Matthew Reddin
On Stage 5/1

One more month of 2011-12

By - May 1st, 2012 04:00 am


For two nights, hit Broadway musical In the Heights comes to the Milwaukee Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical dramatizes three days in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where a Dominican-American community learns one of their own may have won a life-changing lottery. The tour will perform three times: Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 5 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $75, $63, $48 or $33, with reduced prices for students, seniors and opening night. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit the Milwaukee Theatre website to order.

John McGivern, Milwaukee’s go-to storyteller, will set up shop for a month at Next Act Theatre. Summer Stories with John McGivern features tales from all the summer checkpoints: Memorial Day, the 4th of July, summer camp, the family vacation and those Labor Day blues. The show runs May 2 to 27, with performances at 7:30 p.m. weeknights, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $36 or $26 for Tuesday/Wednesday matinees; call (414) 278-0765 or visit the online box office.

In Tandem Theatre ends its season with Veronica’s Position, a romantic comedy in which devoutly apolitical Veronica finds herself torn between the warring needs of lovers, ex-lovers and friends in the nation’s capital. The show runs May 4 to 20, at 7:30 p.m. most weeknights, 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $26 or $22 for matinees, with a $2 discount for students/seniors. Call (414) 271-1371 or visit the In Tandem box office to order.

The cast of “Assassins” consists primarily of the men and women who have succeeded or attempted to assassinate presidents. Photo credit Windfall Theatre.

Guns’ll blaze at Windfall Theatre this weekend, when it opens its production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. The show offers a critique of American values from the perspective of the men and women who have attempted or succeeded in slaying presidents, switching musical genres with every era. Performances run May 4 through 19, with all shows at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, and can be reserved at (414) 332-3963 or their online box office.

Soulstice Theatre presents John Kolvenbach’s Goldfish this weekend. The play centers on a couple in love unable to commit to a relationship until they can shake off their parents’ baggage — if they can manage such a thing at all. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m, from May 4 to 19. Tickets are $18 or $16 students/seniors, and can be ordered at Soulstice’s online box office or (414) 481-2800.

As preparation for its annual “Shakespeare in the Park” event, Optimist Theatre will be holding a “Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam” Monday, May 7, at 8 p.m. at Transfer Pizzeria. The fundraiser offers audience members a chance to hear sonnet performances by the cast of this summer’s play, Macbeth, including James Pickering (Duncan), Tom Reed (Macbeth) and Andrew Voss (Macduff), and other Milwaukee area “VIPs”. Also up for grabs is a copy of the group’s Macbeth script, signed by the cast, to be raffled off that evening. Tickets are $25, with all proceeds going to fund Shakespeare in the Park. Call (262) 498-5777 or visit Optimist’s website for more information.


Brahms’s Third Symphony features a repeated F-Ab-F motto that translates out into “Frei aber froh,” or “Free but happy.”

It’s a big weekend for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, who’ll perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Qigang Chen’s Iris dévoilée (“Iris unveiled”) Friday and Saturday. The former, a stately, haunting work that quotes his mentor Robert Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony, is considered Brahms’ greatest symphony; the latter is a mingling of French and Chinese sounds and styles that includes Chinese instruments like the pipa, erhu and zheng. Edo de Waart will conduct, with guest artists Meng Meng, Xiaoduo Chen, Wu Man, Hong Wang and Yang Yi joining for Iris. Both performances are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $25 to $102. Call (414) 291-7605 or visit the MSO box office to order. (Side note: This will be the MSO’s last concert before they go to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Tom Strini’ll be following them there; check back with TCD next week for his on-the-road coverage.)

Thursday, We Six cuts their ensemble to a trio to back special guest Vincent Herring, an alto saxophonist who has performed with some of the business’ biggest names, including Dizzy Gillespie and Winton Marsalis. Herring and the Trio will perform two concerts, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Conservatory, as well as presenting a master class the day before (May 2) at 5 p.m. Tickets for the concerts are $22 or $12 for students; call (414) 276-5760 to order.

Clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballister is a native of Spain who presently performs with Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society.

The Wisconsin Philharmonic polishes off its season with Une Grande Finale, a celebration of the musical links between France, Spain, and America. They’ll be joined by special guest Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinetist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, who will perform Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsodie and Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the ensemble. The program also includes a number of pieces by Basque composer Maurice Ravel, including his famous Bolero. The concert begins May 3 at 3 p.m., and tickets are $15 to $35. Order online or call (262) 547-1858.

Waukesha Choral Union closes their season with Awakenings and Renewals, a musical celebration of spring. Works to be performed include an chorus piece from Handel’s Samson, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik (“A little night music”) and a movement from Brahms’ German Requiem. The concert begins May 5 at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15, $13 for students/seniors and $4 for children 11 and under. To order, call (414) 297-9310 or visit the online box office.

The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra performs the first of three spring concerts this Sunday at 3 p.m. in Uihlein Hall. This concert only features a portion of the MYSO’s many ensembles, though, the remainder will perform later this month at Carroll University, on May 19 at 7 p.m. and May 20 at 3 p.m. Concerts are $12 or $9 for students/seniors, and tickets are available at the door. For a list of which ensembles will perform on each night, visit the MYSO website.


Milwaukee hosts two film festivals this weekend, both sponsored by UWM student groups. The Milwaukee Underground Film Festival covers wide ground, offering dozens of independent films at UWM’s Union Theatre Friday at 7 p.m., the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts Saturday at 5 and 8 p.m., and the Kenilworth Studios Sunday at 3 and 6 p.m. If you’re looking for a more targeted approach, check out the Italian Film Festival, visiting Milwaukee this weekend as well. All eight of the films playing May 4 to 6 come from Italian directors and casts, although they cover a variety of genres. All shows are at UWM’s Union Theatre, check the Italian Film Festival’s website for more details.

Visual Art

Tara Donovan’s “Drawing (Pins)” is a piece composed entirely of steel pins. Photo credit G. R. Christmas, the Pace Gallery.

The Milwaukee Art Museum hosts a solo exhibition for Tara Donovan, a New York-based artist, starting Saturday, May 5. Donovan specializes in site-specific installations using a single kind of material — Styrofoam, straws, pins — which she then reassembles into organic forms. Her Currents exhibition at MAM will feature both old and new work, and will run through Oct. 7. Visit the MAM website for hours and more information.


Youngblood: Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, through May 12

First Stage: Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly, through May 13

Milwaukee Rep: Always…Patsy Cline, through May 20 (EXTENDED)

Last Chance

Fireside Theatre: 9 to 5, through May 5

Milwaukee Rep: Othello, through May 6

Skylight Music Theatre: Things That Go Ding!, through May 6

Alchemist Theatre: In Love … Yet Again, through May 6

Danceworks: Want or Need, through May 6

Sunset Playhouse: Lend Me a Tenor, through May 6

Carte Blanche Studios: Little Shop of Horrors, through May 6

0 thoughts on “On Stage 5/1: One more month of 2011-12”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Also this weekend is the First Stage Young Company’s production of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, by Tom Stoppard, directed by Matt Daniels. Performances are at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center on Friday, May 4 at 7pm and Saturday, May 5 at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets @ 414-267-2970. The Young Company is First Stage Theater Academy’s advanced actor training program for high school students.

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