Matthew Reddin
On Stage 9/11

Milwaukee’s regulars start a season

MSO opens with Mendelssohn, Global Union takes over Humboldt Park, Cream City Soundcheck throws a video bash.

By - Sep 11th, 2012 04:00 am
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Frank Almond will be joined by guest conductor Gilbert Vargas for an evening of Mendelssohn’s greatest works. Photo courtesy MSO.

One of the few good things about summer coming to an end is it means the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is gearing up for the season. Concertmaster Frank Almond starts the year with an evening of Mendelssohn, alongside guest conductor Gilbert Varga. Varga will lead the orchestra in the overture to “Fingal’s Cave,” the Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony, with Almond rounding out the evening with his Violin Concerto in E Minor, Mendelssohn’s last large orchestral. Concerts are Friday at 11:15 a.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m; tickets range from $25 to $102. To order, visit the MSO’s website or call (414)291-7605.

The MSO will also perform a free concert tonight (Tuesday) to mark the 11th anniversary of 9/11, at Peck Pavilion, outdoors at Kilbourn and Water streets. The concert will include Barber’s Adagio for Strings and a number of patriotic tunes, and begins at 6 p.m.

UWM hosts guest composer Daniel Asia on Saturday for Breath in a Ram’s Horn – The Jewish Spirit in Classical Music, part of the Chamber Music Milwaukee series. Asia’s program, also part of the Peck School’s Year of the Arts, will be half concert, half interactive discussion. It features tenor Robert Swensen, a noted interpreter of Asia’s works, and a number of faculty artists. The concert begins 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and is free to the public.

For weeks, TCD has been running  videos from doc|UWM’s Cream City Soundcheck series. Our series has led to the official launch celebration Thursday at Turner Hall. The party will include live performances by RAS Movement, featuring Naima Adedapo, The Fatty Acids and Kane Place Record Club, as well as screenings of video interviews with artists including Maritime, I’m Not A Pilot, Paul Cebar and (most recently) YACHT. Admission is free, but you can RSVP online.


This weekend, two UWM and Danceworks alums return to Milwaukee for a shared show of their latest works. Kelly Anderson, a frequent traveler between Milwaukee and New York City, brings The Little Things, an “exploration of the simple gestures of a lost relationship,” featuring Mary Madsen and Cassandra Motta, also former UWM/Danceworkers transplanted to NYC. Then, from Portland, Suniti Dernovsek brings a new work from her company, bobbevy. This is how we Disappear combines live dance with video imagery and focuses on the crossing between time passing and human relationships. Performances are Friday through Sunday at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 or $13 for students/seniors. To order, visit Danceworks’ website or call (414) 277-8480.

Visual Art

Four of the artists in the Charles Allis Art Museum’s Our Gardens Inside and Out exhibit will demonstrate their processes Sunday afternoon in the museum’s English Garden. Fiber artist Jane Moore will offer an introduction to felt making, bronze sculpture specialist Michael P. Nolte will show how to selectively corrode metal, folk artist Della Wells will explain how to craft a narrative through collage, and Bill Reid will demonstrate how he creates his unique painted metal sculptures. The event runs Sunday, Sept. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m., and is included with museum admission: $5 or $3 for students/seniors.

The Wilson Center hosts a first-of-its-kind exhibition of Pfister artist-in-residence candidates as part of its Hidden River Art Festival this weekend. More than a dozen of the local artists considered for the position (including some of the winners) will have works on display beginning at the opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, and the exhibition itself will last through Oct. 17. The Hidden River Art Festival itself, which brings a wide variety of Wisconsin artists to the Wilson Center grounds, will last through the weekend, from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; tickets are $7 or $5 if ordered in advance before Thursday. For more information, visit the Wilson Center’s website.


Ed Mabrey, a former Individual World Poetry Slam winner, will perform Wednesday as part of UWM’s monthly open mic.

Wednesday, UWM presents spoken word artist Ed Mabrey at its monthly Lyrical Sanctuaries open mic. Mabrey, also a motivational speaker and published poet,  won the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2007. He is the only black American poet to have done so. Lyrical Sanctuaries begins Sept. 12 at 8 p.m., with a workshop immediately prior at 7 p.m. The event is free; for more information, visit UWM’s website or call (414) 229-4308.


Sunset Playhouse opens its season Thursday with Stage Door, about a group of aspiring actresses in the 1930s. The title may sound familiar. A classic Hollywood film of the same name starred Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball. The play offers a more satirical look at the struggle for stardom. Stage Door runs Sept. 13 through 30, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $22, $20 for students/seniors, and can be ordered online or at (262) 782-4430.

Special Events

Mexican artist Rana Santacruz is one of four international-minded groups performing at Global Union Saturday. Photo credit Alverno Presents.

Now in its seventh year, Alverno Presents’ annual Global Union is going strong. While it’s been condensed down to one day, the free Humboldt Park festival collects artists from around the world for a spirited goodbye to summer. This year, the event hosts M.A.K.U. SoundSystem, a New York City-based Afro-Columbian punk/funk group (replacing Preservation Jazz Band); MC Rai, a Tunisian artist blending Algerian folk music (called “rai”) with R&B grooves; Rana Santacruz, a Mexican singer/accordionist in the ranchera style; and Movits, Swedish masters of hip hop and swing. The festival runs Saturday, Sept. 15 from 12 to 6 p.m.; for specific start times or more information, visit Alverno Presents’ website or call (414) 382-6044.


Soulstice Theatre: Rocket Man, through Sept. 22

American Players Theatre: Season closures begin Sept. 27, see website for details

Milwaukee Rep: Assassins, through Oct. 7

Milwaukee Rep: Gutenberg! The Musical!, through Oct. 14

Last Chance

The World’s Stage Theatre Company: Punkplay, through Sept. 15 at Bucketworks

First Stage/MYSO/Milwaukee Ballet: Peter and the Wolf, through Sept. 16

Don’t miss anything! Bookmark Matthew Reddin’s comprehensive 2012-13 TCD Guide to the Performing Arts. Sponsored by the Florentine Opera.

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