Performing Arts Week 9.8
Wild Space Dance Company
Into the Garden @ Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Sept. 8, 11, 13, 14 (rain date: Sept. 18)
In this week’s Shepherd Express Fall Arts Guide, Wild Space founder and choreographer Debra Loewen writes, “You are what you notice.” The goal of her site-specific work, she continues, is to “…draw people’s attention to the fact that there’s something right here and they shouldn’t put their blinders on and walk past.”
With Into the Garden, “right here” is Villa Terrace, known to many but perhaps not yet noticed by most of us. Loewen wants us to see in particular the museum’s featured artwork Shadow Dance, a grass and reed sculpture by Wisconsin nature artist Roy Staab that haunts the villa’s Renaissance garden and will vanish when fall arrives. From atop the bluff, the sculpture appears as a group of overlapping floating circles casting shadows in the sunlight. Up close in the garden at lake level, it’s a labyrinth of waving lines. Audiences will get both perspectives as dusk turns to night and dancers dance in Shadow Dance and its environs to musical improvisations for cello, voice, percussion and saxophone under Nick Zoulek’s direction.
The performance starts at the Terrace Avenue courtyard with its imposing statue of Mercury and moves through the Great Hall to the waterfall staircase where audiences will watch as dancers interact with the sculpture in the garden below; all then descend into the garden to explore its nooks and crannies. Benches will appear at the edges of Shadow Dance and a last act will bring the entire grounds, high and low, to shadowy life.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Premium tickets include a 6:45 p.m. tour of Villa Terrace. Call 414-271-0712 or visit wildspacedance.org. (John Schneider)
Third Avenue Playhouse
The Gin Game @ Third Avenue Playhouse Sept. 8-Oct. 16
Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) brings American dramatist Donald L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Gin Game, to its Downtown Sturgeon Bay theater for a five-week run. Featuring direction by Robert Boles and a cast including TAP favorite Claire Morkin and the company’s 2016 artist in residence, Drew Brhel, The Gin Game is a touching comedy set in a nursing home, where two residents bond as well as battle over a “friendly” game of gin rummy. (John Jahn)
Moon Over Buffalo @ Furlan Auditorium, Sept. 8-25
American playwright Ken Ludwig’s career was launched with success. In 1989, his first Broadway play, Lend Me a Tenor, garnered three Tony Awards. Six years later came another big hit—the situation comedy Moon Over Buffalo, credited with bringing Carol Burnett back to Broadway after a three-decade absence. Set in Buffalo, N.Y., the play’s focus is on two married actors, George and Charlotte Hay, both past their acting salad days but yet striving to land one final big hit. When a rumor reaches their ears about director Frank Capra possibly attending their latest production, mayhem ensues. (John Jahn)