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Monday, June 2, 2008

Furst delivers next chapter of international intrigue

Alan Furst is closing in on Upton Sinclair. Between 1940 and 1953, Sinclair, acclaimed author of The Jungle, created a series of 11 “World’s End” novels that captured much of the Western world’s political history in the first half of the 20th century. For 20 years now, Furst has been turning out his own series of novels filled with international intrigue. Furst’s books are set in Europe before and during World War II, and his latest effort, The Spies of Warsaw (Random House), is the 10th novel in the series. Like its predecessors, Spies of Warsaw is highly enjoyable, particularly in the author’s remarkable ability to evoke a vanished era.
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Today @ the Marcus Center - 2:30 p.m.

Munich-born guest conductor Jun Markl oversees the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s latest program, From Germany to Russia, which features violinist Hilary Hahn. The program kicks off with a timely performance of Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, “Spring,” and concludes with Tchaikovsky’s striking . . .
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Classical Review

The Mass in B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the marvels of musical accomplishments. Its composer seemed to believe that God is, among other attributes, the ultimate intellect. This music achieves its exaltation through rigorous depth, exploring the expansion of every Baroque musical form and compositional device. The Mass in B Minor, performed by Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend, is a mountain Andreas Delfs obviously wanted to climb with the orchestra and chorus. It was an inspired journey. There are certain trade-offs that are givens when a traditional symphony orchestra and chorus present a major Baroque work such as this.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A good joke takes time to set up. Comedians can’t just rush the punch line; they have to finesse it, tease it. For Flight of the Conchords, the New Zealand musical comedy duo turned HBO stars and, subsequently . . .
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not that they seem all that concerned about their legacy at this point, but The Cure made a mighty strong case for why they’re one of the greatest pop bands of all time—the greatest pop?—Saturday night with a super-sized concert that covered every phase of their 30-year career. The set was dominated by hits . . .
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dance Review

The Milwaukee Ballet brought its season to an exuberant end with a finale that showcased the depth and breadth of the talent in this company, ranging from the classical to the modern, surefooted every step of the way. For sheer visual fun, Antony Tudor's take on the Moulin Rouge, "Offenbach in the Underworld" literally provided a glimpse of the "under" world of the can-can dancers (along with their frilly undergarments) as the different social classes meet up in an 1870s café, rife with jealousy, flirtations and ensuing brawls. Drawing upon the music of Jacques Offenbach, Tudor . . .
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Action-adventure in middle school

Sylvester Stallone’s grimacing killing machine, Rambo, became a symbol of jingoism in the Reagan era, applauded by many Americans and derided by others. Those with a queasy sense of irony even found him funny. In Son of Rambow (so spelled because of trademark difficulties), British writer-director Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) would have us believe that the bulletproof avenger was capable of liberating the human imagination and inspiring a generation . . .
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

After last night’s show at the Rave, I can finally understand (some of) the logic in the age-old myth that women are more attracted to pompous and conceited dudes. Like every other member of the near-capacity Sunday night crowd, I fell hard for The Hives, even after constant boasting rants from singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

There's nothing quite so deliciously satisfying to one's ironic sensibility than witnessing the "majority" cheer for the videotaped speechifying of Kouichi Touyama, a street musician who ran for governor of Tokyo in 2007.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Having built a reputation on their sweaty and raw live marathons, Scott and Seth Avett are known for lathering their adoring fan base into a manic frenzy. Saturday's raucous performance at Turner Hall Ballroom was no exception, a blowout that left attendees extremely satisfied.