It’s a perfect time to poke yonder heads out of the hovel now that the sun sets at 8 p.m. Go out for a night of great theater, a concert or art! Here’s a look at some of this week’s highlights:
Meanwhile Improv Comedy, Alchemist Theatre, 5/15
Meanwhile features long form improv in the mold of the Armando Diaz experience that features special guests giving personal monologues used as inspiration for the resulting scenes. After intermission, Meanwhile again takes an audience suggestion and creates more scenes of comedy. Contact 414.426.4169 or Alchemist Theatre’s website.
Steven Wright, Pabst Theater, 5/14
The dry wit of this deadpan comedian/universal observer always makes for a night of laughs and wonder. Wright is touring during the tour of a Grammy-nominated CD called I Still Have a Pony. Contact 414.286.3663 or see Pabst’s webpage.
Jimmy Fallon, Pabst Theater, 5/16
Milwaukee wasn’t expecting to see the SNL alum and newly minted late-night talk show host until June, but for some reason NBC decided to get him out among the people earlier. Attention Derby fans and participants: Fallon has a role in pal Drew Barrymore’s Whip It! Maybe he’ll dish about the film. Contact 414.286.3663 or Pabst Theater.
Ko-Thi Dance Company’s 40th Anniversary Concert: Reflections, UWM Peck School of the Arts, 5/15 7:30 p.m.
The storied Milwaukee dance company will revise some of its classic works with a premiere work by the founder, Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker and Ensemble choreographers, Valencia Turner (Associate Artistic Director) and D’Angelo Boston (Artistic Director – Ton Ko-Thi Children’s Ensemble). Featured in this production will be the ever exciting and vibrant Children’s Ensemble. Contact 414.229.4308 or see the Ko-Thi page.
Live and Kicking, the Milwaukee Ballet at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 5/14-17
The main attraction of this three-part dance staging is the highly publicized repeat performance of 2007’s Common People — inspired by the William Shatner and Ben Folds cover of the famous Pulp song. It was brought back in part because of the upcoming tour of William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet, a documentary film which previewed to a select number last week at the Oriental. But the other two parts, Gustav’s Rooster choreographed by San Francisco Ballet choreographer Val Caniparoli and a world premiere, Plurabelle’s to be (Heliotropes-turning towards the sun) by Canadian choreographer Mark Godden, hailed for “lofty moral and aesthetic striving and down-to-earth humor fused in unlikely and satisfying ways,” will only explode the showcase’s abstract bent. Contact: 414.902.2103 or see the event’s page.
RSVP Productions presents REGRETS ONLY!, Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 5/14
A comedy by playwright Paul Rudnick that covers gay marriage issues, directed by Raymond Bradford. Mark Hagen stars as a New York fashion designer who recently lost his life partner. Colleen Hart and Jack Haar co-star as his best friends. Sally Marks plays the comical maid. Call 414.272.5694 or contact www.rsvptheater.com
The ongoing 25-year project continues this weekend. The festival gives playwrights a chance to see their work move from the paper to the stage. Working together, a playwright, director, cast, and crew develop and polish scripts for presentation to an audience over the course of two weekends. Selections include Three Little Words by Ryan McDaniel, Cliff Dwelling by Kaitlin Dorsey, One Step Braver by Nick Schweitzer, The Monster in the Basement by Rand Higbee and The Service by Mike Willis. Contact 414.426.4169 or The VPW’s webpage for this event.
Bad Soviet Habits present Decaffeinated Tragedy, MOCT Lounge, 5/15-16
Kurt Hartwig’s retrospective solo show and touring visual art exhibit about a passed friend explores the failure of memory and friendship. Immediately following the Milwaukee performances, the show travels to the Prague Fringe Festival. Milwaukee’s show will be a free event, with donations being accepted. Contact Kurt Hartwig for more information: 414.807.9394
2nd Annual Theatre/Schmeatre with the Over Our Head Players, Sixth Street Theatre in Racine, 5/15
An original sketch and a multimedia evening of short, unrelated original scripted comedies. In the tradition of Second City, OOHPs’ sketches promise lots of silliness and satire. In addition, every performance will feature live performances by some of the area’s finest musicians. Due to its popularity, Theatre/Schmeatre added a late night show on Fridays. Reservations are available through the box office, 262.632.6802 or see Sixth Street Theatre’s site.
Cherry Picking Apple Blossoms, David Greenberger and Paul Cebar at Pabst Theater, 5/13
This promises to be the musical event of the week. Combining spoken word culled from conversations with elderly residents from Milwaukee and using Paul Cebar’s full range of musical abilities, “ultimately, Greenberger and Cebar’s goal is to expose the richness of the whole person through humor and intelligence, with genuine tenderness.” Contact 414.286.3663 or visit the specific Pabst page.
A Spring Pajama Jamboree, Vogel Hall, 5/13
Festival City Symphony will welcome the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra at this end-of-season Pajama Jamboree. Festival City Symphony will perform Rossini’s Overture to Barber of Seville, Sayre’s arrangement of Broadway Show Stoppers, as well as Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever with audience conductors.
The series is geared to children and their families. Each concert has narration and music selections that are lively, tell a story, and/or demonstrate the colors of the orchestra. Dress is casual. Pajamas, teddy bears, and blankets are welcome for the youngest audience members, especially for a spot on the floor directly in front of the orchestra. Conventional seating is also available. Sometimes audience members even get to conduct! Contact 414.963.9067 or see Festival City’s schedule page.
Out the Door and Innuendo, SideNotes Cabaret Series at Sunset Playhouse, 5/14
Elm Grove’s Playhouse ends this season’s set with a new show by musicians Leslie Fitzwater and Paula Foley Tillen who offer “songs that say what they mean by not meaning what they say.” Contact 262.782.4430 or visit the Sunset Playhouse website.
Water, Concord Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s EvangelicalLutheranChurch, 5/15
From the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, these four classical “elements” have deeply influenced Western thought and culture. For the 2008 -2009 season, each concert has featured one of these elements as a theme. From the Baroque to the 20th century, this final concert in the series will view our most precious element through the lens of both past and present. Featuring Repertoire Wassermusik by Georg Philipp Telemann, selections from Water Music, by Georg Friedrich Handel, Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers and Mississippi Suite by Ferde Grofe. Call 414-628-6018 for more details or the Concord’s website.
Future Shock, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 5/14
Hear some of the Conservatory’s youngest Faculty members play instrumental music infused with beat machines, loop pedals, and other electronics. The innovative musicians will create an eclectic blend of hip hop grooves and jazz improvisation. “No instrument will be spared in this ground-breaking concert!” Contact: 414.276.5760 or one member’s MySpace page specifically for details.
Ed is Good: New sculptures and quilts by Edward Larson, Tory Folliard Gallery, 5/15
Folk artist Edward Larson creates colorful sculptures from recycled materials — fruit crates, scrap metals, found wood — that are delightful, and sometimes a little dark, in their child-like simplicity. This exhibition will also include a selection of the artist’s new narrative and historical quilts. 414-273-7311 or toryfolliard.com for more info.
This one-night-only event is part of MAM’s crazy-successful MAM After Dark series. Come for food and drink, great music from 88.9 RadioMilwaukee, and the photo booth; stay for a live breakdancing competition, DIY stencils at the make-and-take studio, a tour of Class Pictures with Curator of Photographs Lisa Hostetler and the results of MAM/Decider’s urban photography challenge. 5 pm – midnight.
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M.A. Graduate Thesis Exhibition II, Cardinal Stritch, 5/16
See the second installation of new work in two- and three-dimensions by Cardinal Stritch graduate students this week. The show closes May 22. Northwestern Mutual Art Gallery, 414-410-4105 or stritch.edu for more info.
For venue, tickets, showtimes and more, visit Footlights Milwaukee online.