Tom Strini
On Stage 12/6-13

What’s Christmas without a lotta Spam?

By - Dec 7th, 2010 04:00 am


Lionheart, a sextet of superb vocalists specializing in Medieval music, will sing a very different sort of Christmas program on the Early Music Now at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 11). The chants, Gothic motets, carols and dance tunes of Tydings True: Feasts of Christmas in Medieval England should have special resonance under the reverberant dome of the Basilica of St. Josaphat, 2333 S. 6th St. Tickets are $42 and $27, $12 for students. Order here, or call 414-225-3113.

It’s Christmas time, the perfect time to take the little kids to a Festival City Symphony Holiday Pajama Jamboree concert. It’s free, and the FCS has been doing this forever and knows how to make it work. Put the kids in their pajamas and bring their bears and blankets, then drop them in the kiddie mosh pit. Parents can occupy the chairs around the perimeter. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Marcus Center Bradley Pavilion.


I don’t usually highlight student shows, but I make an exception in the case of UWM’s annual choreography program. Dance is by and large a young person’s game, and UWM’s dance program is strong technically and permeated with daring creative spirit. The dancers who come out of that program become the city’s creative professionals a few years later. It’s fun to catch them as sophomores and juniors and watch them grow up. And many of them are worth watching before they grow up; I’ve never seen a student show at UWM without at least one strong new work.

This year, the creativity is bursting at the seams. The 2010 New Dancemakers expanded to three different programs to accommodate everyone. They’ll put on three separate shows per day at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 9-12). Admission to each show is $12 ($10 for seniors, faculty and alums, $8 for students). The Mitchell Hall Studio Theater (Room 254) is very small and often sells out; phone in your order, 414-229-4308.

The Ko-Thi Dance Company will perform, meet and greet from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Mitchell Park Domes. Tickets are $25 at the door only.

The big battle in the Milwaukee Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Milwaukee Ballet photo, from 2009.

The Milwaukee Ballet has just awarded a new five-year contract to artistic director Michael Pink. Pink’s amusing, charming exhilarating The Nutcracker surely has something to do with that. He has tied brilliant dancing to pointed storytelling in this production, which should be on every Milwaukeean’s Christmas list. The Nutcracker opens Friday (Dec. 10) and runs through Dec. 26 at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall. Tickets are $25-$69; call the company’s box office, 414-902-2103 or the Marcus Center box office, 414273-7206.


A touring production of Monty Python’s Spamalot touches down at the Milwaukee Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 to $60, with a number of special offers available.  So try to look on the bright side of life.

“Try to Look on the Bright Side of Life,” from “Spamalot.” Photo courtesy of the Spamalot website.


Mother Superior’s H0-Ho-Holy Night: Vicky Quade’s show runs through Dec. 19 at Marcus Center Vogel Hall.
Boulevard Theatre: The Savannah Disputation, through Jan. 16.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Liberace! through Jan. 16; Bombshells through Dec. 19; and A Christmas Carol through Dec. 26.
Skylight Opera Theatre: H.M.S. Pinafore, through Dec. 19.
Sunset Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life, through Dec. 19; The Santaland Diaries, through Dec. 18.

Last Chance

Prometheus Trio: 11 a.m. today (Yes! a matinee on Tues., Dec. 7), Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 N. Prospect Ave.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre: The Subject Was Roses, through Dec. 12.

0 thoughts on “On Stage 12/6-13: What’s Christmas without a lotta Spam?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Add one more event to your choices this weekend. The UW-Milwaukee theater production of Moliere’s Lover’s Quarrels surpasses the expectations for a student production.

    Moliere wrote Lover’s Quarrels early in his career. Humor is derived from the usual human foibles – pompous behavior, cowardice. love, jealously – without the social and political commentary built into his better known works. A rarely staged, recent translation by poet Richard Wilbur brings the humor to life.

    Under Bill Watson’s direction all of the performances are first rate. Watson’s vision is clearest in the “blocking”. Sketch comedy – especially between pairs of actors – sparkles because of the inventive stage direction. Moliere’s comedy is very clever, but hilarity derives from the physical responses of the actors. Keep your eyes on the actor without the spoken lines.

    After the opening December 8th, Lover’s Quarrels will be performed this week only; Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM at the UW-Milwaukee Mainstage Theater. Details at

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