Highlights from 10/7 to 10/13
This week, local premieres at theaters like Renaissance Theaterworks and music from American roots at Shank Hall rule the roost. There are some splashy special events, too — namely, Youngblood’s participation in this year’s Laramie Project, Bon Iver before AIDS Walk Wisconsin and, some experimental recorded performances at the Inova Gallery. Read On.
Bunk Bed Brothers, Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center, 10/9 to 11/15
The Off-Broadway series begins at the same time the first of the new Broadway series winds down at Marcus — this Friday evening will be a busy one with Spring Awakening in Uihlein. In this tale, performed by what has become a frequent comedy duo in John McGivern and Chris Tarjan, two brothers spend a night in their old bedroom. What starts off as childhood sentiment and memories soon gives way to resentment and bickering, in which further chaos ensues. For tickets, visit the Marcus Center website or call the box office at 414-273-7206.
Smell of the Kill, Studio Theater at Renaissance Theaterworks, 10/9 to 11/1
“Combine three unhappy women, three oblivious husbands, a dozen golf balls and a faulty walk-in freezer and voila! You have the perfect recipe for a wickedly dark comedy.” Renaissance follows up on the successful pre-season stage reading of These Shining Lives with the first in a challenging season. Michele Lowe’s light contemplation on subconscious husband offing is the way to do it. For more information, visit the Renaissance website or call 414-291-7800.
Tea at Five, In Tandem Theatre Company at the Tenth Street Theatre, 10/9 to 10/25
Angela Iannone plays the role of Katherine Hepburn in this one-woman show written by Matthew Lombardo and directed locally by Chris Flieller. Tea details Hepburn’s life behind the movie scenes. Last week, TCD examined the process of sustaining play-length monologues and spoke with the actress about this challenging role. This promises to be a great work for the downtown venue. Call 414-271-1371 or visit the In Tandem website for more information.
Urinetown, Nancy Kendall Theater at Cardinal Stritch, 10/9 to 10/18
It’s only been staged once before in our area, so we’re really looking forward to this college production of futuristic satire that took Broadway by storm a few years ago. It’s a tale of “greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold.” Plus, it’s all set with some great showstoppers. Visit the Cardinal Stritch website or call 414-410-4171 for tickets.
Tosca Live at the Met, Marcus Theatres of Southeastern Wisconsin, 10/10 (Encore 10/28)
Marcus Theatres is joining in on the craze to show live opera at a number of its locations (South Shore, Ridge, Majestic and North Shore) starting with Tosca at noon on Saturday. It will be in HD and come with a special price for the three-hour event. But how many can say that they had primo seats for the new Met season? Future shows will follow into 2010, and repeats of each opera showing will take place a few weeks after the live version. Visit the Marcus Theatres website for more information and locations.
Helen Bader Concert Hall adjacent to the UWM campus will host the 7 p.m. pre-show introductory webcast and the remarkable reading. Tectonic Theater in New York is hosting an epilogue project involving theater groups around the world, all reading from the play at the same time. These groups will read a follow-up script to the Moises Kaufman play surrounding the Matthew Shepard murder, which explores the impact of Shepard’s death on the Wyoming residents who found unwanted fame a decade after the hate crime. The local version will be directed by Jonathan West. The one-night event will be supported by UWM Theater and the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival. See the Youngblood website for details.
Leon Redbone, Shank Hall on N. Farwell Ave., 10/8
“While his gravelly baritone and omnipresent fedora, dark glasses and Groucho Marx moustache made him one of the more distinct and recognizable characters in popular music, little is known about the neo-vaudeville crooner…” The mystery returns as the talented blues/ragtime/jazz man sets up an intimate show on the East Side of Milwaukee.
… and if that’s not enough Shank Hall for you, on the next night (10/9) its an Americana blowout with the Bluegrass Caravan Show. The 8 p.m. show features Milwaukee’s own 2009 WAMI award-winner, Liberty Bluegrass Band, along with High 48s and Henhouse Prowlers. Visit the Shank Hall website for complete information and prices on upcoming shows.
Music at the Mansion, Edith S. Hefter Conference Center on N. Lake Drive, 10/9
If you’ve never gotten the opportunity to visit this fascinating and old UWM location once known as the Marietta House, make this an apt introduction. The acoustics are just right for a recital, and the Yolanda Marculescu Vocal Arts Series will continue its traditional art song form on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Director Jeffry Peterson will gather Voice faculty members Valerie Errante, Tanya Kruse, Kurt Ollmann, plus guests Lauren Curnow and Paul Thompson, for an evening of German Romantic songs. There will be duets and ensembles by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Strauss and Wolf in the parlor, piano accompaniment by Katja Phillabaum and dessert afterwards. For tickets, call the box office at 414-229-4308 or visit the PSOA events page for more details.
My Soul Cries Out, Choral Arts Society at Holy Communion Church, 10/10
Special guest artists Caritas, Musici Amici and the Holy Communion Senior Choir join the Choral Arts Society under the direction of Gregory Berg, with additional original works by Karel Suchy. The space is considered to be perfect “with its fine acoustics, lovely balconies for antiphonal choirs, and excellent pipe organ. The music is drawn from various faith traditions, ranging from the late renaissance to contemporary works. The talents of solo instrumentalists will help to express the themes of reverence and hope.” Call 262-634-3250 or visit the Choral Arts Society website for more information.
WaterMusic, Milwaukee Choral Artists at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 10/10
Come early for the pre-concert lecture by Rick Fitzgerald at 6:45 p.m. on the history of the Great Lakes. Then you can enjoy “the beauty, mystery, and power of water — humans have a primal fascination with this precious substance. Hear songs of rivers and seas, of water’s destructive force, and of water as a source of healing, all inspired by life’s most essential molecule.” Special guest folk singer Fitzgerald will sing his “Hooray for the Denis Sullivan” with the group. Purchase season or single tickets by visiting the Milwaukee Chorale Artists website or calling 262-628-5022.
Gypsy Airs, Waukesha Symphony Orchestra at the Oconomowoc Arts Center, 10/11
“With a nod to the Joseph Haydn Bicentennial in 2009, the WSO opens the season with a truly festive celebration of Hungarian music, from Bela Bartók’s wistful Violin Concerto No. 1 with the young Hungarian-American virtuoso Maria Bachmann to whirling national dances of Bartók and Kodály and the riotous Hungarian Rhapsody of Franz Liszt, ‘The Carnival at Pest.'” This marks the beginning of a new partnership with this location, and the WSO is accepting non-perishable food items for the Oconomowoc Food Pantry. Call 262-547-1858 or visit the WSO website.
Rennie Harris Pure Movement, John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, 10/13 and 10/15
We detailed the dance part of the Footlights 2009-10 Performance Series at this Sheboygan hub before, and now we’ll get our first chance to witness hip-hop dancing at it’s finest. Harris’ company will be re-staging a seminal work called “Students of the Hip Hop Jungle,” possible in part by an NEA Dance Initiative grant. The piece is rich in African-American and Latino roots but is firmly footed in the modern movements. We’ll be there at the first “family” night, with a shorter show than the full production on Thursday. Call the Center at 920-458-6144 or visit the website.
Bon Iver, short appearance before AIDS Walk Wisconsin, 10/11
Justin Vernon of the mesmerizing indie folk band, Bon Iver, serves as this year’s honorary chair. So, in addition to being involved with promoting fundraising and registration, the singer will perform a short set before the 5,000+ walkers take off Sunday morning. The Eau Claire native is likely to bring a stripped-down set, but given his passion for the cause it should still be a good one. There is still time to register to walk or sponsor a walker.
There’s an amazing auction package that just started taking bids for Milwaukee Ballet’s Cinderella opening night (10/22). You can currently find it on Ticketmaster. The minimum bid is $120. The package offers $100 in gift certificates to The Capital Grille, four box seats to opening night, a behind-the-scenes tour and even a ballet pointe shoe and show poster autographed by one of the ballerinas playing Cinderella.
Inova opens its doors to this year’s crop of Mary L. Nohl fund winners this weekend (and again during Gallery Night on 10/16), including local filmmaker and movie buff Xav Leplae. Part of the gallery work will start off as a performance piece, as he describes his presence as “Leplae’s The Shooting of the Misanthrope, a shootformancetallation.” It will take place throughout the opening on Oct. 9, and will form the basis of a changing gallery installation. He’ll also screen his latest video collaboration with brother Didier, called Rasmalai Dreams (63 min., Hindi with English subtitles, 2009), in the UWM Union Theatre. For complete information on the rest of the artists and their events, visit the Inova page.