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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Social Network: A group of health advocates clustered at Thief Wine in the Milwaukee Public Market to pre-function before heading upstairs for the Wisconsin Community Fund’s celebration of 27 years of “change, not charity.” Among them were the program’s emcee Paul Nannis, former city health commissioner, and his wife, Holly, with the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center; Cathy Miller, WCF board secretary; and attorney Michael Cohn. Max Samson of Milwaukee Mask & Puppet Theatre passed around a bag of luscious Kehr’s chocolates.

On the market’s upper level, activists mingled and chatted prior to the awards presentation. Circulating were Karen Campbell, WCF board president; Linda Honold, director of Wisconsin Voices, and her husband, Reynolds; attorney Jackie Boynton; Kathy Ronco, director of Highland Community School; singer David Drake of Organic Arts Ltd.; and Debbie Davis, head of the new Time Exchange in Riverwest. A clutch from the D.A.’s office, including John Chisholm, was joined by former D.A. Mike McCann.

All were there to applaud as the Jack Rosenberg Award for lifetime commitment to social justice was given to Assistant D.A. David Lerman, a community restorative practice coordinator for Milwaukee Public Schools. A moving tribute to Lerman was offered by Custer High School junior Jatash Jackson, one of the MPS spoken-word artists who presented their work during the evening. MPS teacher Matthew Hoffmann organized the pupils’ poignant readings.

The Outstanding Grantee of the Year Award was presented to the Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Coalition (GJLN), with director Pam Fendt accepting. In her talk, she recognized the work of Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and Matt Brusky, its political director.  

The evening was organized by Jeff Streier and Cindy Fesemyer, niece of publisher/Eastmore Realty’s Leonard Sobczak, who was in the audience, as were Mary Kelly, Public Market culinary instructor Liz Crawford and Barb Chudnow. B&D also bumped into The Kitchen Table Project’s Martha Kipcak, who was catching up with Lianna Bishop, leaving for summer farm work at Tipi Produce in Evansville.

Jazz on the Go: Multifaceted Victor DeLorenzo—singer, songwriter, actor, studio owner, jingle writer and visual artist—has a new gig lecturing on “my life in spite of it all.” DeLorenzo’s new manager, Linda Lindquist, is keeping him busy on the museum and university circuit, including UWM’s History of Rock and Roll classes. In addition, he performed the other night in the cozy backroom of Bay View’s Sugar Maple.  

Drumming for Prestige Atlantic Impulse, his latest musical incarnation, DeLorenzo was joined onstage by Jason Wietlispach and John McCoy for a jazzy, space-age sound. In the audience were Rick Ollman, Deborah Clifton and John Kishline, and Mike Hoffmann. Holding down the fort out front was artist/musician Adrienne Pierluissi, who owns the bar with husband Bruno Johnson.

Flying High: Eagerly awaiting the Milwaukee Ballet’s world premiere of Peter Pan, B&D sneaked a rehearsal peek. The preview was worth it, watching Peter (Michael Linsmeier) and Wendy (Susan Gartell) fly through the air with the help of an elaborate pulley system. Impish Tinkerbell (Luz San Miguel) and roguish Captain Hook (David Hovhannisyan), plus the rest of the cast, were also put through their Neverland paces by Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet artistic director and the show’s creator.

Pink has worked on the production for five years, doing a lot of last-minute Skype-ing with English composer Philip Feeney. The elaborate set design is by Rick Graham. The extravaganza is set to open May 13.

Artistic Chef: D&B swung into the Milwaukee Art Museum to meet the museum’s new executive chef Thi (“T”) Cao and check out his mouth-watering new Café Calatrava menu. The lakeside eatery was packed with Café regulars such as Alverno professor Jodi Eastberg and her husband, John, the Pabst Mansion’s senior historian. In an unsolicited testimonial, the latter proclaimed the MAM restaurant to be “the best lunch place in town.”

David vs. Goliath: Businessman Todd Kolosso claims he will be the one to finally unseat GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the ultimate Washington insider with 30-plus years in Congress. Kolosso held his first “friend raiser” at the Oakcrest Tavern in Shorewood, with pals and politicos such as Sheldon Wasserman stopping by. On hand were Kolosso campaign manager Leah Horn and volunteer coordinator Sara Graves, as well as Patricia Najera, Ed Heinzelman, Neil Wallace, Tom Hibbard and Ramona Kitzinger. Consultants Katie Prown and Kelly Herda were in the crowd.

Music ’n Books: B&D stopped in at the soon-to-close Open Book to check out its singer/songwriter series, catching up with Richard Olson and his son Uriel, Tom Blood from the Blood Stones, and Deb Roland, singer/songwriter/music teacher. Listening in were series organizer Kelly Finkowski and pals Sean Higgins, James Weber and Kimberlee Kautzer; Lois Malawsky and Jay Larkey; and Keith Schmitz, the force behind Open Book, and his wife, Lana Cramer.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the May 20 issue of the Shepherd.n