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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Theater Preview

In March, the fledgling Spiral Theatre hosted one of the theater season’s most pleasant surprises with its production of the 1969 Leonard Gershe play Butterflies Are Free. Spiral managed to take a dated and tiresome romantic comedy and stage it as an exceedingly entertaining love story with subtle shades of accomplished acting. Ruth Arnell starred as a young pseudo-hippie who falls in love with a blind musician . . .
Monday, July 7, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

In less than half a year, Milwaukee’s Atlatl has transformed itself from virtual unknowns to one of the city’s most likeable bands. Of course, they’ve had some help. Radio Milwaukee 88.9 has all but adopted the band, giving their day-dreamy single “Hey Man” the kind of airplay the station usually reserves for Atmosphere and Curtis Mayfield. The song deserves the exposure: Sweet and effortlessly hooky, it evokes one of Modest Mouse’s long drives with nothing to think about.
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thursday, July 26, 2008

With their Coldplay-slick ballads and Rooney-esque rockers, The Good Luck Joes’ have been making “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack-ready pop songs since before there was a “Grey’s Anatomy” soundtrack. Although the star-making ABC drama hasn’t adopted the Milwaukee group yet, a number of other ABC series have: the short-lived drama “Six Degrees” and ABC Family shows “Greek” and “Kyle XY” have featured the Joes’ . . .
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Classical Review

Some classical soloists are distinctive in their idiosyncrasies. Violinist Gil Shaham, who performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend, rarely plays to the audience. Rather, he turns to the musicians around him, but primarily to the conductor. You feel as if you are eavesdropping on a collaborative pleasure taking place onstage. Shaham played the Brahms Violin Concerto with an intense, large and colorful tone. He jumped in with both feet to attack formidable challenges and was wonderfully successful, from incisive drama to lyrical spin. Was humidity a factor in his not quite perfect tuning Friday evening?