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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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Damien Jaques

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Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.



Recent Articles
 
 Dining - July 12, 2012
 An educated food truck
 When Heatherlee Muehlius' new food truck hit the streets a month ago, she most likely became the best educated restaurateur on wheels in Milwaukee. Known as Hattie, Muehlius has a culinary degree from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, and bachelor and master's degrees in education. For most of the year she is an English as a second language specialist in the Milwaukee Public Schools, but this summer she has become the owner and operator of Hattie's Truck.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - July 12, 2012
 My exit interview
 Having spent the last 32 years watching theatrical characters make their exits, you would expect me to know how to get off my own stage. I'm retiring from journalism this week. No more deadlines and fewer opening nights. As of tomorrow, I am just another guy in the audience with an opinion, but right now I am trying to sum up more than three decades of being a theater critic in Milwaukee.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - July 9, 2012
 Cherry picking with German POWs in Door County
 The things about Wisconsin we didn't learn in school, the American Folklore Theatre tells us with music, humor and poignance. For instance, the state hosted about 20,000 foreign prisoners of war during WWII, and most were German. Supervised POW projects ranged from Bayfield to Sturtevant, and some captured enemy combatants were even housed at State Fair Park. That is the context for "Victory Farm," this season's new American Folklore Theatre musical being staged outdoors in Peninsula State Park.
 
 Dining - July 9, 2012
 The Greenwood Supper Club dates back to John Dillinger
 In a tourist destination containing restaurants with breezy patios, festive summer plantings and sparkling water views, it is easy to overlook the Greenwood Supper Club. Located in the interior of the Door County peninsula, at the intersection of County Roads A and F, the low profile business has none of those. But Door County regulars know the Greenwood isn't just another restaurant.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - July 5, 2012
 Two Door County performing arts groups operate with new management this summer
 The performing arts have been steadily expanding in Door County during the past 20 years, and two organizations are operating with new management this summer. Door Shakespeare had an abrupt change of leadership during the winter. Sturgeon Bay's Third Avenue Playhouse now has a professional stage company being run by two theater artists with Broadway on their resumes.
 
 Dining - July 2, 2012
 Good Eggs: Breakfast on a surfboard
 Joel Bremer describes his thriving Door County business as "half the day, half the year." That fits with his Good Eggs breakfast restaurant being, in his opinion, more of a lifestyle achievement than a corporate triumph. "Keep it real, keep it simple," has been the motto since Good Eggs opened 11 years ago. That means omelet-filled burritos, ordered and delivered at a counter and served in a plastic basket daily from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through October.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - June 28, 2012
 Shakespeare in the park misses the mark
 Heavy metal Shakespeare. Loud, fast and violent. That is the style the Optimist Theatre is giving us with its free outdoor production of "Macbeth" that opened last week on the Alverno College campus. The approach may work with "Titus Andronicus," but it misses the points in "Macbeth."
 
 Dining - June 25, 2012
 Prime by the pounds: Ward's gets national attention for its portion sizes
 When Brian Ward opened Ward's House of Prime, he had no intention of presiding over a nationally publicized eating competition. The veteran general manager simply wanted his own upscale restaurant with a beefy flair. But this is Milwaukee, the land of large appetites, and the affable Ward finds himself in the middle of something big. Like serving a hunk of prime rib weighing more than 10 pounds to a single customer.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - June 21, 2012
 Milwaukee theater gets involved with the world
 We certainly go to the theater to be entertained, and the lord knows, we need our diversions from politics and the news these days. But the juice that energizes theater, keeping it vital and fresh, is found in plays that enthusiastically engage tough issues. Our local stage groups have shown admirable awareness of the world around them in programing their 2012-13 seasons. It will be a year of substance.
 
 Arts & Entertainment - June 18, 2012
 Wisconsin actress opens on big stage tonight
 With a resume that includes Broadway, major national theaters and the Skylight Music Theatre, Madison native Tari Kelly has a thriving career. She opens in the title role of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the legendary St. Louis Muny tonight.
 


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