June 9 – 15
The weather might not feel like June, but oh boy is that summer feeling ever-present in Milwaukee’s many performance spaces — open air bandshells and dark, cozy stages alike. While this week has only a small sample of offerings as various entities like Danceworks and First Stage Theater Academy hold summer camp, the rest of Wisconsin is abuzz with community events and performances, from Lake Geneva Theater’s Mystery of Irma Vep to American Players Theatre’s opening night of The Philanderer. So in this edition, we have featured a few of the shows happening across the best Midwestern state in the world. Road trip!
Rock Around the Clock, Heidel House in Green Bay, through 9/7
“Join the guys at the gas station as they try to pick up some cuties for the big dance … the Heidel Singers will take you back to the days of Annette and Elvis when everything was a little easier.” This featured dinner show is $40 per person and is best for those staying at the resort and spa, though not exclusively for guests. For more information, call 800.444.2812 or visit the Heidel House’s entertainment features webpage.
Mehfil-E-Ghazal with Ghulam Ali, an Alverno Presents special event at the Pitman Theater, 6/12 at 8 p.m.
The “ghazal maestro” brings his distinct baritone voice to the Pitman outside of their regular world music series for a special one-night concert. “Known for blending gharana-gaayaki into his ‘scientific’ raga-based compositions and ghazals, Ghulam Ali is also recognized for his Punjabi songs and contributions to Bollywood.” According to Alverno, he once said of contemporary pop music, “the stage is meant for performing, not for acrobatics.” For tickets and information to this quickly selling out show, call 414.382.6044 or visit here.
Symphony of a Thousand, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at Uihlein Hall, 6/12 at 8 p.m.
It’s not over until some lady sings that last note, and that honor will go to sopranos Lise Lindstrom and Jennifer Check as they join the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Mast Singers of Milwaukee and musicians to send Music Director Andreas off at last. These last two concerts of Delf’s tenure promise to be epic; Mahler usually is. Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 has always been regarded as his masterwork, one that showed his deep interest in God and interest in Goethe’s Faust. for more information, call 414.273.7206 or see the events page for the MSO.
Spice Wave, Present Music at Turner Hall, 6/13 at 7:30 p.m.
The PM Ensemble ends their season with music by Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Michael Nyman — “giants of creativity whose music is subtly and directly influenced by eastern music.” Also included is Indian violinist Kala Ramnath with Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee on tabla. I wonder if they’ll all jam with the Alverno Presents musician that night somewhere in Milwaukee. Call 414.271.0711 or visit Present Music for details and tickets.
It’s a Small World: The Music of Fred Small, Wisconsin Cream City Chorus at Unitarian Universalist Church West, 6/7 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The WCCC’s cabaret-style show is back again, only this time with hors d’eurves and desserts. Tastefully Simple and Managing Artistic Director Kristen L. Weber are bringing goodies to enjoy with the show. Call 414.276.8787 or visit the WCCC website for details.
The Philanderer by George Bernard Shaw, performed by the American Players Theatre company in Spring Green, opens 6/12 at 8 p.m.
The second in a five series set of plays happening this summer at the Up the Hill outdoor theater venue, Shaw’s play “explores issues as relevant today as they were when he [first] wrote it: feminism, marriage, divorce. Hard to say which is the greater feat: the ongoing relevance, or the fact that Shaw makes it all so entertaining.” Call 608.588.2361 for Box Office info or visit the APT site to explore their summer season.
Sketch 22, Alchemist Theatre on KK in Bay View, 6/13 at 8:00 p.m.
“BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!” Billed as half party, half one-act festival, these skilled stage folk have less than a day to come up with fully fleshed comedy sketches. Shows often sell out according to the wesbite, so get tickets ahead of time. Call 414.426.4169 or visit Alchemist Theatre.
16 Plays in 48 Hours, Combat Theater at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 6/12 – 6/13 at 8 p.m.
It’s the return of madness, quite frankly. Here’s an excerpt from their mission statement: “We believe that theatre does not grow in a vacuum. To that end, we are dedicated to building a theatre which routinely brings professional theatre artists from the various groups in Milwaukee together to work in a collaborative manner … We are not trying to build a safe environment; theatre is not television. It is rather our mission to create theatre which challenges and effects our audience.” Contact 414.267.2900 at the MYAC or visit the Bunny Gumbo website for details.
Mystery of Irma Vep, Lake Geneva Theatre Company at Historic Horticultural Hall, through 6/28
The acting company near the well-known Wisconsin resort lake returns this summer to present Charles Ludlam’s award-winning comedy to downtown Lake Geneva. It’s categorized as “a spoof of Gothic melodramas and a quick-change marathon in which two actors play all the roles” — along with a werewolf and vampire. For more information call 262.325.4753 or visit the Lake Geneva Theatre Company’s website.
Summerdances: Mavericks and Pioneers, UWM Peck School of the Arts, 6/12 – 6/14
The summer season launches on campus featuring two pieces by American master choreographer Alwin Nikolais along with new works by dance faculty members Simone Ferro, Dani Kuepper and Luc Vanier. The dances all have a multimedia and interdisciplinary bent to them as students and faculty have been revisiting Nikolais’ work and exploring the possibilities of UWM’s new spaces. For more information, call 414.229.4308 or visit UWM’s feature on this event.
American Stories, Big Top Chautauqua at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 6/11 – 13
The renowned folk musicians and storytellers from from Bayfield bring tales and songs from their tour with a show about “those who came before – the pioneers, the lighthouse keepers, the Voyageurs and the Native tribes.”
This collection of stories comes from some of their favorite shows:
“30th Star – the story of Wisconsin,” “Old Minnesota: Song of the North Star,” “Keeper of the Light,” “On The Velvet,” “Centennial Green” and “Riding The Wind.” This five performance event runs in advance of the big American Story visual arts series. For more information, call 920.458.6144 or visit the Kohler Arts Center’s Summer Theatre pages.
The Vagina Monologues, Pridefest on Summerfest grounds, 6/13 – 14 at 6 p.m.
The Milwaukee Gay Arts Center presents Eve Ensler’s Obie Award-winning play with a local cast as it was staged during the 2009 V-Day campaign to end violence towards women. The cast includes divergent voices like “a six-year-old girl, a septuagenarian New Yorker, a vagina workshop participant, a woman who witnesses the birth of her granddaughter, a Bosnian survivor of rape, and a feminist.”