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Performing Arts Weekly: May 4-10, 2017

May. 2, 2017
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It’s Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘By Jeeves!’

Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is world famous for very good reasons; his scores for Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Evita and others are legendary classics. Songs from his musicals are known to many who’ve never seen the works from whence they came. Based on the novels of P.G. Wodehouse, By Jeeves—which Webber composed to lyrics and book by Alan Ayckbourn—debuted in 1975 under its original title, Jeeves. Alas, it wasn’t a huge success. He reworked the piece and, 20 years later, it achieved better results.

In its current guise, By Jeeves now makes its way around the world’s stages. It will receive its Milwaukee premiere via Windfall Theatre this month, featuring Cleary Breunig as Bertie Wooster, Ben George as her valet, Jeeves, and direction by Carol Zippel.

May 5-20, Village Church Arts, 130 E. Juneau Ave. For tickets, call 414-332-3963 or visit brownpapertickets.com.

Young Playwrights Festival

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents three one-act plays written by the winners of their high school playwriting competition. Saying Grace, by Alexandra Gieske (Homestead High School) involves a family dealing with its eldest members in an assisted living facility. Pride & Pancakes by Kyle Radomski (Ronald Reagan High School) concerns a pancake-eating champ cheering on a friend toward their own personal goal. This Just In… by Malaina Moore (Rufus King International School) is about a young Milwaukeean who lost a friend in a police-involved shooting incident.

May 4-7, Broadway Theatre Center Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com.


Written by Yasmina Reza and directed by Lindsey Erin, Art is a dark comedy about the nature of art and the opinions of people, in this case a trio of long-time friends, about it. It premiered (in its original French) in 1994 at the Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris, in London in ’96 and on Broadway in ’98. Can friendship survive the friends’ discussion about art—especially, say, when one acquires an all-white painting that costs him a pretty penny?

May 5-20, Brumder Mansion, 3046 W. Wisconsin Ave. For tickets, call 414-388-9104 or visit brownpapertickets.com.

Improv Extravaganza!

Milwaukee Youth Theatre presents its first totally unscripted improv show, a project directed by Second City-trained MYT Education Outreach Coordinator Brittany Curran. As MYT bills this event, “Students will learn how to think on their feet and create stories on the spot—just like actors of Second City and on “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

May 5 and 12, Lincoln Middle School of the Arts, 820 E. Knapp St., Room 208. For tickets, call 414-390-3900 or visit milwaukeeyouththeatre.org.

Little Gem

Milwaukee Irish Arts presents Elaine Murphy’s comedic play, Little Gem, a play that, per Irish Arts’ Joan End, “cleverly interweaves monologues from three generations of women in the same family to relate a year in the lives of these women,” which makes such pertinent stops along life’s journey as “love, sex, birth, death and salsa classes.”

May 5-8, Irish Cultural Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave. All performances are pay what you can. For more information, call 414-377-3879 or visit milirisharts.wordpress.com.



Body and Sole

Marquette University’s Dance Program presents an informal collection of works choreographed by both students and faculty. The program includes a range of dance styles—classical ballet, tap, African and modern dance. There will be two tap dance pieces: a traditional tap piece and a more contemporary rhythmic tap dance. As for ballet, there will be both a medieval court dance and a contemporary piece. Students will also present their own solo works as well as a structured improvisation.

2 p.m., Sunday, May 7 at Varsity Theatre, 1326 W. Wisconsin Ave. This event is free and open to the public.

Real Time: inside/outside

The third in a series of dance performances at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Centers takes creators and curators of Real Time, Andrea and Daniel Burkholder, to the Menomonee Valley. It features a screen dance created on the trails near the Center and live performance both inside the Center’s Valley Room and outside, surrounded by Nature’s beauty. This series is fully funded by an open-priced, pay-what-you-can ticket structure.

8 p.m., Friday, May 5, Urban Ecology Center, 3700 W. Pierce St.



Pioneers & Prodigies

The Festival City Symphony concludes its Symphony Sundays season with some terrific and riveting Romantic music. The Ruy Blas Overture of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) is perhaps the most robust work of the composer. Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor (1862), a piece with a finale boasting a dashing rondo of Gypsy melodies, presents violinist Frank Almond as the soloist. Finally, there’s the unjustly overlooked gem of American composer Amy Beach: Symphony in E Minor, Op. 32 (1896)—better known as the Gaelic Symphony given its many references to Irish, English and Scottish melodies.

3 p.m., May 7, Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-286-3663 or visit pabsttheater.org.


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