Musical celebrations and incoming artworks
St. Patrick’s Day may have been last Saturday, but the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra commemorates the occasion this weekend with their Celtic Celebration Pops series, featuring Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers and her trademark blue acoustic-electric fiddle. Ivers, a nine-time All-Ireland fiddle champion, has worked with Riverdance and performed with numerous world-famous orchestras in her career. Jeff Tyzik will conduct. Concerts are March 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. and March 25 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to $99, and can be purchased at the MSO’s website or (414) 291-7605.
Saturday, Alverno Presents brings Milwaukee the Eccentric Soul Revue. What’s that? A trio of powerhouse R&B performers — Renaldo Domino, the Notations and Syl Johnson — backed by a powerful band like The Bo-Keys. Soul revues used to be standard back in the days of Motown, and this show hopes to bring the style back. It starts at 8 p.m. March 24. Tickets are $22. Order at (414) 382-6044 or Alverno’s website.
The Fine Arts Quartet presents the final, sold-out concert of their 2011-12 season this week at UWM. The concert’s entirely Camille Saint-Saëns focused, with the Quartet performing his Barcarolle piano quartet in F major as well as another quartet in B flat major and a quintet in A minor. Joining them is guest pianist Cristina Ortiz. The concert is Sudnay, March 25, at UWM’s Zelazo Center.
The Florentine Opera’s four Studio Artists (soprano Erica Schuller, mezzo-soprano Kristen DiNinno, tenor Matthew Richardson and bass-baritone Dan Richardson) visit the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center this weekend. They’ll perform works from the American Songbook, including pieces by George Gershwin, and higher-brow stuff by Carlisle Floyd and Leonard Bernstein. The concert is Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 to $20 and can be purchased at (414) 766-5049 or the SMPAC website.
Shorewood native Kate Baldwin returns for a performance at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center. Baldwin’s been on Broadway for over a decade now, earning acclaim for performances in The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie and the revived Finian’s Rainbow, which won her a Tony nomination for Best Actress in 2010. The concert will begin at 1 p.m. March 21. Tickets are $20, $15 for balcony seats. Order at (262) 781-9520 or their online box office.
The Concord Chamber Orchestra presents music originally performed …At the Theatre at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Saturday, March 24. Featured theatrical works include excerpts from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Mendelssohn’s score for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the symphonic suite from West Side Story. Leigh Akin, winner of the annual Dorothy J. Oestreich Concerto Competition, will be featured. The concert begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are $18, $12 for students/seniors. To order, visit their online box office.
In America, Handel’s Messiah is more a Christmas thing. Elsewhere, it’s more Easter. The Waukesha Choral Union will take up the masterwork Sunday looking ahead to Easter (April 8, FYI). The free performance, a Choral Union spring tradition of more than 30 years, begins at 3 p.m. March 25. Admission is free, but you still need a ticket; print yours here.
Festival City Symphony offers a tribute to the countryside this weekend, in Give Me That Country Life, their latest Symphony Sundays concert. The prime selection on the program is Marie-Joseph Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne, a series of arranged folk songs from the French countryside, performed with guest soprano Patrice Michaels. Michaels, a Chicagoan, has sung very well in Milwaukee numerous times over the year. Also on tap is Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. The family-friendly concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Pabst Theater, and tickets are $14 or $8 for children/students/seniors. Order at (414) 286-3205 or the Pabst box office.
Renaissance Theaterworks’ last show of the season, Honour, opens with a shattered 32-year marriage. Title character Honor put her life on hold for her family, only to be blindsided when her husband Gus abandons her and their daughter Sophie for an attractive young journalist. The show runs March 23 through April 15 at the Broadway Theatre Center, with shows at 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $36 or $43.50, and can be ordered at their online box office or (414) 291-7800.
Shel Silverstein is best known for his children’s poetry, but he also wrote for the stage. This weekend, Carte Blanche Studios Shel Shocked, a collection of his short sketches. This is no kids’ show; Silverstein designed his “wicked humor” for adults, with zany, semi-sinister scenarios. The show runs March 22 to April 1, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Sundays and 9 p.m. all other nights. Tickets are $15 and at Carte Blanche’s website.
In the vein of ’70s morality edutainment, Free 2 B U and Me offers an out-of-the-box option at the Alchemist Theatre. A Project Empty Space production, the show mixes song and sketch comedy for an all-ages show that explores issues of race, gender and sexual equality. Performances run March 22 to 31 at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door.
The Imagination Theatre of Germantown will open William Inge’s Picnic this weekend at Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, W156 N10660 Pilgrim Road. The 1953 Pulitzer-winning play depicts a summer of romance and evolution for the members of a small town. Imagination Theatre’s production opens Friday, March 23 and runs through April 1, with shows at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at (262) 957-0399 or by emailing the box office at email@example.com.
The Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is opening a new exhibit that focuses in on urban growth and decay. The show, Vanishing Points, focuses on three artists: Chicago painter Michael Banning, Philadelphia painter Morgan Craig and Rocky River, Ohio photographer Mark Slankard. Vanishing Points opens Friday, March 23 and runs through May 5. A reception is set for Spring Gallery Night, April 20, 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit the WPCA website.
The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Currents series brings in its 34th exhibitor: London-based film and video artist Isaac Julien. Julien’s Expeditions trilogy, a series of multi-screen installations recently acquired by the MAM, will be presented at the museum sequentially for almost a year, starting Saturday and extending through Feb. 17, 2013. First is True North, from March 24 to May 9, then Fantôme Afrique runs May 10 to June 17, and finally Western Union: Small Boats runs June 28 through the end of the exhibit. Visit the MAM website for more information.
Theatre MXT: Success, through April 1 at Next Act Theatre
Fireside Theatre: 9 to 5, through May 5
Soulstice Theater: Nocturne, through March 24
Acacia Theater Company: Babette’s Feast, through March 25
For more upcoming events through the remainder of the season, stop by our 2011-12 Performing Arts Guide.
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