June 24 – 30
This week is overshadowed by the juggernaut that is Summerfest, which has plenty of rowdy stages, although fine performances are in the minority. Still, it’s surprising to know that there are some youth and family groups performing there as such as AACT, MYSO Calypso band, Latino Arts Mariachi Juvenil, the McMenamin Irish Dance Academy, and even next week’s patriotic collection of traditional and contemporary military bands show on July 5.
Eclectic events that are soldiering on despite the competition such as Boulevard Theatre’s Audition Idol, American Players Theatre’s new Harold Pinter play at the new indoor Touchstone stage, a National Guard jazz band at the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival and the week-long run of MSO’s Pops concert series. Cue the Mission: Impossible triangle …
Audition Idol, Boulevard Theatre on S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 6/25 to 6/28
The folks at Boulevard are trying out something unusual again, with a staged event that involves actors performing various monologues and scenes for both an audience and a panel of judges gathered from the Milwaukee theatre scene. Acting coaches work with the featured players to “ensure” their particular actor wins the contest. Boulevard says, “audiences will also have an opportunity to interact in this ‘theatrical bake-off’ that will entertain patrons while educating them about the rigors of both auditioning and acting.” Tickets are cheap, but limited: call 414.744.5757 or visit Boulevard Theatre for more.
Any Wednesday, Broadway Baby Dinner Theatre, closes 6/26
“John Cleves is an arrogant, hopelessly spoiled business tycoon with a much younger oddball mistress, Ellen. John has set Ellen up in a comfy company sponsored love nest, where she eagerly awaits their scheduled Wednesday trysts. However, when a mix-up sends John’s attractive underling, Cass, to stay at Ellen’s apartment; followed by John’s wife, Dorothy, things get interesting.” Audiences are invited to mix and mingle with the actors after a show in the adjoining cocktail lounge. Call 414.358.2020 for tickets or visit the BBT website for more info.
Old Times, American Players at the Touchstone Theatre, opens 6/30 at 7:30 p.m.
Normally the summer performances at the APT home base in Spring Green are outdoors. However, this is the opening of its newly completed 200-seat indoor venue, with a challenging play directed by Laura Gordon and originally penned by the multi-talented Nobel Laureate who changed theater forever before passing away last year. In Old Times, “three characters – a husband, a wife, and a wife’s old roommate – reminisce. But who are these characters? And what do their fragile memories say about them? We are what the past makes us, but which interpretation of the past are we to believe? This play raises questions. The audience may have to supply some of the answers for themselves.” For tickets call 608.588.2361 or visit the APT site for directions and other details.
MSO Pops Concerts, Peck Pavilion in downtown Milwaukee, 6/23 – 6/28 – alternating noons and 6 p.m.
Stuart Chafetz leads the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to some fantastic places with music ranging from waltzes to broadway showstoppers to classic TV themes songs. This is a free event at the sunken band shell, and its gets crowded so plan ahead. Visit the MSO site page for more details.
Salute to the Red, White, and Blue: National Guard Army Jazz and Rock Band, Cedarburg Strawberry Festival, 6/27
Members from the 132nd Wisconsin National Guard have two groups providing music at the annual town-wide event in which you can listen to listen to Brubeck and Beatles whilst enjoying a strawberry bratwurst. Look for them at the Cedar Creek Park and the Festival Food Court. It’s free. For more information, visit the Cedarburg Festivals website.
Suites from West Side Story, Candide, and Carousel featuring soloist Jillian Brus will be played in a special concert at this outdoor location for a summer price. You’re encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket, and expect to hear some John Philip Sousa and the 1812 Overture. In case of rain, the show is moved to nearby Carroll University’s Shattuck Auditorium. Call 262.547.1858 or visit the WSO website for tickets to this event and a programming list.
Kids from Wisconsin Premiere performance, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, 6/28 at 3 p.m.
Those ambassadors of musical goodwill embark on a 41st Season with their annual fund-raising event. This year’s show is entitled “Don’t Stop Us Now!” (a reference to a song by Queen) and will feature hits from Abba, Louis Armstrong, Paul Simon and more. If you liked the showstoppers on Fox’s Glee, this will be for you. A ticket also gets you into the party afterwards. Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office at 414.766.5049 or online at the SMPAC website.
Musical Mondays series, Milwaukee Children’s Choir at Lake Park, starts 6/29 at 6:30 p.m.
Ellen Shuler guides this group of young Cantorei in an outdoor performace at Picnic area #3. In case of inclement weather, the concert will move to the Marcia Coles Community Room in the lower level of the Lake Park Pavilion. Visit the MCC or the Lake Park Friends websites for details.
Starry Nights Outdoor Concert Series presents De la Buena, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 6/26 at 8 p.m.
This Latin jazz group with influences from Afro-Cuban music “employs a jazz harmonic sensibility and a deep-seated love of diverse cultures.” Bring a lawn chair or hammock to the Gerlach Outdoor Theater, and enjoy food and drink from area vendors at the scene. Call 262.781.9470 or visit the Starry Nights webpage for details about this free event.
Fine Music events of note at Summerfest: Dance Dimensions Company performance (6/25 at 5:30 p.m.), Children of the Sun – a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Drum Troupe (6/26 at 2:15 p.m.), Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Rhythm Section (6/27 at 2:15 p.m.), Elation Dance Theatre (6/27 at 5:45 p.m.), McMenamin Irish Dance Academy (6/27 at 7 p.m.), Academy of Dance Arts Performing Group (6/28 at 5 p.m.), Latino Arts Mariachi Juvenil (6/29 at 12 p.m.), African American Children’s Theatre (6/29 at 1:45 p.m.), Tosa World Music Ensemble (6/29 at 4:45 p.m.), Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Calypso Steel Drum Band (7/1 at 12:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.)
For ticket and event information, be sure to visit Footlights Milwaukee who always have the sweet and low-down.