Crowding the stage
An arts avalanche hits Milwaukee this week, with an epic pileup of music, dance and theater on Sept. 28.
Take a deep breath and plunge into the fall arts season.
The Milwaukee Rep presents The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall. Hall imagines Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Memphis hotel room the night before his assassination, after his final, prophetic speech. The two characters are King and a young hotel maid. The Mountaintop tackles the mind of a historic figure with smart, humorous, and moving dialogue. Winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, this production runs Sept. 26 through Nov. 4. Visit the Rep’s website for showtimes and tickets ($25-$40), or call 414-224-9490.
Shorter days, longer nights; we’re getting into Edgar Allen Poe season. Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death, adapted by Bill Jackson, will come to life on stage at Carte Blanche Studios Sept. 28 through Oct. 7. Prince Prospero throws a party in rooms sealed off from the world to avoid the Red Death plague. Then a mysterious and dangerous stranger appears… Tickets are $20 online, showtimes listed.
Mark Anderson likes to talk, and he’s good at it. The actor/director/playwright first made a name for himself with the art of the monologue, and he will return to it in Theatre Gigante’s Me, You, Art and Trout. At 8 p.m. Sept. 27 through 29, Anderson will address a slew of topics as he integrates expansive theories with the trials of daily life at UWM Kenilworth Studio 508. Tickets are $26.50, $21.50 seniors, and $15 students. Available online, or call 414 229-4308.
Catch the world premiere of Broken and Entered from the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, by Kurt McGinnis Brown. Susan Fete directs. The play tells the story of brothers Wally and Vern, who move back to their inner city family home and burglarize an affluent neighborhood to survive. The brothers must reexamine their concept of race and tackle childhood demons, especially when Wally falls for a wealthy neighbor named Jamilia. The show runs Sept. 26—Oct. 14, with a pay-what-you-can performance at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. Full schedule and tickets online or call 414-291-7800
The Milwaukee premiere of Mike Lew’s Microcrisis comes to Next Act Theatre Sept. 27. The sharp and witty satire features a financier who sets his sights on enormous wealth. Edward Morgan directs the show, which runs through Oct. 14. Ticket prices vary, view schedule here and call 414 278-0765.
Theatrical Tendencies opens [title of show], described as “a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical.” The show — TT’s first after a hiatus that began last spring — runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 28 through Oct. 13 at the Soulstice Theatre space, 3770 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Tickets are $20 online or at the door.
Experience Russia’s powerful and haunting music at Russian Fireworks! from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Guest conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing will lead the MSO in music from Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Borodin. Explore the in-depth program notes. Concerts are at Uihlein Hall at 8 p.m. Sept. 28 & 29, and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, Friday through Sunday . Tickets are $22 to $102 online or at 414 291-7605.
For its first show of the season, Milwaukee Opera Theatre presents Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in the unique setting of Milwaukee classrooms. Adapted from Voltaire, the performance follows cousin Candide through an array of tragicomic adventures in the setting of “intimate opera.” Candide will surround audiences seated in desks and chairs. All four shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at UW—Parkside, Oct. 3 at Pius XI High School, Oct. 5 at UW—Milwaukee, and Oct. 6 at Carroll University. Maps and general information at MOT website. Tickets are $20, reserved seating $25, students and seniors $15. Seating is limited and tickets will not be sold at the door. Purchase online or call 1-800-838-3006.
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center will present the Tempest Brass Quintet 2 p.m. Sept. 30, with Don Sipe and Richard T. Leister on trumpet, Kristi Crago on horn, Jonathan Winkle on trombone and Mark Hoelscher on bass trombone. They’ll play music by Giovanni Gabrieli, J. S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, Victor Ewald, and Eric Ewazen. Full program here. Tickets are $27 online or at 262 781-9520.
Also at the Wilson Center: A night of acoustic talent from Shawn Colvin and Leo Kottke. Colvin has released nine albums and remains a stand-out singer-songwriter talent, perhaps best known for her hit “Sunny Came Home.” Kottke, a legend of American finger-style guitar, cut his first record in 1971. The two will join forces 8 p.m. Sept. 29. Tickets are $33, $53, and $63, and are selling fast. Purchase online or call 262 781-9520.
Danceworks Performance Co. collaborates with The Show, a collective of Milwaukee based comedic actors, in What’s So Funny? Sept. 28—Oct. 13 at Danceworks Studio Theatre. It features dancers acting, actors dancing, and everyone singing, searching for life’s answers. Intended for mature audiences. Shows are at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with one Thursday show at 8:30 p.m., Oct. 4. Tickets are $22, reserved seating $28, students/seniors $16. Purchase here or call 414-277-8480.
In the mood for something different? Head to the Riverside Theater 7 p.m. Sept. 29 for Radiolab Live: In the Dark for a remarkable visual experience. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwic will be joined by Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall, dance group Pilobolus, and musician Thao Nguyen. WNYC’s Radiolab presents scientific and philosophical concepts in an accessible manner, with a distinctive audio style. It is considered one of the most innovative radio shows being produced. Radiolab usually relies on the audience to create images from the spoken word, but the images will come to life at the Riverside with truly original style from Radiolab’s creators. Tickets are $25, $35, and $45 online or at 414-286-3663.
Sept. 26 at Lynden Sculpture Garden marks the end of Roy Staab’s exhibition and the start of Colombe Marcasiano’s run as artist-in-residence. Staab, the Milwaukee Arts Board’s 2012 Artist of the Year, creates ephemeral works that fit into the natural world. Staab has been invited to create installations around the world, but several reside in Milwaukee, his home base. Marcasiano lives and works in Paris, but she will be the first artist offered a month-long residency at Lynden. Marcasiano specializes in temporary work made from short-lived materials. She will workshop continuously, and a temporary outdoor piece will be unveiled in a reception Oct. 28.
The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum expands the idea of a garden in its Garden of Curious Delights. The exhibition features seven contemporary artists. The Villa’s interior will house the garden, in an outside-in shift, from Sept. 27 through Jan. 13, with an opening reception 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, $3 seniors/military/students, free for members and children 12 and under. More info and directions available here.
It’s that time of year again: The Milwaukee Film Festival starts this Thursday, Sept. 27, with Starbuck, a Canadian tale about a man who discovers his many, many sperm donations in his youth have netted him over 500 children – dozens of whom want to meet him. That film, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre, is only the first screening, though; for the remainder, check out our extensive MFF guides, covering the films premiering both in the first weekend and in the remainder of October. Also, don’t forget about the opening night party, at Discovery World after the screening of Starbuck, starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, $15 with an opening night ticket or for Milwaukee Film members and free with a festival pass. For more information visit the MFF website.
Peter Navarro’s newest documentary Death by China, explores US-China trade relationship and the export of US manufacturing jobs. It will premiere at the newly opened Rosebud Theatre Sept. 27. The film is at 6:45 p.m. with a discussion with Navarro to follow. Additional showtimes Sept. 29 & 30 at noon; tickets $7.
Explore the artsy side of Bay View Sept. 28 at Bay View Gallery Night. Over 35 local businesses will showcase artists. Many will provide drinks, food, music and demos. Stop by Alterra’s newest location, where the parking lot will host over 25 local artists and craftspeople (and yours truly). Check out the full list of participating businesses here to plan your art tour of trendy Bayview. Most events run from about 5 to 9 p.m.
It’s Wisconsin’s favorite beer season. Celebrate by taking the South Side Brewing History Tour. In conjunction with Discovery World’s Distant Mirror Adult Program, Urban Archaeology Expedition: Legacies of Milwaukee Brewing will lead a full day of Milwaukee brewing history. Tickets are $85, $75 for members. Fee includes transportation, beer samples, lunch, and more. The expedition will land at historic brewery buildings and saloons, as well as currently operating breweries. Milwaukee Brewing Co. hosts lunch and a special tour. Call 414-765-8609 for more info and register for tickets here.
This weekend is your last chance to celebrate Oktoberfest at Heidelberg Park. The Bavarian Soccer Club presents this 60-year Wisconsin tradition at the site of the old Bavarian Inn, along the Milwaukee River. Grab a beer, get your fill of German eats, enjoy some yodeling, and polka the night away. The party runs 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 28 and 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sept 29. Tickets are $4 in advance or $5 at the gate.
The Milwaukee Art Museum welcomes artist Dan Holland from Pixar Animation Studios for The Creative Process at Pixar. Learn firsthand how Pixar’s award-winning films are produced. The lecture begins at 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 27 in the Lubar Auditorium. Free with museum admission.
Boulevard Theatre: Life (x) Three, through Oct. 14
Off The Wall Theatre: A Man Like Hong Kong, through Sept. 30
Sunset Playhouse: Stage Door, through Sept. 30
Don’t miss anything! Bookmark our comprehensive TCD Guide to the 2012-13 Season. Sponsored by the Florentine Opera.