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Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Vox Populi: A packed house attended the New Year’s Eve musical theater revue at the Vox Box, featuring Status by composer Brian Myers in addition to selections directed and produced by Vox Box founder Lisa Golda. Myers’ show is a finalist in the upcoming Strawberry One-Act Festival in Manhattan. Pianist was the Skylight Opera’s John Ruben Piirainen.

In the audience were Shepherd critic Russ Bickerstaff and his wife, Carrie; director Jim Gallagher; Jonathan Winkle, executive director of Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts and Present Music board member, and his wife, Beth; actor Carl Liden; Brian and Amy Hafemann; massage therapist Patti Chambers; actress and LA Fitness instructor Sarah Pearson; and Heather Millar.

Also enjoying the evening were sponsors Lynn and Perry Phillips of Sheboygan, whose children Katie and Patrick Phillips were in the program; Linda and Robert White, parents of cast member Holland White, a First Stage intern; and Judy and Jim Cappleman, parents of assistant director and performer Ryan Cappleman.

Partying Like ’69:
Bon vivant Jack Eigel and partner Brian Doebereiner, lovingly referred to as “The Bitchuation,” pulled together a spectacular last-minute New Year’s Day soiree at their charming West Side bungalow. The ambiance, three floors chock-full of pre-’70s kitsch and memorabilia, was matched by the colorfully gridlocked array of interesting guests. Among them were Jerry (Jerry Gin and Tonics) Skalmusky and Cordially Yours columnist Michael Johnston, and Joan Hummert and Christine Young, cohorts who recently launched a wedding floral business, and Young’s nephew Wyeth Lee, his wife, Jill, and bubbly 6-year-old daughter Scarlet,who showed off a fluttery red plume she discovered in Eigel’s attic grotto. Also strikingly lidded was Andrea Martinez, complete with veil and faux blackbirds, accompanied by her forever-glam mother, Tertia Foerster.

Admiring every imaginable collectible were cheek-to-jowl revelers, including Chicago’s heartthrob Roberto Ramirez; party princess Mary Jo Travis, between beaux and excursions; lovely Lisa Leifheit of Headline Hair Design; Daniel Helminak, still at George Watts; and principal Beth Koehler of Franklin Elementary with her brother Rick and Maria Lahm.Also partying were Sushi-A-Go-Go’s Tiffany and Troy Withington; Nan Flaherty, owner of Lotus Yoga and Ayurveda, there with her husband, Michael; LGBT icons Ann McGowan and Michael Nencka; and film aficionado Theresa Sturzl. Expecting a lucky Luckystar baby was artist Bridget Griffith Evans and father-to-be Gene Evans. Los Angeles’ Clay Bravo, exhausted from her one-woman show that night at The Northern Lights Theater, arrived a day late.

Ghoulish Delight:
As if partying until the wee hours on New Year’s Eve after Vox and at Bacchus wasn’t enough, B&D hit the Oriental’s New Year midnight world premiere of The Amateur Monster Movie. Producer Kyle Richards conceived the film at age 14. Cheered on by 1,000-plus viewers, the now-21-year-old described his project as a flick with vulgarity, profanity and a tidbit of nudity, citing the 130-member cast and the script’s 120 F-bombs.

Many of the amateur performers showed up, including mom Judy, who played a cop and a zombie and also served as the costume designer, makeup artist and special-effects whiz; dad Bob, the catering chef, production accountant and another zombie; sister Melissa and grandfather William, both actors, as were aunt Linda Polster, her husband, Keith, and their daughters Jenny, Melissa and Becky, all zombies.

Other relatives who lent support were grandmas Gerry Richards and Carol Marquardt and cousin Jeff Polster. The film was dedicated to great-grandma Marie Franzen. Almost-family was Chris Ouchie, Richards’ childhood buddy, who played the lead. Also featured were filmmaker/actor Mark Borchardt; Ryan Dewerth; Jon Elliott; Steve Golla as the sheriff; mind-reader Rex Sikes; the “Guru,” Bruce Spielbauer; Charlie Ramsey, portraying the F-talking Mayor Kimble; and Quinn Hester, on hand with Jessica Farrell. Shaking hands were Firestarter Films’ Shawn Monaghan and shock rocker Terry Reed.

Songmeister: Ben Merens
, a busy WHAD radio host and author of the video book Uni-Tasking: 25 Tips for Better Listening, also loves playing the guitar. He entertained an appreciative group with charming stories and original songs at Next Chapter, attended by his wife, writer Michele; friends Sarah Kerkman and Michael Dwyer; and longtime pals Deb Usher and musician Deb Schampers, aka Granny Gooch, adding to the fun with her rendition of “The Boomer Blues.”

Saying Bye: Mike McCabe
, legal services director for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, celebrated his recent retirement with 100-plus friends at the Palms Bistro. John Norquist and Susan Mudd arrived from Chicago, recently back from speaking at a conference in Brisbane, Australia.

Well-wishers included JudgeFrancis Wasielewski and his wife, Mary; Assistant State Public Defender Brian Burke and his wife, geologist Patty; attorneys Bob Friebert and John Finerty; City Attorney Grant Langley and Tom Hayes, former deputy city attorney; Bruce Keyes, still bravely cycling outdoors; plus Jeanette Bell, Judge Pedro Colon and Shirley Krug. Fellow MMSD associates were former chair Sheila Payton; Geoff Hurtado of Irgens Development; Urban League chief Ralph Hollman; and Dennis Grzezinski, a legal-beagle at Midwest Environmental Advocates.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Jan. 27 issue of the
Shepherd.