Tom Strini
On Stage 5/3-9

No No Nanette, Yes Yes Marvin

By - May 3rd, 2011 04:00 am

Isadora Duncan 1911, by John Sloan. Courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Fun fact: If you click on any red byline at TCD, you get a last-in, first-out menu of every story that writer has done for us since Day 1.


Vincent Youmans, born to New York wealth and slated for engineering or Wall Street, gave it all up for show business. After serving in the Navy during World War I, he become a Tin Pan Alley song plugger and then rehearsal pianist for Victor Herbert. Youmans’ biggest hit, and one of the biggest hits of the 1920s, was No, No Nanette. The jazz craze hit Broadway soon after and left such operetta-tinged work as Youmans’ behind, but many of his songs have endured. Tea for Two and I Want to Be Happy, for example, are both from this show.

The UWM musical theater program will revive the old musical, with Tony Horne directing. The show rarely comes around, and it’s worth a look out of historical curiosity if nothing else. Keep in mind this is a student production, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that rehearsals are going very well. It runs at the UWM Mainstage Theater at  7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4-8. Tickets are $17, $12 for seniors, faculty and alumni, and $10 for students, at the UWM Peck School of the Arts box office, 414 229-4308.

Theatre Gigante, the brainchild of choreographer Isabelle Kralj and theater guy Mark Anderson, has always operated on the edge of dance, theater and performance art. They and Ed Burgess, of the UWM dance department, have written a new show, Isadora and Nijinsky, that seems like a natural for them. Isadora, of course, is Isadora Duncan, a founding mother of modern dance. Nijinsky was the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century, the choreographer of The Rite of Spring, and a tortured soul who lived out the last half of his life in a Swiss insane asylum.The co-creators call it “an exploration through text, movement and sound” (lights by Rick Graham, video and other images by Iain Court). 8 p.m. Thursday through Satuday, 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5-8, in Studio 508 of UWM’s Kenilworth Square East, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place (at Prospect Ave.) Tickets are $26.50, seniors $21.50, and students $11.50. Call the UWM Peck School of the Arts box office, 414 229-4308.

Leslie Jo Bissett will take on the formidable task of being The One in A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, a revue that opens Thursday, May 5, and runs through June 26 at the Fireside Dinner Theatre. Tickets are $75.91, but don’t forget, that includes dinner, taxes and fees. To see the menu and order, visit the Fireside website.

The African American Children’s Theatre will put on three short plays at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6-7: Patsy Ford Simms wrote both Harriet’s Freedom Train, about the Underground Railroad, and The Inventors, about African American contributions to technology; both are musicals.  Also on the bill: Apparently Not, a play about bullying, written by Hayley Gordon and developed with children at the Northside Y. Admission is free. The show will be given at the John C. Cudahy YMCA, 9050 N. Swan Road.

Remember the good old days of radio drama? Well, they’re back — but not on the radio. Witness live radio drama without the dangers of handling an electrical appliance at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6-8, at the Sunset Playhouse. The Wisconsin Hybrid Theater will present Charles Sommers’ Radio WHT Presents ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ The story involves bald identical twins, a pygmy and a one-legged man. Tickets are $15; call the Sunset box office, 262 782-4430, vist the WHT website.



Marvin is always Marvin at the Milwaukee Symphony Pops. But this week, he’ll be a little moreso, as the program will be dedicated to Mr. Marvin Hamlisch’s many hits. His ASCAP credit list runs to 725 numbers, including, of course, the entire score of A Chorus Line. Concerts are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6-8, at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall. Tickets are $25-$93, at the MSO website and ticket line, 414 291-7605, and at the Marcus Center box office, 414 273-7206.

The Concord Chamber Orchestra, led by Jamin Hoffman, does it for love. The Concord will conclude its 35th season with a blue-themed concert. Jennifer Higdon’s new Blue Cathedral is on the program, along side George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring pianist Mark Carlstein. Also on the program: Rami Bar-Niv’s Blue Rag, Morton Gould’s Symphonette No. 2 (“American”) and Darius Milhaud’s jazzy La Creation du Monde. Tickets are $15 at the Concord website. Concert time is 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1615 Wauwatosa Ave.

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander (known as Alexander the Great among jazz aficionados) will join We Six, the resident jazz combo of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, in the group’s season finale Thursday, May 5. They’re expecting to pack the conservatory’s 100-seat recital hall, so they’ll double up, with concerts at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Still, call ahead to reserve a seat: 414 276-5760. Tickets are $22, $20 for seniors and students.

NOTE: On Stage is not comprehensive. Please visit our events calendar for more listings. If you feel we missed an important event, feel free to add it in a comment box below.


The first link takes you to the company website, the second to the TCD review.

Soulstice Theatre: American Enterprise, through May 14.
Sunset Playhouse: Love, Sex and the IRS, through May 28.
In Tandem Theatre: Thrill Me, through May 15.
Alchemist Theatre: Natalie Ryan and the Brain Thieves, through May 14.
First Stage: Miss Nelson Is Missing!, through June 5.
Boulevard Theatre: Two to Go, Shaw/Wilder double bill, through May 29.

Last Chance

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Death of a Salesman, Quadracci Powerhouse, through May 8; The Bomb-itty of Errors, Stackner Cabaret, through May 8.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us