Tom Strini
Fall 2011-12 Milwaukee Arts Guide


By - Aug 25th, 2011 02:32 am
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I got your work ethic right here.

You want work ethic? I’ll give you work ethic, in one word: Dancer.

No one in the workforce, with the possible exception of TCD’s staff,  gives more and gets less than these impassioned people. Maybe it’s just that it’s a young person’s profession, and they work so insanely hard to burn as brightly as possible in a short career. They deserve attention; so instead of spending another night eating cheese doodles in front of the TV, go see these workaholics work their wonders.

You’re welcome.

Here’s what’s coming this fall:


The Milwaukee Ballet’s decadent “Dracula” arrives around Halloween. Courtesy of the MBC website.

Milwaukee Ballet: Michael Pink’s Dracula is a swooning romance couched in easy-to-follow physical theater and wrapped in classico-moderno dance accompanied by Philip Feeney’s deliciously lurid score. I’ve seen it; Dracula  is a rippin’ good show, neck and neck with Pink’s Peter Pan (coming again this spring) as his best theatrical extravaganza. Dracula runs Halloween weekend. Oct. 27-30, Marcus Center Uihlein Hall. By the way, MBC has gotten very good at putting on fun events related to their shows. The Transfusion Cocktail Costume Party, set for Oct. 29, should be quite something.

Avant-Tap: The Marcus Center Presents series will bring tap virtuoso Savion Glover to Uihlein Hall on Nov. 8. Glover’s Bring in da noise, Bring in da funk caused a sensation and won a Tony award in 1996. Glover is touring a new show, Bare Soundz. Looks to be very high in production and dance values. See for yourself:

Alverno Presents: Touring modern dance has always been a hard sell here, and I admire Alverno Presents for keeping the faith. AP has already brought Eiko and Koma to the Lynden Garden this summer. On Nov. 5, the south side women’s college will bring Stephen Petronio Company back to the Pitman Theater, on campus at  3134 S. 39th St. Petronio is known both for his beautiful, lyric, flowing style, fashion consciousness and daring sexuality. In this show, Underland, everyone wears underwear and dances to music by Nick Cave.


Wild Spacer Jade Jablonski dashing through the Pritzlaff building breezeway. Photo courtesy of the Wild Space website.

Wild Space: Debra Loewen and her troupe pop up around town in non-traditional venues and take their cues from a specific places. Sept. 15-17, Wild Space will take control of the Pritzlaff Building, a beautiful old industrial space with a marvelous cobblestone courtyard, at 325 N. Plankinton Ave., on the northern edge of the Third Ward. (Maybe you caught Youngblood Theatre there this summer, in An Apology.) Loewen will renew her collaboration with photographer and digital artist Tom Bamberger, which bore fruit previously in By Accident and Necessity. The title of this new piece, In the Space Between, suggests that the courtyard between the building’s two halves will be featured. This will be one of Loewen’s build-your-own pieces, where you can wander a little to have a unique theatrical experience. Visit the Wild Space website for ticket info.


Elizabeth Johnson. Photo courtesy of Your Mother Dances Facebook page.

Your Mother Dances: Elizabeth Johnson’s unique and fascinating aesthetic ranges from cutting satire to bizarre humor to sweet beauty. Here’s a little of the note Elizabeth sent about Stripped Roundly, coming to the little theater in Room 254 at Mitchell Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: “Encouraged by personal and political necessity, the works will be presented with seating in the round and unadorned costumes and lighting. While fancier accoutrements are quite nice, they are not at all necessary when it comes to the depth and complexity of dances nor to connecting intimately and up close with the audience.”

The new works are Johnson’s The Grey Side and Impulsive Minors and Vanier’s Deflating Debussy. Tickets: $10 donation. Cash or check at the door only. Seating is limited. For guaranteed reservations, e-mail

Danceworks will join with Milwaukee Opera Theatre (lately revivified by the enterprising Jill Anna Ponasik) and conductor Richard Hynson to stage Astor Piazzolla‘s Maria de Buenos Aires, from 1968. Piazzolla was the giant of the tango. His music is among the most emotionally charged of the 20th century — and you can dance to it. Piazzolla’s tango opera is a big project, not just anyone can play his music as it ought to be played, and the Argentine tango is a very specific dance skill. This ambitious project will not be easy to pull off, but it’s at the top of my personal list for the fall of  2011. Performances are set for Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at Calvary Church, at 10th Street and Wisconsin Ave. Call Danceworks, (414) 277-8480 ext. 6025, for tickets, or visit the company’s website.

Did I forget something? No doubt. You can add anything I missed via the comment boxes below. Also, lack of a mention here doesn’t preclude coverage later. TCD is pretty much on top of everything that moves, so check back often. And do bookmark Matthew Reddin’s comprehensive and constantly updated Performing Arts Guide. Finally, links to previously published music and theater guides.



Categories: A/C Feature 2, Dance

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