By Jessica Laub Special to Published Jun 27, 2007 at 1:02 PM
John McGivern puts on a good show. I learned this last night when I participated as a live audience member as MPTV taped "A Midsummer Night McGivern" for later broadcast.
The show included a series of vignettes from John's childhood summers growing up in Milwaukee. John is a Milwaukee boy through and through, and his site-specific references endear him to his hometown audience. Well, they certainly endeared him to me.
John had the audience laughing, crying and singing along with him. At one point, you could have heard a pin drop. He held the entire crowd in the palm of his hand while taking us on a great big, nostalgic rollercoaster ride.
There are a few adjectives I would use to describe John McGivern: funny, sincere, authentic, squirrely, honest, open, talented, generous and ... a sissy.
John generously gave his time and talent to emcee the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) campaign finale preceding the show. UPAF managed to exceed their 2007 goal of $10.35 million with a total of $10, 412,727. So, I, for one, was in the mood for celebrating the generosity of the Milwaukee community and all of Milwaukee's outstanding performing arts groups.
Seeing John McGivern's show was the perfect way to top off a really great day. Milwaukeeans are lucky to have John McGivern among our ranks.
Thanks, John! You rule!
Jessica Laub Special to

Jessica Laub was born in Milwaukee in the spring of 1970, thereafter spending her childhood days enjoying the summers on the shores of Lake Michigan and winters at the toboggan chute in Brown Deer Park.

Alas, she moved away to broaden her horizons, and studied out East for a few years at Syracuse University. After a semester "abroad" at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, she graduated with a B.A. in English and advertising.

After college, she worked at Glacier National Park, a ski hill in Steamboat, Col. and organic farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California.

In 1995, Laub moved to Nicaragua where she worked on community gardens, reforestation and environmental education as a Peace Corps volunteer. While there, she learned to speak Spanish, pay attention to world politics and how to make tortillas.

Laub then returned to Milwaukee to join the ranks of the non-profit sector. Currently, she works at the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) and keeps busy by painting, throwing pots, reading, trying to understand her two-year old son, seeing performances and howling at the moon.