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Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Musical Marvels: Express Yourself Milwaukee (EYM), a youth arts and mentoring program, celebrated its new studio space on Lisbon with an open house and afternoon of performances. Showcased were the talented singers Diamond Lewis and Lamar Jude, two impressive films by Running Rebels, and Eighth Street School's “Rampage the Time Traveler” as deejay, plus Naush Calvert and drummer George Jones.

Singer Holly Haebig Wake led the Women's Sewing Group in the uplifting “We Come from Women” and Jahmes Finlayson jump-started a drum circle. EYM staff included Executive Director Lori Vance, movement specialist Michelle Hatfield, visual/fiber artist Daisy Bouman, office manager Julia Streich, art therapy grad student Lauren Luecke, artist Muneer Bahauddeen, MIAD's Jamal Currie, Rashida Browne and Halley Douglas.

Enjoying the show were Mary Beth and William Shaffer; board members Alethea Biles, Liz Schoone and Brian Dietz; visual artists Shelby Keefe and Melody Todd; Norma Balentine from Safe & Sound; graphic artist Linsey Sieger; filmmaker Trish Kastelic; and videographer/musician Dena Aronson.

Afterward, B&D stopped by the adjacent Amaranth Bakery for a bowl of amazing soup, plus a delicious kale quiche served up by owners Stephanie Shipley and David Boucher.

Holiday Drag:
Boom & The Room in Walker's Point hosted the Yule's best drag queen soiree, with the inimitable Karen Valentine singing and dancing in her various personae (Mrs. Karen Valentine Claus, Susie Snowflake) and glamorously glorious in a black and gold evening gown, bidding all a “happy holiday.” Valentine was accompanied by Roger RamJet in hippo garb during a rollicking “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Other performers included Dear Ruthie of Off the Wall Productions, who sang a hysterical version of “I Saw Daddy Kissing (and other nefarious things) Santa Claus.” Making appearances were Goldie Adams, Miss Bambi and Maple Veneer, the inestimable “Eiffel Tower of Drag.”

Among revelers from Potawatomi Bingo Casino were Ron Thate (aka Rona) and her coterie of "princesses" and pals, including Lenore Kirk, Deitrei Henly, Brianna Bosnjak, Abbie Encarnacion, Chi Sayaovang, Louis Sengmanivong and Tina Miller.

Other partiers were Kruz Bar's Serge Pellicelli and Jerry Breiling; Chad Wright; Spence Fretschel; and Peter Konrath of Ric Fest, which honors the late Ricardo Correa with a foundation for LGBT scholarships. Off the Wall Theatre's Dale Gutzman stopped in after his Holiday Punch show and VyNell Gritz, who doubles as Hamburger Mary, swung through with Jeremy Hanson. Jenni Rose chatted with friends, UWM sign language instructor Jake Hartmann and Quest photographer Will Sharkey. Artist Burt Gross bartended.

Gotta Beef:
Ward's House of Prime was featured on the Travel Channel's “Food Paradise.” The program, called “Big Beef Paradise,” highlighted the country's best places for really big servings of beef. Some 350 guests gathered at Ward's for a red-carpet viewing. Kenosha's Alfred Halaka, there with his wife, Nancy, was honored for downing 10 pounds of prime rib in a mere 31 minutes during the program's autumn taping.

Also at the party were Halaka's show competitors: Kurt Schmidt, there with his wife, Linda, and Michael Litman. Admiring their caricatures on the restaurant's wall of fame were hearty eaters Scott Bugalski, who recently downed a 64-ounce prime rib, and Dane Kasper, who nailed a 40-ouncer. Among other steak lovers were regular customers Mike Hartmann, Dan Schmidt and Mike Kleber.

Scribe Officers:
During a meeting at the iconic Safe House, the Milwaukee Press Club Endowment board of directors elected its new officers for 2012. Getting the nod for upcoming managerial duties in encouraging journalism education are President Jim Nelson, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; VP Joel Dresang, from Landaas & Co.; Secretary Barb Haig, of Haig/Jackson Communications; and Treasurer David Niles, VP of Productive Knowledge Inc.

Barack and Bedecked:
Paul Geenen, Upper East Side team leader for Organizing for America, and his wife, Pat, an Alverno College professor, celebrated with Barack and Michelle Obama at the president's annual White House holiday party. The Marine jazz band played Christmas carols and the president thanked the assemblage for their work. The next day, the Geenens recapped Wisconsin's political turmoil with former Sherman Park-er Jonathan McBride, who works in the White House Office of Personnel.

Congrats:
Nancy Morris celebrated her new Marquette law degree with a blowout graduation party at the Belmont Tavern. At the door, she and husband Dr. Chip Morris greeted guests. Their children, daughter Gillian Morris, with fiance Peter Drummond, and son Spencer Morris were on hand to celebrate. Neighbors Sara and Michael Vitucci, owners of the Belmont and the Whiskey Bar, held court at the bar.

Other revelers included Joan Kappes and daughter Sasha, Magda and Jacek Flejsierowicz, Christine and Michael Cacopardo, Sue Cheslik and Cardinal Stritch librarian Laurie Swartwout with her husband, Mark. Among the legal eagles flocking to party were attorneys Nancy and David Gruber, plus Jitterbeans Candy's John Osmanski, and Marquette law professor Chad Oldfather.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Jan. 12, 2012, issue of the
Shepherd.