The new Downtown arena looks closer and closer every day to being complete, which means it's time to start building another essential part of the building: the entertainment and sports schedule that will fill the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center (WESC) in its inaugural year. And today, the new arena announced one of those first non-sports acts: comedian Jim Gaffigan, who will perform the building's first comedy show on Saturday, Sept. 22 next year.
The stand-up comic helped make the announcement this morning with a video, assuring viewers of a "big, special show" with the pander-free help of his partner in life and comedy Jeannie, along with three of his Milwaukee-est children: Milwaukee, Buck and little Brewer.
Gaffigan's love for Milwaukee is truly no act, though. While Jeannie is an actual Cream City native, the comedian might as well be one too, considering he's been a regular performer at The Pabst Theater, coming to celebrate New Years Eve with Milwaukee for the past 12 years. He also speaks fluent Kopp's and has helped pass that Milwaukee love down to his daughter, as she proved for an Instagram-documented class project last year.
Gaffigan's good name stretches far outside the borders of Wisconsin, though. He's grown into one of the biggest names in comedy, thanks to his popular stand-up specials – five of which, including his most recent, "Cinco," are available on Netflix right now – and his small-screen work in two seasons of TV Land's "The Jim Gaffigan Show," plus a plethora of TV commercials. He'll also head to the big screen soon in the star-studded and controversial Ted Kennedy drama "Chappaquiddick."
"We’re very excited that Midwest native Jim Gaffigan will perform the first comedy show at the new arena in Milwaukee," Bucks President Peter Feigin said in a statement. "This is just the beginning of a wide-ranging slate of major programming announcements for what will be the finest venue in the country. Our goal is to bring the best of everything to Milwaukee."
Added Gary Witt, CEO of Pabst Theater Group, in the news release: "After ten years of sold out New Year's Eve shows at The Pabst Theater, we are thrilled to welcome Jim Gaffigan back to Milwaukee in a big way as the first show announced for the new Bucks arena. Jim is a Milwaukee favorite with a deep affinity for our city. It's the perfect show to bring the community together to celebrate Downtown's newest entertainment destination."
Tickets for the show – which Gaffigan will perform in the round, aka on a circular stage in the center of the arena, ensuring that all of the seats will have a view and allowing for a more authentic entertainment experience – go on sale starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, on Ticketmaster. And stay tuned, because Gaffigan is just the first of several show announcements – as well as an official opening date – sure to come soon.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.