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Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Divine Flicks: The 28th Annual Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival opened its 14-film weekend with much flair at the Oriental Theatre with I Am Divine, the documentary about the fascinating life of Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine. Also divine was Miss Karen Valentine as the mistress of ceremonies, looking glam and ready with one-liners. UW-Milwaukee’s Carl Bogner hosted, introducing the key players: UWM Chancellor Mike Lovell; Cream City Foundation’s Paul Fairchild; Jen Murray, UWM LGBT Resource Center director, who wore Spirit Day purple to support the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) anti-bullying campaign; Professor Cary Costello, LGBT Studies program coordinator; and Cathy Seasholes, Women’s Resource Center director.

Thanked profusely was philanthropist Joe Pabst, as well as Jack Smith, who hosted the pre-party. The lively crowd convened afterwards at Beans & Barley, with dolled-up Dora Diamond, a drag jazz singer who performs at Riverwest Public House, there with pal Chelsea England. Circulating were Kristie Conyell, a Bette Midler dead ringer; UWM’s Portia Cobb and Josie Osborne; flamboyantly attired Tim Grair and Dr. Robert Beto; David Howser in one of his T-shirts from Howserdesigns; Jerry Janis with John Heidemann; plus Jerry Skalmusky, Tara Schuh, Jimmy Balistreri and Steve Miller

Too Many Galleries: On Gallery Night, B&D started at the grand opening of The Box Milwaukee, an expansive, rentable venue on Broadway. Owners Jaime Levine and Jamie Berger showcased abstract paintings by artist Holly Harnischfeger, collaborating with stained-glass designer Dan Kristl. Canela-Canela’s Gabriela Grbic and Adriana Mehta sold their beautiful leather and jewelry. Then, lured into Red Elephant Chocolate Café by Rafael Rodriguez costumed as a fuzzy elephant, B&D were tempted by the bonbons made by Kanisha Reeves and Sue Krawczyk. Photos of wild elephants by Michael Havice adorned the walls.  

More than 300 fans checked out the beautiful new studio of artists Sally Duback and Barb Manger in the Marshall Building. Visitors included Jeff Martinka, Danni and Shel Gendelman, Lynn Lucius and Richard Taylor, Michael Flanagan, Janet Matthews, Carolyn White and Leon Travanti, Jeff Kursel, Judy Keyes, Patsy Aster and Richard and Ann Gallagher, plus Minna and Mark Smith. Manger was preparing for a Boswell Book Co. signing and reading from her Riding Through Grief.

The Portrait Society Gallery had its usual pack checking out “A Modern Hair Study,” photos of the backs of young women’s heads by Tara Bogart, Nicholas Grider’s “Adornment” and sculpted hairdos by Demitra Copoulos. B&D poked their heads into Laura Goldstein’s Grotta & Co. to check out her fabulous textile art. Bubbly was next at Cuvée, where Eli Rosenblatt and Evelyn Terry showed their work. Terry’s son, Fondé Bridges, hosted. Tiffany Miller from Golda Meir School stopped in.  

The Cramer-Krasselt offices overflowed to see Chip Duncan’s poignant “Global Images” photos. Those on hand included Japh Komassa, who has a new company, Crane and Turtle, there with Nikki Bender; Theran Pfeiffer, with the Duncan Entertainment Group; Patty Ostermick; artist/illustrator Renee Graef; and musician Chris Spheeris. From C-K were Chris Durian, Shawna Ballinger and Lucian McAfee, plus Bray Architects’ Jean Casey and Kate Pertzsch from Engberg Anderson. Maggie Jacobus, executive director of Creative Alliance Milwaukee, was gearing up for the second annual Creative Milwaukee@Work summit. Among others there were filmmaker Laj Waghray, Shirah Apple and Jim Zajackowski.   

The last stop was at the Grohmann Museum to see Jim Brozek’s gripping ’70s cowpuncher photos. In the crowd were Mary Krimmer, former owner of Soup’s On, who recently published her second soup cookbook, and her husband, Doug, who printed Brozek’s photos for the show; Paul Mathews and Colleen Fitzgerald. Brozek’s wife, artist Pat Hidson, ran over to MAM to see her son, The Quasimondo’s Paul Bentz, perform.  

Musical Magic: It was cheek-to-jowl at The Jazz Estate with The Aluar Pearls, the “soul explosive Afrobeat Soukous and Highlife” band. The group included topnotch Milwaukee musicians Matt Wilson, Jay Anderson, David Wake, Bryan Rogers, Corey Coleman, Scott Hlavenka, George Jones, Tim Stone and Travis Drow, plus Danielle Burren. Jazz Estate owner Brian Sanders and bartender Amber Grupe were kept in beverage overdrive. 

Also packing in were singer Holly Haebig, Kristin Urban from Urban Empress and the Urbanites, and Sarah Stangle. Caley Conway came with her Lucy Cukes members Alex Heaton and Robert Weiss. Videographer Dena Aronson stopped by, as did UWM’s Sarah Huber and Americorps’ Carmella DeLucia

More Musical Magic: It was another sold-out performance at the Miramar with 325-plus for a magical evening as Al Kooper & Friends performed a benefit concert for Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center. Fred Bliffert organized the event, and will play with Kooper at B.B. King’s blues club in New York next February. After the first set, chairs were removed so the head-bobbing audience could dance. The stellar 18-piece band highlighted Bliffert plus Warren Wiegratz, Robin Pluer, Jim Liban and Peter Roller. Broadcast maestro Bob Reitman introduced the show and spoke about the center’s programs. In the audience were Fred’s wife, Susan Bliffert; Dr. Mary Washburne and her husband, Bob Boucher; musicians Bobby Friedman, Ragani and Steve Tilton. Getting on down were Jeff Ziebelman and Betty Holloway, Chris Zapf and Steve Schutz, Jeff Bentoff, Patty Chambers and Art Blair, who had lucked into a front row seat in 1981 to first see Kooper. 

On the Road: B&D swung through the Windy City the other day and ran into Chef Jason Gorman, who has just completed a gourmet redo of the Art Institute of Chicago’s upscale cafe. Gorman had been with Potawatomi and the Iron Horse before heading south.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Nov. 14 issue of the Shepherd.

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