Highlights from 11/18 to 11/24
Do you like your entertainment sumptuous and bold? Milwaukee’s got it. This week holds the short runs of Florentine Opera’s take on Puccini, Broadway’s famous update of La Bohéme and sweeping gypsy music in Sheboygan. Do you prefer thoughtful and quirky? The Rep sets up Ann Landers, while Boulevard takes on Christopher Durang. Read on…
Puccini’s Tosca, Florentine Opera at Uihlein Hall, 11/20 to 11/22
It’s been reported that when the new version of Tosca open at the Met in September, there were raucous boos for Luc Bondy and Richard Peduzzi’s stage interpretation (yet standing ovations for the players). The Florentine company’s stylized production will likely get a much warmer reception, emphasizing more of the psychology than set pieces. The MSO, conducted by Maestro Joseph Rescigno, scores performances by Cynthia Lawrence, Renzo Zulian and Todd Thomas. For tickets, explore the opera website. You can also call the Marcus Center box office at 414-273-7206.
Lady with all the Answers, Milwaukee Repertory Theater on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage, opens 11/24
“For decades, Eppie Friedman, aka Ann Landers, answered countless letters in a newspaper column that made her a legend. In 1975, an ironic twist of events confronts her. With a print deadline looming, she counsels her own broken marriage and heart.” Based on real events and actual letters, it’s a one-woman show by Resident Acting Company member Laura Gordon as the famous no-nonsense “advice giver.” For more information, visit The Rep website or call 414-224-9490.
The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Boulevard Theatre, previews start 11/24
Michael Chobanoff, Ken Dillon, David Flores, Christine Horgen, Caitlin Kujawski, Paul Madden, Anne Miller, Heather Reynolds, Michelle Waide and Michael Weber crowd the stage in this holiday offering from Mark Bucher and Company. This 1985 dark comedy by the prolific Christopher Durang is about a newlywed struggle. The couple fend off family, an inability to conceive and alcoholism. For more information including tickets, visit the Boulevard website or call 414-744-5757.
RENT, the national tour at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 11/24 to 11/29
It’s another major coup played out on the Uihlein Hall stage. When the venue planned this season’s Broadway schedule, the current tour of Jonathan Larson’s famous, modern-day La Bohéme was not part of it. Then original Broadway cast members Adam Pascal and Adam Rapp joined for a short stint. It all comes together for eight shows over five days. Watch TCD this week for an interview with original “Seasons of Love” soloist Gwen Stewart and look for tickets and venue information at the Marcus Center website or by calling 414-273-7121 x 210. Discounts and priority still available for groups of ten or more.
Music for the Screen, We Six Jazz at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 11/19
According to WCM, “Over the years, the music of the big and small screens has been a major source of material for jazz musicians. In this concert, We Six performs creative arrangements of familiar tunes.” For pricing and a calendar of events, visit the WCM site or call 414-276-5760.
…a few days later on Nov. 22, check out four stages of “Song and Dance”-themed music by WCM students from 1-5 p.m. for Perform-a-thon! It’s free.
Harmonia, part of the Footlights Series at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 11/19 and 11/20
The traditional folk or gypsy music of this popular group reflects Eastern European cultures living in America. It also may be your best chance to watch a cimbalom and accordion jam. The Family Series on Thursday offers an earlier, shorter experience for audiences of all ages. The Performance Series show on Friday is a full evening’s performance and showcases the entire range of the ensemble’s artistry. For tickets, visit the JMKAC site or call 920-458-6144.
Boni Pueri, Guest Artist series at Wisconsin Lutheran College, 11/20
This Czech Boys’ choir is ranked among the finest in the world. “It is to be expected that they can read music, sing in tune and quickly learn newscores. What is truly magical is that they do all of this with an evident flair and enthusiasm for music on one hand while being so self-disciplined on the other.” To learn more, visit www.BoniPueri.cz or visit the WLC listing for ticket information.
Piano Festival, various students at Cardinal Stritch’s Joan Steele Stein Center, 11/21
The public is welcome to watch this intense contest as high school students compete for awards and scholarships to attend Stritch as music majors. The festival will also include a master class and a concert, where students will perform, observe and interact with pianists. Director Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak rolls in the Steinways and Dr. Sylvia Wang of Northwestern U. guest adjudicates. Visit the Stritch entry for details, or contact Dennis King at 414-410-4349.
Thanksgiving, Present Music at the Cathedral of St. John, 11/22
It’s a world premiere of Beauty, May I Walk for composer Alexandra du Bois. The premiere includes the accompaniment of the Milwaukee Children’s Choir and members of Choral Artists, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), violin, two violas, cello and double bass. Also expect to hear Native American drumming and singing and a Friendship Dance in the first half. Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim says he wants “to give Thanksgiving a sense of ceremony with the focus on music.” For information on Present Music, visit the flashy website. For tickets, call 414-271-0711.
Auditions for The Snowdance Comedy Festival are set for Nov. 17, Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Over Our Head Players event in Racine seeks five to six males and the same number of females of multiple ages for an ensemble cast. Actors will perform multiple roles in a series of 10-minute comedies. No prepared material requested. Contact Rich Smith 262-632-6802 with any questions.
For more on the Milwaukee stage scene, visit our companion website Footlights Magazine.