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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Let Them Eat Toast: The kickoff ceremony at the Bastille Days' 30th anniversary opening night boasted the “biggest French French toast in history,” led by WMSE's Tom Crawford, along with East Town Executive Director Kate Borders. Throughout the night, les bons temps were rolling. The mellifluous voice of chanteuse Robin Pluer moved Armenrah the Mime to boogie with Ukrainian singer Irina Milikhiker, partying with friend Rita Borimsky. “Best dancers” Georgie Pasbrig and Joe Makovec were spotted swinging to the 5 Card Studs, while Chris Zapf and pals Sabine Larson and Dianne Dagelen danced to the Cajun Strangers.

Observing the shenanigans were Hotel Metro's primo bartender Dennis Regan and MIAD's Dave O'Meara, as Phil Wittliff met up with Julie Pedretti, Children's Hospital's PR director. Al Hildenbrand, his wife Cristin, mom Pat and children Talia, Jack and Alyna checked out the ice cream. Hanging out in the wine tent were Jason Krukowski and his wife Lyn, both with MGIC; along with Mark Shurilla, launching a new website, elvisthao.com. Also in the crowd were Max and Sandra Dermond, the co-owner of Dermond Peterson Design; Patricia and Joe Walsh; lobbyist Chet Gerlach; and Cris Ros-Dukler, Heather Aldrich and Ned Perkins. Chris and Jane Flieller of In Tandem fame were there with Louis, their new three-month-old, one-eyed Maltese rescue dog.

The French mood continued the next week at Chez Jacques, where owner Jacques Chaumet hosted a four-day extravaganza to celebrate 10 years in business. The opening night was jammed with Francophiles listening to diva Pluer, backed by Mrs. Fun. Diners and imbibers included Angela Topetzes and Trish Raczkiewicz on a girls' night out, later heading to the Horny Goat; Skip Forrest ran into pal Deanna Savage, his fellow student at the Midwest Wine School; and veteran bartender Scott Powers, now with Otto's in Cedarburg.

Other loyal Jacques fans included Cal Kozlowski, Frankly Music treasurer; Russ Jankowski and Karen Tibbitts, owner of Soaps and Scents; Merry Turner of La Tarte; Sandra Priebe; writer/performer Michael Johnston and pal Ruth Jaeger; artist Jilan Glynn and her daughter Danti Skoczek; conga drummer Louis Martinez; and Donna Rutchik and Tom Kohloff.

Abbondanza
: The opening night ceremony of the 34th Festa Italiana was replete with Italian-Milwaukee dignitaries, other bigwigs and numerous politicos. Festival chairman David Spano welcomed attendees, with Fr. Tim Kitzki praying in seemingly flawless Italian and tenor Frank Tenaglia belting out an amazing version of the national anthem.

Paul Iannelli was emotional while announcing that Festa 35 would be dedicated to the late Mayor Henry Maier. Other speakers included Martha Brown on behalf of the mayor; Summerfest's Don Smiley; Laurie Poellinger, of U.S. Cellular, an event sponsor; and Milwaukee School of Engineering President Hermann Viets, who spearheaded an 18,000-piece LEGO Leaning Tower of Pisa. Viets thanked project supervisors Justin Cosgrove and Professor Mike McGeen.

At a follow-up reception, Betty Puccio guarded the gates. Circulating were PR wiz Jessica Vollrath; and Patty Guist from The Boelter Companies, there with her son Dr. Marcus Gordon, an exotic animal veterinarian in a gondolier's cap. A 200-pound, Italy-shaped cake was baked by Peter Sciortino's Joe Vella. On the grounds, sisters Rose and Anne Balistreri met up with relatives George Balistreri and Dennis and Joan Mullens; Larry and Jackie Patti and Rose Francis Lutz. Randy and Mary Jo Radowicz were drumming up new, younger members for the Italian Community Center.

Lynden Happenings:
Performance artists Eiko and Koma entertained, mesmerized and/or confused a sold-out audience at Lynden Sculpture Garden with their abstract dancing, including rolling in the flower beds and dousing themselves with what appeared to be talcum. The interpretation was left to one's own imagination.

The evening was assembled by Alverno Presents, headed by David Ravel with assistance from the Alverno College team of Julie Quinlan, Carol Wacker, Kaye Leszczynski and Lisa Pieper. A contingent of Alverno trustees included Marsha Sehler, Kathleen Lawler, Carol Meils and Jan Martin with her husband Vince. Also watching were Mayda Crites, Rose Spang, artist Sally Duback and Danni and Shel Gendelman, plus ex-Theatre Xers John Schneider and Flora Coker, there with Ken Wood.

Musical Sensation:
On the eve of her 22nd birthday, singer/songwriter Caley Conway put together an amazing show at Linneman's. From originals to Cat Stevens, Conway performed solo and with talented friends Sam Rodewald, Alex Heaton and hip-hop artist D'Amato Dali (AKA Adam Werlein). Viewing the packed hall, Conway remarked, “I think this is everyone I know.” Cheering her on were parents Dan and Nancy Conway, sisters Brenna and Shea and grandparents Ken and Judy Schiller. Friends from Wauwatosa East, UW-Milwaukee and the Outpost, including artist Tyler Meuninck, were there. The audience also included Tom Wiebe, from Earhole Studios in Chicago; Caley's art teacher Kim Haller; Trevor Schwab; co-birthday boy Jake Riehl, MATC's Dave Schwid and his wife Debi, who's with the Next Door Foundation, and their son Jonathan with his girlfriend Jess Schluter.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Aug. 11 issue of the
Shepherd.