June 2 – 8
June is the definitive start of the off-season for stage, except if you’re the venerable and fun American Players Theater. Well, it’s for sure the time in which the city of festivals silences the horn section for some rowdier fare. Unless, of course, you’re in the French Horn section sending maestro Andreas Delfs off in style. At least the streets will be safe, unless you happened to be standing in the way of a couple hundred bicyclists this weekend who have a big heart for the arts community in southeastern Wisconsin.
Comedy of Errors, American Players Theater in Spring Green, opens 6/6 at 8 p.m.
Shakespeare in the summer, you say? Yes and a thousand times yes. This month long production begins its ‘Up the Hill’ run at the APT’s woodland stage with some great actors and direction by William Brown. It’s vaudeville and quip, a “search for identity. It is loss, and it is love, and it is trust. And just as you may howl, also may you cry.” For more information, call 608.588.7401 or visit A Play in the Woods.
Florentine at the Lake, Alterra on the Lake, 6/4 at 7:00 pm FREE
Fresh off the success of its 75th year presenting great opera in Milwaukee, the company takes the act down to the shores of Lake Michigan at everybody’s favorite Lake Drive coffeeshop. It’s the sixth year for this bi-monthly summer event; this enchanted evening brings sneak peeks for the coming season’s presentations of Tosca, Elmer Gantry, and more. Contact: 414.291.5700 or visit Florentine’s news blog for more info.
Broadway Currents: Recent Showstoppers from the Great White Way, Sunset Playhouse ‘s Furlan Auditorium, 6/8 – 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Join Sunset’s performance of hits from musicals like Rent, Avenue Q, Mamma Mia, and Wicked. Tickets are limited and sold on a first come, first served basis. Call 262.782.4430 or visit Sunset’s website for ticket information.
Paul Cebar, Chill on the Hill at Humboldt Park, 6/2 at 6:30 p.m. FREE
The great Milwaukee-bred and bled worldly musician is the perfect choice to officially kick off this south side summer series held on Tuesdays at Humboldt’s bandshell. Bring bug spray and beverages, and maybe an umbrella if the forecasts are true. Cebar and the Tomorrow Sound is presaged at 6 p.m. by the Drum Line. For more information, visit the Bay View Neighborhood Association’s website.
Bonifas Quintet with Steve Rodby, Jazz in the Park at Cathedral Square, 6/4 at 6:30 p.m. FREE
Ah, the much loved and maligned downtown Milwaukee event launches in great style with this clean, easy, retro, yet contemporary quartet headed up by the man who helped start the event in the first place. Bring wine and a blanket. Wait, don’t bring wine. At least be discrete until Madison and Milwaukee lawmakers can make up their mind. More info: East Town.com
Pieta Brown, Ozaukee Nights at Cedarburg Cultural Center, 6/4 at 8 p.m. FREE
Broke? Feeling down? Then take the opportunity to wallow in some sweet bluesy music with this accomplished folk and blues recording artist. For more information, call 262.375.3676
or visit the CCC’s website.
Grand Finale (Grandeur and Depth), Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at Uihlein Hall, 6/4 – 6/7
MSO’s Music Director and conductor finishes his tenth and last season with a few major cymbal crashes. The penultimate program in the 2008-09 series, Grandeur and Depth, has the musicians exploring Mozart and Brahms. “Mozart’s most majestic symphony has its lighter moments, too, flooding the world with radiant light. Brahms, in the first symphony he ever wrote, goes deep, and then builds to a rich, grand climax.”
On Friday evening, though, Delfs will lead the MSO for a special Classical Connections 7 p.m. show featuring Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. The Stevens Point Brewery will hold a pre-concert reception for ticket holders featuring food, beer samples, and jazz. After the concert, the InterContinental will give up dessert and drink specials. For more information, call 414.291.7605 or visit www.mso.org
Jerry Grillo, Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 6/5 at 9 p.m.
Mr. Grillo brings his fine classic jazz vocal presence for a special one-night only fundraising event on behalf of the Cream City Foundation. For more information and a look at the calendar, visit the MGAC site or call 414.383.3727
An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 6/5 with gala starting at 6 p.m.
It’s being billed as aonce-in-a-lifetime theatrical event with two legendary Tony Award®-winning stars and a VIP after-party with a chance to meet Patti or Mandy. Tickets for the party and performance start at $350. All proceeds to benefit Wilson Center arts and education programming. Call 262.781.9470 or visit the Wilson Center’s website.
UPAF’s Miller Lite Ride for the Arts, starting Marcus Center for the Arts and ending at Summerfest Grounds, 6/7 (lineup starts at 7 a.m.)
It’s the 29th year for this well-known event benefiting at least 16 major arts groups in Milwaukee and the surrounding counties (see later this week for a full article on this event). Online registering ends Saturday, but even if you don’t ride you can donate and join the party at Summerfest featuring acts from several performing arts organizations. For more information, visit United Performing Arts Fund’s or Miller Lite’s Ride website.
For venue, tickets, showtimes and more, visit Footlights Milwaukee online.