Matthew Reddin
On Stage 8/28

Summer’s Last Stand

Present Music opens, parody "Bible" finds a home, art openings, and fests for Celts, motorcyclists and Labor.

By - Aug 28th, 2012 04:00 am


Milwaukee’s premier new music ensemble, Present Music, starts its season with a theme it’s devoted itself to for years: Change. The concert includes works from three Present Music favorites – Steve Reich, Georg Friedrich Haas and Anna Clyne – along with Judd Greenstein, and is dedicated to exploring the way contemporary music has evolved in recent decades, be it with the implementation of rock instruments, electronics, or microtonality. The concert begins Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7:30, at the Marcus Center, with the MYSO’s steel drum band Calypso performing outside on the riverfront beginning at 6:30. Tickets are $15 to $35, and can be ordered online or at (414) 271-0711.

When the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music puts a trio on stage, it’s usually named Prometheus. The organ trio arriving Monday goes nameless, but its members (organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart) have made a name for themselves nonetheless, breaking new ground across their 20-year career. The concert is Monday, Sept. 3, at 7:30, and tickets are $25 or $12 for students. Call (414) 276-5760 or go online to order.


Phantom Cicada Theater’s production of “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)” will end its exodus at Next Act Theatre.

The Baltimore Annex Theatre will drop in to the Riverwest Public House to stage Salome, in an original adaptation of the Bible story, for just one night. The sensual Salome, lustful King Herod, his wife Herodias and John the Baptist — or his head, at least — will occupy the bar starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29. The Riverwest Public House is at 815 E. Locust St. Suggested donation for the touring production is “$5 or $10.”

A week after a pair of right-wing radio hosts convinced the DNR to shut down Phantom Cicada Theater’s production of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) at SummerStage in Delafield, the cast and crew have found a new venue with Next Act Theatre. The show, much like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and other sister shows from the Reduced Shakespeare Company, gently satirizes its subject matter. Its fast-paced sketches and parodies provide irreverent but not blasphemous humor. Shows run Aug. 31 to Sept. 9, at 7:30 Fridays, 4:30 and 7:30 Saturday, and 2 Sundays. Tickets are $15 and can be ordered at Next Act’s box office, (414) 278-0765 or through Brown Paper Tickets.

Visual Art

The Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is celebrating the art school’s 50th year in 2012-13. What better way to begin than with an art show from alumni going all the way back to the Class of 1963? The UWM Department of Art and Design is doing just that with the 50-year alumni show, Continuum, which runs through Sept. 14 in the Union Gallery and the Art Center Gallery on campus.

A new annual juried art show, the Third Ward Art Festival, debuts this weekend. Developed by Chicago company Amdur Productions, the festival will include about 150 exhibitors across a variety of mediums, as well as live music, an arts scavenger hunt for kids and food from Chic Lounge and other vendors. The festival runs 10 to 5 Saturday and Sunday, centered around the intersection of Broadway and Chicago, and is free admission.

Gallerie M, in the Intercontinental Hotel downtown, weclomes Stages of Art, a show organized by Community Arts & Funk Festival, Arts Wisconsin, Milwaukee Artists Resource Network (M.A.R.N), the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design Alumni Association, and the African American Art Alliance and Artworks for Milwaukee. This exhibit serves as an opportunity to celebrate and document the rich historical contributions that Wisconsin performing artists have made to our state and popular culture as seen through the eyes of talented visual artists from Wisconsin. 20 works will be featured by invited and juried artists who were selected by a distinguished group of jurors comprised of collectors, curators, and performance art advocates. The show opened Monday and will run through Sept. 30, with a public reception set for Sept. 28 from after work to 9 p.m.



If your idea of Labor Day weekend fun is to watch or compete in some of the most labor-intensive sports imaginable, you’re in luck: This weekend marks the Wisconsin Highland Games. The three-day event, the largest Scottish/Irish/Celtic celebration of its kind in the state, consists of an opening ceremony and ceilidh Friday night, and eight hours per day of competitions in categories such as caber tossing, Highland dancing and longbow shooting on Saturday and Sunday. Friday night’s ceilidh is 5 to 10, and the grounds are open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 at the gate; for more information visit the Games’ website.

Photo by Angela Morgan.

Beginning Thursday, the home of Harley-Davidson revs up for the Milwaukee Rally, the Midwest’s largest free motorcycle rally. Events range from commercial (2013 model previews and vendor displays at all four local Harley-Davidson locations) to social (a parade Saturday evening and “Bike Nights” Thursday, Friday and Saturday), and a number of concerts throughout the area, including an affiliated performance by the current incarnation of Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Riverside, round out the weekend. For more information, visit the Rally website.

And what Labor Day would be complete without a Laborfest? The Milwaukee tradition, sponsored by the Milwaukee Area Labor Council AFL-CIO and dating back to 1965, begins with a parade at 11 Monday morning, featuring a number of puppets courtesy of Milwaukee Public Theatre, followed by a free, family-friendly festival from noon to 5 at the Summerfest grounds. Aside from the usual festival festivities, Laborfest is known for its politically active guests – both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have made appearances in the past, along with a collection of other prominent labor-friendly candidates.


American Players Theater: The Royal Family, through September 29.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Gutenberg! The Musical! At the Stackner Cabaret through Oct. 14.

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