The arts unite for Present Music’s “Water”
Present Music has a history of performing daring and inventive works. But for the opener to their 30th season, they may have outdone themselves, focusing on the simplest and most ubiquitous of elements: Water. While the centerpiece of the concert is the world premiere of a new piece by Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince, a frequent collaborator with Present Music. (Prior works with the ensemble include Arches, Far Variations and Istathenople, Present Music is also drawing in a variety of other performers to flesh out the concept and concert. More notably, the collection of groups — including Danceworks, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Vocal Arts Academy of Milwaukee, Cream City Chorus, Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre and UWM’s Department of Art and Design to add new, nuanced layers to the performance. The result: one of the most elaborate and potentially marvelous Present Music concert in recent memory — or perhaps of any Milwaukee concert in recent memory.
Water will be performed at the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall Saturday, August 27 at 7 p.m. The concert will begin outside along the river, move inside for the main concert by the Present Music ensemble, and return outside for an afterparty featuring Herman Astro, fire dancers and bubble artists. Admission is free, but all tickets have been allocated already. To get on the waiting list, visit Present Music’s website or call (414) 271-0711.
Also on the 27th, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music hosts Cuban pianist Ernán López Nussa at the Helen Bader Recital Hall. Nussa’s a classically trained pianist, but blends in the music of his native Havana to create his own breed of Latin jazz. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $25 each. For more information or to order tickets, call (414) 276-5760.
The story of Hamlet has been told and retold a near-infinite number of times, most famously by William Shakespeare. Bit Shakespeare’s version is a little long. Enter In My Mind’s Eye, by the recently formed Fools for Tragedy, an independent theater group with a focus on exploring classical texts. In My Mind’s Eye trims Shakespeare’s Hamlet down to less than two hours by cutting scenes that don’t directly relate to the main character. But it adds, too — splitting the Hamlet character into six distinct pieces/actors that reflect his fractured psyche. In the Fools for Tragedy’s production, Hamlet wields his madness like a rapier, and the play promises to be just as sharp and cutting. In My Mind’s Eye will run Aug. 25-27 at the Alchemist Theatre, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets must be reserved online, and the suggested donation at the door is $10, with proceeds benefiting Soulstice Theater.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, famous as a movie musical, opens live at the Fireside Theater on Thursday. The musical is based on the historic tale of the Rape of the Sabine Women, where Roman settlers abducted women from a neighboring tribe and offered them marriages within their civilization. Instead of Italy, though, the musical is based in the Rocky Mountains and centered on the seven brothers of the play’s title, who fall in love with and kidnap girls from the town below their mountain cabin. Their escapades may sound worrisome, but the play’s got a happy ending. The show runs through Oct. 23, with two shows a day Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and with Wednesday matinees. The complete calendar and ticket information can be found here.
Festival season’s not over over yet. Mexican Fiesta opens Friday, Aug. 26, and runs through Sunday at Summerfest grounds. Mariachi music, Mexican arts and crafts vendors, salsa dancing and, for the iron-stomached, a jalapeño eating contest. Tickets are $13 general admission, with pre-sale tickets available online or at local retailers for $11. For more information, visit their website.
American Players Theatre: Blithe Spirit, through Sept. 9
APT: The Cure at Troy, through Sept. 25
APT: Of Mice and Men, through Oct. 1