By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 11, 2021 at 11:31 AM Photography: Nathaniel Davauer

In what will likely be the one of the first performances with an in-person audience at 25 percent capacity since the coronavirus shutdown began nearly a year ago, Milwaukee Ballet will stage a production of “To The Pointe,” which opens Feb. 25 at the Baumgartner Center for Dance, 128 N. Jackson St.

The performance will follow restrictions that limit venues to 25 percent of capacity, which means about 50 people will be allowed to attend each performance of the production, which runs through March 7.

This will not be the first time in the past year that the Milwaukee Ballet has had a live audience, however. In December, it peformed an abbreviated version of “The Nutcracker” 26 times to 10 subscribers at each show.

“We went into that production knowing the audience size would be small, but our dancers were grateful to perform live, and we were committed to providing inspiration to those who were comfortable joining us at the theater,” said Artistic Director Michael Pink.

“Returning to the stage during this pandemic is like recovering from injury. Rehabilitation is slow and steady, you must commit to a goal and keep working diligently towards it. That’s what we’re doing here at Milwaukee Ballet.”

The Milwaukee Ballet reopened its School & Academy in July and has had no coronavirus transmissions, Pink said.

“This fact, combined with our run of 'The Nutcracker: Short & Sweet' with no incident, gives us confidence in our proven health and safety protocols,” said Pink.

“Now, we need those in the community who feel comfortable attending in-person to support us.

“This is an opportunity to safely escape from the everyday for 60 minutes and remember the joy of live performance. Additionally, it will be a true treat to see this many iconic works in one program.”

The one-hour show – which, says the Ballet, “offers audience members an up-close look at the technical expertise of its dancers and excerpts from world-famous classical ballets” – will not have an intermission. It will also be filmed and available on demand.

The Milwaukee Ballet’s health and safety protocols, which you can read here, require masks for all audience members, dancers and staff at all times. The performances are subject to change based on future guidelines from local health officials and the CDC.

Tickets for the show – on sale now – are $70 for the main level and $55 for loge seats. The on-demand performance is $20, for 72 hours of access, $30 for a VIP package that includes bonus videos.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.