Spring in the air, across Milwaukee
This weekend, the Milwaukee Ballet opens its annual Spring Series. The three dances could scarcely be more different: Lila York’s Celts explores of Irish history, dance and music; Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass takes its cues from the Balkan and Eastern European music blendings of Beirut; and Alejandro Cerrudo’s Extremely Close is set to piano solos by Philip Glass and Dustin O’Halloran. Performances run Thursday, March 29 to Sunday, April 1, with most shows at 7:30 p.m. save a 1:30 p.m. Sunday matinee. Ticket range from $28 to $96, and can be purchased at the Ballet’s website or (414) 902-2103.
Wisconsin Lutheran College hosts the Kenya Safari Acrobats at 7:30 tonight (Tuesday). The acrobatic dance troupe developed their skills as children in their home country, and have now taken their stunts and skills across the world to spread their culture. Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors/donors and $12 for students. Call (414) 443-8802 or visit their online box office to order.
The Marcus Center brings the spirit of Al McGuire back to Milwaukee this week in Coach. Written by Dick Enberg, sports broadcaster and close friend to McGuire, and performed by Cotter Smith, the show illuminates the McGuire seen only behind the scenes, offering unique insight into one of the most dynamic personalities ever to have graced Milwaukee. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $43. Call (414) 273-7206 or visit the Marcus Center box office to order.
The Tempest takes the Off the Wall Theatre stage this weekend, with a number of twists and tweaks that blend the vision of Shakespeare with that of Dale Gutzman. Not only will he play Prospero himself, he’s incorporated an original score with eight new songs composed and performed by Glen Quarrie. The play also features an elaborate, magic effect-enhanced island set by David Roper — the only downside is that the set limits audiences to 35 people a night. And with the show only running two weeks — March 29 to April 7 — that means you should get your seats sooner, not later. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. most nights, with 4:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $25.50 reserved or $22.50 general admission. Order at their website or call (414) 327-3552.
In Tandem Theatre offers a two-night run of Jesus Christ Superstar this weekend, as a fundraiser for their 2012-13 season. The show will be performed concert-style. Shows are Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.; tickets are $25. Call (414) 271-1371 for reservations or more information.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra returns to the Basilica of St. Josaphat for the third time this year, to perform concerts full of 20th century works. Violist Robert Levine and the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus will join resident conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and the MSO in Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, Derek Bermel’s Soul Garden, John Rutter’s The Sprig of Thyme and Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $28 to $48. Order at the MSO website or (414) 291-7605.
The final Chamber Music Milwaukee concert of the season brings in five special guests this weekend: the American Brass Quintet. The internationally known Quintet, in existence for over 50 years, will join Chamber Music Milwaukee as part of a mini-residency at UWM. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $17, $12 for seniors and UWM community members, and $10 for students. Call the box office at (414) 229-4308 to order tickets.
Art in Bloom returns to the Milwaukee Art Museum this weekend, marking its fifth perennial appearance, March 29 to April 1. Themed to suit the museum’s current feature exhibition, Accidental Genius, this year’s event includes notable additions to the usual formula, including a new heated tent section, wine garden and “Iron Designer” competition. Award-winners from previous years must design floral arrangements in less than an hour, in the way of Food Network’s Iron Chef. A full list of lectures and events can be found here; admission to the exhibit is $15, $12 for students/seniors and $5 for museum members.
Sunday, temporary public art project here, mothers are launches in the Amani neighborhood, at 24th and Locust. The site-specific installation is an interactive digital audio/video collection examining the role of motherhood in the area. Conceptual artist Sonja Thomsen and storyteller/radio producer Adam Carr put it together. In addition to the opening April 1, there will be a reception April 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dominican Center for Women, and a number of other events in the coming weeks. Visit the project’s website for more information.
The Milwaukee Theatre hosts two radically different shows this weekend. The first is a visit from A Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor, on Saturday, March 31. Keillor was here solo at the Marcus Center last September, but Saturday he’s bringing the whole gang with for a Companion. Local musical guests are Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound and Madison’s Count This Penny. The show begins at 4:45 p.m., and tickets are $35, $45 or $65.
Then, on Sunday, comedian/actor Mike Epps brings his “I’m Still Standing” Tour to Milwaukee. One of Epps’ best-known roles is as Ice Cube’s sidekick in Next Friday and Friday After Next. He got his start doing stand-up and was attached to the Def Comedy Jam tour in the 90s. Epps will perform at 7 p.m., and tickets are $40.50 or $52.50. To order, visit the Milwaukee Theatre’s website.
Woodland Pattern hosts its 6th annual Edible Book Show on Sunday, April 1. It’s no joke; participants are asked to craft books you can eat, which are then read, judged and eaten by fellow food and book lovers. Previous entries have included an alphabet book block made of graham crackers, “Wuthering Heights: The Half-Baked Version” and a braille book composed of cake and M&Ms. The event lasts from 1 to 4 p.m.; call (414) 263-5001 to register.
Fireside Theatre: 9 to 5, through May 5
Alchemist Theatre: Free 2 B U and Me, through March 31
Theatre MXT: Success, through April 1 at Next Act Theatre
Carte Blanche Studios: Shel Shocked, through April 1
Imagination Theatre of Germantown: Picnic, through April 1