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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Fri
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Sat
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Sun
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1. AIGA celebrates 100 years with "Futura Extra Bold"
The Wisconsin chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, will mark its 100th anniversary with an interactive musical and visual celebration called "Futura Extra Bold." The event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 at Turner Hall.
2. Next Act combines dinner, wine and a provocative play in one package
What could possibly deliver more fun than a night of cool food, great wine selected just for you and an evening of wonderful theater? That's the idea behind the Saturday Date Night package created by David Cecsarini's Next Act Theatre.
3. MAM hires Obniski as new curator of 20th and 21st century design
This morning, the Milwaukee Art Museum announced the appointment of Monica Obniski as the museum's next Demmer curator of 20th and 21st century design.
4. Chappelle packs the Pabst
After nearly 10 years of more or less being off the radar with only the occasional stand-up gig, comedian Dave Chappelle decided to embark on an earnest comeback tour and many presumed - although some questioned if - he could bring it back.
5. Milwaukee's Druecke contributes "Art Dividends" to Temporary Art Review
Milwaukee writer and artist, Paul Druecke, published the first in a series of articles about Brew City art on Temporary Art Review, an international art blog, on Friday.
6. Dysfunctional family lies at the heart of Splinter Group's "Gamma Rays"
One of the greatest American plays ever written, "The Glass Menagerie" is about a controlling, difficult mother and her two children, both trapped by their own devils. Take that famous play, shoot it full of steroids and you've got "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds," the Paul Zindel play currently getting a striking and emotional treatment by Splinter Group.
7. Milwaukee Ballet dances "Don Quixote" into the Marcus Center
Michael Pink, the artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, is an artist who has a great respect and affection for the literary and musical giants of past, just has he has a diligent commitment to encouraging and producing new works. But more than anything else, Pink is a storyteller, a man in love with a good yarn that tells a tale of romance, adventure and the forces of good and evil.
8. Gigante's "My Dear Othello" is a spare, to-the-point production of a classic
Betrayal, revenge, a little more betrayal, a little more revenge, then even more revenge and a white lace handkerchief. That's about all you have to know about "My Dear Othello," the Theatre Gigante production opening tonight at the Kenilworth Studio 508 Theater.
9. MOWA announces first winner of Artist-in-Residence Program
This afternoon, the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) - in partnership with Ansay Development Corporation - announced Milwaukee artist Lois Bielefeld as the first winner of its Artist-in-Residence Program in Luxembourg, the first opportunity of its kind offered through MOWA for Wisconsin artists.
10. Take a virtual tour of The Pfister's art collection
The Pfister Hotel was the first hotel in the United States to launch an augmented reality tour. Ten pieces in the hotel's art collection are now interactive, with the goal of adding additional pieces in the coming months.
Tagged with: Pfister Hotel app
11. Florentine's "Flying Dutchman" is a chance to hear opera at its very best
It was just a rehearsal - no costumes, no set, no orchestra, no chorus, no plush seats, no lights on stage. As a matter of fact, there was no stage at all, just a piano. And the whole thing was in German. In spite of all of those things that weren't there, the thing that was there was a fascinating story and some amazing voices that told the story with such romance and strength that I followed the whole thing from my folding chair.
12. Renaissance creates absolute magic with Civil War-based "Amelia"
From "Romeo and Juliet" to "Love Story," the tale of youngsters who fall in love, only to see death and a search for meaning in it all is so often told that it seems to have become almost a cliche of itself. But when that story gets mixed with history and put into the hands of a small coterie of very creative people, the story creates the kind of theatrical magic that comes only on occasion. That's what happened when "Amelia" opened Saturday night.
13. First Stage's "Sherlock" shines a bright light in the theatrical sky
Most of the time when a play opens, it's easy to figure out who the star is - usually an actor with a major part. Sometimes, the star can be something else, like a director or a composer or a costume designer. Rarely would anybody pick a lighting designer as the star, unless they see the wonderful production of "Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars" that opened the season for First Stage.
14. Alchemist's "Suicide Sleep" is a wildly fascinating Halloween treat
Alchemist Theatre billed "Suicide Sleep"as its Halloween show, but nobody in the audience was trembling or closing their eyes to keep phantoms away. Instead, they were all on the edge of their seats - as was I - riveted with curiosity about just where this journey was going to take us.
15. "Shear Madness" is nothing but sheer joy for McGivern and company
There's this thing about cheap jokes: They can either be just cheap jokes, or they can be incredibly funny cheap jokes. And it's the incredibly funny kind that fill the two-plus hours of "Shear Madness," what may well be the longest running non-musical play in history.
16. Searing "after all the terrible things I do" gets world premiere treatment
Some plays roar along on a speeding train, carrying an audience to a climactic moment when, even though they are breathless, the play asks for even more breath. Others, some of the finest, invite you along for a leisurely walk among the marigolds and then, with a sudden twist of the fates, stops you in your tracks and slaps you right in the face. That's "after all the terrible things I do."
17. "Identita" is a troubling mess from start to finish and in between
I hardly know where to begin with "Identita," which takes an idea that hardly anybody has ever heard of, wraps it in a confusing collection of ever increasingly incredible ideas and casts it with some of serious overacting.
18. In Tandem produces spectacular and intriguing staging of "The Glass Menagerie"
Sometimes you think you know everything there is to know about something. It's just about at that time that you become fodder for a surprise that just about knocks you off your perch. That's the experience I got when I saw a spectacular production of "The Glass Menagerie," the fabled Tennessee Williams play that opened over the weekend at In Tandem Theatre and runs through Oct. 19.
19. "The Color Purple" opens Rep season with powerhouse performances
The number "Hell No" may be at the heart of this play, but for the Milwaukee Rep's production of "The Color Purple," it's a "hell yes" if you want an evening of some of the best, warmest music you will see on stage all year.
20. Next Act's "Jenny Sutter" chronicles a troubling welcome home from Iraq
Next Act's "Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter" is a play that should be seen, worried over and savored by everyone who ever thinks about what it means to be an American.
21. Spectacular acting lights up MCT's "The Good Father"
"The Good Father," which opened over the weekend at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and runs through Oct. 12, was the first play by Irish playwright Christian O'Reilly, and it has rarely been produced in this country. But it's a first rate story about a young couple and their year-long journey that carries them from the ultimate casual to the significantly meaningful.
22. Cass Street Park creatures get new "clothing"
Sixteen years ago, Marina Lee sculpted and painted a group of whimsical public art "creatures" for Cass Street Park, 1647 N. Cass St. Lee is currently repainting five of the colorful animal hybrids.
23. Skylight's "Cinderella" joyously turns a Disney classic on its ear
In its recent past, the Skylight has moved almost exclusively into the world of musical theater, consistently producing stellar productions of musicals usually familiar to an audience. Friday night's performance of "Cinderella" was a clear indication that under the artistic direction of Viswa Subbaraman, opera is back. Thank God!
24. Off the Wall delivers a dark and stormy version of "Cabaret"
The Dale Gutzman version of "Cabaret," which opened Wednesday night and runs through Sept. 28, is a dark retelling of a story that mixed sex, violence, longing and fear into two and half hours of mesmerizing theater. The menace of the play at Off the Wall Theatre is as intimate as any I have seen before.
25. Theatre Unchained's "Addams Family" musical is frighteningly funny
Sometimes stepping off the beaten path, or outside of the mainstream, can be fraught with peril but on occasion it can turn into a wonderful surprise and you pat yourself on the back for taking the big step. Such was my reaction after stepping into the deliciously tiny space of Theatre Unchained in order to see the production of "The Addams Family Musical."