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Since their eponymous sketch comedy show ended in 1995, all five members of the Kids in the Hall have stayed visible, albeit TV personality-visible, not major-star visible. Mark McKinney spent a few years on “Saturday Night Live;” Scott Thompson became the host of “My Fabulous Gay Wedding;” Kevin McDonald guest starred in over a dozen sitcoms and Bruce McCulloch made the oc...

Milwaukee historian John Eastberg at Boswell

All good Milwaukeeans know that the Pabst family name is synonymous with world-famous beer, but few may know of Fred Pabst Jr.’s connection to the more agrarian pursuits of agriculture and livestock. In fact, Pabst purchased vast tracts of land near Oconomowoc, where he used sustainable...

Novelist Mark Slouka at Boswell

Mark Slouka’s new book entitled Brewster, for the upstate New York town where it takes place, is a memorable coming-of-age story of an unlikely high school friendship. It is the turbulent 1960s and 16-year-olds Jon Mosher and Ray Cappicciano, both from troubled homes, unexpectedly...

‘Epigrams’ and ‘Elegies’ from Prometheus Trio

Lionheart, the New York-based male vocal ensemble, returned to Milwaukee for a Saturday evening concert at the beautiful St. Joseph Center Chapel, presented by Early Music Now. The program focused on the Medieval to Renaissance tradition of the Italian lauda, or song of praise...

Monica Rodero and Daniel Schuchart’s love for dance

“It starts like this,” Dan Schuchart told the audience as his spouse Monica Rodero bound his hand tightly to hers with masking tape. “We start like this.” Music started and the couple danced rapidly, equally in charge, testing every twist, turn, bend, lift, fall and wriggle possible for people so...
Present Music has long celebrated Thanksgiving with grand performances in the cathedral. This year’s concert, “A Juxtaposition of Traditions,” includes Present Music instrumentalists; vocal ensemble Hearing Voices; and 90-plus musicians from Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, Vocal Arts Academy, Milwaukee Youth...

MSO performs ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’

Early Music Now presented Quicksilver in two terrific concerts last weekend at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. On Friday evening the ensemble performed a program of Italian music of the early Baroque period with sensuality and extraordinarily sensitive, refined ensemble. I’ve rarely heard...

Quicksilver Baroque Ensemble performs at St. Paul’s

Early Music Now’s second concert of the season features a rare take on modern music…modern for the mid-17th century, that is. The double concert program by Quicksilver Baroque Ensemble offers the...
I have always admired the continuing exploration of literature that is a fundamental aspect of the Prometheus Trio. Over the years I have heard quite a bit of music on their concerts never before encountered. Such was the case with Frank Bridge’s Trio......
I knew violinist Ilana Setapen was good. I had heard her in recital and in chamber music. But I didn’t realize how wonderfully and exceptionally good she is until hearing her play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Milwaukee Symphony last Saturday night. Setapen is associate concertmaster of the orchestra. I would guess that there are few......

Present Music with Margaret Leng Tan

Margaret Leng Tan, the world’s first toy piano virtuoso, was the star of Present Music’s concert “Toys!” She was perfectly accompanied by the Present Music string ensemble......

Classical Review

“Shining Stars” was the appropriate title of the Wisconsin Philharmonic's May 2 concert. In addition to the orchestra's usual instrumentalists there appeared the winners of its youth concerto competition as well as a smattering of youth orchestra members. Another “shining star” was Joseph Schwantner, the American composer of the first work, Chasing Light. This four-movemen...
There was an exciting revelation at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend: the bandoneon featured in a concerto by the Argentinian master of the tango, Astor Piazzolla (1921- 1992). Piazzolla's tangos show up regularly in diverse contexts....
Two seasons ago Vladimir Feltsman commented negatively about the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Steinway and urged its replacement on a live local public television broadcast. That concert was re-broadcast, and apparently eventually led to the donors' gift of a new piano. The old MSO Steinway has a resonant ring, but also a loose rattle and unevenness. It was time to move on....

Classical Review

The snowstorm last week forced a cancelled rehearsal of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and prevented the arrival of the guest soloist, pianist Andreas Haefliger. Conductor Andreas Delfs quickly revised the plans to something the orchestra could do with just one rehearsal. William Schuman’s Symphony No. 5, which the MSO has never before played, and a Mozart piano concerto were scrapped. In...

Classical Review

The ludicrous production of La Traviata that opened at Skylight Opera last weekend proved that a great Verdi melody is indestructible. This unbelievably misguided venture only works in the final scene, when all its incompetence, bad direction and quarter-baked ideas mercifully recede enough for focus on the bare . . ....

Classical Preview

American composer John Adams (b. 1947) once stood under the same Minimalist umbrella as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, but as the ’90s wore on, he developed into something of a “post-post-modernist,” as demonstrated by such works as The Death of Klinghoffer (1991) and the Violin Concerto (1993)....

Classical Review

It is irresistibly interesting to speculate what goes on in guest conductor rehearsals with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Were ideas persuasively delivered, spoken or unspoken?...

Wild Space opens its season with ‘Milwaukee 360’

You are apt to be quite taken with the beauty of Downtown Milwaukee and its environs as they appear in a wraparound panorama from atop the eight-story parking structure of the former Pabst Brewery, set high on......

Dance Review

Three was the straightforward title of the Milwaukee Ballet's spring program of three dances in three styles by three choreographers. More than anything, it demonstrated artistic director Michael Pink's devotion to his dancers, showcasing them individually......
All artists need the opportunity to fail. Risk-taking is indispensable. What serious opportunities for trial and error exist for artists in Milwaukee after they leave the relative safety of a college program? This is not an idle question. Danceworks recognizes that it is a community’s job to provide laboratories for artists and they have accepted their share of the responsibility. Liz Hilde...

Dance Preview

One would be hard-pressed to conjure up a name more closely associated with the Milwaukee dance scene than Ed Burgess. Burgess, currently marking his 20th year on the UW-Milwaukee dance faculty, has directed, choreographed or performed with just about every arts group in town, including the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Wild Space Dance......
We thought that was fun and decided to make these evenings combinations of environmental work and traditional theater work. The range of the work that our choreographers were bringing to the process demand ed that we present the performances in this way.” The theater’s lobby, courtyard and stage are of equal importance for performances created specifical ly for these spaces. A piece by...

DANCE PREVIEW

Lately it seems that everything from window displays to theater bills are heavily doused in Christmas spirit....

Dale Gutzman’s outrageous comedy at Off the Wall

Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 novel Valley of the Dolls was a smashing success and became the number-one bestselling novel of 1966 per Publishers Weekly. It was then adapted into a film in 1967 and, though it was deemed a flop by critics, gained a cult following. It was re-released...

Two people falling in and out of love

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is a tender and thoughtful look at a couple of people falling in and out of love. Amanda Carson is subtly captivating as a woman who experiences a...

Umbrella Group’s punchy holiday offerings

Umbrella Group and playwright Neil Haven’s two-part theatrical extravaganza is a great holiday selection and a triumph of hilarity. Who Killed Santa?, now in its sixth reprisal, features delightful hand-and-rod puppets created by Dan Katula and brought to life by five premier Milwaukee actors...
Last weekend, Boulevard Theatre and Plymouth Chorale staged a two-performance concert inspired by three literary figures. A Concert of Note was a classy fusion between theatrical text and the distinct music of collective voices. It was a sharply rendered program, a well-modulated meeting between a local choral group and...

A modernized ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

“Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” This is the guiding message of Miracle on 34th Street, a show about Santa Claus on trial for lunacy in a modern world more...

Milwaukee Rep returns with holiday classic

Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol returns once more to the Pabst Theater. This is the 39th year that the Milwaukee Repertory Theater has staged this big-budget production...

Acacia Theatre’s ‘Peculiar People’ showcases various authors and composers

“It’s the greatest story ever told, from different perspectives,” says Acacia Theatre’s artistic director of Peculiar People, Janet Peterson. “It’s the story of Christmas through the eyes of those who were there first, from the serious reflections of Mary and Joseph to the amusing observations of...