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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Web Kudos: The Shepherd's second annual Best of Milwaukee Web Awards, celebrating expressmilwaukee.com readers' picks for the best websites, blogs, innovators and personalities, was held at the Wherehouse. The always-entertaining Bill Finn of Finn Digital announced the winners. Those accepting awards included powers-that-be from 88Nine RadioMilwaukee, winner of best site for a radio station, including Executive Director Mary Louise Mussoline, Tarik Moody and Sarah Fierek, there with Carmello Maddente. Sara Beringer, creator of Cream City and Sugar, won best fashion blog, there with her husband, Matt Beringer, from the Pabst Theater. Also from the Pabst/Turner/Riverside theaters to receive the award for best music venue site were PR wiz Andrew Nelson, Art Director Jason Gierl, Marketing Manager Laura Mueller and Social Media Manager Jake Schneider.


Lester Schultz won best news blog, A Sinner Observes; Chris Liebenthal of Cognitive Dissidence won best politics blog; drummer D.J. Hostettler of IfIHadAHiFi accepted the nod for best band/musician online presence; best nightlife website went to Jeremy Rogers' Do414.com; The New Loud's Jessi Nakles and Mike Stoklasa of Red Letter Media were runners-up for local iPhone app. Localplaylist.com's Danielle Hanson, Holly Topel and Anne Conway, with her mom Susan Conway there for support, were runners-up for best music blog, and Karen Cinpinski of Between the Bars, applauded by her sister Tess Cinpinski, nabbed best neighborhood blog.


Raffle winners included John Schroeder, snaring two Black Keys tickets, and Bonnie Sindermann, busy in the bathroom praying she would garner an iPad when she heard her name announced.


Circulating were Chris Van Gompel, John Costello and Brian Rott, Nathaniel Clarke, Ted Pechacek and makeup impresario Aja Vines. The paper's own Ashley Beyer pulled the event together.


Next door, Tuesday Tangoers took lessons from Maria Castello and Jacques Saint-Cyr, as Wherehouse owner Paul Mueller and dapper host Jim Barnes watched.


Songfest: “Shall We Gather,” a Milwaukee Children's Choir fund-raiser replete with folk songs and delightful tales of émigré ancestors, sparkled at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The inimitable John McGivern and Tim Benson, St. Paul's music director, chatted about their Irishness. Deborah Patel recalled her Yankee and German heritage, while Helen Zealy remembered her Lebanese forebears. The Calliope Vocal Ensemble performed, with Artistic Director Jane Lukic relating her family background. In the audience were Lukic's children: Noel, Julian, Amelia and Tessa. Children's choir members Hannah Fichtner soloed with “Shall We Gather at the River” and Billy Krager offered a lilting “Danny Boy.”


Flashing Feet: The Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance returned from a chilly Belfast with another coveted world win for its Ladies Under-19 Ceili Team. The hard-won first-place finish was the second world title for the troupe, which also won in 2010. The champs included Kate Abbott, Mackenzie Bryant, Jessica Gibson, Mary Beth Jablonowski, Kayla Jashinsky, Natalie Rondinelli, Lauren Sayles and Gabrielle Caron-Schuler. Led by teacher Laura Gottschlich, the school also snared third place for the Under 16 Mixed Ceili team, plus other awards.


Hip Era: The glory years of the Avant Garde Coffeehouse, the city's '60s hip/folk/blues nexus, were explored by UW-Milwaukee director of guitar studies John Stropes and students Brian Burke and Josh Lane at the university's annual undergraduate research symposium. Listening in were fellow student researchers Brock Camden, Nate Andrew and Macyn Taylor.


Among musicians and fans reminiscing over vintage photos and artifacts were original Avant Garde owner Harold Strohmeier and successor Gordy Simon, plus musicians Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Phil Gatewood and Jim Middleton, whose photos were on display, along with Peter Tibbs, McKim Stropes, radiomeister Bob Reitman, and fans John Gruzis, Barb Smith, Marilyn Jacobson, Lenore Lee and John Sahli and Judy Tolley; plus Stropes' wife, Laura, and son John.


Rose Remembered: The Milwaukee Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse was packed for Rose Pickering's memorial. Husband Jim Pickering and more than a dozen fellow actors performed and reminisced about “The Honored Queen,” whose acting career spanned 37 years and 167 productions. Performing “Rosie” songs were Peter Silbert, Bob Sieger, Dave Pickering and Amy Richter. Brian Vaughn cloned Neil Diamond for a spot-on “Cracklin' Rosie.”


Haiti Fund: Nearly 200 Youthaiti supporters flocked to Potawatomi's ballroom for the charity's third annual fund-raiser, with its island menu and kompa dancing. Guests were welcomed by board chair Madeline Wake, with an update by Executive Director Gigi Pomerantz, Gilles Dorvil and Jean Alteus from Haiti and Express Yourself Milwaukee's Lori Vance.


Volunteers included Joan Janus, Mike Dawson, Suzanne Musante and Mary Harrison, whose son, Rishi Tea owner Ben Harrison, was there with his wife, Kara, plus Larraine McNamara McGraw, excited about new grandson Liam Mangin.


Perusing the market were Milwaukee Artist Resource Network's Melissa Musante and her husband, Steve Smith; Pat and Paul Geenen; Dr. Tom and Carolyn Jackson; Dr. Ian and Norma Gilson and niece Gabriella Buchnik, Natural Awakenings' publisher; Clare and Bill Hanrahan; Bob and Jean Walters; Vel Phillips and Repairers of the Breach's MacCanon Brown; and a contingent from St. Ben's, including Father Jerry Schroeder.


B&D then paused at Dream Dance, where Brian and Kate DeLorenzo were dining on kangaroo and sipping Numanthia Tempranillo.


If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the May 17 issue of the Shepherd.

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