Matthew Reddin
On Stage 4/24

Tributes and debuts close out April

By - Apr 24th, 2012 04:00 am
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When "La mer" debuted in 1905, it was originally ill-received, but since it has become an integral part of Debussy's canon.

Claude Debussy’s La mer (“The Sea), a series of three “symphonic sketches,” one of the composer’s most enduring works, still influences music today. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will prove why this weekend, at an Edo de Waart-directed series of concerts centered around the sketches. Also on the program is Debussy-influenced Oliver Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubliées (“The Forgotten Offerings”) and Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony. Performances are Friday at 11:15 a.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $102, and can be ordered at (414) 291-7605 or the MSO box office.

Musical audiences are used to percussion being the spine that holds up pieces or ornamentation that touches it up. In Things That Go Ding!, premiering Friday at the Skylight Music Theatre, Michael “Ding” Lorenz breaks that perception. He will pull out everything from xylophones to taxi horns to put percussion at center stage. He, with collaborators Ray Jivoff and musical director Jamie Johns, has performed pieces of the show before, at a Skylight open house and a free Skylight Cabaret, but this Things that Go Ding! has been expanded to a full-length show. The production runs April 27 through May 6, with most shows at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m.; tickets are $35.50. Call (414) 291-7800 or visit the Skylight box office to order.

Festival City Symphony concludes its season with A Musical Grand Tour, a journey across the musical globe. Selections include Mendelssohn’s Scottish-themed Hebrides Overture, French transplant Frederick Delius’s A Walk Through Paradise Garden, American Howard Hanson’s Romantic Symphony and Venetian Benedetto Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in C minor, featuring Festival City’s principal oboist, Bonnie Cohen. The concert begins at 3 p.m. April 29, at the Pabst Theatre. Tickets are $14, $8 for children, students and seniors; call (414) 286-3205 to order.

The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra is opening auditions for next year this week, from Wednesday, April 25 to Sunday, April 29, at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St. Students interested in auditioning should call (414) 267-2912 to make an appointment; the program is open to string players ages 8 to 18 and other instrumentalists entering grades 6 to 12 in the fall. Visit the MYSO website for more information. Also note the MYSO has an honors recital this weekend, on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the MYAC.


"Want or Need" celebrates 15 years of Danceworks performances. Photo credit Dan Bishop.

For 15 years, Danceworks has been a piece of the Milwaukee artistic community. Danceworks Performance Company’s last show of the season, Want or Need, celebrates both that history and the future before them. The show is billed as a reflective look at the human emotions expressed through dance, and will feature performances from the entire company. Concerts run April 27 to May 6, with shows at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (May 4), 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20, $15 for students/seniors and $25 for reserved seating; call (414) 277-8480 or visit the Danceworks website to order.


The real and virtual world blur together in Youngblood's "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom." Photo credit Russ Zentner.

This weekend, Youngblood Theatre opens Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, their second show of the season. Don’t think there’s a pair of prequels you need to catch up on, though; the title refers to a bloody video game about kids escaping a zombie-infested suburb. Things get messy when reality and virtual fantasy begin to blur. Neighborhood runs April 27 to May 12, with all shows at 8 p.m. In typical Youngblood style, the company will stage the piece in the basement of Miller and Campbell Costume Services in Walker’s Point, 907 S. 1st St. Tickets are $15 and can be ordered at the online box office.

"You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up" is based on the memoir of comedian couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn. Photo credit Izik Mishan.

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, an adaptation of the memoir by real-life comedians and spouses Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, comes to the Marcus Center this weekend. The two comedians (from Dinner and a Movie and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, respectively) have radically different personalities, which makes their relationship more tumultuous than average. On the other hand, they’re comics — they can always find a way to look back and make conflict funny. The show runs April 26 to 29, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $38 to $42, and can be ordered at (414) 273-7206 or the Marcus Center box office.

Alchemist Theatre and Project Empty Space present In Love … Yet Again, a “romantic-depressive musical comedy” by Jason Powell. Powell’s done a number of shows on the Alchemist stage, including Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s Fortuna the Time Binder vs.The Schoolgirls of Doom and Invader? I Hardly Know Her! This one focuses on a man deducing the answer to the riddle of love. Performances run April 26 to May 5, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $12 online and $15 at the door; visit the Alchemist box office to order.

The South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center brings the Improvised Shakespeare Company to town Friday. The company crafts new Elizabethan plays on-the-spot, with only a title suggested by the audience for help. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $30, with discounted prices for students and seniors. Call (414) 766-5049 or visit the SMPAC box office to order.

Visual Art

Face jugs, made of kaolin, a sacred material in West Africa, were multipurpose objects made by slaves in the late 19th century. Photo credit Gavin Ashworth.

The Milwaukee Art Museum opens an exhibit on the African-American pottery genre of face jugs in its Decorative Arts Gallery Thursday. Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th-Century South Carolina, is dedicated to the eponymous artworks, which peaked among slaves in the second half of the 19th century as both utilitarian vessels and spiritual, ritualistic objects. The exhibition, presented by the Chipstone Foundation, runs through Aug. 5. For more information, visit the MAM website.

Special Events

Tom Crawford, the Terminal Milwaukeean, concludes his yearlong storytelling series with Ex Fabula at Alverno Presents Saturday. Photo credit Alverno Presents.

Normally, Milwaukee’s Ex Fabula hosts events where anyone can get up and talk. Terminal Milwaukee, hosted by Alverno Presents, isn’t like that. Instead, lifelong Milwaukeean Tom Crawford, WMSE radio station manager, will tell the concluding stories in his yearlong series, each segment focusing on a neighborhood he lived in. He won’t be alone, though; bagpipers, punk rockers, gospel singers and Milwaukee historian John Gurda will join him on the Alverno stage. The show is Saturday, April 28, at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. Call (414) 382-6044 or visit the Alverno box office to order.


Fireside Theatre: 9 to 5, through May 5

Milwaukee Rep: Othello, through May 6

Sunset Playhouse: Lend Me a Tenor, through May 6

Carte Blanche Studios: Little Shop of Horrors, through May 6

First Stage: Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly, through May 13

Milwaukee Rep: Always…Patsy Cline, through May 20 (EXTENDED)

Last Chance

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre: Bus Stop, through April 29

Next Act Theatre: One Timethrough April 29

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