Dark Theater, Light Music
Theater goes Halloween, music bubbles over, and the Milwaukee Film Festival marches on.
The Fellowship for the Performing Arts presents a one-night only Milwaukee engagement of The Screwtape Letters, a staging of C.S. Lewis’ novel about the devil’s wicked attempts to send humans down the “soft, gentle path to Hell.” Screwtape, Satan’s chief psychiatrist, lures his patient into perdition, as human souls provide primary sustenance in hell. This morally inverted story focuses unabashedly on the evil tendencies of human nature. Screwtape Letters provides a witty and enticing piece of theatre perfect for a lead-in to Halloween. Showing at 4 and 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Pabst Theatre. Tickets are $39, $49, and $59 online or at 414-286-3663
In Tandem Theatre opens its season Oct. 5 with more seasonal chills, John Goodrum’s The Nightmare Room. This dark psychological thriller with a surprising end comes from a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Nightmare Room tells the story of two best friends, in love with the same man. The women find themselves locked in a room with a bottle of poison. Check out a sneak-peek trailer here. Tickets are $22 or $26, depending on the night. Available online or at 414-271-1371. Complimentary champagne reception following opening night.
A new Milwaukee company, The Quasimondo, will open its season with a special take on Chekhov in The Seagull 3D. Quasimondo will take a physical approach to Anton Chekhov’s famous comedy. The show runs at 8 p.m. Oct. 5 – 20, with a pay what you can performance Oct. 15. Tickets $15; call 414-702-0392.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra features the Impressionist music of Debussy and Ravel, 8 p.m. Oct. 5 & 6 at Uihlein Hall. Conductor Olari Elts and soprano Karen Wierzba lead an engaging program, including Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Ravel’s Shéhérazade. Explore the program notes before the show; tickets available online or at 414-291-7605.
Join Madison Bach Musicians’ presentation of Baroque Vocal Masterworks, featuring soprano Amy Haworth, harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson, and gambist Anna Steinhoff. They’ll play music by Monteverdi, Caccini, A. Scarlatti, Bach & Handel. This CD-release tour opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at Christ Church Episcopal in Whitefish Bay. Tickets are $20, students and seniors $15, children $10. Available at the door or in advance at 608-238-6092.
Early Music Now opens its season by celebrating early Spanish music. The Ensemble Caprice quintet performs Salsa Baroque: Music of 17th and 18th Century Latin America and Spain at UWM’s Helene Zelazo Center at 5 p.m. Oct. 6. Featured composers include Bolivia’s Juan de Araujou and Europe’s Locatelli and Falconieri. They will play period instruments, including flutes and recorders, baroque guitar, violoncello and various percussion. An abbreviated performance will also be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at St. Matthias Episcopal Church. Call EMN 414-225-3113 or UWM box office 414-229-4308 or purchase online.
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra welcomes Sphinx Virtuosi at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. This internationally renowned group comprises young musicians, all past winners of the Sphinx Competition for African American and Latino String Players. The event celebrates diversity and excellence in the arts in a beautiful setting. Tickets are $10, donor tickets with reserved seating $25. Available at the door or at 414-267-2950
More MYSO: The first Thursday of every month, Target sponsors free Milwaukee Art Museum admission. And this Thursday, you can catch a free live concert while you’re at it. Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Windhover Hall in the MAM.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Prometheus Trio returns for another season of exceptional classical music. Performing at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 & 9, the trio will perform music from Mozart, Frank Bridge, and Camille Saint-Saëns. Guest artists are violist Matthew Michelic, Associate Professor of Music at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, and Nathan Wesselowski, voice faculty member of the conservatory. Tickets are $22, students $12. Purchase online or call 414-276-5760. All concerts are held in the Helen Bader Recital Hall.
Alverno Presents: Barbara Cook, a star of Broadway’s Golden Age and current queen of New York cabaret, has performed for over 60 years. Cook shares her spectacular voice on her 85th birthday 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at Pitman Theatre. Tickets $50 online or at 414-382-6044.
Norah Jones‘ soulful and understated voice is one we’ve all come to recognize. One of the biggest-selling artists of the millenium, Jones will sing at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Riverside Theater. Tickets are $49.50 or $65, purchase online or call 414-286-3205. You may also want to catch a special candlelit cabaret seated show at Turner Hall with Beth Orton, whose emotional style fuses folk and atmospheric pop for a sweet and subtle sound. Special guest Sam Amidon joins, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets $25 online or 414-286-3205.
Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony will play Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Pabst Theater. The family-friendly, American-themed program also include Gottshalk’s Cakewalk. View the program notes before the show. Admission $14, seniors students and children $8. Purchase online or at 414-286-3205.
The Milwaukee Film Festival is going strong, and ThirdCoast has your guide to every film screening Oct. 1 through 11. So if you haven’t made it to the Downer Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, or Fox Bay Cinema, fear not, there’s still plenty of time to catch a flurry of great films. Screenings of The Jeffrey Dahmer Files begin tonight at the Oriental Theatre at 7 p.m. Filmmaker Chris Thompson uses archival footage, interviews, and everyday scenes from Milwaukee to create a documentary worthy of its critical acclaim. Or check out High Tech, Low Life, a documentary following two reporters who seek to reach outside China’s extensive internet firewalls and media censorship while avoiding imprisonment, beginning 9:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Oriental Theatre. Visit the official MFF site for information.
Just outside Milwaukee Film Fest, the Downer Theatre provides an exclusive engagement of Searching for Sugar Man, winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s coveted Jury Prize and World Cinema Audience Award. This documentary tells the story of Rodriguez, a musician who bombed in the U.S., faded away into obscurity, and was resurrected as a musical legend half a world away. Premiering Oct. 5, Searching for Sugar Man is an inspirational reminder on the power of music. Purchase tickets online or at the box office.
Peck School of the Art’s Inova Gallery presents the 9th annual Greater Milwaukee Foundation Mary L. Nohl Fellowships Exhibition, showcasing new work of the 2011 Nohl Fellows artists. The exhibition includes painting, photography, film, printmaking, and installation. Established artists include Nicolas Lampert, Brad Lichtenstein, and Sonja Thomsen. Emerging artists Richard Galling, Hans Gindlesberger, Sarah Luther, and the American Fantasy Classics group (Brittany Ellenz, Liza Pflughoft, Alec Regan, Oliver Sweet) will also be showcased. The exhibition runs Oct. 5 through Dec. 9; read more about the artists here. Admission to the gallery at 2155 N. Prospect, in the Kenilworth Building, is free.
It’s time for Riverwest’s annual ArtWalk, taking place Oct. 6 & 7 from 12 – 5 p.m. Opening doors to artists’ studios, homes, businesses, and galleries, the ArtWalk provides an extensive scope of local talent. Tickets are $5, $3 for students, seniors, and children. Available at official ticket sites only.
Heat up your Saturday morning at Milwaukee’s Bloody Mary and Chili Challenge in Cathedral Square Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. With jazz music provided by 4th Street Elevator, it’s the perfect way to spend a crisp fall morning. Participants include Maxie’s Southern Comfort, The Knick, and Cafe Benelux. $2 per chili sample, $4 bloodys, or $20 for unlimited fire-in-your-belly tastes.
The WMSE Food Slam has sold out three years running, for good reason. Over 25 participating restaurants and 100 silent auction items make for a very popular event. Oct. 5 from 6-10 p.m., at the Grohmann Museum on MSOE campus. Participating restaurants include The Rumpus Room, Clock Shadow Creamery, and Centro Cafe. Tickets are $50 at the door, or at the WMSE station M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Follow the Food Slam blog for restaurant features, silent auction items, and more.
Bucketworks hosts BarCampMilwaukee7 Oct. 6-7, two days of open sessions and, yes, indoor camping. Most of the schedule caters to the techie crowd, but BarCamp also offers sessions on meditation, GarageBand, green living, and KidsCamp activities. See the full list of sessions as well as info on potluck meals and camping.
Charles Allis Museum ushers in fall with Red Leaf ARTober fest, an autumnal art fair featuring arts and crafts exhibitors. Shop for paintings, ceramics, textiles, photography, banjos, and more. Visit the patio Beer Garden for Oktoberfest brews, enjoy food from Mader’s Restaurant, receive a guided museum tour and relax with live music. Special $3 admission.
Theatrical Tendencies (@ Soulstice Theatre): [title of show], through Oct. 13
Boulevard Theatre: Life (x) Three, through Oct. 14
Lynden Sculpture Garden: Artist in Residence: Colombe Marcasiano, through Oct. 29
Milwaukee Opera Theatre (various sites): Candide, through Oct. 6
Carte Blanche Studios: The Masque of the Red Death, though Oct. 7
**The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts presentation of “Seth’s Big Fat Broadway Show” originally planned for Oct. 4-5 has been rescheduled to April 18-19 due to a scheduling conflict. The Marcus Center Box Office will be contacting ticket holders to reschedule them to the new dates. Ticketholders with questions should contact the Marcus Center Box Office at (414) 273-7206 or in person at 929 N. Water St.