Tom Strini
On Stage 1/11-17

Orchestras gone wild, big theater openings

By - Jan 11th, 2011 04:00 am
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You thought that other violinist would be out on the A&C page, didn’t you?


Itzhak Perlman, star of the MSO’s special concert Thursday night.

The Milwaukee Symphony is insanely busy this week, with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman coming for a special one-nighter on Thursday (7:30 p.m., Jan. 13, $50-$160) and the premiere of Geoffrey Gordon’s Trombone Concerto for the MSO’s Megumi Kanda Friday (8 p.m., repeated Saturday, $25-$92). Guest conductor James Gaffigan will be on the podium throughout. More on these concerts is coming Wednesday, in the This Week at the MSO column.

Ilana Setapen, star attraction at MYSO’s concerts Sunday.

…and twice on Sunday for Ilana Setapen, the MSO’s brilliant young associate concertmaster. In addition to her duties with the big orchestra, Setapen will be the featured soloist with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra at 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 16). This is no throwaway gig. MYSO’s Senior Symphony is a very good youth orchestra, and this is the Founders’ Concert, the biggest event of MYSO’s year. Setapen will play Sarasate’s Zigeuenerweisen, Opus 20, and movements 1 and 4 of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra.

MYSO will also play Alan Hovhaness’ And God Created the Great Whales and movements 3 and 4 from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D. Music director Margery Deutsch and associate conductor Shelby Keith Dixon will share conducting duties. Over the course of the day, about 150 dedicated young musicians will participate.

Tickets are $11 and $8 at the door, which would be the door of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield. You can get a little discount by ordering ahead; call MYSO at 414-267-2950. These concerts typically draw very well, which explains the need for performances at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.


What’s more exciting than ice fishing? How about a musical about fishing? The Sunset Playhouse will open Guys on Ice, the 1998 popsicle by James Kaplan (music) and the late Fred Alley (book and lyrics). The show was a hit then at American Folklore Theatre and has had many successful runs since.  Guys on Ice slides into the Sunset Friday at 8 p.m. Friday (Jan. 14) and will camp on the Sunset stage until Feb. 6. (Full schedule here.) Tickets are $20 and $22, $16 seniors, $15 students, and $10 on Thrifty Thursdays (including the preview performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13). Call 262-782-4430.

Classical literature, song, storytelling, poetry and science, all in one package! Really, Odyssey Under the Stars sounds pretty cool: Robin Mello, of the UWM Theater Department and Jean Creighton, director of the school’s planetarium, got together to put on a show that connects stars in the sky to characters in The Odyssey. And yes, they’re doing it in the planetarium, in the Physics Building, 1900 E. Kenwood Blvd. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14-16. $2 at the door only.


Renaissance Theaterworks and Uprooted Theater Company are collaborating on a production of Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Lynn Nottage’s “memory play about an African-American family from the Deep South that has moved to bustling Brooklyn in 1950.” Uprooted artistic director Dennis Johnson directs, and managing director Marti Gobel will be featured. The play is the first in RTW’s Diversity Series. It opens at 8 p.m. Friday and runs 27 times through Feb. 6 in the Studio Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway. Tickets are $34 at the Broadway Theatre Center box office, 414-291-7800.


Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, from 1935, was one of the famed director’s earliest hits and helped to establish his formula for cocktails of equal parts dry wit and terror. Now, Patrick Barlow’s theatrical gloss on Hitchcock’s film is landing on the Milwaukee Repertory Theater‘s Powerhouse stage. By all accounts, the stage production tilts the plot more toward comedy as our very British hero dodges and embraces assorted femmes fatales and spies — all 140 of them played by four actors. J.R. Sullivan directs. Previews are set for 7:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday and Thursday, with the actual opening at 8 p.m. Friday. The 39 Steps runs through Feb. 13. Tickets: $10 to $40 for previews; $20-$50 for weekday and Sunday shows; and $20-$65 for Fridays and Saturdays. Call 414 229-9290 or visit the Rep’s website


At First Stage Children’s Theater, a young fellow named Willy hops on his bike, cruises back to the late 19th century and meets a girl at an orphanage. She hops aboard and off they go, coasting through history from the Civil War to the age of the Vikings. (He must have bought that top-of-the-line Trek.) John Olive’s The Magic Bicycle opens at 7 p.m. Friday (Jan. 14) and runs through Feb. 5 at the Todd Wehr Theater in the Marcus Center.  Tickets are $10-$33 for adults, $10-$for children and $10-$27 for teens. Call the Marcus Center box office or visit the First Stage website.

The Butler Did It! Really? Really? Or is the butler just one of those red herrings we hear so much about? To find out, you’ll have to follow the Bay Players to Turkey Island, where a gaggle of mystery writers are convening for a weekend gala and, of course, MURDER. Ray Bradford directs the “thick, twisty plot.” We don’t know how it will all turn out, but we do know this much: The Bay Players Present Tim Kelly’s comedy thriller at 8 p.m. Friday/Saturday Jan. 14, 15 and Jan. 21 and 22, at the Whitefish Bay High School Auditorium, 1200 E. Fairmount Ave. Tickets are $14, $10 for seniors and students. 414-299-9040 or visit the Bay Players website.


Here Comes Trouble 2011 is comintg to Danceworks Friday and Saturday (Jan. 14-15), on the DanceLAB series intended to introduce emerging choreographers to the public. Sarah Wallisch is putting on Trouble,  with dancers Sandy Beneke, Thom Dancy, Emilie Rabbitt, Katie Rhyme and Karen Zakrzewski, Liz Sexe, Bridgett Tegen, Alexandria Watry, and Megan Zintek and Andrew Zanoni. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. at the 100-seat Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water Street.

Admission is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $12, $10 for students and seniors, at the door.

Last Chance

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Liberace! closes Jan. 16, in the Stackner Cabaret.
Boulevard Theatre: The Savannah Disputation, closes Jan. 16.

Note that On Stage is not a comprehensive guide. Do check TCD’s events calendar for more offerings, and visit us regularly to keep up with our arts-related feature stories and reviews, which we publish in abundance.


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