Home / A&E / Performing Arts Weekly / Performing Arts Weekly: May 18-24, 2017

Performing Arts Weekly: May 18-24, 2017

May. 16, 2017
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Sunset Playhouse's Ella Meets Mel is a cabaret-style tribute show with Ellen Winters and Johnny Rodgers interpreting the two legends


Lady Ella and the Velvet Fog

It’s with good reason that the great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) acquired the title “First Lady of Song.” Likewise with one of jazz’s most legendary male practitioners, Mel Tormé (1925-1999), whose utterly smooth delivery earned him the nickname “The Velvet Fog.” In his famous book, Jazz Singing, Will Friedwald commented (accurately) that “Tormé works with the most beautiful voice a man is allowed to have.”

The time to hear them both in concert is, alas, long past, but we can get a glimpse into their world with such as Sunset Playhouse’s Ella Meets Mel—a cabaret-style tribute show with Ellen Winters and Johnny Rodgers interpreting the two legends—backed by a jazz trio consisting of pianist Sam Steffke, bassist Hal Miller and drummer Jim Ryan. Ella Meets Mel comes to our area right from a critically acclaimed run in Chicago.

May 18-21, Furlan Auditorium, 800 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove. For tickets call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com.


Cream City Comedy Festival

“It’s a free fest,” says one of CCCF’s founders, Phil Davidson, of this multi-day, multi-venue, second-annual comedy festival, though any money acquired will go to a worthy cause. “All donations collected will be sent to the ACLU.” More than 50 of the best local and regional stand-up comedians will be performing in a variety of show formats. This year’s CCCF features New York-based headliners Anthony DeVito and Ben Kronberg as well as Milwaukee’s own Chastity Washington. “We are over the moon to have Ben, Anthony and Chastity on board this year,” says CCCF co-founder Liz Ziner.

May 18-21 at various locations throughout Milwaukee. For more information and a full schedule of festival-related events, visit facebook.com/creamcitycomedy or creamcityfest.com.



“Hooray for Hollywood!”

Subtitled “A Big Band Celebration of Classic Hollywood Musicals” and featuring Dick Strauss with the Many Happy Returns Orchestra, “Hooray for Hollywood!” will allow attendees to travel back into something of a golden age for both the musical and film industries in America. This performance also features Rana Roman and The Radio Rosies. Classic musical fare like “Moon River,” “Over the Rainbow” and “Cheek to Cheek” are part and parcel of this ’30s-’50s visual and auditory time machine of a concert.

2 p.m., Saturday, May 20, Wilson Theatre at Vogel Hall, 929 N. Water St. For tickets call 414-273-7206 or online at marcuscenter.org.


“Yes, Yes, Nonets!”

The nonet is rather a rare bird in classical music; simply put, it’s a work for nine instrumentalists—a fascination halfway house between chamber music intimacy and orchestral breadth. Milwaukee Musaik will give the seldom-heard nonet its due in its next concert. The works will feature the interplay of glorious sounds from the harp, violin, viola, cello, oboe, flute, clarinet and bassoon. The program consists of Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet by Maurice Ravel, Nonet in E-Flat Major, Op. 38 by Louise Farrenc and a reconstructed nonet version of Johannes Brahms’ lovely Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11.

7:30 p.m., Monday, May 22, Schwan Concert Hall, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave. For tickets visit milwaukeemusaik.org.


Ode to Music!

The Milwaukee Children’s Choir and all its satellite choirs join forces for the first time this year to celebrate…music! More than 400 voices will be raised in song under five different conductors. As Artistic Director Marco Antonio Melendez announces: “[The audience] will be mesmerized by the level of musical sophistication and maturity produced by the musical scholars of Milwaukee Children’s Choir. Highlights from the concert include Mass No. 6 by György Orbán, familiar melodies in ‘Star Wars: John Williams is the Man,’” as well as MCC’s “annual graduation piece, ‘We Rise Again.’”

3 p.m., Saturday, May 20, St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 5500 W. Washington Blvd. For tickets, call 414-221-7040, or visit milwaukeechildrenschoir.org or brownpapertickets.com (search “ode to music”).


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