Matthew Reddin
On Stage 5/15

Milwaukee explores art, in all its forms

The Florentine produces a nautical Mozart classic; new time/video artworks at the WPCA; the Skylight explores beauty itself in "Sunday in the Park with George."

By - May 15th, 2012 04:00 am


In “Idomeneo,” a king faces a horrible sacrifice after being saved from a shipwreck–a sacrifice that will change him and his family forever. Photo credit Kathy Wittman.

The Florentine Opera sets sail on a journey of love and sacrifice with their final show of the season: Idomeneo. The Mozart opera opens with a love affair blooming between a Cretan prince and a Trojan princess held captive after the fall of Troy, but shifts into a drama with life-and-death consequences when the prince’s father, Idomeneo, is lost at sea and forced to make a terrible bargain with Neptune to survive. The Florentine will bring back the creative team behind 2009’s Semele, one of the most acclaimed productions in the company’s history, including stage director John La Bouchardière. Performances are at the Marcus Center Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $27 to $109, and can be ordered at (414) 291-5700 or the Florentine’s online box office.

Frank Almond brings an encore performance of Frankly Music to the Wilson Center. 

Didn’t get enough Frankly Music this year? Neither did Frank Almond; he’ll be bringing cellist Roza Borisova, pianist Nell Buchman and bayan virtuoso Stas Venglevski together for an season encore. A Night of Tango, originally staged in February 2011, brings punchlines to the stage as well, Almond and Venglevski keeping the audience laughing between numbers. They’ll try to repeat the feat at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered at (262) 781-9520 or the online box office.

Bel Canto Chorus performs Antonin Dvorak’s moving Stabat Mater at Wauwatosa’s Christ King Parish this Sunday. The piece, known colloquially as the “Czech Messiah” due to its popularity in Dvorak’s home country, is based on a hymn about Mary’s suffering during the Crucifixion and was originally composed after the death of Dvorak’s daughter Josefa. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday; tickets are $23 or $28 with senior/student discounts available. Call (414) 481-8801 or visit the online box office to order.

The Philomusica Quartet closes out its season with a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Wisconsin Conservatory. The Variations, transcribed for strings by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, will feature Erin Pipal sitting in for Nathan Hackett on viola and guest double bassist Roger Ruggeri from the MSO. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a lecture on the Variations and subsequent performance, and tickets are $22 or $12 for students. To order call (414) 276-5760.

Saturday, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa hosts the Concord Chamber Orchestra’s season finale: At the Movies. The performance will feature cinematic orchestrations including “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago, an Empire Strikes Back medley, selections from The Sound of Music and the symphonic suite from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The concert begins May 19 at 8 p.m., and tickets are $18 or $12 for students/seniors. Tickets can be ordered at their online box office.

Milwaukee saxophonist Curt Hanrahan will perform with collaborator Jay Mollerskov this Friday at the Wilson Center. Photo credit Curt Hanrahan.

The Wilson Center plays host to two of Wisconsin’s finest jazz musicians this Friday: Milwaukee saxophonist Curt Hanrahan and Racine native Jay Mollerskov, jazz guitarist. Hanrahan’s credits range from the local (MSO, Skylight Music Theatre, Wilson Center Big Band) to not-so-local (performing with Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Harry Connick, Jr., just to name a few); Mollerskov has been performing and composing in Chicago and Milwaukee since the early ’90s. The two collaborated recently as part of the Curt Hanrahan Quartet, releasing Souljourner in 2011 alongside bassist Tim Hanrahan and drummer Dave Wall, but they’ll take over the Wilson Center as a duo: the Curt Hanrahan/Jay Mollerskov Project. The concert starts at 8 p.m. May 18, and tickets are $28.

The Wilson Center’s also hosting Broadway Today!, a touring production featuring the hits of Broadway. The show features a wide palette of selections from Broadway’s current lineup, including Wicked, West Side Story, Jersey Boys and The Lion King. The concert begins Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m., and tickets are $57, $47 and $29. To order for either Wilson Center show, visit their website or call (262) 781-9470.


Georges Seurat’s (Sean Allan Krill) relationships with both his lover Dot (Alison Mary Forbes) and his art come into conflict in “Sunday in the Park with George.” Photo credit Mark Frohna.

The Skylight Music Theatre ends artistic director Bill Theisen’s penultimate season with Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. The Pulitzer-winning musical traces the parallel lives of two artists, Georges Seurat and his contemporary descendant George, to explore the meaning and purpose of art and beauty. Performances are May 18 through June 10, all shows at 7:30 p.m. excepting Sunday and Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 to $65.50, and can be ordered at (414) 291-7800 or the Skylight box office.

Visual Arts

Sam Blanchard’s 2010 work “a little off the top” features a visual projection of a haircut onto a pedestal-mounted barber’s chair.

The Walker’s Point Center for the Arts has time on the brain this weekend, as they’re opening their latest exhibition Time-Arts Continuum on Friday. It’s a show completely comprised of works using time-based, interactive technologies, be they videos or sound installations. The seven artists in the show (Sam Blanchard, Jeff Herriott, Lynn Lukkas, Eric SheffieldAnna WeislingJessica Teckemeyer and Dean Valadez) all come from Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa or Wisconsin, making this a distinctively Midwestern sampling. The exhibit runs May 18 to June 30, with an opening night exhibition Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Visit the WPCA website for more details.

This weekend, the Borg Ward Collective hosts the Shining Stars Art Fair, an effort spearheaded by Hope House of Milwaukee’s Shining Stars program. The youth education program offers recreational opportunities for youths living in the shelter or surrounding neighborhood. The art show, based on the “All Around the World” theme, will offer refreshments, raffle prizes and artwork for sale Friday, May 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.


Next Act Theatre: Summer Stories with John McGivern, through May 27

Fireside Theatre: Legally Blonde, through July 1

Last Chance

Windfall Theatre: Assassins, through May 19

Soulstice Theatre: Goldfish, through May 19

Theatre Gigante: Our Our Town, through May 19

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

In Tandem Theatre: Veronica’s Position, through May 20

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