Performing Arts Weekly: Aug. 17-23, 2017
The Southwestern Suburban Symphony honors Leonard Bernstein, Off the Wall sends up Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and Danceworks’ DanceLAB Teen presents a youthful terpsichorean performance.
Southwestern Suburban Symphony honors a legend
Undoubtedly, he would have found fame somehow, but the story of Leonard Bernstein’s rise is classic serendipity. When conductor Bruno Walter came down with the flu shortly before a live radio broadcast of the New York Philharmonic in 1943, in stepped 25-year-old Bernstein. The New York Times carried the story on its front page, in part saying: “It’s a good American success story. The warm, friendly triumph of it filled Carnegie Hall and spread far over the air waves.” What followed was a lifetime of music making at the very highest artistic levels.
Maestro Christine Flasch leads the Southwestern Suburban Symphony in a wide-ranging all-Bernstein concert honoring one of America’s leading composer-conductors. As she states, it will include “full orchestra, five soloists from New York, Chicago, Tampa, Fla., and Milwaukee in semi-staged versions” of excerpts from Candide, West Side Story, On the Town, Peter Pan and more.
“A Bernstein Banquet” will be performed on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m., at the Saber Center for the Performing Arts, 8222 S. 51st St., Franklin. For tickets, visit swssymphony.ticketleap.com.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The two stars of the original touring production of this horror parody, Jeremy C. Welter and Mark Hagen, come to Milwaukee and present their campy take on the 1962 film of the same name (which starred Bette Davis and Joan Crawford). Interestingly, Walter and Hagen switch roles on alternating performances. “Whatever happened to uplifting family shows? Whatever happened to inspiring theater works of optimism or shows that left you with positive morals and uplifting messages? Well, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is none of the above!” says Off the Wall’s Dale Gutzman, who, instead, promises audience members “not a single redeeming feature in this revival of our smash hit comedy thriller.”
Aug. 16-27 at Off the Wall Theatre, 127 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-484-8874 or visit zivacat.com/offthewalltheatre.
The next Danceworks concert features the company’s Youth Performance Company (DYPC) in pieces these youthful terpsichoreans have devised themselves, as well as works that have been developed by students from Danceworks’ upper-level technique classes. DYPC Artistic Director Gina Laurenzi works in collaboration with the dancers to create, as Danceworks says, “a concert that dives into their world of dreams and nightmares,” featuring both “new choreography and structured improvisations [that] draw from music, poetry, artwork and their own experiences.”
Performances take place on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St. For tickets, call 414-277-8480 or visit danceworksmke.org/purchase-tickets.