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Performing Arts Weekly 11.3

Nov. 1, 2016
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Photo by Enoch Chan

MUSIC:

Sarah Aroeste @ Latino Arts Auditorium, Wednesday, Nov. 9

Like the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe who spoke Yiddish, a language with German roots, the Sephardic Jews of the Mediterranean spoke Ladino, a Spanish dialect. Sarah Aroeste has become a leading figure in exposing Sephardic culture and the Ladino tongue to new audiences. The operatically trained singer is not a purist intent on preserving the past, but writes her own songs and draws from contemporary rock and funk influences. (David Luhrssen)

“Sensational Cinema”

Wisconsin Philharmonic @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Sunday, Nov. 6

The closest we get today to classical music is the film score. Modern composers often toil in relative obscurity—until they hit it big in Hollywood, say, and there make a name for themselves writing music for the movies. This is nothing to turn up one’s nose at: Film composers take their jobs very seriously and often employ classical music techniques and motifs into their sound world. And modern orchestras are taking them seriously, too, presenting entire programs of great movie music. Case in point is the Wisconsin Philharmonic’s Sunday afternoon concert in Brookfield. Guest soloist Cassandra Black will sing theme songs from several James Bond films; the WP likewise plays excerpts from scores to Chariots of Fire, Gone with the Wind, Vertigo and Superman. (John Jahn) 

THEATER:

Prick of the Apothecary

Cabaret Milwaukee @ The Astor Pub, Nov. 4-6, Nov. 11-12

Cabaret Milwaukee offers a host, house band, singers, comedians, real historical news briefs, a domestic segment with innuendo-laden tips for the housewife and a tap dancer in an old-time radio format. Their latest production, Prick of the Apothecary, builds on a previous episode, Rise of the Apothecary, which was set in 1942 on a U.S. military base in Morocco. The story follows four characters, two of them murderous siblings and two of them lovers caught up in the murders. Says director-producer Josh Bryan, “My co-writer, Jacki Benka, and I used to do a radio show called ‘Onion Breath Radio Theatre’ where she would write original radio plays and I would bring actors into Riverwest Radio to read them on the air. My co-founder, Sarai Mueller, and I saw the potential to expand these little radio plays into a whole ‘radio show’ and present it as a staged theatrical presentation.” (Angelika Villafuerte)

I Love A Piano

Milwaukee Repertory Theater @ Stackner Cabaret, Nov. 4-Jan. 15, 2017

Cabaret-style exuberance and excitement are center stage in The Rep’s production of I Love A Piano, a celebration of the legendary days of Tin Pan Alley American songwriting, and in particular, the greatest songwriter of them all, Irving Berlin. More than 50 Berlin classics will be performed by a quartet of versatile performers singing, dancing, piano-playing and acting their way through the likes of “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and “White Christmas.” There is a plot to it all, incidentally—it follows a piano with one bad key as it migrates from owner to owner with Berlin’s glorious music telling the story along the way. (John Jahn) 

Mole Hill Stories

First Stage

@ Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, Nov. 5-20 

First Stage in collaboration with Danceworks is bringing back Lois Ehlert’s Mole Hill Stories directed by Michelle Lopez-Rios and written by playwright Alvaro Saar Rios. First presented during First Stage’s 2012-2013 season, the show brings three stories from Milwaukee author and illustrator Lois Ehlert—Mole’s Hill, Cucú and Moon Rope—onto the stage with live music, Spanish language and dance. The interactive show is meant to introduce children aged 3 to 7 to theater but the whole family is welcome. “Our 30th Anniversary season celebrates what makes First Stage the nation’s best theater for young audiences, and Mole Hill Stories embodies our commitment to new play development,” said First Stage Associate Communications Director Erica Davis when asked why they decided to bring back the show. “It’s also a great collaborative effort and speaks to the nature of storytelling not just through theater, but through dance and music as well.” (Jack Fennimore) 

DANCE:

Dance In or Take Out

Danceworks Performance Company @ Next Act Theatre, Nov. 3-6

Led by Dani Kuepper, Milwaukee’s versatile company of dancer/choreographers always challenges itself to rethink performance possibilities. They’ll open their 20th season by reconsidering five works from the company’s history and then offer them as pop-up performances all season. Kuepper reconstructs a maiden 1999 solo by Li Ciao-Ping, restages an athletic 2009 duet for dancers Kim Johnson and Joe Pikalek and re-explores a 2015 spectacle with filmmaker Kym McDaniel set first on UWM dance students. Other favorites by Sean Curran and Emma Draves get a second look. To top it off, Christal Wagner and Kym McDaniel offer for take out the world premiere of a dance/film collaboration fashioned first outdoors with company dancers across from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. (John Schneider)

Real Time

Andrea and Daniel Burkholder @ Kenilworth 640, Friday, Nov. 4

For 18 consecutive months, the Burkholders have romanced Milwaukee audiences with an hour-long, you-pick-the-ticket-price, dance-based performance followed by drinks and conversation at different sites in town. Let’s get to know one another and see what develops, their ever-evolving-in-real-time series implies. This 19th date will look at how light and space change the way we see and are seen. Meet Andrea and Daniel at Room 640 of the UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts’ Kenilworth Square Building, 1915 E. Kenilworth, to stroll around the sixth floor experiencing dance at floor level and overhead in many lights and environments. (John Schneider)

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