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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boris and Doris on the Town

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New Digs: Political junkies, concerned citizens and get-out-the-vote workers jammed into the just-opened Third Ward offices of Organizing for America (OFA) to gear up for the ongoing fight to change our nation for the better.

Milwaukee activist Felesia Martin and Liz Erke of Waukesha emceed, kicking things off with a heartfelt rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” led by Emily Rus. Rep. Gwen Moore raised a lot of political hell, and revved-up gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett energized the crowd.

Dan Grandone, OFA Wisconsin state director, chanted the rallying call (“people-powered politics”) as his wife, Becky, and 23-month-old Gabriel looked on.

A Democratic Party who’s-who showed support: Mike Tate, the state chairman; Robert Kraig, director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin; gutsy campaigner Todd Kolosso, out to unglue extended-stay GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner; Dane Varese, from Sen. Russ Feingold’s campaign; peripatetic Pastor Joe Ellwanger; and Bill Hyers, Barrett’s campaign mastermind.

OFAers included regional field directors Staci O’Brien, Michelle Kleppe and Jessie Lidbury, along with Margie Pecus, Wauwatosa team leader, plus loads of community organizers such as Terrell Martin, proudly sporting his red “I Am a Reformer” T-shirt, Ted Bobrow, and twin sisters Dream and Keona Gunther.

Cheering ever-onward were activists Susan McGovern, Jim Rowen, Jeannie Berry-Matos, and Loop owner Caitlin Walsh, with her mother, Patricia Colloton-Walsh, and husband Tom. Among the medical folks were Brian Rothgery of Health Care for America Now and Dr. Ian Gilson.

Tune-In, Turn-On: A Whiskey Bar bash to celebrate 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s third annual Milwaukee Music Awards followed an on-air competition, with Kid Millions and The Championship taking top honors. More than 400 88Nine fans, musicians and music industry types networked at the party, with Membership Director Elizabeth Egan looking to expand beyond the station’s current 1,600 members.

Checking out the scene were the Pabst/Riverside/Turner Tres Amigos: Executive Director Gary Witt, PR honcho Ryan Matteson and talent buyer Matt Beringer; Summerfest’s Vic Thomas and David Silbaugh; band rep Kevin Fulsom and his wife, Veronica; Blase Catanese, of Broadway Bar & Grill fame, now working at the Elegant Farmer and Long Wong’s; singer/songwriter Dianna Jones; photographer Dustin Safranek; Katie Heil, an 88Nine supporter; and 88Nine DJers Sarah Fierek, Marcus Doucette, Jordan Lee, Tarik Moody, Scott Mullins, Kat Froehlich and Aimee Rae.

Entertainment included Vanessa Rauguth, Katy Slais and Alison Von, three hula-hoopers from Riverwest’s Sparkle & Burn; Jeanna Salzer, top vocalist of the year; and John Sieger and the Subcontinentals, whose “Continental Drift” captured the Earwig Award as the catchiest song.    

New Face, Old Place: Nuovo Centanni, the cozy piano bar on Water Street, just celebrated “new players and old traditions” with Mike Polaski of Mikey’s fame. His classic cocktail lounge Distil is also opening in May. Centanni’s irreplaceable Joe Hite is back performing, along with Marc Ballini and Kris Crow. In high gear were bartenders Chad Polczynski, Brad Warobick and Lucy Zamora serving up mean malted milk ball martinis.

A search for the restaurant’s “Girl in the Red Dress” spokes-babe began that night. Among the little red dress set were Megan Boucher, Centanni’s marketing director, Katie Johnsen, Brittany Musial, Jordan Roberts and RachaelLouise. Scott Sloan, of Suite Nightclub Milwaukee, was on a busman’s holiday. Among the well-dressed set were Justin Peters, a Brewers Hill/Riverwest appraiser sporty in his Gucci scarf, and Creative Spurts’ Brandon Williams, suave in a handsome magenta sweater.  

Arty Awards: B&D were among die-hard art fans braving snow and traffic to attend the Charles Allis “A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now” exhibit, with curator Martha Monroe welcoming guests. After a two-hour drive from West Bend’s Museum of Wisconsin Art, Graeme Reid awarded top honors to Christian Ricco, Michael Banning, Michael Foster, Alison Stehlik and Craig Blietz. Board member Melissa Mooney handed out the grand prize to Linda Wervey Vitamvas for her body of work, which included a phallic-styled chess set.

Other finalists there were Amy Cropper and Phil Krejcarek, braving a trek in from Carroll University; JoAnna Poehlmann;and Gary Gresl and Doug Krimmer, who collaborated on a poignant piece. Representing the Charles Allis team were General Manager Maria Costello and George Markos, the Allis’ event supervisor, as well as attorney and board chair John Thomure. Admiring the display were UW-Milwaukee’s Yevgeniya Kaganovich and husband Jim, painter Charles Munch, and Randall Berndt, James Watrous Gallery co-director.

Night Stop: B&D made a snowy late-night pause at Juniper 61 after viewing Oscar short-flicks at the Rosebud. Bartender/Pogues fan Scott Ward was gearing up for a delayed post-post-holiday soiree with other Juniperites at Tonic. Later in the week, he was heading to San Fran for his 37th birthday. Also sipping midnight beverages at the cozy in-bar were information architect Lars Larsen and filmmaker Alison Abrohams, whose feel-good Feed the Fish flick is in the can and looking for distribution.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the March 25 issue of the Shepherd.n

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