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Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Domes Dancing: Vibrant African music echoed throughout the lavishly festive Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes, celebrating Ko-Thi Dance Company’s 40th season. Founder Ferne Caulker lovingly praised director Una Van Duvall as a “mini-hurricane” and thanked the company’s other key players: new Ton Ko-Thi director Eugene Humphrey, Valencia Turner and Tarence Spencer. Circulating were board chair Mark Ernst, there with his wife, Kathy McGlone, owner of Grafton’s Slow Pokes Local Food; vice-chair Genyne Edwards; and board members County Supervisor Johnny L. Thomas and Alverno’s Kathy Gilbert.

The program featured a Ko-Thi history video by Sharon Williams and Dena Aronson and awarded Caulker with an exquisite handmade quilt by James and Ethel White. Miriam Levy led the company’s younger contingent in an adorable celebration dance. Clapping to the music were Congresswoman Gwen Moore; singer Eric Beaumont of Eric Blowtorch and the Inflammables; and Gyldnis Mack-Landrum from Butterfly Soapworks. Adekola Adedapo, with grandchildren Nahani and Abiola, was excited about singing on January’s “Hotel Milwaukee” reunion show.

Art Fun: An opening at the new Terry McCormick Gallery featured the whimsical work of the late, great George Ray McCormick, along with pieces by Evelyn Patricia Terry, muralist Ras ’Ammar Nsoroma,and Shana Goetsch.   

Fellow artists stopping by included Cornelius Erby, UW-Milwaukee professor Fo Wilson, Tamiko Dargan, artist/flower designer Maxine Jeter, writer Dorothy Nwonye, and poet/Latina activist Carmen Murguia. Elizabeth Kai Smith sported her sassy signature Obama earrings, ready for an L.A. reading from her latest book, a tome about slavery.  

Dog-Gone Good Times: Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall overflowed with friends of MADACC (Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission), with Executive Director Melanie Sobel hosting the rescue group’s first “Rockabilly for Rover” fund-raiser. Crazy Rocket Fuel and the Brew City Bombshells Burlesque were highlights, along with a twist contest won by animal control officer Paul Schmidt, rockin’ with girlfriend Juliette Haven.

Among the revelers were dog lover Don Jacobson, aglow in his lighted cowboy outfit; free-lance photographer Philo; investigative journalist Geoff Davidian; Sharon and Dick Tomczyk; board chief Ron Hayward, West Milwaukee village prez; and Paul Ziehler, West Allis city manager.

Author Chat: Ex-Milwaukeean Carol Sklenicka was back home at Boswell Book Co. to celebrate. Her tome Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life was reviewed by Stephen King in The New York Times and selected by the newspaper as a 2009 Top 10 Book.

At her presentation were authors Paul Salsini and Martha Bergland; poet John Koethe, heading soon to a Princeton teaching gig; Sklenicka’s husband, poet Rick Ryan; and C.J. Hribal, who recently had his own reading at a benefit for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Among attendees were Diane Bacha, now with the Skylight Opera, Mike and Kathy Mooney, Flora Coker, and film dude Mark Borchardt.

Family Talent: An exhibit at Artasia’s expansive digs on Broadway showcased the Rosenblatt family’s creativity, featuring Adolph Rosenblatt’s whimsical sculptures, including his My Balcony installation, Suzanne’s delicate ballet dancers, and Eli’s edgy portraits. On the second floor, Art Elkon, Ted Friedman, Keith Knox, Steve Plamann and Bill Tennessen demonstrated extensive photo talent through their “Five Wise Men” exhibition.

Admiring the works were fellow artists Barb Paulini and Michael Davidson; costume designers Ellen Kozak and Kathy Smith; puppeteer Jeff Holub and artist Katie Jesse; collector Erik Peterson; Steve Koski, recently of the Brewery Credit Union; Realtor Will Keller; Jill Mulhern and Jodie Warn, both of the French Immersion School; and Alan and Sarah LaFollette.

Sagittarian Frolics: Man-About-Town Kyle Cherek,flush with his hit TV show “Wisconsin Foodie,” celebrated his big 4-0 at Hinterland. Sipping his potent signature “Wry Kyle,” made with Rehorst vodka, rye whiskey and a bitters-soaked sugar cube, Cherek greeted more than 200 guests. With the party going full-bore until bar time, the Third Ward hot spot needed to dip into its reserve stock of wine and martini glasses to keep up.

Parents Sandy and Tom Cherek, and Kyle’s brother, Chris, and wife, Ann, came up from Chicago for the festivities. Spotted in the crowd were Polacheck’s Rand Wolf and his wife, Laurie, the new North Shore Republican czarina; Jack Eigel, hearty with his new ticker; and West Allis High School’s Beth Koehler; Alverno professor Zohreh Emami stopped by with Cindy Molloy; Alan Anderson; conservationists Fred and Ann Vogel; and Joan Lubar with John Crouch.

Twenty-somethings Ross Segel, creator of Snack Patrol’s Cheese Jerky, and writer Jenna Kashou with John Hyland held court at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge to celebrate their b-days with a mob of pals. Among them were: graphic guru Brenton Gospodarek and the Zizzo Group’s Alysha Witwicki; Tal Seder, heading to N.Y.C.; Will Wabiszewski; Missy Whalen; and Marisa Wall, a teacher at Milwaukee College Prep. At a clutch of nearby tables, Trista Marie from Black Heart Tattoo officiated at her birthday with fiancé Adam Tremel and others of the skin art set such as Meredith Hall, Russ St. Jean and Amanda Ford. P.J. Dziedzicand Tony Divalentin suited up for the fun.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Dec. 31 issue of the Shepherd.

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