Where history and art collide
MAM looks 125 years back, MSO's tribute to doo-wop, Renaissance Theaterworks fictionalizes an outsider artist, and the brand new Museum of Wisconsin Art.
Chick Corea and Bela Fleck will grace the stage at the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall on Tuesday night. With 34 Grammy Awards between the two, the musical living legends will be a force to be reckoned with, presenting a night of innovative compositions. Feeling adventurous? Stop in before the show at 7:00 p.m. for a North Coast Brewery craft beer tasting. Tickets for the April 2 performance are $35 to $100 and are available online or at the box office: 414-273-7206.
Unruly Music kicks off its three-day Spring 2013 Festival this weekend. Thursday features Greg Beyer, Mabel Kwan, and Chris Wild playing the music of Cambodian composer Chinary Ung. Friday’s performance is a large-ensemble improvisation summit featuring the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra, the TC-11 Orchestra, and Great Lakes Improvising Orchestra, all led by Hal Rammell. Saturday’s installment features the Spektral Quartet performing works composed by UWM faculty and students. All performances will take place at the Marcus Center’s Vogel Hall, and tickets are $5 to $12. More information is available via PSOA’s ticketing site.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents a fun-filled tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons this Friday at Uihlein Hall, aptly titled Oh What A Night! The celebration will reminisce some of their doo-wop hits as well as their later pop harmonies, and will feature other 1960s Billboard hits such as “Mack The Knife,” “It’s Not Unusual,” “Hit The Road Jack,” and “Strangers in the Night.” Tickets are $22 to $102, and are available online or at the box office: 414-291-7605.
Mason Jennings with special guest Charlie Mars will visit Turner Hall Ballroom this Friday, April 5. The 38-year-old’s quiet historical anthems, love songs, and uplifting political musings have entertained audiences sine 1997, and will likely pack the house in Milwaukee. Tickets are available online for $18.50 or at the Pabst box office: 414-286-3205.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music hosts their resident string ensemble, the Philomusica String Quartet, on Monday, April 8th at the Helen Bader Concert Hall. The night will also include guest Susan Babini, the principal cellist at the MSO. Expect to hear chamber pieces by Schubert, Part, and Beethoven. Tickets are $22 and are available online or by phone: 414-276-5760.
Alverno Presents hosts the Gerald Clayton Trio this Friday, April 5 at the Todd Wehr Concert Hall. The future jazz legend has performed extensively nationwide and is a prodigal keyboard player with a lot of gusto. Clayton’s brilliant new style is sure to uplift any instrumental enthusiast at a mere $25 per ticket. For more information or to purchase a seat, visit his info page at Alverno Presents.
Next Act Theatre opens Grace on April 4. The play is a refreshing and provocative commentary about religion based around an Evangelical couple, a car accident survivor, and an exterminator in a Florida apartment building. The show runs through April 28th. Tickets are $25-35 and are available online or at the box office: 414-278-0765.
Theatrical Tendencies presents The Normal Heart, beginning April 5 at the Soulstice Theatre in St. Francis. The show focuses on a man afflicted with AIDS and stresses the political connotations and public indifference to the plague during the 1980s. The eye-opening drama by Larry Kramer still resonates the seriousness of the issue several decades later. Tickets are $10 $20 and are available online. The show runs through April 20.
Renaissance Theaterworks wraps up its 20th season with The Road To Mecca beginning on Friday, April 5 at the Studio Theatre (158 N. Broadway). The play is based on the work of outsider artist Helen Martins, who created mosaics and backyard sculptures in a remote region of apartheid South Africa, and portrays her fight to remain free amongst conservative figureheads who try to force her into a retirement home. Tickets are $36 and are available online or via the box office at 414-291-7800.
Pink Banana Theatre will co-sponsor local initiative V-Day Milwaukee’s production of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, a collection of monologues that exposes and denounces violence. The series, edited by Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle, will be performed at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. Performances are April 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7 at 2 p.m.; tickets are $20, $15 students/seniors and can be bought online.
DanceCircus presents LIGHTshadow April 6-7 at DanceWorks Studio Theater (1661 N. Water St.). The performance will integrate shadow puppets, mirroring forms, symmetry, elaborate costumes, and of course, light and shadow to create a uniquely vivid experience for the audience. Tickets are $15 to $25 and are available online or via the box office at 414-277-8480.
The Milwaukee Art Museum will open its 125th Anniversary Celebration on April 6th by presenting three new exhibitions to honor Frederick Layton’s original Layton Art Gallery, opened in April of 1888. The exhibitions will feature the growth of the museum from its beginning, including local media responses, architectural achievements, and community involvement. The exhibitions will run though August 10, and are free with regular museum admission. More information is available on MAM’s website.
Also of interest this week at MAM: the Veterans Book Project: Objects for Deployment will be on display from April 4 until September 2 in the Pieper Gallery. The project has been in production since 2006 under the guidance of artist Monica Haller, who guides veterans to convey their combat memories in book form using photographs, writing, and other tokens as a form of therapy and expression to those who have never experienced the personal impact of war. This installation to the library includes five local artists’ experiences, all of which are available in on-demand print form. More information is available on the bookmaker’s site.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend (205 Veterans Ave.) will unveil 3 shows this Saturday, April 6th to celebrate the grand opening of their NEW building – Antifragile: Contemporary Glass, Reginald Baylor: Repetitive Patterns, and the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association show. The up-and-coming museum boasts an archive of the most extensive collection of historic and contemporary Wisconsin art. For hours and admission information, visit MWA’s website.
Broadminded is at it again this Friday and Saturday with Surprise! at Tenth Street Theatre (628 N. 10th St.). The super-secret sketch comedy show is presented by Milwaukee Comedy and will likely include explorations of satire, song and dance, multimedia enhancement, and a stage full of smart ladies being gut-bustingly hilarious. The show runs two weekends, and tickets are available online or at the door for $10. For more information, check out Broadminded’s website.
Hotel Foster (2028 E. North Ave.) will dedicate an evening to the history of gig posters with a poster sale, film screening, and musical performance all in one night. The documentary Just Like Being There will be shown from 7:30-9 p.m. on Thursday April 4, followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director Scout Shannon. The night will be sent off by a performance by Maritime. Tickets are $10-20 in advance or $15-25 at the door.