Tom Strini
On Stage 10/19-25

Bloody theater and bloody good singing

By - Oct 19th, 2010 04:00 am


We won’t overdo it here, because more coverage is on the way at TCD. But the biggest deal in town this week is the Florentine Opera’s premiere of Don Davis Rio de Sangre. Lots of positive buzz coming out of rehearsal. It runs Friday through Sunday (Oct. 22-24) at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall.  Details and links here. We also did a feature on Rio for MPTV’s Arts Digest show. Click here to watch online and for HD broadcast times.


Stas Venglevski, Milwaukee’s ace accordionist, will play a recital at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, in Helfaer Hall at Mount Mary College. Venglevski, a native of Moldava, came up through the highly developed Russian bayan accordion school. His special guest on this program, Semion Shmelkov, is one of the great young virtuosos coming out of that tradition. Both are graduates of the Russian Academy of Music. Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the door ($12 for students); call 414-543-7714. Shmelkov video here. (Dig that crazy hat.)

Thirty-nine singers are slated to compete in the annual Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Wisconsin District, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center. They’ll all sing at least one aria for a panel of judges and for an audience of the area’s most avid opera fans. (It’s a mere $5 to get in. You earn the right to vote for your favorite by staying to hear all of the singers.) They will sing prize money and for advancement to the regional finals in Minneapolis and then to the national finals in New York. The Wisconsin District’s $14,000 in prizes attracts singers from all over. Locals include Angela Kloc, Corissa Leonard, Catherine Schweitzer, Sarah Shestak and Susan Wiedmeyer.

Saturday is huge for singing in Milwaukee. In addition to the Met Auditions and the Florentine’s Rio, Sharon Hansen’s superb Milwaukee Choral Artists will sing at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church, 1615 N. Wauwatosa Ave. The Chicago Chamber Choir, led by Adam Timm, will join the all-female, all-pro MCA on this program of songs about War and Peace. Details and links here. I’m rushing the season, I know, but here’s the MCA singing a new arrangement of Silent Night for TCD’s Holiday Song Project last December.


Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway will make a one-night national tour stop at the Milwaukee Theatre Friday (Oct. 22). The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Broadway vets Carter Calvet, Robert DuSold, Rob Evan, Rita Harvey and Ted Levy will sing in front of a four-piece tour band. The local twist: Several Milwaukee-area singers, selected by video audition, will join the pros on stage for a number. Tickets are $24.50-$35.  Details and links here. Video here.

The blood flowing on Milwaukee stages (see Rio de Sangre above and Murder Castle below) says that Halloween is upon us. In Tandem Theatre will get into the act at 8 p.m. Friday (Oct. 22; pay-what-you-can preview is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21), when it opens The Art of Murder. In Joe DiPietro’s play, artist wife plots with dealer to bump off artist husband, as the only valuable artist is a dead one. Art of Murder runs through Nov. 7 at the Tenth Street Theatre. $25. Map, links and details here.

The Day of the Dead


Latino Arts’ annual Día de los Muertos celebration starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, with the opening reception for an Ofrendas exhibition in the Latino Arts Gallery. At 7:30 p.m., the internationally known Son de Madera band will perform, with a guest appearance by the Latino Arts Strings. That group, featuring former Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zach de la Rocha, specializes in a folk style, Son Jarocho, native to Veracruz.

Tickets to performances in the Latino Arts Auditorium are $25 for General Admission, $20 for Seniors (60+), or $15 for Full-Time Students. A Dinner and a Show ticket option, which includes a fish fry in Café el Sol before the performance, is available for $32. Visit the Latino Arts website for more info.


The Rep: Laurel and Hardy and My Name Is Asher Lev, both through Nov. 14.

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre: Main-Travelled Roads, through Oct. 31.

Alchemist Theater: Murder Castle, through Oct. 30.

First Stage: Peter Pan and Wendy, through Nov. 14.

Last Chance!

Renaissance Theatreworks closes Reasons to Be Pretty Oct. 24.

The Rep closes Cabaret Oct. 24.

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