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Christopher Lloyd in 1985, but in older makeup, which makes sense now, because it's 30 years later. Heavy.
Christopher Lloyd in 1985, but in older makeup, which makes sense now, because it's 30 years later. Heavy.

5 questions for Christopher Lloyd about his Riverside show ... in the future!

On Saturday night, Mills Entertainment is bringing Christopher Lloyd, known to a generation as Doc Brown from the "Back to the Future" trilogy, to the Riverside Theater for a first-ever event. Not only will the theater show fans the first blockbuster movie from 1985, but Lloyd will be on hand to take questions and speak about the experience of making the movies. Great Scott!

Most interestingly, Milwaukee is the first city to get this show. We caught up with both Lloyd and his producer, John Trembler, as well marketing coordinator Joanna Brumley, for a quick Q&A before Saturday’s show. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are available here

OnMilwaukee: What should Milwaukee expect from this event on Saturday?

Trembler and Brumley: It’s going to be pretty "heavy!" Mr. Lloyd will be live on stage, and he will answer audience questions and will share stories that people won’t get to hear anywhere else in any other setting. Before Christopher comes out on stage, the audience will first get to watch the original "Back to the Future." They’ll see Doc on screen then get to see him on stage in-person!

I recently read "We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy," and Mr. Lloyd, you contributed a lot to the book. Why, after all these years, are you still so engaged in the the movies and its fans?

Lloyd: It’s a huge thrill for me to feel how strongly the film still resonates with long-time fans and new generations of fans.

Christopher, you’re 77 now, but you’re still acting. How is your stage persona these days?

Lloyd: It’s great to be working regularly on all kinds of projects and to create new characters, such as in the film "Going In Style" coming out this year with Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

Milwaukee is the only show in this event series right now, right? Why here, and what’s to come?

Trembler and Brumley: This is our inaugural tour date with Mr. Lloyd, and we’re looking to do many more … in the future. Milwaukee is one…

The so-called "Magic Key."
The so-called "Magic Key." (Photo: Manitowoc County Sherif's Department)

My last word on Steven Avery

I didn’t even see the first "Making a Murderer" piece our columnist Jessica McBride submitted to us over the holidays last month. I only took notice when our site traffic jumped through the roof the Monday after New Year’s Eve.

Something strange and unprecedented was afoot. We’re a digital magazine that averages 30,000+ visitors a day, perhaps up to 500 concurrent users, mostly from southeastern Wisconsin. Suddenly, our servers were seeing 175,000 unique visitors every day. We saw 4,000 concurrent visitors hit the site at one point. Our servers were almost melting down under the weight of all this national traffic, but they bent, not broke.

Of course, I instructed our staff to binge-watch "Making a Murderer," and I was also appalled with what I saw in the docu-series. However, Jessica had years of crime and courts reporting experience, long before we employed her as a weekly columnist. I trusted her editorial judgment, even when our staff found ourselves group-editing breaking exclusives at 11 p.m.

It was time to publish our first OnMilwaukee book. "Rush To Judgment" came together in what I assume is a record time, which was about two weeks.

We seized the hot hand, sent her to Manitowoc (along with our regular sports reporter, Jimmy Carlton) and all burned the candle at both ends to talk to new sources – and dig through evidence that was glossed over or ignored during the docuseries and previous local news coverage. You can find all our voluminous coverage here, although I’d like to especially point out the amazing color piece that Jimmy ran about how the people of Manitowoc felt about all this national attention.

See, my recollection of the Avery case, from this Milwaukeean’s perspective, was a little different than what people in Manitowoc County experienced. That’s outside our DMA, a place we only drive through if we’re heading to Door County for a vacation. While a few Milwaukee TV stations covered the trial, I didn't remember it being the quest…

Cut the cord. Or at least unplug it for a bit.
Cut the cord. Or at least unplug it for a bit.

Don't read this!

We're all connected 24/7 to computers, tablets, phones and television. But there's more to life than being online – even for a digital media company! – so this week we're excited to show you ways to connect with family and friends, even when there's no signal. Steinhafels presents OnMilwaukee Unplugged Week, a celebration of all things analog. Sit back, log into these stories and then log into the real world.

Just kidding. Please do read this.

But we’re not kidding about Unplugged Week. Sometimes you need to turn off that the phone, computer, tablet or TV for a little while. It’s OK, and it’s healthy.

Let me explain:

Here at OnMilwaukee, the sales and editorial departments are two very distinct entities, but we’re not afraid to collaborate when it makes sense. And this was one of those times. In a sales meeting with Steinhafels last year, their marketing staff pitched us on the idea of a week dedicated to analog, unplugged content, and we liked it.

After all, we’re a digital media company and online magazine that relies on, in part, page views and ad impressions to drive revenue – but we’re all addicted to our smart phones and Netflix and social media, sometimes at the detriment to our friends and family. Logically, it makes sense for a furniture store, however, to push the concept of in-home entertainment. This week, we’re talking about that, but a whole lot more, too.

We’re all having some fun with it. For example, Lori Fredrich argues e-books will never replace paper cookbooks and Bobby Tanzilo talked to a vinyl-focused DJ.

So yeah, telling people to log off OnMilwaukee is a weird proposition. We get it. But taking a break from all that screen time is important, too.

Here’s my suggestion: read this week of custom unplugged content. Then next week, spend a little less time online and actually do some of the stuff we suggested.

We’ll be here when you get back.

Looking north from the rooftop bar at Mandalay Bay.
Looking north from the rooftop bar at Mandalay Bay.

Las Vegas, Wisconsin

LAS VEGAS – I went to Vegas with a plan, and that plan was to have no plan. I came here to get away from work, not to do more of it, like I usually do on "vacation."

But that wasn’t in the cards, for three reasons:

First, my old college friend Paul and I stayed in a hotel suite so opulent that it must be documented. Secondly, I ran into Milwaukee and Wisconsin connections everywhere I went, so with my iPhone on me at all times, it was easy to capture video on the fly. And finally, we found ourselves right there just after Sunday’s bizarre crime scene, in which a homeless woman deliberately struck dozens of pedestrians. We jumped into reporter mode for a bit and documented what we saw, but more on that later.

We’ve stayed at The Tropicana several times before, mostly because the marketing staff is from Wisconsin and treats us so well. This was over the top, though.

We paid for our rooms, although at a tremendous discount; Paul and I stayed in their new Penthouse Sky Villas on the 20th floor of the Paradise Tower. Wow. Just wow.

Luxurious and enormous (about 2,700 square feet), it featured a 72-inch round marble-top dining table, ostrich leather chairs, original abstract artwork and a stunning gold leaf headboard in the master bedroom. Other highlights included a master bathroom with two walk-in steam showers with LED shower heads and a spacious whirlpool spa for two with a water spout pouring in from the ceiling (it took an hour to fill the tub, it was that big). We also had a (sadly unused) private massage room, a second bedroom and en suite, and a custom-built desk with an ostrich leatherette chair. Honestly, it felt like the pad from "The Hangover." I kept looking for the tiger. I never wanted to leave. But leave we eventually did.

Not before, however, experiencing two more Trop experiences that should be shared. First, we made a return visit to Bacio, which is offers excellent (and affordable) Italian bistro style food. More excitingly, we sat amo…