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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Frosty Theater-going: On the coldest night in February, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s October: Before I Was Born played to a full house at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre. The extra draw was playwright Lori Matthews, there for a post-show talk back. She fielded questions and presented the fascinating backstory of a family awaiting news about loved ones in a plant explosion. Also on hand were the Chamber’s Artistic Director C. Michael Wright, educator/literary manager Marcella Kearns and the superb cast members Raeleen McMillion, April Paul and Ken T. Williams.

In the audience were board member Dan Schley and wife Barb Haig, plus Margo Haig, Imy Schley and Nancy Jacobs. Also spotted were actors Libby Amato and Gwen Zupan, Michael Necroto and Bobby Spencer and playwright Fly Steffens. MCT supporters included Inez and Gene Gilbert, Corliss and Katja Phillabaum, Jill and Fritz Broekhuizen, and the MCT’s marketing wiz Cara McMullin. James Ireton from Indulge Wines kept busy bartending.

The Milwaukee Ballet scored another A-plus event at its annual gala, “Mirror, Mirror.” The fete paid homage to the upcoming world premiere of Artistic Director Michael Pink’s Mirror, Mirror: The Fairest Ballet of Them All, inspired by the tale of Snow White. 

Highlights included a spectacular scenic transformation of the Pfister ballroom, amazing performances by the Milwaukee Ballet, created by choreographer-in-residence Timothy O’Donnell, and a fashion parade with the work of Timothy Westbrook. The latter was also the Pfister’s resident artist in 2012 and a “Project Runway” contestant. Hotel master chef Brian Frakes prepared a dinner delight featuring loin of elk. The rollicking and rolling after-party, “Shattered,” featured the 5 Card Studs.

Pink raised $50K-plus with an “audience ask” and vocal auction. Justin and Susanna Mortara won a diamond bauble donated by Donald and Donna Baumgartner; Tom and Anne Metcalfe and Keith and Maureen Kolb captured a Cuban salsa party; and a dinner in the Miller Brewery caves will be shared by Michael and Margaret DeMichele, Tom and Jane Lacy and Charles and Kathleen Mellowes.

Circulating were Milwaukee Ballet Board President Kathy Crocker and her husband, Randy Crocker, from presenting sponsor von Briesen & Roper. Sponsor BMO Harris was represented by Jud Snyder, who co-chaired the ball with his wife, Jessica. Beautifully sparkly in Indian attire was Radhika Maheshwari, her husband, Varun Laroyia, and sister, Madhavi Maheshwari, soon getting married in India. Tina Chang was there for the first time, plus the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Dr. John Raymond and Cindy Collins, designer Adrian Gilling and hairstylist Shari Grahovac, who coiffed Jayne Pink’s fun hairdo.  

Neither cold, sleet, ice, snow, thunder nor gloom of night kept B&D from joining a packed house at the Domes’ Music Under Glass to hear The BriTins cloning the Fab Four. Photographers Jack Roper and Marshall Klapperman kept busy snapping the retro mop-heads on stage. Andrew Kuehn partied with his girlfriend, art teacher Megan Gannon, his dad, Robert, and mom, Maria, celebrating her 62nd birthday and reveling in her attendance at a 1964 Beatles concert in Chicago with her twin sister Sandy, who recently moved to California from Milwaukee. UW-Milwaukee Africology student Phil Neely and Alverno music senior Amanda Roberson got into the Beatles groove, as did Rebecca Schaefer and kids Jerimiah, 8, and Gabriella, 3.

Twist-and-shout dancers included retired police detective Mary Schieffer, Chris Zapf and Steve Schultz, Doc and Lepa Munns, and Joe and Jeannie Domer. Attorney Dick Frederick and Dean Chapman also partied, while Susan Oster and Jeanie Larson held down the fort in the gift shop.

The Rep hosted a free mini-concert showcasing excerpts from its Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie, now playing at the Stackner Cabaret. The back room at Colectivo on Prospect was a perfect setting for the folk ballads, culminating with a sing-a-long of Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” led by the New York cast of Helen Jean Russell, David Finch and Leenya Rideout

The toe-tapping audience included the play’s understudies, Rep interns Patrick Budde and Elyse Edelman, UWM PR intern Dusty Raatz and Colectivo’s events and communications manager, Ramie Camarena. Sipping beverages in the café was actress Flora Coker, plus Elana Rodman confabbing with Silicon Pastures’ Teresa Esser and Mu Kyung Shin, a UWM finance major from Korea. The Rep’s ever-effervescent Cindy Moran oversaw the hootenanny.

Arts Anew: The always-bustling Marshall Building, with its six floors of artists’ studios, held its debut “Third Fridays” open house. B&D popped into Grotta & Co. to admire the luxurious fabric art of owner and designer Laura Goldstein, there with dyeing assistant Nicole Arns from MIAD. Other stops included Studio Blip with husband-and-wife artists Ken and Ruth Vonderberg; Gallery MKE, where Doris couldn’t resist a necklace by Sally Davidson Lautmann; and the studio of Sally Duback and Barbara Manger. Visiting there were Marsha Sehler and her nephew, Max Seigle, from Channel 12; Melissa Musante and Steve Smith; and designer Janine Smith.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the March 20 issue of the Shepherd.