens make me a little intimidated. It’s something that isn’t unheard of, I’m sure many have felt the same. With regard to that, the La Cage Aux Folles queens were stirring and intimidating because of their skill and sheer talent, and there were many talents to talk-up in the extremely well cast production of La Cage. My mind reels at what those ladies can manage in heels, not to mention wigs, pantyhose, and layers of padding! Hence, it’s hard not to feel…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on October 20, 2011 at 4:13pm — 1 Comment

THE LOVE - 2011 Ivey Awards

There's only one place you're going to see a red carpet (a legit, red carpet) in the state of Minnesota.  The Ivey Awards this year at the Historic State Theatre were nothing short of fabulous. This community-oriented ceremony honors the best of the best, homegrown actors, set designers, choreographers and costumers. Strutting out from the woodwork came Minneapolis' menagerie of performers and patrons, smiling for the scattered photographers.  This night was immortalized by the…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on September 21, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

The Kick-off Cabaret at Hell's Kitchen

"I want a party with room fulls of laughter,

Ten thousand tons of ice cream

And if I don't get the things I am after

I'm going to scream!"

   95 degrees.  Dew point of 82.  Hot as Hell.  Downtown Minneapolis was as good as utter fire and brimstone, that is, until I reached the Hell's Kitchen on 9th and Nicollet.  The atmosphere was quite fresh, and it was no doubt a great location for a miniature cabaret…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on July 20, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

A Somewhat Serendipitous"Smart Talk"

A Somewhat Serendipitous"Smart Talk"

   "Working Girls" everywhere can admire the witty and independent characters played by Sigourney Weaver.  Perhaps the best part about having the opportunity to see the fabulous and studious Ms. Weaver was the fact that my mother was able to attend with me.  Having experienced every hardship in life together, she and I both can appreciate a strong, female figure in any industry.  Ms. Weaver herself was a sight to see, leading the…

Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on May 28, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

BIG GIRLS DO CRY (Yours Truly Included)

You know how certain things just move you, connect with you, hit close to home, speak to you, or jog memories?  It takes something powerful, but Jersey Boys would never have made it to it's current level of success if not for the show’s innate ability to connect with diverse audiences.  The show’s opening night at the Orpheum was no exception.   

  The most fascinating thing about the audience of Jersey Boys was the fact that the majority was not familiar with the…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on April 27, 2011 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

It's Not Easy Being Green (But It Makes for a Neat Costume)

    I remember being four, watching Shrek for the first time.  It was a landmark movie for me, with a soundtrack that spoke to me as a kid (teaching me my first swearword).  It was at the turn of the millennium, and my mother loved to watch it with me. It had the both of us in stitches, and it put people around the world in stitches! I can recall watching it in all of the languages on the DVD, and still laughing my little head off. (Shrek was also one of our very…


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on February 3, 2011 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

A Swan from the Mines of Solidarity: Billy Elliot Features Fabulous Cast and Crew



“The ground is empty, and cold as hell, but we all go together when we go.”  A chorus of men sinking into the earth, immersed in darkness save for the blinding lights fixated to their dusty helmets, send eerie chills down every spine sitting in the house.  An elevator carries them down, out of sight.  All that remains on stage is a lanky, young boy and his bicycle.

Billy Elliot is an aspiring dancer with hopes of one day joining the Royal Ballet. …


Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on December 19, 2010 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

A Hair Band Homage to a Head-Banging Era

A Hair Band Homage to a Head-Banging Era

By Madeleine Bertch



Added by Madeleine Michelle Bertch on October 20, 2010 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

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