Matt daniels

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First Stage delivers a huge hit with "James and the Giant Peach"

Published Oct. 17, 2015

Just like love, home is where you find it and, also like love, it can happen in the most surprising and mysterious of ways. That's the message in the glorious production of the classic book, "James and the Giant Peach," that opened its First Stage production Friday night at the Marcus Center. This production, under the thoughtful and insightful direction of Matt Daniels is truly entertainment for everyone of every age.

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Milwaukee has a big impact on Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Published July 15, 2014

In Wisconsin, we have the world class American Players Theatre, called by many the best in the country. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is moving in that direction, and with a gorgeous space on gorgeous grounds, an easy three-hour drive for Milwaukee Shakespeare fans would be a worthy summer trip.

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As man, woman or dog, Daniels impresses in "Chesapeake"

Published Feb. 23, 2014

"Chesapeake" by Lee Blessing draws its title from a Chesapeake retriever that plays an integral role in the story. But the production truly belongs to Matt Daniels, the actor who brings alive a string of disparate characters, all of whom have a role in this discussion of the value of art.

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First Stage's "A Midnight Cry" is an explosive powerhouse

Published Jan. 13, 2014

The slogan of First Stage, and it is much more than just a slogan dreamt up by some marketing committee, is "Transforming Lives Through Theater." It's latest production, "A Midnight Cry," is an example of just how important and powerful those words are to First Stage.

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No need to feel green: "Shrek the Musical" is fun for everyone

Published Oct. 13, 2013

So you take a sickly green ogre, throw in his almost best friend - a donkey - add an evil king wannabe and top it off with a damsel in distress, and you've got the makings of something kids and adults alike can enjoy. If you then add some cute songs, good choreography and incredible costumes, what you'd end up with is the First Stage production of "Shrek the Musical," which opened Friday night at the Todd Wehr Theater.

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Acting on your knees: "Shrek" at First Stage

Published Sept. 20, 2013

For many years I've thought that Matt Daniels moves as well as anyone I've ever seen. He has poise and grace and never makes any kind of move without having a reason for it. I find it breathless to watch him onstage. But he now faces what may well be the greatest movement challenge an actor could face: playing someone half his height.

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No more karaoke for theater's favorite hangout?

Published Jan. 24, 2013

Wednesday night at the Newsroom Pub may well be the best karaoke in town. It would be a crying shame if it came to an end because the two negotiators couldn't reach an agreement.

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"A Thousand Clowns" stands the test of time

Published Aug. 13, 2012

Mounting an old play for today's audience is fraught with risk, but great acting, great direction and a wonderful environment can reduce that risk. In the case of "A Thousand Clowns," which opened Friday night at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, that risk is not only reduced but eliminated.