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This Week in Milwaukee: Feb. 9-15

Feb. 7, 2017
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Photo Credit Derek Blanks

Thursday, Feb. 9

Science Strikes Back @ Escuela Verde, 5 p.m.
Remember how cool science fairs were? Walking from table to table, witnessing all those scientific phenomena you’d never even known about before; amazed by the wonders of the world? At this all-ages science fair, hosted by the arts organization Cedar Block and Milwaukee’s Escuela Verde High School (3628 E. Pierce St.), adults are invited to relive those good old days. The event will feature more than 20 projects from grownups and Escuela Verde students alike, spanning “everything from knitting to gravitational waves, food ingredients to 3D printing, baseball to road traffic,” according to Cedar Block. And like all good science fairs, this one will be judged. The winner will take home a trophy sculpted by artist Mark Winter. This is a family friendly event (it’s at a high school after all), but it’ll be followed at 9 p.m. by a 21-plus after party featuring live music at Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall.

Radio Milwaukee SoundBites Fundraiser @ Iron Horse Hotel, 5:30 p.m.
Food and wine tastings are a dime a dozen around the city, as are food and beer tastings. For its annual SoundBites fundraiser, though, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee has come up with a far more novel pairing: food and music. The station recruits top chefs from around the city to create pairings with songs selected by station DJs and other friends of the station. Chefs from Smyth, Story Hill BKC, Company Brewing, Bavette, DanDan, Amilinda, Parkside 23 and Lake Park Bistro are among the participants this year. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased through radiomilwaukee.org.

Stephen Lynch @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Like a blue “Weird Al” Yankovic making a push for the college market—or perhaps a better analogy is Dane Cook with a guitar—comedian-musician Stephen Lynch traffics in novelty songs about taboo topics. On his 2009 album, 3 Balloons, the Comedy Central veteran lewdly tackled subjects like AIDS testing, anal drug-trafficking and vaginal grooming, all with a smug smirk on his face. His bathroom humor belies some serious onstage credentials, though: In 2006, he starred in the Broadway production of The Wedding Singer. He earned a Tony nomination for the role.

Friday, Feb. 10

Gladys Knight @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded a number of minor hits for Motown in the mid-to-late ’60s, but it wasn’t until the group left the label that they scored their signature hit, “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Knight has had a colorful career since splitting with the Pips for good in 1988, recording the title song for the James Bond movie License to Kill, opening a chain of well-loved chicken and waffle restaurants, and, at age 67, competing on TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Her most recent album is 2014’s Where My Heart Belongs, a gospel-heavy record filled with inspirational numbers.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Noname w/ Ravyn Lenae and Siren @ Miramar Theatre, 8 p.m.
The best verse on Chance the Rapper’s breakthrough mixtape Acid Rap didn’t actually belong to Chance the Rapper. It came from fellow Chicagoan Noname, who delivered a moving, unforgettably vulnerable performance on the mixtape standout “Lost.” Since then, she’s continued to appear on every Chance project, including the Social Experiment album Surf and last year’s Coloring Book. But it wasn’t until last year that she finally released her own mixtape, Telefone, a gorgeously understated, deeply emotional half hour of hip-hop and poetry that proves her Chance features were no fluke. She’s an exceptional talent.

Valentine’s Soiree @ Company Brewing, 8:30 p.m.
This Valentine’s event hosted by VoodooHoney Records and Reginald Baylor Studio features a little bit of everything. Jazz guitarist Tomas Antonic kicks off the evening during dinner service before giving the stage to dancer Christopher de Angelo Gilbert, who will host a Chicago stepping dance class. The crowd can put the moves to use for the rest of the night, which will feature the soul group Ahvant Soul, singer B~Free leading a tribute to ’80s love songs (she’ll be joined by DJ Tarik Moody and a cast of guest singers) and will close with a collaborative set between Lex Allen and Moody.

Valentine’s ’60s 2nd Chance Prom @ Boerner Botanical Gardens, 7 p.m.
The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens invite patrons of a certain age to relive their 1960s high school prom at this dance benefitting the organization’s children’s education programming. Emceed by radio vet Gene Mueller, the prom will feature live music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, cover bands British Invasion ’64 and Close Enuf, raffles, games, candy, roses, a cash bar and a photo booth. Guests are encouraged to dress in their finest ’60s attire, and there will be prizes for the prom king and queen. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 for a couple.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

The Illusionists @ Marcus Center, 7:30 p.m.
Broadway’s spin on a modern Las Vegas-style magic revue, The Illusionists features seven very theatrical magicians, most of whom are dressed as brightly as comic book characters (and most of which have comic-book names to match). A whole lot of stunts, spectacle and audience participation ensues, much of it set to loud rock music. It could make for a pretty decent Valentine’s Day date—if your partner isn’t too creeped out by a trick that involves a quarter going through an eye socket. (Multiple shows through Sunday, Feb. 19.)


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