Performing Arts Weekly: July 20-26, 2017
Milwaukee Musaik’s Philomusica Quartet performs al fresco at SummerStage in Delafield, the Sadarabad Dancers perform at Armenian Fest, If/Then is performed by Greendale Community Theatre in Henry Ross Auditorium of Greendale High School, and the West Allis Players present Jesus Christ Superstar! at West Allis Central Auditorium.
Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and More al Fresco
Milwaukee Musaik’s Philomusica Quartet will be performing the second in a series of chamber music concerts at SummerStage of Delafield. Generally speaking, any classical music performed live in summer months tends to be of the more light-hearted, accessible kind; the Philomusica Quartet’s program falls well within that anticipated norm.
A highlight of this outdoor concert is the Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato (slow movement) to Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 1 in F Major—a lovely piece that, according to the composer’s friend, Karl Amenda, was inspired by the Tomb Scene of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Another is Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, from whence we get one of this splendid-melody-weaving composer’s greatest hits: the Andante cantabile second movement, said to have been inspired by an overheard tune being whistled by a housepainter.
6:30 p.m., Sunday, July 23 at SummerStage at Lapham Peak, W329 N846 County Highway C, Kettle Moraine State Forest. For tickets, call 262-337-1560 or visit summerstageofdelafield.org.
Sardarabad Dancers at Armenian Fest
Last fall, the Sardarabad Dance Ensemble gave a spectacular multi-media spectacle of music, motion and light at their Milwaukee debut. This weekend they will focus on the timeless dance steps of Armenia, an ancient nation from the borders of Asia and Europe whose rhythms are in keeping with the traditions of Greece, Persia and other nearby nations of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East.
Afternoon of Sunday, July 23 at Armenian Fest, 7825 W. Layton Ave.
If/Then is a musical set in contemporary New York City. Premiering on Broadway in 2014, it ran there for a year, racking up more than 400 performances. Its cast album debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200—the highest-charting Broadway cast recording since 1996’s Rent. In If/Then, composer Tom Kitt and lyricist and writer Brian Yorkey tell the story of Elizabeth—a divorced, middle-aged woman who’s returned to The Big Apple to hit the reset button on her life. Fortuitous encounters with old pals in Madison Square Park present her with some options. The action then follows two possible life paths for Elizabeth out of the park. Which one—if either—might lead her to the success and personal fulfillment she seeks? This production is by the Greendale Community Theatre.
July 20-29 in Henry Ross Auditorium, Greendale High School, 6801 Southway, Greendale. For tickets, call 414-817-7600 or visit greendaletheater.org.
Jesus Christ Superstar!
Jesus Christ Superstar! is a rock opera take on the Biblical story of Jesus’ last days. Interestingly, it started as a 1970 concept album, not as a musical, play or film. But composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice took it to Broadway in ’71, and the rest is history: Apart from something of a performance break in the 1980s, Jesus Christ Superstar! has continually been on U.S., U.K. and Australian tour productions (and famously made into a 1973 feature film). It boasts several terrific musical highpoints: a thrilling Overture and songs such as “Hosanna” and the dynamic “Superstar,” sung by Judas, the Soul Sisters and Angels. The West Allis Players present the show.
July 21-30 at West Allis Central Auditorium, 8516 W. Lincoln Ave. For tickets, call the WAWM Recreation Department at 414-604-4900 or visit recreation.wawmrec.com.