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Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009

Boris and Doris On the Town

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New Brit in Town: London native Mark Clements, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s new artistic director, was wholeheartedly welcomed at a Harley-Davidson Museum celebration. Rep board member/Harley VP Patrick Smith presented Clements with a custom leather jacket while the crowd raised champagne glasses, albeit filled with Miller beer, in his honor. Clements profusely thanked Judy Hansen’s search committee, which included John Kordsmeier, the Rep’s board president; Susan Esslinger; Donna Meyer; and Dawn Helsing Wolters, the Rep’s newish managing director, there with her new husband, Tony.

Milwaukee’s artistic community came out in force: director Edward Morgan, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Michael Wright, First Stage’s Rob Goodman, Danceworks’ Deborah Farris, Ten Chimneys’ Sean Malone, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Mark Hanson and Sara Young from American Players Theatre. Representing Uprooted, Milwaukee’s new African-American theater company, were Dennis Johnson, Travis Knight and Marti Gobel. From the acting world were Jim Pickering, Deb Staples, Peter Silbert, Jenny Wanasek and Brian Vaughn.

Films Galore: The 22nd annual LGBT Film/Video Festival kicked up its heels with an opening pre-party at the home of Realtor Jack Smith, attended by dedicated movie fans. Guests included UW-Milwaukee’s marketing czarina Polly Morris and film lecturer Carl Bogner, along with Wade Hobgood, dean of the Peck School of the Arts, music man Scott Emmons, Maria Cadenas of Cream City, Aurora veep Jerry Janis and man-about-town Joe Pabst. Everyone then motored through a drizzle to the Oriental for a viewing of Patrik, Age 1.5.

A post-soiree crowd packed Beans & Barley for a late-night sumptuous spread. Talking cinema and life in general were Leonard Sobczak, Neil Albrecht of the election commission, Boulevard Theatre’s Mark Bucher, Equality Wisconsin’s Ray Vahey, and Jody Michael Armata, owner of Northshore Funeral Services. The festival runs through Oct. 25.

Bookman: Michael Bowen, a Foley & Lardner attorney by day, writer of 16 mostly mystery novels by night, celebrated the publication of his latest potboiler, Service Dress Blues, at Boswell Book Co. The evening was also the 160th anniversary of the death of Edgar Allan Poe, Bowen’s inspiration, so an action figure of Poe joined the crowd. A reading by veteran actors Deborah Clifton and John Kishline brought the plucky fictional couple, Ole and Lena Lindstrom, to life. In the audience were fellow Foley associate Barbara Marshall and her husband, Tom.

Rooms Redo: The beautifully redesigned South KK studio of artist/designer Carmen Benske was transformed within two weeks, thanks to her hard-working husband, Jeff Benske, Top Shelf Guitar Shop’s owner, and Greg Steffke from County Clare. Helping host at Benske’s subsequent opening were Jeff’s parents, Dave and Judy Benske. Friends poured into the new space to see Benske’s paintings, complemented by a display from Jody Boogren-Reid.   

Stopping by were musician Ian Spanic, wife Deborah and daughter Lara, and Select Sound’s Bob Theno and his wife, Kim. Fellow visiting designers/artists there were Linda Beckstrom, Christina Ward, Nicole Thomas and Veronica Montoto, plus Frank Sadler from Frank Allen Gallery and Rusty Olson, who owns Rockhaus Guitars with his wife, Mary Beth.

Happiness Is: Artist Jilan Glynn celebrated her 75th b-day and 11 years cancer-free at the Jackpot Gallery on Center with a show of her work. Helping her celebrate were her daughters—artist Carri Skoczek, who came from New York with her husband, David Hurd; hair designer/MATC instructor Shari Tuska; and Danti Skoczek. Among the revelers were MIAD’s Mary Eastwood, artist Thea Kovac and Angel French.

Coffeefied: Fiddleheads Coffee showcased its new imported coffees with tastings at its Mequon, Thiensville and Cedarburg locations. Owners Mike Wroblewski, his sister Lynn and her husband, coffee roaster Steve Klimczak, poured copious amounts of caffeine at the latter, an espresso bar/restaurant.

Cedarburg shop manager Melissa Shively was joined by her family, including husband Rob Shively, her grandfather Dale Schmidt, and his wife, Marlene; parents Gary and Dalene Nelson, in-laws Richard and Cindy Shively, and Fiddleheads’ accountant Connie Schmitz. Helping out were Emily Froze, Mequon shop manager, and Kaila Klein, who runs the Thiensville locale. Guitarist Benjamin Kammin strummed, while loyal Fiddleheads fan Neil Trilling and Margaret Hines from Inspire Marketing sampled sups.

Award Winner: The Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau just won its second consecutive Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Aaron Cushman Gold award, for the best publicity campaign for a CVB with six or more employees. This year’s honor was for “Celebration of Cool” with The Fonz (Henry Winkler). Accepting the award was the CVB’s marketing meister Dave Fantle.  

Book Touchdowns: Phil Hanrahan’s just-released overview of the Green Bay Packers, Life After Favre, has scored on the chat circuit, with cross-country store and media appearances. For his research, Hanrahan visited Packer bars, dropped in on Favre’s hometown and watched a lot of green-and-gold football.

Other Beverage: B&D celebrated the Iron Horse’s first anniversary, where mixologist Brad Chrzanowski showcased his award-winning skills by making a smooth Pumpkin Flip and a Violet Femme.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Nov. 5 issue of the Shepherd.
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