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Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Comedy Contrasts: Theatre Gigante opened its 25th season with a darkly funny Hungarian play, Dust, by György Spiró, at the Kenilworth Studio 508. By contrast, Carte Blanche Studios presented a giggler/slapstickish recreation of the British television classic, Fawlty Towers.

Dust, starring John Kishline and Isabelle Kralj, takes place in Hungary and deals with the issues and pitfalls of winning a huge lottery. Co-Artistic Director Mark Anderson welcomed the opening-night crowd. A champagne reception featured board member Eve Lipchik’s coveted poppy seed cake. Board member Kay Brogelman helped out, as well as set designer Rick Graham with his wife, Melanie, stage manager Therese Philipp and lighting designer Nathan Booth.

Enjoying the play were Dr. Paul Hunter and his wife, Dr. Sophie Kramer, along with her parents, Ted and Felice Kramer, who are originally from Hungary. Also in the audience were Dr. Jane Hawes and Dr. David Shapiro; Russ Jankowski, who serves on the RedLine Milwaukee board, and his wife, Karen Tibbitts, owner of Soaps & Scents; and Deborah Clifton, now selling online ads. Playwright Louise Zamparutti and her husband, Chris Hanson, ushered.

On to the Brits. The talented 12-person cast of Carte Blanche Studios performed yeoman’s duty, many playing multiple roles in the three episodes, with well-executed comedic timing of entrances and exits on a small stage. Heading the cast was John Cleese clone Anthony Wood, playing Basil Fawlty, and his wife Sybil portrayed by Michelle White, wife of the company’s co-founder, Adam White. Juggling triple tasks as bartender, artistic director and acting the role of bellhop/waiter Manuel was Carte Blanche’s co-founder, Jimmy Dragolvich.

Bo Johnson of Random Maxx stopped by to see his squeeze Margaret Casey play multiple parts, including that of the hysterical Mrs. Richards. Also in the audience were Marco Melendez, Milwaukee Children’s Choir’s new artistic director, and keyboardist Matt Foth with Perla Martinez. A voluminous retrospective of Field Lehmann’s artwork adorns the walls.

It’s Alright: In honor of Black History Month, Riverwest’s Club Timbuktu is featuring films highlighting African-American themes, complemented by co-owner Youssouf Komara’s legendary West African cuisine. On Bob Marley’s birthday, B&D viewed Kevin MacDonald’s fascinating documentary, Marley, focusing on the late rasta star’s legendary, albeit truncated, life. In the audience were Kai Smith of Astrology and Enlightenment; Donna Johnson, a look-a-like for comedian Wanda Sykes; and Lioness Barnett and her 6-year-old granddaughter, I’Jah Wright.

Get Baked: Peter Sandroni, owner of the popular La Merenda, shuttered his doors for one night to host the rebranding party of Angelic Bakehouse, formerly Cybros, The Sprouted Bakehouse. The firm makes sprouted grain breads, buns and related goodies. With the help of the restaurant's head chef, Dan Bolton, Angelic products were incorporated into a scrumptious array of culinary fare, including grilled sandwiches—the “Elvis Presley” with bacon, peanut butter and honey, Martha Kipcak’s pimento cheese sandwich and a croque-monsieur—along with maple bread pudding and delicious pizza.

Company owners Jenny and James Marino greeted family, friends and business associates. James’ mom, Cindy Marino, and Jenny’s dad, Chris Doerr, were among the crowd of well-wishers, as were the dapper PR wiz Evan Zeppos; Food for Thought’s Chuck Zielski and offspring Daniel, Charles and Anne; Monica Navarrete Nolan, NuGenesis Farm’s outreach coordinator, and her husband, Gino Navarrete, who works at Eddie Martini’s; Tom and Pat Miller, owners of Baker’s Quality Pizza Crust; and food blogger Lori Fredrich. Il Mito’s line chef Sam Wittig also circulated, getting ready for the grand opening of the new Il Mito East in the Knickerbocker Hotel.

Taste Test: Spice guru, cook extraordinaire and food teacher Liz Crawford presented Spices 101 to a sold-out class at the Milwaukee Public Market’s Madame Kuony’s Kitchen. Forty-eight foodies and novice cooks squeezed into the space to learn about spices, get cooking tips and taste her delicious samplings. Platings ranged from Mexican guacamole to vegetarian chili, plus North African harissa, French pain d'épices and rice pudding. Assisting were Jan Barnard, a Public Market marketing and events assistant, Sarah Moran and Lucas Ribbink. Listening eagerly were Froedtert RN Jennifer Breuer and Drew Myer from Red Brown Kle’ Marketing, there to cure his TV dinner dependency by learning to cook.

French Fix: The 16th Annual Festival of Films in French at UW-Milwaukee boasted record crowds at its 14 films. A bake sale for Youthaiti, organized by Gigi Pomerantz, raised $1,200. Throughout the festival, major funder Dr. Richard Stone was thanked for his generosity. Spotted in the audience were Anne Leplae, Alliance Française de Milwaukee’s executive director, and Nada Johnson, its French Language Center director, there with her significant, Wisconsin Foodie Kyle Cherek.

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