Sept. 7-13, A New Arts Season Begins
Charles Busch’s “Psycho Beach Party,” through Sept. 12 at Off-the-Wall Theatre.
Dale Gutzman’s Off-the-Wall company opened Busch’s camp classic on Sept. 2. Liz Mistele stars as Chicklet, a Gidget-style surfer girl with the twist of multiple personality disorder. Jeremy Welter directs.
Tickets are $25.50 and $21.50. Click here to order (and for more info) or call OTW at 414-327-3552.
American Players Theater runs eight (EIGHT!) shows in repertory this week.
You got your existentialism (Beckett’s Waiting for Godot). You got your arch political comedy (Shaw’s Major Barbara), your Shakespeare (All’s Well That Ends Well and As You Like It) which in this case also covers your romantic comedy. You got your smart, complicated adult dramedy in Somerset Maugham’s The Circle and your tense, Southern adult drama of a predatory dysfunctional family in Lillian Hellman’s Another Part of the Forest.
You got your playwright’s backstage memoir of a great actor in Athol Fugard’s Exits and Entrances. Finally, got your one-woman tour de force as Coleen Madden plays a little girl growing up in aparteheid South Africa — and 23 other characters — The Syringa Tree.
An embarrassment of theatrical riches, outdoors at the Up The Hill Theater and indoors at the Touchstone awaits you a few miles west of Madison. Ticket prices range from $39 to $64, depending on day and time of the show and on seat location. Visit the APT site or call the box office, 608-588-2361.
Free-for-All: The Fine Arts Quartet, Sunday 9/12 at the UWM Zelazo Center
The Fine Arts Quartet will celebrate its 65th anniversary season by admitting everyone free to all four concerts. That’s right, Milwaukee, you heard the magic word: FREE!
Violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Nicolò Eugelmi and cellist Wolfgang Laufer start it all Sunday, Sept. 12, with Mozart’s KV 465 (“Dissonant”), Boris Tischenko’s String Quartet No. 5 and Sibelius’ Opus 56 (“Voces Intimae”). The other dates, all Sundays, are Nov. 14, Feb. 6 and March 6. Click here for details.
For most of those 65 years, the Fine Arts Quartet has been in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Its programs take place at UWM’s Zelazo Center, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd., at 3 p.m. (At 2 p.m., Stephen Basson, retired principal bassoonist of the Milwaukee Symphony and a charming musical raconteur, will give pre-concert talks.) Admission is free, but you still need to pick up a ticket at the UWM Peck School of the Arts box office. Call ahead (414-229-4308) to reserve your favorite seat or walk up to the window a few minutes before the concert.
If you can’t make it Sundays, you’re invited to open rehearsals at noon in Zelazo, also free. And on Sundays, parking at the UWM Union is also free.
Such a deal.
Guitarist Gareth Pearson at UWM, Friday 9/10 at the Recital Hall.
The UWM music department has developed a powerhouse guitar program in the last 10 years, and they teach every style. “American finger style,” a virtuoso bluegrass-inflected form involving the thumb and three fingers in the right hand, has become a specialty. Gareth Pearson, a native of Cwmbran, South Wales, is a little outside the box even in the wide-open finger-style world. He’s taken to covering the likes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Radiohead’s Paranoid Android.
7:30 p.m. Friday, UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, 2200 E. Kenwood. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, $8 for UWM people. Call the PSOA box office, 414-229-4308.
UWM’s Inova Gallery opens the season with a burst of activity.
1. Folk Art from the UWM Collection at Inova Zelazo, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd. Opening reception Friday, Sept. 10, 5-7 p.m.
2. The drawings, prints and 16mm films of the late influential Bruce Conner are on view at Inova Kenilworth. Inova is working with the Milwaukee Art Museum, the UWM Union Cinema and the collection of Natasha Nicholson and Thomas Garver to present this major retrospective by an important California multi-media artist. More info here.
3. Psychotrope, a group show of new video art that reflects a younger generation’s take on psychedelia and a fondness for low-tech ways to freak out visually. The show runs concurrently with the Conner show at Inova Kenilworth, a remarkable facility at the corner of at 2155 N. Prospect Ave., at Kenilworth St. (You know, just south of Alterra.) Details here.
All three shows are free.
Keep up with all your favorite groups via our Performing Arts Groups page, which is loaded with direct links to the websites of almost every arts group in the area. And when you’re looking for something to do, browse our calendar. It’s loaded.