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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Taste of the Ward: A Culinary Pièce de Résistance

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Skylight Music Theatre has been part of the Milwaukee art scene for more than 50 years and provides our city with wonderful musical theater, including operas, operettas, revues and Broadway musicals. The theater started out as a small venue off Cathedral Square Park, and in 1993 made the move into their current home at the Broadway Theatre Center in the Third Ward. Which is where, on Thursday, March 27, Skylight is hosting the second annual Taste of the Ward.

An inspired pairing of support for the arts and foodie pleasure, Taste of the Ward offers the opportunity for “unlimited bites” from 13 different Third Ward-based restaurants. “When people are coming to see a show here, they often want to have a meal beforehand, so we thought it made sense to call attention to all the great food in our neighborhood,” says Becca Kitelinger, development director for Skylight.

The featured restaurants include perennial favorites like Water Buffalo, Benelux, Smoke Shack, Swig, Kasana, Club Charlies and Indulge. New this year is Prodigal Gastropub (contemporary American food), Bavette La Boucherie (butcher shop/deli and fresh daily menus) and Kanpai (fresh sushi, Asian fusion). “We encourage each restaurant to bring something that showcases their specialties, things that are typically found on their menu,” says Kitelinger. After sampling these tasty bites, guests can vote for their favorites in three categories: Best Overall, Most Unique and Most Creative Presentation.

A cash bar will be onsite to complement the delicious sweet and savory bites.

Taste of the Ward is a fundraiser after all, so attendees may want to test their luck in the Wine or Gift Card “pull.” The concept is simple. To enter, purchase a single pull for $15 or two for $25. Entrants are guaranteed at least a $15 “prize” for each pull, but you could get something of much greater value. “In the wine pull, there are bottles valued from $15 to $125,” says Kitelinger. “The same is true of the gift cards which are all from restaurants participating at the event.”

Additional fundraising includes a traditional raffle, with prizes like free tickets and special opportunities at the theater.

Tickets for Taste of the Ward start at $30 per person for Young Professionals (ages 21-45), $45 per person for others and $75 per person for VIP. VIP tickets include a gift bag filled with goodies from Skylight and the partner restaurants, plus a listing as a sponsor for the event.

“We want this to be a fun and relaxing evening that just happens to be an affordable fundraiser,” says Kitelinger. All proceeds from the event will go to support Skylight’s productions and educational programs.

For more information about Taste of the Ward or to purchase tickets, visit skylighttheater.org or call 414-299-4972.