After rave reviews from local audiences, Rockford’s The West Side Show Room, 410 Mulberry St., is extending its newest play, MilkMilkLemonade, until March 22. A gut-wrenching comedy billed as “A kids’ play for adults,” MilkMilkLemonade confronts taboo topics such as sex between gay 11-year-old-boys and bullying.
Remaining shows are at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, March 20-22.
According to playwright Joshua Conkel’s website, MilkMilkLemomade is “about Emory, an 11-year-old boy who lives on a farm with his Nanna, and a depressed chicken named Linda, who is about to be processed. Nanna wishes Emory would get his head out of the clouds, stop choreographing ribbon stick dance numbers, and be more like Elliot, the boy down the road with a penchant for burning things. Emory and Elliot have a relationship — just not one Nanna would expect or approve of. With absurd, poignant dialog and brutal characterizations, MilkMilkLemonade is a bitterly funny exploration of gender, sexuality, life, death and the human body.”
MilkMilkLemonade, written by Conkel and directed by Mike Werckle, was originally developed in Chicago and performed off Broadway in 2009. This new play continues The West Side Show Room’s commitment to producing exciting fringe theater in downtown Rockford.
TimeOut New York says MilkMilkLemonade is “unafraid to go for the belly: They want you laughing, nauseated, or both. It’s proof of how desperately comedy needs audacity: Here, as on your average chicken farm, only the plucky survive.”
The cast includes Carolyn Cadigan as the narrator, “Lady in a Leotard.” Cadigan is the former drama instructor at Keith Country Day School and co-founder of Rockford’s celebrated Artists’ Ensemble Theater. Trained in theater at the University of Massachusetts, Cadigan brings a wealth of experience, including a long residency at the renowned Lamb’s Players Theatre in San Diego. Her most recent role was “Oatsie Carewe” in The West Side Show Room’s recent production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.
Werckle appears again in ridiculous drag, this time as Linda, a 7-foot-tall chicken who dreams of impersonating Andrew Dice Clay. Werckle last appeared as La Condesa in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.
Rosemary Million, a veteran of many Pec Playhouse productions, plays Nanna, Emory’s chain-smoking grandmother. Rosemary has recently been seen as Sister Aloyisius in Doubt and Gertie in Fuddy Meers, both at Pec Playhouse.
The rest of the cast includes Rockford College alum Andrew Harth as Emory and Colton Thompson as Elliot.
The West Side Show Room was founded by a diverse group of theater artists who are committed to bringing exciting, locally-produced theater back to downtown Rockford. MilkMilkLemonade is their second show.
From the March 19-25, 2014, issue