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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wed
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Carson's, a Windy City institution, has two locations in Chicagoland.
Carson's, a Windy City institution, has two locations in Chicagoland.

Arrival of Carson's will shake up Downtown dining industry

The arrival of Carson's, the Chicago rib and steak house, in Milwaukee this fall is likely to seriously shake up the balance of power among Downtown restaurants like no one has in years. It was announced yesterday that the Chicago institution will occupy the ground floor of The Moderne, the 31-story apartment and condo development that is rising on the corner of Juneau and Old World Third Street.

Carson's ribs – slow cooked, smoked for hours in a hickory wood pit, tight to the bone, slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce – are so popular, the restaurant ships them in Styrofoam coolers with dry ice around the country. Although its home is the Windy City, Carson's is a Milwaukee-style eatery.

Portions are very generous at the two Chicago-area locations. The au gratin potatoes – best I have ever eaten – are cheesehead heaven. They have been called a cardiologist's nightmare.

Substitute the restaurant's signature Caesar salad, which has a slight hint of anchovies in the dressing, for the standard salad. More heaven.

Casual in style but serious about food, Carson's should do fabulous business before Bucks, Marquette and Admirals games, and it is close enough to the Marcus Center, Pabst Theater and Milwaukee Rep to appeal to pre-show diners.

My mouth is already watering for those potatoes.

American Players Theatre actor James DeVita brings his autobiographical one-man show "In Acting Shakespeare" to Marquette on Wednesday. The performance is free.
American Players Theatre actor James DeVita brings his autobiographical one-man show "In Acting Shakespeare" to Marquette on Wednesday. The performance is free. (Photo: Carissa Dixon)

The best theater deal you will ever get

This is such a great deal, I had to reread the press release twice to believe my eyes.

Marquette University is celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday week on Wednesday by presenting American Players Theatre actor and writer James DeVita in his autobiographical one-man show "In Acting Shakespeare," and the performance is FREE.

The longtime Wisconsin stage artist will make his off-Broadway debut in New York next January doing the play about his journey from being an indifferent student and commercial fisherman to becoming one of the outstanding classical theater actors in the country. The show is funny and poignant.

"In Acting Shakespeare" debuted in the APT's indoor Touchstone Theatre in Spring Green in 2009, and DeVita performed it here in a Renaissance Theaterworks production a year ago. He will do it for the Pearl Theatre Company on 42nd Street in New York Jan. 10 to Feb. 3, 2013.

The Marquette presentation will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Weasler Auditorium, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave. Here is my review of the Renaissance Theaterworks production of the show.

By the way, historians think Shakespeare was born 448 years ago today.

The Milwaukee Rep will sell props, clothing and assorted curiosities from 10 to 3 Saturday.
The Milwaukee Rep will sell props, clothing and assorted curiosities from 10 to 3 Saturday.

Rep's garage sale returns

The city's most entertaining garage sale returns Saturday with the Milwaukee Rep's annual spring clean-out of stuff we have seen onstage. The Rep's prop and costume departments have combed through their storage spaces, pulling hats, shoes, clothing, furniture, light fixtures and a trove of curiosities to put on sale.

Perhaps the most unusual item is the two-person football blocking sled used in the company's production of "Lombardi" last fall. A life-sized stuffed tiger from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" and medieval stocks from "King Lear" are also slated to be sold.

The California king-sized industrial bed onstage in the Rep's current production of "Othello" is on the market, but it won't be available for pickup until after the show closes next month.

Collectable period costumes and contemporary fashions will also be available.

The garage sale will be held in the Rep's paint shop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Follow the signs at the company's box office in the lobby of the Milwaukee Center. Payment must be made by cash or check.