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Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Belly Up to the Bar: The annual Celebrity Bartender Night at the Newsroom Pub was packed with pols, publicists, publishers, pundits and related communications practitioners who helped the venerable Milwaukee Press Club celebrate its 124th anniversary.

Sharon Cook, now with M&I’s nonprofit trust department, staked out a prime perch near the tappers, along with food writer Karen Herzog. Tim Cuprisin, Pulitzer-winner Dave Umhoefer, columnist Jim Stingl, Kurt Chandler and Meg Kissinger were among the plethora of imbibing scribes.

Trading insider news were Josh Quinn, doubling as PR czar at Gold Dome and vocalist for the Cheap Shots, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel special events manager Becky Steimle, and the paper’s marketing director, David Wise. Well-positioned near the club entrance were The Roberts Group’s research director, Laura Pagel, and media buyer Marci Gehrke. Toward the back were State Fair PR maven Patrice Harris, AldermanNik Kovac, and Mayor Tom Barrett at one of his first hand-shakings for his gubernatorial run.

Leonard Sobczak and Louis Weisberg passed around copies of their just-launched Wisconsin Gazette, a biweekly LGBT publication.

Nouveau Wines: This month was Beaujolais Nouveau time with wino-philes toasting a magnificent 2009 vintage. The Alliance Francaise partied and poured at Manpower’s light-infused riverfront headquarters. The company’s event manager, Lavinia Ketchum, offered tours. Checking coats for the 200-plus revelers were Laurie Niege and Fatimata Diop of Mulhouse, an unofficial Milwaukee sister city in France.   

Event coordinators included Michael Massie, who designed the poster and invitation, there with his newish bride Danijela; Steve Ehlers and his sister Patty Ehlers Peterson of Larry’s Market fame; Laura Sebastian; GE Healthcare’s Suki Keita; and Jonathon Gladieux with Mason Wells. Enjoying each selection were Alliance board President Paul Smith, board member John Gaebler with his wife, Andrea Roschke, and new board member Brian Winters and his wife, MAM curator Laurie Winters.

Entertainment included cancan dancers Kathy Fons and her niece Melissa Schobert of the Milwaukee Ballet School, emcee/auctioneer Dylan Bolin, who as usual had the crowd in stitches with his pidgin French, and music by DJ Howie Goldklang of Establishment Productions in Shorewood.  

Other partiers included Ajoy Bose with Jefferson Wells International; publicist Bethany Perkins; ex-Parisian Johnny Malacrida and his wife, Natalie; MPTV’s Bill Panter and his wife, Anne, of UW-Milwaukee; designer Michael Dillon; BID Board No. 8 member PamilaBrown; Nancy Bush; and UWM professor Gabrielle Verdier.    

The party marked Beth Haskovec’s last day at the Alliance, as she moves on to become the new manager of Silver City Main Street on National.   

Meanwhile at Chez Jacques, owner Jacques Chaumet hosted a packed house that included Milwaukee’s own French songbird, Robin Pluer, hosting playwright Diogéne “Atome” Ntarindwa of Rwanda. His U.S. premiere of Carte d’identite (“The Identity Card”) is set for the upstairs theater in Marquette’s Straz Tower on Dec. 6.    

Fashion maven Cindy Molloy dropped by for a drink after attending an American Institute of Food & Wine dinner at Coquette Café. Finn Digital’s Bill Finn and the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Kirsten Mulvey dined at a quiet table in the back room. The bar crowd was hopping to the Trio du Monde, with Tom Schwark and company. Mike Houser and Darcy Hernandez, Jim Luljak of Theatrical Construction and Kathi Luljak of the French Bulldog Rescue Network, On A Sun’s drummer Mike McWilliam and Carrie Berg, Espresso Man Mark Hatcher and Laura Wall, marketing specialist Kathy Jenkins, and photographer Richard Beauchamp were among the revelers.

Thanksgiving Music: Just as the Bucks Native American Singing and Drumming Group began its traditional opening song and vibrant drumming at Present Music’s annual Thanksgiving concert, Sheila Jennings received a text that grandson Joseph Alexander Czerwinski was born in Washington, D.C. At the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist with her sister, Kathy Friend, the two were moved by the ensuing serendipitous selection of Arvo Prt’s lilting “Estonian Lullaby.” The baby’s dad, Jonah Czerwinski, is a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and mom Annie Linehan is program director for ServiceCorps, an arm of the CityBridge Foundation. Both are Milwaukee natives.

The eclectic musical assortment was enjoyed by a standing-room-only audience that included former Archbishop Rembert Weakland; marketing and PR consultant Raquel Lauritzen; and Mary Kelly and Present Music volunteer Pat Nakamura, excited that her son, actor Jonathan Wainwright, is reprising his role of Dude in January’s “Hotel Milwaukee” reunion. The concert included a friendship dance around the church, with videographer Keith Knox and chanteuse Leslie Fitzwater joining in.

Drop-By: B&D popped into the Mason Street Grill, where bar supervisor Ben Berg has updated his seasonal drink menu with the help of Capitol Husting’s fine wine consultant, Michael Best. The list now has a magnificently expanded autumn selection of Boris’ favorite single malts and smooth port wines. While basically a bubbly beverage fan, Doris made note of the Grill’s new martini offerings, including a cotton candy delight.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Dec. 17 issue of the Shepherd.