The season blows wide open
A busy Milwaukee arts week culminates in an epic Friday pile-up, from MSO at the Basilica to David Parsons Dance at the Wilson Center.
Present Music continues tradition with its annual Thanksgiving concert, led by director Kevin Stahlheim and featuring Milwaukee Choral Artists, Vocal Arts Academy of Milwaukee and the Bucks Native American Singing and Drumming Group. This Thanksgiving concert is a world premiere commission from celebrated composer-conductor Timothy Andres. 4 p.m. Sun. Nov. 18 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, tickets are $14.99, $24.99, and $34.99 available online or at 414 271-0711 x2
The MSO opens its Basilica Series with Transformation, lead by conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and featuring the U.S. premiere of Hilarion Alfeyev’s Song of Ascent. The MSO will be joined by the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, directed by Lee Erickson. The Basilica of St. Josaphat offers an ornate and expansive setting for the evening. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16 and Sat. Nov. 17. Tickets are $40 for the main floor and $30 for balcony seats; doors will open one hour before the event.. Call 414-291-7605 or purchase online.
Rock of Ages parties its way to the Marcus Center this week. The hit Broadway musical features the greatest rock songs of the 80’s including Don’t Stop Believin’, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, and many others, centered around the classic love story of a small-town girl and a big-time rocker. The show starts tonight, Tues. Nov. 13, and runs through Sun. Nov. 18. Check out all the showtimes and purchase tickets, which range from $40 to $90.
UWM continues its free MKE Unplugged concert series, spotlighting local artist Lisa Gatewood. Gatewood’s singer/songwriter talents focus on love songs with a folk twist. Her sophomore album, Midway, was released earlier this year. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 15, at the Helene Zelazo Center. Lisa — a TCD friend from way back — wishes you a moody and introspective holiday season.
Early Music Now welcomes New York natives Alba Consort for Journey the Ancient Seas: Music of Early Spain and Beyond. Specializing in early music from the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Middle East, Alba Consort uses traditional instruments to breathe new life into ancient songs. The concert starts at 5 p.m. Sat. Nov. 17 at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Tickets range from $10 to $40, available online or call 414-225-3113.
Skylight Music Theatre presents the beloved musical The Sound of Music through the holiday season. Rodgers and Hammerstein iconic and heartwarming show tells the story of Maria and the von Trapp family. Tickets range from $27.50 to $67, available online or call 414-291-7800. The Sound of Music runs Fri. Nov. 16 through Dec. 31 at the Cabot Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s 2012 Performathon and Open House invites you to explore the Conservatory’s beautiful home on Prospect Ave. Students will perform recitals throughout the day, and faculty and staff will be available to answer questions. There will be a bake sale, raffle and an exhibition and sale of Tony Casper’s photography. Satisfy your curiosity Sun. Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 414-276-5760 for more information.
Alverno Presents brings the many talents of Jon Mueller to the stage with Death Blues (No Time Like the Present). Mueller has collaborated with choreographer Molly Shanahan, designer Dylan Schleicher and musicians from Group of the Altos, Field Report, Testa Rosa, and Juniper Tar to create an all-encompassing sensual experience. Shows are at 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16 and Sat. Nov. 17. Tickets are $20 online or call 414-382-6044 (Saturday’s show is nearly sold out!).
Next Act Theatre welcomes the holiday season with It’s a Wonderful Life Live Radio Show. The show will mix the nostalgic warmth of live radio into this classic Christmas story, exploring the meaning of life through George Bailey’s struggles to continuously do the right thing. A meta-story involves radio actors working the last days of radio drama. It’s a Wonderful Life runs Fri. Nov. 16 through Dec. 9. Tickets are $30, students/seniors $25 available online or call 414-278-0765.
The Boulevard Theatre presents a rare staging of George Bernard Shaw’s Don Juan in Hell, a work that debates the battle of the sexes, love, war and more through legendary lover “Don Juan,” the Devil and company. Boulevard’s production will also feature selected songs from playwright/composer Noel Coward. The show runs Wed. Nov. 14 through Dec. 2. Ticket prices vary, check out the complete schedule and reserve tickets online or call 414-744-5757.
With Disney recently scooping up Lucasfilm Ltd., Charles Ross’ One Man Star Wars Trilogy comes to the Marcus at a perfect time. Ross plays every character, fights every battle, and sings all the music by his lonesome in this high-energy performance. The show will be staged in Vogel Hall at 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16 and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sat. Nov. 17. Tickets are $40 online or call 414-273-7121.
UWM Peck School of the Arts presents Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Lear, set in 1906 Russia on the verge of revolution and war as the last monarchy fails. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wed. Nov. 14 through Sat. Nov. 17, and 2 p.m. on Sun. Nov. 18. Tickets range from $5 to $17, call 414-229-4308 for more information.
In other University production news,Carroll University’s Carroll Players presents The Mystery of Edwin Drood. A choose-your-own-ending based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished masterpiece, this Tony-nominated musical relies on the audience to decide the conclusion. Shows are at 7 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sat. Nov. 17 in the Otteson Theatre. Tickets are $5 or $10, call 262-524-7633 for more information.
Cardinal Stritch University opens the Baylor Family Exhibition, a showcase of Milwaukee’s own dynamic family of artists. The exhibition features written work by Helen Baylor, 3-D sculptural work by Trenton Baylor and new paintings and prints by Reginald Baylor. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16 with live music and refreshments. The show runs through Dec. 16, and will be closed over Thanksgiving break Nov. 21-25.
Parsons Dance comes to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center to present a full spectrum of their contemporary dance repertoire, including the company’s newest work, Round the World. Artistic Director, Choreographer and Founder David Parsons brings his internationally renowned company to the center’s Harris Theater at 8 p.m. Fri. Nov. 16. Tickets are $31, $49 and $59 available online or call 282-781-9520.
UWM welcomes the New Yorker‘s acclaimed music critic Alex Ross with a free guest lecture, Thurs. Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Ross will discuss the role of music critics, authors and scholars.
NPR’s comedy news show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me visits the Riverside for a live recording. The show features host Peter Sagal, scorer and judge Carl Kassell and a panel of special guests. Appearing at 6:30 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 15, tickets are $40, $50 and $60 online or call 414-286-3663.
The annual Holiday Folk Fair International celebrates dance, music, art and food from cultures around the world. The event takes place this weekend Nov. 16-18 at State Fair Park with a packed schedule of international showcases, including the chance to get some holiday shopping done at the International Bazaar. Call 414-225-6225 for more information.
MAM After Dark celebrates lady-friends with Girls Night Out this Friday Nov. 16 from 5 p.m. to midnight. Music provided by DJ Dori Zori as well as Five Card Studs lounge band. Tickets are $13 at the door, $8 in advance and free for museum members.
For some family fun, check out Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival at the Milwaukee Theatre at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sun. Nov. 18. More than 25 Disney characters will remix your favorite Disney hits. Tickets range from $17 to $57, available online or call 800-745-3000.
Fireside Theatre: Scrooge the Musical, through Dec. 23