Youngblood Theatre Company isn’t like other Milwaukee theater companies. It does odd plays, with people who don’t talk normally, in bizarre situations; it performs in odd places, like neglected industrial sites, the basement of a costume shop, a barn, an unused hospital wing, and a pool room at Landmark Lanes. Lately, instead of advertising a season, Youngblood just sends out an email with the “what,” “where,” and “when” of its next show. Reviewers freely toss words like ”superb,” “jaw-dropping,” and “thrilling” in the company’s general direction. Veteran critic Damien Jaques called the Youngblood members his “current stage heroes.”
They do seem like superheroes, each with their own special power: Michael Cotey is Mr. Fantastic, brainy and versatile; Tess Cinpinski can vanish into the subtlest of roles; Benjamin Wilson burns through mountains of scripts, separating the gold from the crap; Andrew Voss smashes through audiences’ defenses with his unreserved emotional commitment. And Rich Gillard? He’s good at playing villains. And there’s no question that Youngblood shows get their consistent polish from the long-term collaborations of designer Evan Crain and lighting wizards Ross Zentner and Jason Fassl. Youngblood does artisanal theater, like lovingly cooked vegan dinners: rich, nourishing, and much tastier than you’d expect. Now, before a fall launch party Sept. 9 at Transfer, it seems time to look back on the company’s respectable body of work.
Read the full article at the A.V. Club Milwaukee.