Weekly Highlights from 11/4 to 11/10
This week the world of performing arts is full of brash and quirky personal voices. In what other town can you see talented garbage can bangers, Mozart for mandolin and bayan (accordion), seven samurais portrayed by one man, alternate lifestyle Friends and drama for the diaper set?
Russian Masters and Favorites, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music at Helen Bader Hall, 11/5
Mikhail “Misha” Litvin plays mandolin and Stas Venglevski the bayan, with “dazzling renditions of Russian music. Included is Beethoven’s Variations for Mandolin with the bayan playing the piano accompaniment part. The duo will also perform Stas’ original compositions.” For more information, visit the WCM Conservatory Nights page or call 414-276-5760 for tickets.
… be sure to check out the WCM Calendar for other events this week, like a Guitar Summit concert featuring Matthew Schroeder (Fingerstyle), Matt Warnock (Jazz) and Brad DeRoche (classical) and a Philomusica String Quartet concert called Music of the Americas.
Elizabeth Ward Land: A Broadway Harvest, part of the Cabaret Series at the Wilson Center, 11/6 and 11/7
The accomplished Broadway actress and musician is celebrating her debut album, First Harvest. It merges the worlds of Broadway and pop music, incorporating stories from her life with the music she loves. Call 262-781-9520 or visit the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts website for information.
This percussion and movement showcase, that’s been around for almost 20 years, uses everyday objects as drums and cymbals. This returning visceral experience has new segments that originated with the group’s 2007 Las Vegas show. The cast is much larger, and so are the antics. For information, visit the Milwaukee Theatre website or call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Get $5 off the ticket price when you purchase a ticket at the box office and bring in a non-perishable food item for the Hunger Task Force. Active or retired military members also benefit with $15 off single ticket when bought at the box office, in honor of Veterans’ Day.
The Genius of Mozart, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Marcus Center, 11/6 and 11/7
South Korean Adventist musician and guest conductor Shi-Yeon Sung and pianist Jeremy Denk star with the MSO performance of Mozart’s final statements in The Marriage of Figaro (overture) and Piano Concerto No. 27. Also featured is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11. A night at the symphony also can include “Behind the Notes,” a free pre-concert chat about the program and guest artists, which starts an hour prior in the Anello Atrium. For more information, visit the MSO page or call 414-291-7605.
Playathon, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Bayshore Rotunda, 11/8
Large ensembles, jazz groups and the calypso players from this collection of budding musicians perform during this all-day concert. Each set will last 20 to 30 minutes each, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This is the conclusion to a monthlong, major fundraiser. Check out the schedule on the MYSO pages. And yes, you can bring donations the day of the event.
A Night at the Movies, Theatre Gigante at the Off Broadway Theatre, 11/5 to 11/7
It’s a special evening of physical theater inspired by the movies. This round of shows from this interdisciplinary group features 7 (x1) Samurai, created by David Gaines, who performs all the roles from Kurosawa’s film on his own. The second half, called …and…Action! is Malcolm Tulip’s examination of the fragile flight of personality, relationships and narrative. “Virtuosity, innovation, fun and laughter with close-up twists, swashbuckling action and dramatic takes, in 3D Gigante theatricality.” Visit Theatre Gigante’s website for details about the works or call 414-961-6119.
Here’s Love, Fireside Dinner Theater in Fort Atkinson, opens 11/5
Written by the creator of The Music Man, this is a different take on the Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street, in the form of a big, brassy Broadway musical. For details, visit the Fireside website for information and watch a promotional video. Save me a bit of the Wisconsin Duck Montmorency. For tickets, call 800-477-9505.
Peace, Love and a 30-year Mortgage, special In Tandem event at Tenth Street Theatre, 11/5 to 11/8
Dylan Bolin (of ComedySportz and WKLH fame) wrote and performs in this personal telling of his Indiana-hippie childhood to becoming a mortgage-paying comic. For information, visit In Tandem or order tickets at 414-271-1371.
The Seagull, Wisconsin Lutheran College Theater Department at the Raabe Theater, opens 11/6
In Anton Chekhov’s classic, translated here by Christopher Hampton and directed by Prof. Jan Gompper, “a Russian country estate serves as the petri dish in which the struggles of the characters mutate and multiply in both comic and tragic proportions.” Basically, a man longs for an aspiring actress. He also longs for the approval of his accomplished actress mother. For ticketing and times, visit the WLC Theater webpage or call 414-443-8702.
Leaving Iowa, the Over Our Head Players at the Sixth St. Theater in Racine, opens 11/6 to 11/22
It’s a special show at Festival Hall as Iowa offers a “toast to parents from the ‘Greatest Generation’ and a roast of their dedication to the road trip. Driving across that state, Don relives the vacations he spent as a boy trapped in the family station wagon en route to uninteresting sites.” Dinner packages are available in addition to regular ticketing. Visit the OOHP website to order tickets or call 262-632-6802.
The New Century, RSVP Productions at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 11/5 to 11/21
Special guest actor Dale Gutzman heads up and acts in this ensemble series of one acts and monologues that contains adult themes on modern society. All of the characters come together for the titular final act. Watch for a special preview on TCD this Friday with director Ray Bradford and Gutzman. For tickets and times, see the MGAC’s calendar.
The Snow Queen — A Musical, Milwaukee Youth Theatre at the Lincoln Center for the Arts, 11/6
There’s a school show in the day, and a public one at 7 p.m. This musical version of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, adapted by Katie Thompson, follows Gerda as she struggles to save her beloved brother, Kai, from the clutches of the beautiful, wicked Snow Queen. Gerda travels through the four seasons and meets unique characters along the way. Visit the MYT website or call 414-390-3900 for ticketing information.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, First Stage at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 11/7 to 11/22
“What could possibly go wrong when you give a mouse a cookie? Apparently quite a bit, especially when Mom is away.” The bestselling children’s book by Laura Numeroff becomes a First Steps Series play for First Stage. It’s an interactive theater experience that introduces young children to the theater. For details, visit the First Stage webpage or call 414-273-7206.
All About Eve: the radio drama, Forward Theater at the Overture Center Playhouse in Madison, 11/7
“Fasten your seat belts! It’s going to be a bumpy night in this classic backstage story, performed as a radio play” in conjunction with Wisconsin Public Radio. Complete with sound effects, vintage commercials, theme music and period costumes, “this will be the greatest radio show you’ve ever seen,” says the folks at the newly created Forward dramatic troupe. After the special event, there will be a concert and party at Fair Trade Coffee House. All proceeds go directly to support the inaugural season. For more information, visit the FORWARD website or call Overture for tickets at 608-258-4141._
Condolences go out to the Midwest acting scene in memory of set and talented lighting designer Michael Philipi who collapsed and passed away last Tuesday while on his way to tech rehearsals at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He was working on a production of High Holidays there. Philippi was the lighting designer on Happy Now? at the Milwaukee Rep, an artful set-up in a story that required moody lighting to convey emotion.
A special shout-out to the programmers at the Pabst/Turner Hall/Riverside juggernaut. There will be some interesting offerings over the next few months. While it will be amusing to see the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Nov. 6 at Riverside), Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas (Dec. 6 at Turner), Irish Tenors (also Dec. 6, across the river at Pabst) and culinary bad boys Guy Fieri (Dec. 2) and Anthony Bourdain (Jan. 22) — it’s your hosting of The 5 Browns (April 17) that caught our eye. For some great videos of the siblings in action, check out this YouTube clip. The pre-sale started on 11/2; general ticket sales begin this Friday.
Auditions: Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa is seeking actors for a once-a-month, six-month children’s touring production called The King’s Rabbits. Tryouts will be held at the Divine Word Lutheran Church, Nov. 9-10, at 7 p.m. Contact the Village Playhouse website for more information.
For more of the latest stage and music news from around the Milwaukee scene, visit our sister publication at Footlights Milwaukee.