Matthew Reddin
On Stage 8/16

August rolls on with new theater, dance and festivals

By - Aug 16th, 2011 04:00 am
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“Manifest Destiny!,” a psychedelic Western, brings The Hinterlands back to Milwaukee.


The summer may be coming to a close, but things are heating up at Alverno’s Pitman Theatre. It’s a dry desert heat, brought by Alverno Presents’ newest show, Manifest Destiny! (there was blood on the saddle). The “psychedelic Wild West Show,” latest project of theater troupe The Hinterlands, debuted in Detroit earlier this month. The Hinterlands, presently based in the Motor City, once called Milwaukee home; they put on their first show, Isaac Newton is Our DJ, at MOCT in 2010. Shows are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20, at 7 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $15. For more information or to order seats, visit Alverno Presents’ website.

Boulevard Theatre’s season opens Wednesday with Circle Mirror Transformation, an Obie-winning play about the five members of a creative drama class. Actors playing actors may seem esoteric, but the play’s down-to-earth, a close-up examination of the roles we play every day of our lives, actors or otherwise. Circle Mirror Transformation runs Aug. 17 to Sept. 4, with Wednesday and Thursday shows at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $23, and can be purchased at (414) 744-5757.

Visual Art

Milwaukee’s iconic Mitchell Park Domes, filled with exotic plants, are among the most beautiful places in the city. That beauty will rise to a new level as the Domes play host to the 2nd annual Milwaukee Domes Art Festival, Aug. 19-21. The festival includes a juried art show, with more than 70 artists vying for recognition. Among the juried categories is a plein air competition, in which artists will create works on the spot. If you like what you see, you can on some of the competition work at auction. The festival’s online auction system, identical to the one used at the Lakefront Festival of the Arts, allows attendees to place bids either at the festival or online.

TCD is one of the festival’s sponsors. Please stop by to visit while you’re at the festival. The event runs 12 to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website.

It’s a time-honored tradition: When you take a trip, you bring back souvenirs. So when you’re an artist and that trip is sponsored by a Mary L. Nohl Individual Artists Suitcase Export Fund Fellowship, designed to let you exhibit your work somewhere outside Milwaukee, the very best souvenir to bring is your work itself. That’s the idea behind Out of the Suitcase IV, opening at MIAD this Saturday. All the works in the exhibit are from 2008 and 2009 fellowship winners and been part of exhibitions in Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere in the United States. The show will be on display in MIAD’s Layton Gallery from Aug. 20 to Oct. 8, with an opening reception Thursday, Sept. 8.


“A Bit of Bubbly,” from last year’s “Art to Art,” told the tale of a woman living in a bottle of champagne, and was developed by choreographer Alison Leonard and theater artist/director Andy Wiginton.

Every summer for the past seven years, Danceworks has put on a science experiment called Art to Art. This weekend, they pull the lever and unveil their Frankenstein-ian creations. The concert pairs local choreographers with creative professionals from alternate mediums to create works that push new frontiers in dance. Previous years’ offerings have included puppets,  spiders, champagne women, robots and underwater harps. The six teams formed this year, comprising composers, musicians, a writer and a flutist/dancer, will surely find new ways to surprise. A new twist: For the first time, Danceworks invited three choreographers from their recent Here Comes Trouble concert (Liz Sexe, Andrew Zanoni and Megan Zintek) to join the show rather than require them to submit proposals. Art to Art will run at Danceworks Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, $20 for reserved seating and $10 for students and seniors, at Danceworks’ website.


Your average bookstore might offer the occasional acoustic singer-songwriter, but Woodland Pattern Book Center’s taking it up a notch with their 3rd annual Music Marathon. The event benefits the book center’s Alternating Currents Live concert series for avant-garde performers. The marathon brings together performers from every conceivable genre. Each gets a 10-minute slot. Spots are still available; performers can call 414 263-5001 to sign up. Listeners welcome; the marathon runs from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Woodland Pattern’s gallery, on 720 E. Locust St.

The Milwaukee Summer Philharmonia gives one of their rising stars a chance to shine at 7:30 tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 16) at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 6031 W. Chapel Hill Road in Mequon. Violin prodigy Alex Ayers, 20, will take the spotlight in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D with the Philharmonia at 7:30 p.m. Ralph Lane will conduct; the program also includes  Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. Ayers started violin at age 3. He was accepted into the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University at the age of 16. Admission is free.

Special Events

Break out your shillelagh, folks; Milwaukee Irish Fest is rolling into town from Aug. 18 to 21 at the Summerfest grounds. Among the festival’s numerous cultural offerings, a few highlights: Jamison whiskey tasting, hurling club demonstrations, the official Irish Fest Choir, and a wide variety of other artists playing on each of Irish Fest’s 19 stages. Admission to the festival is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under, with reduced $5 general admission all night Thursday and from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit their website or call (414) 476-3378.


Youngblood TheatreMinnesota Moon, through Aug. 25

YoungbloodGruesome Playground Injuries, through Aug. 27

Milwaukee Chamber TheatreCrimes of the Heart, through Aug. 28

American Players Theatre: Blithe Spirit, through Sept. 9

APT: The Critic, through Sept. 10

APTThe Cure at Troy, through Sept. 25

APT: The Tempest, through Sept. 30

APTOf Mice and Men, through Oct. 1

APT: The Taming of the Shrew, through Oct. 2

APT: The Glass Menagerie, through Oct. 15

APT: Crime and Punishment, through Oct. 16

Last Chance

In Tandem TheatreTea at Five, through Aug. 21

Fireside TheatreDavid, through Aug. 21

Imagination Theatre of GermantownThe Music Man, through Aug. 21

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