2007-08 Vital Source Mag – August 2007

  • Rufus Wainwright at the Pabst – August 26, 2007

    It’s always a little surprising that rock bands look and sound as good as they do at the Pabst, a gilded German theater full of red velvet, Italian marble, and busts of famous Austro-Hungarians (Beethoven, Wagner). But it never fails – dirty, dance-y, pounding shows are exalted by the baroquerie of the opera hall, not […]

  • Moonlight and Magnolias

    Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Watch the closing credits of any film and you’ll see a long list of people who lived, breathed and sweated a massive creative project for days, weeks, months or more. Every name on that list has a story behind it that might be just as interesting as the story the film tells. […]

  • The legends live on…

    Photos by Kat Jacobs It’s a warm dusk, and the SV Mai Tai, a handsome catamaran, is cruising away from the harbor. With Milwaukee’s silhouette behind us, Captain Rick Hake is steering us into the streaks of a storm. We are less than a mile and a half from the dock. Captain Rick – a […]

  • The Merchant of Venice

    The American Player Theatre delves into sticky realms of ambiguity with its production of what is arguably one of Shakespeare’s most questionable plays. The Merchant of Venice concerns money lent to a man by a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. If the money is not paid back in a timely fashion, Shylock has the legal right […]


    THE ANGLE In this corner, we have the Senate Democrats, who took control of the legislature’s upper chamber after last year’s election. Flexing their muscles, the Senate Dems passed a $66.1 billion version of the 2007-2009 budget, featuring a controversial $15.2 billion universal health care program. The Senate’s “Healthy Wisconsin” plan for universal coverage would […]

  • Much Ado About Nothing

    It can be the smallest things that make any production of a popular Shakespeare classic more memorable than the last. In an American Players Theatre production, this always seems to come from the least expected places. Maybe the production design is so impressive that it nearly overshadows the play it’s presenting. Maybe there’s a subtle, […]

  • Bad Religion

    “We’re animals with golden rules/Who can’t be moved by rational views/Welcome to the new dark ages.” Iraq’s a mess, our civil liberties are eroding and Scooter Libby was basically pardoned. Leave it to six years of an oppressive Republican regime to light a fire under Bad Religion’s ass. Anyone who’s heard a Bad Religion song, […]

  • Subversions

    Your elbows on my knees

    Say what you will about the wisdom of writing a monthly column that often features your deepest, darkest secrets (my affinity for The Gin Blossoms immediately comes to mind), but it’s incredibly heartwarming when, after a piece detailing a particularly devastating month hits newsstands, a complete stranger approaches you and says, “Sorry you’re having a […]

  • Coventry Jones

    A fixture at Summerfest’s lake path stage or busking around town, Coventry Jones has finally released another album of original tunes. Sure he can hack out requests for covers with the best of the weekend warriors, but on the 10-track Time Stands Still Jones takes a few strides away from the ever-smiling Summer of Love […]

  • Smashing Pumpkins

    This might not be the Smashing Pumpkins you remember from seven years ago—or, as seems more likely, from around 1995, when leader Billy Corgan symbolized the meld of artistic and commercial ambitions of alternative-rock as it went mainstream. Back then, the Pumpkins were really his baby, and Zeitgeist discards any pretense of a “band:” the […]

  • Jim Ford

    Odds are you have never heard of Jim Ford. But Ford, as they say, is the man. Don’t take my word for it. Those who cite him as an influence or collaborator include Nick Lowe and Bobbie Gentry. It is a short list of musicians who qualify as Deluxe Cracker: white guys brimming with such […]

  • Slightly Crunchy Parent

    Banging the drum, softly

    It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on the end of yet another summer that seemed to go by too fast. But whether we believe it or not, it’s true. August is upon us and for me, that always means two major events. The month begins with World Breastfeeding Week and ends with my […]