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Performing Arts Weekly: July 27-Aug. 2, 2017

Jul. 25, 2017
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DanceMKE brings a three-week dance competition to Downtown Milwaukee’s Peck Pavilion, while Danceworks DanceLAB presents Ignite! A Hip Hop Experience, the Peninsula Music Festival opens in Door County, and Third Avenue Playhouse brings Bernstein’s Candide to the stage in Sturgeon Bay. Alchemist Theatre hosts Dave Hendrickson performing his one-man show, Beyond Flesh and Blood, Aug. 1-2.


Milwaukee Comedy Festival is Back

By Jean Gabriel Fernandez

Laughter will ring through the city as the Milwaukee Comedy Festival returns. Priding itself on being “Wisconsin’s largest comedy event,” the festival includes stand-up, sketch and improvisation comedy. Lakefront Brewery, The Underground Collaborative, Shank Hall and Turner Hall will play host to comedians from all over the country.

Since its founding in 2005, the Milwaukee Comedy Festival grew along with the city’s humor scene. The event now attracts artists from Los Angeles, New York and Toronto and is larger than ever on its 12th birthday!

The festival starts Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. with a kick-off event at Lakefront Brewery, bringing stand-up comedy to the fore of the festivities. The Underground Collaborative, however, will host most of the performances, starting with an all-star Milwaukee lineup on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Special events include a live staging at Shank Hall with the cast of the upcoming film This is Meg on Saturday, Aug. 5. All of this will lead to the grand finale at Turner Hall on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m., with festival headliner Michael Ian Black, best known for his work on MTV and Comedy Central’s “Another Period.”

Single show tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door or $50 for unlimited access to every show.

Aug. 2-6 at Lakefront Brewery, The Underground Collaborative, Shank Hall and Turner Hall. For tickets, visit mkecomedyfest.com/tickets.



Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience

In Danceworks’ DanceLAB, “the focus is on collaboration, fusion of forms and current trends in the field,” as they aptly put it, and such will certainly be the case with the group’s next performance event, Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience. DanceLAB itself is described as “an experimental performance initiative dedicated to pushing artists and audiences to expand their thinking about dance as an art form.” It is, indeed, fascinating to watch as fringy and avant-garde forms of music, art and dance gradually migrate into the mainstream over time. This has happened with the now much-respected hip-hop dance genre. (John Jahn)

July 29-30 at Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St. For tickets, call 414-277-8480 or visit danceworksmke.org.


DanceMKE Peck Pavilion Competition

Live @ Peck Pavilion returns once more this summer with events such as Peck Flicks (outdoor movie screenings) and both Sunday afternoon and Tuesday lunchtime concerts, with the likes of the Milwaukee Police Band, Hartland Community Band, SistaStrings, the Extra Crispy Brass Band and more on stage. Of particular note is DanceMKE’s weekly dance competition featuring Milwaukee dance artists from many different disciplines. Selected dancers or dance ensembles will compete for cash prizes and trophies (as well as general fame and glory) over three consecutive weeks, with the finals culminating on the last day of competition. First Place nets the winner $1,000. Those interested in competing should pre-register at marcuscenter.org/dancemke. (John Jahn)

Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at the Peck Pavilion, 929 N. Water St.



Peninsula Music Festival

Door County, Wis., is not merely a venue for tourist traps and rolling countryside bedecked in vibrant autumn leaves. For 65 years now, it has been the site for a series of orchestral concerts called the Peninsula Music Festival. This year’s event features Music Director-Conductor Victor Yampolsky leading musicians from some of the country’s finest orchestras, gathered together for nine different symphonic concerts over a three-week period. A glance through the schedule finds many of classical music’s biggest names: Ludwig van Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, Johannes Brahms, Antonio Vivaldi… and even an all-Wolfgang Mozart concert and a tribute to the days of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. (John Jahn)

Aug. 1-19 at the Door Community Auditorium, 3926 WI-42, Fish Creek. For tickets, call 920-854-4060 or visit tickets.peninsulamusicfestival.org.




Most people only know Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 comic operetta Candide by way of its sprightly overture, but Third Avenue Playhouse offers you the chance to experience not just that delightful little curtain-raiser but the whole work. With book by Hugh Wheeler and lyrics contributed by a host of stage giants (Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim and Bernstein, himself), Candide is based upon Voltaire’s 1759 novella of the same name. Truly, it’s not so much a traditional comic operetta as a modern send-up of one. “Glitter and be Gay” is one of the show’s musical highlights. James Valcq directs, Adam Baus provides musical direction, and performers include Kaleigh Rae Gamache, Drew Brhel and Anna Cline. (John Jahn)

July 27-Sept. 2 (with a pay-what-you-can preview on Wednesday, July 26) at the Third Avenue Playhouse, 239 N. Third Ave., Sturgeon Bay. For tickets, call 920-743-1760 or visit thirdavenueplayhouse.com.


Beyond Flesh and Blood

As part of Alchemist Theatre’s rental program, the one-man play Beyond Flesh and Blood, 2013 winner of Ex Fabula’s All-Star Story Slam, will be performed. Directed by Jacque Troy, it tells the story of Dave Hendrickson (performing in person) as he “explores his unconventional upbringing, college and early married life at the time of the Vietnam War, and all the complex and influential people he met along the way,” as Alchemist explains, and “through his many job experiences and devoted mentors, [Hendrickson] shares how he learned to find the extraordinary in the every day.” (John Jahn)

Aug. 1 and 2 at the Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For tickets, visit beyondfleshandblood.brownpapertickets.com.


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