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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Banding Together: Fans of The Mike Benign Compulsion poured into Shank Hall for the album release party of Here’s How It Works. Mike Benign rocked the crowd with his original songs, backed by Joe Vent, Brian Wooldridge and Mike Koch with Tyler Traband on keyboard.  

A contingent from Hanson Dodge Creative included Betty Blexrud-Strigens and Damien Strigens of Testa Rosa, which also performed; Tim Dodge; Joel Richter; Bill Finn with his partner, Kirsten Mulvey; Joe Ciccarelli; and Jonathan Gundlach with his wife, Mary Kay. Gracing the album cover, a Hanson Dodge design featuring photographs by Ken Hanson, was a coat-and-tied Joe Pabst. In the inside graphic, he wore his birthday suit.

Joining the fun were Pabst pals Elaine Maly and Tom Taubert, neighbor Alex Smith from Baird, Meg Kasch, Tiffany Stankiewicz (the Red Headed Chef), Tim Murphy, Aurora’s Michael Johnston and Roger Krawiecki. Musician Sammy Llanas, Shank Hall impresario Peter Jest, Francis X. Vogel from Mission-Driven LLC, UW-Milwaukee history professor Joe Rodriguez and Gene Stefaniak, Benign’s 81-year-old dad, were also spotted in the crowd.

Haggis Lovers: For Haggis lovers like us, in lieu of a trip to Scotland you can find it at Woodman’s. Vince Milewski and Morganne MacDonald, owners of Macski’s Highland Foods, have been offering tastings throughout the Woodman’s chain. Nibbling at a Menomonee Falls demonstration were Ian and Maureen Day, Jack and Kathy Schafer, Harold and Kevin Hansen, David Sparks, Peggy Ruetz, Deb Gonella, Dawn Bublitz, Barbara Milewski, Patrick Hall, Fred Lyons and Shawn, Diane and Peter Govern.

Masterful: Temptation’s Snare, a retelling of The Soldier’s Tale, is a top-notch collaboration of Present Music, Brooklyn-based composer collective Sleeping Giant and Danceworks Performance Company. The cleverly updated narration of Igor Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale was written by devilishly delightful Jason Powell, doubling as Satan. Christal Wagner beautifully portrayed a violinist who sold her soul to the devil for earthly fame.  

Both companies were there in force on opening night. From Present Music were Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim and Managing Director Christine Liu. Representing Danceworks were Executive Director Deborah Farris and Artistic Director Dani Kuepper

Enjoying the show were Danceworks board member Elaine Sweet, there with friend Davey Singer; Cecile Cheng, a Present Music board member; Chuck Rozewicz, UPAF’s director of development; and a group from UPAF Next Generation, including Danceworks board president-elect Danielle Bly, Wild Space’s Deb Loewen, John Shannon and Jan Serr. Kate Retzlaff, Danny Brylow and Cassie Platt ushered.

Whirligigging: Shorewood’s Garden Room hosted the opening of artist Slava Yanovsky’s newest collection of whimsical whirligigs. Admiring his work were his wife, Sally Hunt, and fellow spin exercisers including MATC nursing instructor Robin Mosleth; Jim Collis, with his wife, Linn; Larraine MacNamara-McGraw and Will McGraw; plus artist Tom Price.

Also that night, Jenny Heyden hosted a Shorewood Welcome New Neighbors reception. Newcomers included Maria Lara and ex-Michiganders Carolyn and Doug Carlson. Other locals were John O’Hara, Karen Dean, Tammy Bockhorst, David and Naomi Cobb, North Shore Fire Department Battalion Chief John Maydak and Shorewood Historical Society Treasurer Marilyn John.

Dining downstairs at Tochi were MIAD professor Lynn Tomaszewski with her husband, Timothy Fojtik, and daughter Oona Fojtik. On hand were Garden Room and Tochi owner Deb Kern, plus manager Doug McDonald and assistant manager Jamie Bilgo Bruchman.

Inspiring Women: PEARLS for Teen Girls held “an intimate evening of conversation and inspiration” at the Pfister Ballroom. The program kicked off with Melissa Blue and Toneka Griffin discussing women inspired to lead. 

PEARLS Executive Director Danae Davis reviewed 2013’s programming, which served 1,249 girls. Panelists sharing their stories were Griselda Aldrete, executive director of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee; Hmong American Peace Academy founder Chris Her-Xiong; Marquette student Austiana Jackson, a PEARLS alumna; Alverno College President Mary Meehan; and Aurora podiatrist Dr. Réne F. Settle-Robinson.

Circulating were PEARLS founder Colleen Fitzgerald and director of program services Gerry Howze, Quarles attorney Nancy Peterson, Raquel Filmanowicz and Tamika Bowen from BMO Harris, Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Marcus White, Susan Fete and Lisa Rasmussen from Renaissance Theaterworks, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Linda Neff and Emily Dell, plus state Sen. Lena Taylor.

Camp Contributions: At Tall Keith’s ninth One Heartland/Camp Heartland fundraiser, organizer Keith Leifer raised lots of cash for the organization’s HIV/AIDS kids’ outreach. At the Hot Water Wherehouse, the divinely multiple costumed Karen Valentine hosted, with hair(spray) by Grum’s Joe Kender. Performances by Dear Ruthie, Goldie Adams, Maple Veneer, Jonathan Cervero of Chicago, and the Florentine Opera made for a delightful evening.

Five well-costumed members of the Abbey of the Brew City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—Josh Schumaker, Sister Causa de Change; Susan Westover, Sister Gimm E. Summ; Elizabeth Krahn, Sister Cailín la Dóchas; Lynne Stiglitz, Novice Sister Mae Nora; and Postulant Ginger Bush, Cody Tracey—were on hand to distribute information about their organization and help with the raffle. In the crowd of nearly 200 was One Heartland founder Neil Willenson, fundraiser Kelley DeLisle, and Wherehouse owner Paul Mueller.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the April 3 issue of the Shepherd.