Australian Bombshell, more Almond
Caroline O’Connor — British turned Australian, ballet dancer turned musical comedy star, musical personality turned stage and screen actress — will make her Milwaukee debut at the Rep this week. O’Connor plays six different characters in Bombshells, written for her by Joanna Murray-Smith. The show is in previews until Thursday in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater; the opening night is Friday (Nov. 26). Bombshells, about widely varied women on the brink of big life changes, runs on the Rep’s big stage through Dec. 19. Tickets via the Rep’s website, or call the box office at 414-224-9290.
And now, here she is, Bombshell Caroline O’Connor:
Mark Bucher, the founder and driving force behind the Boulevard Theater for 25 years, has announced that Evan Smith’s Savannah Disputation will be his last show as a stage director at the Boulevard. From now on, Boucher will focus on fund-raising. The show, which opens Wednesday (Nov. 24) and runs through Jan. 16, is a comedy about two skeptical sisters of a certain age beset by a Baptist beautician intent upon saving their souls. Sally Marks and Joan End play the sisters. Jamieson Hawkins is the young zealot, and Patrick Perkins plays Father Murphy, who is pitted against Hawkins at dinner. Tickets are $20; call the Boulevard, 414-744-5757, or visit the company’s website.
I’d fill you in on two more shows that open this week, but TCD’s Peggy Sue Dunigan has beaten me to it. Just click on the titles to read all about First Stage Children’s Theater’s My Son Pinnochio and about the Sunset Theater’s live version of It’s a Wonderful Life, the holy of holies of holiday movies.
Drumline Live!, a celebration of the blazing trumpets, pounding drums, precision drill and athletic choreography practiced at traditionally black colleges, comes to the Milwaukee Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 26). The producers have professionalized drumline; they audition experienced grads and hire them for touring shows. (Do you fit the bill? You can apply for an audition here.) Here is a video sample. Tickets are $25-$60, via Ticketmaster. And you can find a map, links and more info in the TCD calendar, right here,
Violinist Kyoko Takezawa will play Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony, with Edo de Waart conducting, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Nov. 26-27), at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall. In the second half, soprano Christine Goerke, baritone Hugh Russell and the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus will join de Waart and the orchestra in Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, a 70-minute epic from 1910. Tickets are $25-$95, at the orchestra’s website and at its ticket line, 414-291-7605. Look for Michael Barndt‘s review in TCD on the weekend.
Frankly Music will note the bicentennial years of Chopin and Schumann with concerts dedicated to their music in programs Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 29-30, at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 N. Prospect Ave. Tickets are $36, $10 for students; click here.
Violist Max Mandel and cellist Stephen Balderston will be the guests of series director Frank Almond, violinist. Pianist William Wolfram, a New Yorker who has performed in Milwaukee in every pianistic capacity, will play Chopin solos TBA and will join the string players in Schumann’s Piano Quartet and Marchenbilder, Opus 113.
Almond, also concertmaster of the MSO, is fresh off triumphant performances of Samuel Barber‘s Violin Concerto with the orchestra. In an interview prior to those performances, he spoke of his involvement in the publishing of a long-lost Barber Sonata. Which he just might play as an encore for Frankly Music. If the audience insists.