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Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Off to the Cabaret: Mark Clements, the Milwaukee Rep’s new artistic director, scored an A-plus with his debut masterpiece, Cabaret. Opening night earned a standing ovation for the cast and design team, including choreographer Michael Pink, resplendent in red trousers.

Pre-show activities included “Rep in Depth,” an interesting history of the production and its historical setting, presented by Jon Daly, the play’s Herr Schultz. VIPs pre-functioned at the same time, with celebrators including assistant choreographer Jayne Pink, Rep board President John Kordsmeier and his wife, Connie, along with Rep development veep Judy Hansen and her sister Kathy Seidel, co-owners of JK Productions.

Katie Heil, her mom, Ann, and pal Peter Mahler were also on hand, as were Kathy and Randy Crocker, soon celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, the ubiquitous Cecilia Gilbert and pal Kimberly Montgomery, and honorary board member Bill DeLind.

Aprs show, cast and fans convened in the Zenden Lounge. Lee Ernst (“Master of Ceremonies”), there with wife Sandy, was greeted with accolades. Angela Iannone (“Fraulein Kost”) arrived in a stunning white gown, accompanied by an entourage including her UW-Whitewater theater students and playwright Neil Haven, her evening’s “eye candy.” The two are collaborating on the writing of The Edwin Booth Company Presents.

Also talking theater were Gerry Neugent, performing in the Rep’s upcoming Laurel and Hardy, and director Laura Gordon; as well as Julie Solochek, soon departing for a month hiatus in Bruges, and Tricia Savitt, who played the role of a Kit Kat Klub girl in college.

Tragedy Memorialized: The Damned Theatre’s gripping rendition of A Rising Wind, about the 1860 sinking of the Lady Elgin, was presented exactly 150 years after the Great Lakes’ worst maritime disaster. Presented in Jim Haertel’s Best Place tavern at the Historic Pabst Brewery, the play by Ed Morgan and John Kishline eerily recalled that storm-tossed night.

Actors Sherrick Robinson, Jonathan Wainwright, Peter J. Woods, Georgina McKee and Kishline portrayed characters swept up in the tragedy. Helping with period costuming was Peter Mortensen, the longtime Pfister concierge, with sound designer Steven White finalizing a new work for his ensemble, Liquid in Plastic.

In the audience were the recently married songman David H.B. Drake; playwright Mike Neville, whose recounting of that Lake Michigan catastrophe, Drums and Guns, was presented last year in Milwaukee and New York; and writer/lyricist Wayne Frank.

Fest Funnies: Before plunging in to the bustle of Tosafest 2010, B&D and pal Joan Hummert dropped by Cafe Hollander and met its “director of romance,” bartender Paul Mayberry. His “love assistants,” Lauren Johnson and Amber Keckeisen, were also busy at the tappers. Off-duty Hollander waitress Cassie Nottoli stopped over to introduce daughter Kylie.

At the bar, Quad/Graphics’ Nate Sheskey and wife Kaitlin Lemke with baby Harlan chatted with social worker Jake Kordash and teacher Maggie Berger. Over beverages with boyfriend Johnny Guolee, Loulou Griffin celebrated her first day as a Juniper 61 cook. 

Wending through the crowds outside were the Milwaukee Kickers’ First Couple, Alex and Helga Nikolic, writer Mary Wimmer and husband Mike Fleissner with pals Rich Napholz and Andy Welniak, and Dean Chapman.

Home Sweet Home: A record crowd of more than 200 packed Villa Terrace, with some latecomers turned away, to hear Louis Wasserman and Caren Connolly discuss their beautiful new book, Wisconsin's Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes.  

“This is bigger than our wedding,” the authors chuckled while Boswell’s Daniel Goldin peddled 50 of their volumes. In the audience were the writers’ editor, Kathy Borkowski, of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press; Anna-Marie Opgenorth, Historic Milwaukee’s executive director; Martha Monroe, curator of Villa Terrace; Steve and Barbara Becker, the latter just back from a Wisconsin road trip with her sister Heidi Maetzold and the Beckers’ future daughter-in-law, Carrie Trousil; photographer Mark Heffron; artist Jane Boller Stroebel; Dr. Pat and Noreen Regan; Dr. Bob Perchik and Mary Holden; plus Greg and Lisa Postles.

A contingent of UWMers also enjoyed the talk, including planetarium director Jean Creighton and architecture professor Larry Witzling and his wife, Pat; Zimmerman Design architect Steve Bach and his wife, Judy; Laurie Albano, a retired county landscape architect; and Eric Olsen and Liz Germanotta, who is related to Lady Gaga.

Mopheads Unite: The monthly “Allis After Hours” hosted a musical tribute to the beloved Beatles, featuring the snappy Liverpool ’64, with costume contest winners Donna Harry, Marcia Scherrer and Jill Bolanowski all related to the band. Circulating were Charles Allis Executive Director Maria Costello and her husband, Jeff Jordan; development director Patty Redeker wearing spiffy ’70s-era “Coca-Cola” pants; dog expert Amy Ammen; and M&I’s Nancy Vander Jagt.

Up and dancing were the recently engaged Jean Azemove and Ted Finman. From Port Washington were Paul Heaton, Karen Bares, Tom Mullins and the Java Dock’s Tolloha Batcha.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Oct. 7 issue of the Shepherd.

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