Brian Jacobson
On Stage with TCD

Highlights from 9/28 to 10/6

By - Sep 29th, 2009 12:38 am
Wendla and Melchior in a scene from Spring Awakening

Wendla and Melchior in a scene from Spring Awakening.

We’re extending our highlight reel by a day this week to give you an advance notice that Spring Awakening comes to Milwaukee starting next Tuesday for six performances. But until then, you’ll be happy with an amazing spectrum of shows and events this week. Our recommendations include a fish fry and show at Sunset Playhouse, Blue Note music live with We Six and the one-night return of the Ben Turk play, Ulysses’ Crewmen.



David Ferrie in a recent photo, courtesy Boulevard Theatre.

Clarence Darrow, Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre on KK., 9/30 to 11/1
The Bay View haunt keeps its 24th season going by staging the local premiere of playwright David Rintels’ story of America’s most famous lawyer. Prolific and well-regarded Milwaukee actor David Ferrie “recounts the life and times of the legal eagle” who gained notoriety and fame through a series of inflammatory trials such as the Scopes’ “Monkey Trial,” as well as the defense counsel for the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder trial.  The director Jaime Jastrab worked with Ferrie to flesh this one out after working at Boulevard on David Mamet works. Call the Boulevard at 414-744-5757 or visit the website for more. Look for a special article at the end of this week as TCD talks to David Ferrie and Tea at Five‘s Angela Iannone about the experience of launching a one-actor show.

Ulysses’ Crewmen, Insurgent Theatre at Stonefly, 9/30
Ben Turk returns to Milwaukee with his two-actor play that “confronts audiences with political action at an intractable empasse. This complex original work about the political kidnapping of a U.S. delegate is currently on its first tour, an odyssey of the northeast and midwest, performing in non-traditional spaces including an performance at the G-20 summit protests in Pittsburgh.” Read Turk’s touring blog. The show starts at 10 p.m. in the centrally located Riverwest tavern, and it will feature the ‘electroacoustic’ Madison band, All Tiny Creatures, and the psychedelic Milwaukee band, This Specific Dream.

Censored on Final Approach, Marquette University Dept. of Performing Arts at Helfaer Theatre, 10/1 to 10/11
Director Phyllis Ravel helps Marquette students produce this season opener about Women Air Force Pilots (known as WASPS), who flew low-target training missions during WWII. During WWII, 1,830 young women pilots from all over the United States quit their jobs, left their home and paid their own way to Texas to learn to fly “the Army way.” They served because they loved their country and flying. The play is based on stories of women who flew at Camp Davis, NC, and the struggles they faced getting respect when they weren’t in the air. This play is performed in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of Women at Marquette University. Call 414-288-7504 or visit the Marquette box office page.

Three Murders and It’s Only Monday!, West Allis Players at the West Allis Central Auditorium, 10/2 to 10/10
Mary Beth Topf directs this murder mystery by Pat Cook about a pile-up of homicides at the Peaceful Pines Sanitarium. Detective Harry Monday proceeds to bumble his way through a plot that sounds like a mash-up of Clue, Inspector Clouseau stories and Murder by Death. Call 414.299.0384 for information. Tickets are available directly at the box office.

Forever Plaid, Falls Patio Players in Menomonee Falls, 10/2 to 10/11
foreverplaid“Once upon a time, there were four guys (Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie) who loved to sing. They all met in high school, when they joined the audiovisual club and discovered they shared an affection for music and entertaining.” This musical comedy charts the rise and rise of a doo-wop act. “Through the powers of harmony and the Expanding Holes in the Ozone Layer, in conjunction with the positions of the planets and all that astrotechnical stuff, they are allowed to come back to perform the show they never got to do in life.” Visit the venue’s website to order tickets, or call 262-255-8372 with other questions.

Hay Fever (Stage Reading), Milwaukee Rep Artistic Intern Company at Ten Chimneys, 10/5
The Ten Chimneys Foundation is collaborating with The Rep actors to conclude the 2009 Play Readings Series with Noël Coward’s classic comedy. Hay Fever is set in the English country house of the eccentric Bliss family: Judith, a retired stage actress; David, an egotistical novelist; and, their two unequivocally unique children Simon and Sorel. Each family member, unbeknownst to the others, invites a guest for the weekend when chaos ensues. The reading begins at 7 p.m. at the Lunt-Fontanne Program Center in Genesee Depot, WI. To make reservations call 262-968-4110 or visit

Spring Awakening, National Tour at Uihlein Hall, 10/6 to 10/11
springsingingAt last, the newly minted Time Warner Cable Broadway at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts series can begin with probably the most recent Tony Award-winning Best Musical to roll into Milwaukee in some time. How many Tonys? Eight. In this story, adapted from the banned 1891 German stage work from Frank Wedekind, teenagers discover sexuality and deal with their feelings and the repressed scorn of adults. The modern musical is also noted for its songs by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater.

This isn’t a musical you can bring your kids to see; it deals with subjects such as masturbation, abortion, rape, child abuse and suicide in a very frank manner. It’s directed by Tom Hulce, who we are hoping to talk to before the show premieres here. Stay tuned, and see if there are available tickets. Call 414-273-7206 or visit the Marcus Center website.


Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 10/1
tangoIt’s a one-night national tour event that gracefully sweeps Argentinian Tango dancers back to Milwaukee. It will be a showcase on the Uihlein stage on par with Dancing with the Stars — but more sensual and daring. The day before the show, 75 young dancers from Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap will audition for five coupled spots to appear in the main show the next night. Watch TCD for a photo story from that event, and a review from Tom Strini after the main show. For tickets, call the Marcus box office at 414-273-7206 or order online here. The event for Mad Hot Ballroom with Luis Bravo is in the Bradley Pavilion at 10 a.m. and open to spectators.

William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet, part of the Milwaukee Film Festival, 10/3 and 10/4
It first premiered in Milwaukee earlier this year to a select audience, but this is the first real chance to see the Milwaukee-based documentary described as “high art meets pop culture.” The film follows a strange and fascinating collaboration between William Shatner, Ben Folds, Margo Sappington and the Milwaukee Ballet — which resulted in the modern ballet piece called “Common People.” Consult the MFF website, stop at the festival table at the Oriental Theatre or at Marcus North Shore Cinema for tickets or call 414-727-8468.



photo on the MSO website of Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma. Photo on the MSO website.

Yo-Yo Ma with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall, 9/30
Watch for Tom Strini’s continuing and thorough coverage of the season, and especially Yo-Yo Ma’s appearance this week for MSO’s  third concert under Edo de Waart’s baton. After the one-night performance sure to be a sellout, the MSO follows up with Brahms and Beethoven on 10/2 and 10/3. For more information, call the box office at 414-291-7605 or visit the MSO website.

Joan Curto, Matinee Series at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, 9/30
It’s a special afternoon show at the Kuttemperoor Auditorium in Brookfield, as Curto performs the songs of Ethel Merman and Mary Martin in her signature style — described as “sultry and emotional versatility.” She easily glides from the sassy Leader of a big-time band to the classy “Speak Low” to Mama Rose’s brassy “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

Joan Curto, publicity photo from Wilson website

… then a few days later, on 10/3, see the Cabaret Series welcome Scott Coulter as he sings an American songbook in Moondance. For tickets to these shows, call 262-781-9520 or visit the Wilson Center website.

Music of Blue Note Records, We Six for the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 10/1
In celebration of the legendary jazz label’s 70th anniversary,  the jazz faculty comprising We Six will present an evening concert with music from label artists such as Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock and Hank Mobley. This is the first of four concerts in the 2009-10 season. Call 414-276-5760 or visit the WCM website for more.

photo courtesy the WCM website

Photo, courtesy of the WCM website.

…a few days later on 10/4, WCM is presenting a 2 p.m. Music and Times of Jane Austen event at its lakeside facility. It’s co-sponsored by the actual Jane Austen Society of North America and features the Prometheus Trio, Piano Faculty members, Raymond Mueller on guitar and the fantastic voice of Jenny Gettel. It’s the 110th anniversary of the writer, and the music will be “both salon and ‘common’ music that would have been performed during the Regency period in England.” Afterwards, there will be an afternoon tea in the McIntosh/Goodrich Mansion.

Saint-Saëns and Shostakovich, Fine Arts Quartet at UWM’s Helen Bader Hall, 10/4
This foursome of artists-in-residence opens a season of four concerts this Sunday afternoon in the Helene Zelazo Center of the Performing Arts. They will perform a program of string quartets by Saint-Saëns and Shostakovich. The concert is preceded by an informal talk by Dr. Timothy Noonan at 2:15 pm in Room 250, across from the concert hall.  Violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico and cellist Wolfgang Laufer will be joined by a new violist, Nicolò Eugelmi. Eugelmi is described by The Strad magazine as “a player of rare perception, with a keen ear for timbres and a vivid imagination.”

The Fine Arts Quartet, from the website

The Fine Arts Quartet

…Also at UWM on 10/1, the MAVerick Ensemble of Chicago appears for the Music from Almost Yesterday series. It features guest conductor Ruben Seroussi from Tel Aviv and is guided by cellist William Jason Raynovich. The next evening (10/2), classical guitarist Michael Verdery gives a concert at the Arts Recital Hall in the Music building on campus. Consult the Peck School of the Arts calendar for details on these events, or call the box office at 414-229-4308 to order tickets.

Gala Opening Concert featuring Lynn Harrell, Frankly Music at Wisconsin Lutheran College, 10/5
This marks the first evening show of the year for concertmaster and violinist Frank Almond, and it will be held at the WLC’s Schwan Hall in Wauwatosa. Special guest, cellist Harrell will accompany Almond and others in music such as Glazunov’s rarely heard String Quintet in A, Op. 39 and Brahms’s String Sextet in B flat, Op. 18. Call the box office at 414-443-8802 or go to this page to order tickets.



Kroupa’s Fish Fry Friday, Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove, 10/2
Starting at 6:30 p.m. and for $10, you get a fried or baked fish dinner and dessert. For a little more, you get to see Auntie Mame — now playing at Sunset Playhouse. Call the Box Office at 262-782-4430 or send an e-mail to to make your dinner reservation.



MOXIE: The 2009 Style Show, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 10/6 to 10/7
moxieIt’s a mite different to mention a fashion show in this page, but we love the Wilson Center and Mount Mary College enough to mention this event. New York-based dressmaker Donna Ricco and Harley-Davidson MotorClothes® Creative Director Karen Davidson provide clothing, accessories and the required moxie for the annual Wilson Center Style Show. Experience an evening cocktail party catered by Jake’s Catering, live auction and runway show on Tuesday, October 6 or a daytime ‘bruncheon’ catered by Zilli’s, silent auction and runway show on Wednesday, October 7. Donna Ricco’s designs energized the frock frenzy surrounding the off-the-rack shift that First Lady Michelle Obama wore during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.” Karen Davidson, a great-granddaughters of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. co-founder William A. Davidson, oversees general merchandise for the motorcycle empire. Ricco and Davidson are alumnae of Milwaukee’s Mount Mary College’s Fashion Department. Clothing and accessories will be provided by Hal’s Harley-Davidson and Molloy’s. For more information or reservations, contact Lisa Dietz at 262-373-5029.


FootlightsYou can find more feature articles and details
about the stage scene at our partner website.

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