An abundance of the arts
Christmas in the Basilica, indie-pop at Turner, the return of the Nutcracker, Ex Fabula storytelling, and everything in between.
One of Bel Canto Chorus‘ performances of Christmas in the Basilica has already sold out, and who’s surprised? The concert features the Bel Canto Chorus, Bel Canto Boy Choirs, and Stained Glass Brass in the vastly beautiful Basilica of St. Josaphat. Hear all of your favorite carols and hymns at 7:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8 or at 6:30 p.m. Sun. Dec. 9 (Sun. afternoon no longer available). Tickets are $20 to $50 online or call 414-481-8801.
If you’ve missed any of MSO’s Holiday Pops series, consider heading to the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center for Holiday Pops, Too! The MSO will perform holiday favorites, as part of an effort to perform at more venues throughout the city. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 6. Tickets are $15 to $25, available online or call 414-291-7605.
The MSO will also take a break from holiday music and join forces with a live Queen tribute band for MSO Performs the Music of Queen at the Riverside Theater. Need I say more? Doors open at 7 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8. Tickets are $37.50 and $45.50 available online or call 414-286-3663.
The Wilson Center joins the holiday festivities with the Wilson Center Big Band holiday concert, featuring the vocal talents of Milwaukee jazz singer Jenny Thiel. The concert is at 7 p.m. Wed. Dec. 5. Tickets are $20, $25 or $30 online. The Wilson Center will also host Petra Van Nuis Quartet with guest guitarist Andy Brown for another jazzy, romantic holiday show at 8 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7. Tickets are $30 online. If that weren’t enough, the Wilson Center packs in yet another holiday show this weekend with Cherish the Ladies, highlighting Irish culture with a Christmas twist. Enjoy singing, humor and step dancing at this family-friendly event 8 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8. Tickets are are $33, $53 and $63 available online. You may also call 262-781-9520 for information and tickets for any of these shows.
Early Music Now presents Medieval Christmas, featuring Boston Camerata with the Milwaukee Choral Artists. The program will explore pre-Christian musical themes that are mixed into the Christian holiday as we know it. View the program and learn more about Boston Camerata before the show, 5 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8 at St. Joseph Center Chapel. Tickets are $10 to $40 available online or call 414-225-3113.
Turner Hall offers back-to-back indie-pop favorites this weekend, beginning with Nada Surf at 7:30 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7. The band has been recording since the early 90’s, contributing to the popular alt-rock sound of the time. Tickets are $18 online. Of Montreal will also be dropping in Saturday, bringing some weird, poppy goodness to the Turner stage. Tickets are $20 online. You can also call 414-286-3663 for tickets to either show.
The Wisconsin Philharmonic presents a different perspective on the holiday concert with A Royal Christmas, featuring British holiday favorites. Hear Rutter’s Star Carol, selections from Handel’s Messiah, and some beloved British Christmas carols with the help of the Concert Choirs of Waukesha North and Waukesha West High Schools. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Tues. Dec. 4) at Carroll University’s Shattuck Auditorium. Tickets are $17 to $37 online or call 262-547-1858.
The always-anticipated Milwaukee Ballet production of The Nutcracker has finally arrived. The magical story of young Clara’s imaginative world features the talents of the main company as well as children from the Milwaukee Ballet Academy. The Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra will be accompanied by the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, performing Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score. The Nutcracker opens at the Marcus Center Fri. Dec. 8 and runs through Dec. 26. See the full schedule and purchase tickets online ($30 to $78) or call 414-273-7206.
UWM’s Year of the Arts continues with New Dancemakers: In the Loop, a showcase of student choreography opening Mon. Dec. 10 and running through Fri. Dec. 15. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 online or call 414-229-4308.
The Alchemist Theatre offers a comedic holiday experience with A Kick in the Dickens. The cast will improvise an original Christmas tale each night based on audience suggestions. Get ready to participate, starting at 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 6 and running through Dec. 22. Tickets are $17 at the door, $15 in advance.
Acacia Theatre Company presents a one-night only performance of Christmas Characters, a collection of four short plays. Acacia audiences will recognize “Christmas Past” by Scott Nolte and “Blessed Christmas” by Jon Pawinski Layton. Two new plays will also premier at the show, “A Christmas of Many Parts” by Jeannette Clift George and “The Least of These: A Shepherd’s Tale” by Melinda Rhodebeck. Christmas Characters is at 4 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8 in Concordia University’s Todd Wehr Auditorium. The performance is pay-what-you-can at the door; call 414-755-5995 for more info.
Uprooted Theatre presents an alternative to the usual holiday theater with a special performance by managing director Tiffany Yvonne Cox. Caribbean Christmas Cabaret features Cox sharing stories and songs inspired by her holiday traditions with Trinidadian parents. Hosted by Andy Nunemaker in his home at 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 6, this intimate performance is one-night only. Tickets are $15, RSVP to Marti Gobel at 920-650-1806.
The Marcus Center welcomes The Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, delivering seasonal satire from some of the country’s most talented up-and-coming comedians. Enjoy the holiday improv Thurs. Dec. 6 through Dec. 16 at Vogel Hall. Tickets are $49 online or call 414-273-7206.
The Walker’s Point Center for the Arts presents CoPA’s 6th Annual Midwest Juried Photo Exhibition. This year’s jurors are Annemarie Sawkins (the Haggerty’s former associate curator) and Graeme Reid (Museum of Wisconsin Art assistant director) The exhibition offers a stage for both established and emerging Midwestern photographers. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7, with the exhibition running through Jan. 19.
Gallery 218 will hold a Holiday Open House, showing off its entirely artist-run space. The event features over 15 shops and galleries spanning five floors of the Marshall Building, with art available for display and for sale. Enjoy music, refreshments and a cash bar. The open house will be held 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7 and noon to 5 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8. A few exhibitions currently at Gallery 218 include photographs by Bernie Newman, drawings by Josh Hintz and paintings by Judith Hooks.
UWM’s Art History Gallery opens “The Nativity,” an exhibition of 16th through 18th century prints including work from Rembrandt, Adriaen Collaert and Annibale Carracci. The exhibition is free and open to the public and begins Thurs. Dec. 6 with an opening reception 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the gallery.
Latino Arts Inc. presents Contemporary Inspirations from Ancient South American Pottery by artist Luz Angela Crawford. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7, followed by a special performance at 7:30 p.m. from Latin music legend Angel Luis Torruellas. Known as the Frank Sinatra of his genre, Torruellas specializes in Puerto Rican bomba music. Tickets are $25 with student and senior discounts. Purchase tickets online or call 414-384-3100.
Head to the Underground Collaborative this weekend for an improv special from two of the region’s top improv comedians, Joe Bill and Ed Furman. JED is an on-the-spot comedy creation from the two men, who have worked together for over 25 years. The show is at 8 p.m. Fri. Dec. 7. Joe Bill will then teach an advanced improv class: Your Power Improv Toolkit from noon to 3 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8, also at The UC. The class is open to intermediate and advanced improv students for $50.
More from the Underground Collaborative: enjoy Retro Comedy Night, an evening doubling as a fundraiser for Milwaukee Comedy and Milwaukee-based comedy troupe the M.U.T.E.S. Ryan Holman will perform stand-up and more local talent will stage a surprise episode of a TV sitcom. Support local Milwaukee comedians at 8 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8. Tickets are $15, larger contributions welcome.
Ex Fabula events invite anyone to share their true, personal stories under the guideline “Story. Stage. You.” Ex-Fabula kicks off its 4th season with the Ex Fabula Storytelling Spectacular, featuring a collection of storytellers chosen by Ex Fabula volunteers. The Spectacular’s theme is “Game On,” and will be staged at Turner Hall Ballroom at 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 6. Tickets are $12 online, at the door or call 414-286-3663.
Students of UWM’s Design and Visual Communications course will present their semester-long projects at the UWM Design Entrepreneur Showcase 2012, held at MiKE open lab in the Grand Avenue Mall. Students investigated water, energy and health issues and their impact on Wisconsin residents. Preview the projects at their website, and see them in person 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 6.
The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (currently hosting the Garden of Curious Delights exhibition) presents Paul Salsini From Journalist to Author at 7 p.m. Wed. Nov. 5. Salsini has written three historical novels and a collection of short stories, and served as the Wisconsin correspondent for the New York Times from 1964 to 1985. Tickets are $12 at the door, $8 for members.
Did you miss Art vs Craft AND Hover Craft? Tsk tsk. Fortunately, Milwaukee still has your local holiday shopping covered. Visit Turner Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. Dec. 8 for Urban Garage Sale 2012, featuring a slew of local vendors selling unique art, clothing and gifts.
Milwaukee hosts Rummage-a-Rama this weekend, another opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done (or to find some neat stuff for yourself). Stop by State Fair Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. Dec 8 or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun. Dec. 9. and get your rummaging pants on.
American Players Theatre: The Gift of the Magi, through Dec. 22
Sunset Playhouse: A Christmas Story, through Dec. 23
Fireside Theatre: Scrooge the Musical, through Dec. 23
Tory Folliard Gallery: John Wilde Remembered, through Dec. 31
In Tandem Theatre: A Cudahy Caroler Christmas, through Jan. 5
Carte Blanche: Rumors, through Dec. 9
UWM PSOA: Uncommon Women and Others, through Dec. 9