8/18 – 8/24
As August winds down and the big fall season looms on the horizon, there aren’t many new events opening until September. Exceptions include the American Player’s Theatre, squeezing in a few more new play events. Many great shows continue this week (Phantom of the Opera, Around the World in 80 Days), but it’s the one-offs and outdoor events that take center stage in this spotlight reel.
Long Day’s Journey into Night, American Player’s Theatre, previews 8/23 and 8/25 & opens 8/27
It’s Eugene O’Neill’s lynchpin about a day in the life of the Tyrone family as they confront their pasts and each other while succumbing to individual illnesses and addictions. In the words of director John Langs, it “cuts to the bone of what American families are all about”. For information, visit the APT website or call 608.588.2361
Mud River Lee & The Bluegrass Orchestra, Chill on the Hill at Humboldt Park, 8/18 at 6:30 p.m.
Is bluegrass fine music? It sure is, sometimes in haunting or angelic ways. This band has apparently told the Bay View Neighborhood Association, “We’re not gonna have any mercy on ya. This is gonna be straight, hard and fast bluegrass!” The WAMI-nominated group hits the stage as part of the free summer concert series on Milwaukee’s near south end. See the Bay View NA website for details. Want to fill your night with Americana? Dash to Jackson Park to check out the Liam Ford band that same night.
Concord Chamber Orchestra, Boerner Botanical Gardens, 8/20 at 6:30 p.m.
Like Chill on the Hill’s outdoorsy feel, but in the mood for some serious classical chops? The Milwaukee County offering of free concerts in the garden continues with this set of chamber music in the off-season. To see all the park concert series, visit the Milwaukee calendar. Also of note that same night is the Garlic Mustard Pickers Celtic band at Grant Park. The next night (8/21 at 6 p.m.) at Whitnall Park is a jazz trumpet and vocals act billed as Carl Wesley Love with Shirley Gibson — plus there’s a fish fry there.
Lou Fanucchi accordion concert, Cascio Interstate Music, 8/18 at 7 p.m.
How to describe this San Diego musician making a one-night stand here? You can’t. Instead:
How is this possible, you ask? I had to look it up myself. Didn’t the great bandleader famously died in a plane crash during World War II? Well … yes. But it was re-formed “under the direction of Tex Beneke, a tenor saxophonist, singer and one of Miller’s longtime close friends. A few years later, the Miller estate, having parted ways with Beneke, hired Ray McKinley, another former member of the Miller band, to organize a new ‘ghost band’ in 1956,” according to the Pabst news item. So there is an officially sanctioned band playing in this particular style that changes bandleaders and members when needed. In any case, they’re great and you should go see them. Call 414.286.3663 or visit the Pabst webpage for this event.
Mexican Fiesta, Summerfest Grounds, 8/21-23
Can you say Mariachi? Good, because it appears that every supergroup in the genre will be at this three-day festival. There is also a super-supergroup headlining called Cuisillos de Arturo Macias, which is a popular Banda group made up of 20 musicians. What do we recommend? Claro que si, it would be Grammy-winner Ruben Ramos and his band. Maybe just for the fine clothes, but also for the great Tejano sound. Also check out the Ballet Folklorico. More info, go to the Fiesta Mexicana webpages.
Three Murders And It’s Only Monday, produced by The West Allis Players at West Allis Central Auditorium, 8516 W. Lincoln Ave. West Allis (Performances: 10/2-10, 2009). Auditions will be held on 8/18 at 6:45 p.m. It will be a cold reading from script; 9 men 5 women; Ages 18+