Home / Arts

Online Exclusive

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...

Dan Epstein on America’s pastime in the summer of ’76

In America in 1976, Steve Jobs formed the Apple Computer Company, the two-dollar bill was reintroduced and Jimmy Carter defeated incumbent Gerald Ford to take the presidency. And baseball was alive in America. This was the year of the “Big Red Machine,” the year that the love-to-...

Author tackles society’s mixed-up messages at Boswell

 What does it mean to be a “bad” feminist? In Roxanne Gay’s riveting new collection, she states that a “bad” woman’s-libber, in her mind, is someone who is full of all-too-human contradictions. This authentic and raw honesty permeates all of Gay’s stories, from her riveting tale of her own gang rape...
  A 1,500-year-old vampire and a modern-day witch again join forces in the long-awaited final installment of Deborah Harkness’ award-winning All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life. Following the success of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire...
 Gabriele Münter was young, rich and restless, traveling widely at the turn of the 20th century and living unconventionally. She was drawn to painting and fell into intense relations with her art tutor, the then little-known Wassily Kandinsky. Although Milwaukee author Mary Basson titled...

‘Tap the Map’ concert was thoughtful and fun

Looking for new ideas, tap dance choreographers sometimes succumb to gimmickry. Danceworks on Tap avoided that nicely in Tap the Map, a new concert performed at...

Recycled edition remains original

 The annual Danceworks Art to Art concert of new work by choreographers partnered with artists from other disciplines is always issue laden and interesting. Nothing lasts...
 Long the anchor of the Danceworks DanceLAB summer series of dance experiments, Danceworks on Tap enjoys upending preconceptions about tap dance. According to Artistic Director Amy Brinkman, this year’s...

‘Recycled’ is the theme as dancers work with music, film

 Milwaukee choreographers team up with non-dance artists to create experimental performances in Art to Art, the worthy centerpiece of the annual Danceworks...

Caroline Shaw octet provided a break in the gloom

 Present Music presents a smorgasbord of composers and styles, with some degree of hit and miss as part of the nature of performing new music. The season finale, performed Friday evening at the Cabot Theatre (normally home to Skylight) was decidedly more miss than hit...

Present Music and Milwaukee Opera Theatre join with Reginald Baylor’s TypeFace Project

 Present Music joins forces with Milwaukee Opera Theatre in Home Place, a multi-media exploration promising to challenge our views of home and place. The event is cast in three segments beginning outside the Broadway Theatre Center in Catalano Square with new works by local students...

Gilbert Varga conducts Tchaikovsky and Mozart

 Guest conductor Gilbert Varga returned to conduct the final classical concert of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra season last weekend. The highlight was Karen Gomyo’s account of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin, with every note and nuance emerging with clarity and exquisite taste....

New choreography by faculty, students and guests

 The UW-Milwaukee Dance Department closes each school year with an edition of “Summerdances,” a concert of new work by faculty and guest choreographers created...
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....

Outskirts Theatre’s inaugural performance

Carroll University undergraduate student Ryan Albrechtson and his peers were asked to create a fictional arts organization over the course of a semester in a fine arts administration class and Albrechtson, who fully connected with the project, took the next step and realized it this year as...

Chamber Theatre’s magnificent season opener

Decades after her death, Maria Callas is still among the world’s best known opera stars. Every inch the diva, she was a temperamental force of nature and the power of her voice and her presence could never be ignored...

A new kind of ‘Lady in Waiting’

Playwright/actress Liz Shipe deftly juggles action, comedy and drama with her latest. A Lady in Waiting relates a variation on the Robin Hood legend told from the perspective of a capable, independent Maid Marian and her companion, Aria...

Focus on supporting Midwest female playwrights

Renaissance Theaterworks is excited to kick off a new playwriting initiative called Brink! with the debuts of The Griots by Gwendolyn Rice and Janet Burroway’s Parts of Speech. Created by RTW’s Artistic Associate Mallory Metoxen, Brink! is dedicated to developing and advancing...
 American Players Theatre presents Anton Chekhov’s enduring classic The Seagull, a family drama about Arkadina, a famous actress, and her son, Konstantin, an aspiring playwright living in her shadow. Of Chekhov, Director John Langs, says, “This doctor-turned-writer sees us as we are: our...
 Commissioned to write an adventure play for Theatre Red, Milwaukee’s Liz Shipe delivered an unconventional reimagining of the well-known Robin Hood legend told through the eyes of Maid Marian’s servant, Aria. A Lady In Waiting includes Shipe as Marian, Zachary Thomas Woods as...
Halloween comes early thanks to Peninsula Players. The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful is a madcap romp that takes us on a journey through multiple settings in which two actors play eight characters of both sexes and take on more than 40 costume changes. The show runs July...
 Defined by its sordid sensuality and macabre hedonism, Off the Wall Theatre’s intimate rendition of Rope, by Patrick Hamilton, tells the story of two gay college students who decide to commit motiveless and passionless murder, just to see if they can pull off the “perfect crime....
 Sunset Playhouse’s production of Gypsy is chock full of all the flashy, gaudy and bombastic pageantry one would expect from the celebrated musical by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, while staying true to the original intention of Gypsy Rose Lee’s memoirs and conveying a...