Brian Jacobson

Performance and Visual Art Openings April 22-29

By - Apr 21st, 2009 07:34 pm

This week’s new offerings include a night of comedy and trivia at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, a play offering an unusual look at waitressing, the return of Insurgent Theatre, the closing show for a storied quartet, and the short-run of a big national touring musical revue. Here are some openings and highlights …


Tomato Dodgeball, Cedarburg Cultural Center, 4/25
Tomato Dodgeball is back for another year of hilarity, hijinks and help for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. The Bella Lei Beauty Staff kick starts the evening with outrageous improv hairdos, massages, music and fun. Join in the trivia contest to win great prizes. Then get a slice of fresh gourmet pizza provided by Romano’s pizza and wash it down with a cold crafted brew from Silver Creek Brew Pub. McMann & Tate will then hit the stage to play some audience favorite improv games based on your suggestions. More information: 262.375.3676 or on the web.


The Wide Sky is Falling, Danceworks, 4/24 – 4/26

Falling in love, falling from grace, falling down stairs – all of these tumbles and more will be explored in this year’s Wide Sky Dance Project choreographed by Artistic Director Dani Kuepper. Life experience and fiction will be collected collaboratively from DPC and the participants of Danceworks Intergenerational Multi-Arts Project (IMAP) to fuel this athletically charged collection of dances that trip, topple and plunge through a range of human experience. More information: 414.277.8480 or


Disney High School Musical, Fireside Theater, 4/23

The Emmy Award-winning musical is coming to the venerable dinner theater in Fort Atkinson. The smash hit musical features a cast of talented young Broadway and regional performers.

The Fireside Theatre is a theatre-in-the-round with a square stage surrounded by five rows of main floor seating on two sides, nine rows of main floor seating on two sides and two rows of balcony seating on all four sides. Fine dining is provided and required with all shows. More information: 800.477.9505 or at

Born, Never Asked and The Untitled Conor Sullivan Life Story Project,  Marquette University’s Alternative Theatre Festival, 4/23 – 4/26
For more information:  414.288.7048 or online.

Grease, Falls Patio Players. 4/24
Rydell High’s spirited class of ’59; gum chewing, hubcap stealing, hot rod loving boys with D.A.’s and their wise cracking girls in bobby sox and pedal pushers — Falls Patio Players capture the look and sound of the 1950s in a rollicking musical. Songs recall the Buddy Holly hiccups, the Little Richard yodels and the Elvis Presley wiggles that made the music of the 50s a gas.

The Falls Patio Players have been entertaining people from Southeastern Wisconsin for 40 years. A not-for-profit community theatre company, they get involved with all different aspects of production from set building, costumes, lights, sounds and acting. More information: 262.255.8372 or online.

Ain’t Misbehavin’, Milwaukee Theatre, 4/24-4/25
This musical revue brings to life the world that the legendary Fats Waller lived in and largely represented: Harlem in the 1930’s – the Golden Age of places like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom, honky tonk dives along Lenox Avenue, rent parties, stride piano players and that new beat, swing. Featuring Ruben Studdard, Frenchie Davis, and Trenyce Cobbins. The national tour is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ain’t Misbehavin’ with the original director, Richard Maltby, Jr. More information: 414.276.4545 or online. Look Thursday for a special interview and preview of this show on ThirdCoast Digest.

BEZERK!!!, Alchemist Theater, 4/26
Twenty four-hour theatre has become a popular medium for many theatre companies. Alamo Basement and Insurgent Theatre collaborate to perform various non-traditional stagings, and decided they wanted more of a challenge. Less time! More restrictions! More insanity! The result of various “experimentations” is BERZERK!!!, the monthly show that combines time limits with highly restricted writing guidelines, leading to evenings of extremely energizing and often very bizarre theatre.

This month, watch as BERZERK!!! moves into its next phase operation: Competitive Relay Race Theatre! Three groups of writers will compete against each other, writing one-act plays that are judged by YOU. 4 v. 2 v. 1 head-to-head battle royale, with each team having different time restrictions.

For more information, visit Insurgent Theatre online.

Stations Of The Cross, Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theater, 4/29
Boulevard closes its 23rd season by staging the premiere of local Milwaukee playwright and actress Beth Monhollen’s comedy of waitressing. As an actress, Monhollen has appeared with many companies in Milwaukee (Late-Night Theatre X, Inertia Ensemble) and has consistently won accolades for her work.

A founding member of Milwaukee’s WIND-UP DOLLS THEATRE (an all-women improvisational-based theatre company), Monhollen has performed countless times with the feminist ensemble as well as creating many of its pieces.  This production marks Ms. Monhollen’s writing debut with the Boulevard.

Stations of the Cross covers the many comic and not-so-comic aspects of waiting tables through a series of monologues which mirror Jesus’ travails of his stations. playwright Monhollen pulls aside the apron to reveal people behind the name-tag.  She covers issues of harassment, working conditions and the unique stress of “hospitality” with adroit humor and uncanny humanity. More information:  414.744.5757 or online.

Theatre Lab/Works Series: Kenilworth Unlocked, UWM Theatre, 4/29
The first in an ongoing series spotlighting works written, directed and performed by UWM Theatre students, Kenilworth Unlocked is a site specific performance that takes the audience on a tour of the building’s history and architecture with a special focus on the relationship between security and creativity. Playwriting students Sara Mosey, Ashley Rolfe and Katie Simon wrote the script and polished it in collaboration with dramaturgy students Julie Voigts and Ryan Antross, directing students Dennis Johnson, Luke Erickson, Lillian Tilson, and David Rothrock, and an array of student actors. More information: 414.229.4308 or online.


Chamber Music Milwaukee presents the Asbury Brass Quintet, Peck School of the Arts, 4/23
This season will conclude by drawing on accomplished performers of the Peck School’s Department of Music and guests for a fresh look at familiar works and to explore rarely performed music in a wide range of instrumental combinations.  This will be the first time that the series has presented an entire program by a guest ensemble, but the fact that two music faculty members, Kevin Hartman and Gregory Flint, are members of Asbury made the choice a natural one. The Asbury Brass Quintet has not performed in Milwaukee in over a decade. Their concert will include works by Witold Lutoslawski, Paul Hindemith, Ivan Jevtić, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and others.

Over the years, each of the musicians in the quintet have moved in different professional directions, while holding onto their Chicago brass-playing roots and their love of chamber music. “I wouldn’t want to call it a reunion tour,” notes Greg Flint, “but five illustrious and world-class brass players make up the quintet, and we will be performing a concert of some of our favorite chamber music repertoire.”

More information: 414.229.4308 or online.

Rich and Mellow, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, 4/24

Music that’s deep and nourishing, full of color, light, and powerful emotion. Hints of sadness come and go, especially in the concerto. But the symphony ends with joyful, sunlit triumph. Featuring Andreas Delfs as conductor and Ingrid Fliter on piano. Pieces include Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor. More information: 414.273.7206  or online.

WE SIX, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, 4/23
The resident jazz sextet of the Conservatory performs a concert in the intimate club setting of the Wilson Center’s Dawes Theater. These Conservatory faculty members will be explore the great straight-ahead jazz tradition, performing original music and classic standards with their own distinctive sound.  Concert Sponsor: The Wilson Family Foundation. More information: 414.276.5760 or online.

UWM Fine Arts Quartet, Peck School of the Arts, 4/26
Members are artists-in-residence at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts, concluding its 2008-2009 season. The concert is preceded by an informal talk by Dr. Timothy Noonan beginning at 2:15 pm in Room 250, across from the concert hall. Violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Chauncey Patterson and cellist Wolfgang Laufer will perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op.110 (1960) and Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 (“American”). Boico and Laufer will be joined by guest pianist Elena Abend for Haydn’s Trio No.25 in G Major Hob.XV:25 (“Gypsy”). More information: 414.229.4308 or online.

On Your Mark, Festival City Symphony at the Pabst Theater, 4/26
“Symphony Sundays – Classical Music for All Ages” is a concert series that makes classical music accessible to everyone including single adults, couples, seniors, music students, families, and children. Conductor Monte Perkins will offer descriptive program information from the podium.

Concert ticket prices are kept low because of the generosity of sponsors. Children who arrive 15 minutes early are invited to participate in Children’s Program Notes, a pre-concert group activity and orientation, presented by Music Educator Jayne Perkins, which introduces the music they are about to hear to increase their understanding and enjoyment. More information: 414.963.9067 or online.

Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets: Dry Clean Only, Sunset Playhouse, 4/27-4/28
Sunset’s Furlan Auditorium plays host to these fan favorites known for their smooth harmonies and wacky humor, had 2 smash sellout performances last year. So they’re coming back with clean jackets and a whole new production. Immediately following the first night’s performance, Sunset will host a hot hors d’oeuvres and wine reception for the first 90 patrons. Tickets sold on a first come, first served basis. More information: 262.782.4430 or Sunset’s website.


BIG BAND Wednesday: the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Cedarburg Cultural Center. 4/29
The World-Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra is the most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements. With its unique jazz sound, they are considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. The present group of musicians was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. Trombonist Larry O’Brien is the orchestra’s present musical director. More information: 262.375.3676 or online.

Visual Arts

dawoud-bey1Class Pictures: Dawoud Bey, Milwaukee Art Museum
Artist talk and book signing, 4/23

This intimate show features 40 portraits of American high school students by Dawoud Bey, a nationally renowned photographer whose work has been exhibited at the Modern Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery in London, among other major international institutions.

The show opened last Thursday amidst Gallery Night fever, so you’d be forgiven for missing it. But this week offers the very special chance to meet Dawoud Bey and listen in on a conversation about portraiture  with curator Lisa Hostetler. Refreshments will be served!

36th Annual Juried Show, UWM Union Art Gallery, 4/24

This spring event is one of the city’s most established events in Milwaukee’s student arts community. The show features dozens of works culled from hundreds of local submissions, juried by local arts professionals Darryl Jensen (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design), Melissa Musante (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network) and Gary Tuma (Walker’s Point Center for the Arts). This capstone show runs through May 22.

Bigger, Better More: The Art of Viola Frey, Racine Art Museum, 4/24

Keeping with RAM’s reputation as a national pillar of American folk art and craft, the Museum opens the first major retrospective of the work of Viola Frey since her death in 2004. Famous for her junk-art bricolage and larger-than-life ceramic figures, which teeter on the brinnk of abstraction and realism. After its debut in Racine, the exhibition will travel to the Gardiner Museum of Art in Toronto and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. See it here first!


For venue, tickets, showtimes and more, visit Footlights Milwaukee online.

Categories: Classical, Dance, Theater, VITAL

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