Summer Arts Guide 2023

Shepherd Express 2023 Summer Arts Guide
53212 Presents

5 Points Art Gallery + Studios

Acacia Theatre Company

  • Holmes and Watson, June 9-25
  • In Jeffrey Hatcher’s play, Dr. Watson must choose between three men claiming to be Sherlock Holmes in the aftermath of the great detective’s reported “death” at Reichenbach Falls. called it “A truly smashing play full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.” (Morton Shlabotnik)

The Alice Wilds

All In Productions

American Players Theatre (APT)

Art 64

  • June 9-10
  • For the second year, 64 artists from around the U.S. will come together in the Village of Wauwatosa in a head-to-head competition. Attendees will watch painting come to life on the Tosa streets, select their favorites and vote online. Food and entertainment will be available throughout the tournament. (Morton Shlabotnik)

Arts @ Large

Bach Chamber Choir

Bel Canto Chorus

Black Arts MKE

  • MKE Black Theatre Festival
  • Aug. 9 — 27
  • Multiple community venues across the city
Black Holocaust Museum

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Bombshell Theatre Co.

Boulevard Theatre

The Box Theatre Co.

  • Oconomowoc
  • The Wizard of Oz, July 8-Aug. 13
  • The Wizard of Oz YPE, July 30—Aug. 2
  • Finding Nemo Jr., July 14—23
Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

Cabaret Milwaukee

Carroll College Theatre

Carroll Players

  • Heathers the Musical, June 16-25
Carthage College Performing Arts Series

Catey Ott Dance Collective

Cedarburg Art Museum

  • Paul Yank: His Genius — Sculpture & Prints, through Sept. 24
Cedarburg Cultural Center

  • Seasons of Change at the Bog: Paintings by Jeff Kunkel, through June 4
  • Wisconsin Watercolor Society, through June 4
Cedarburg Performing Arts Center

Chant Claire Chamber Choir

Charles Allis Art Museum

  • The Sarah Ball Allis Art Museum, through June 11
  • Allis Chalmers, West Allis, the Charles Allis Art Museum—the Allis name is inseparable from Milwaukee’s history. A new exhibition hopes—among other goals—to turn the spotlight on a member of that family whose role in the community has been overlooked. Through June 11, the Charles Allis Art Museum will become the Sarah Ball Allis Art Museum in an exhibit featuring 20 contemporary artists juxtaposed with the institution’s permanent collection. (David Luhrssen)

The Constructivists

Concord Chamber Orchestra

  • Free Summer Concert, July 12, Unity Lutheran Church
  • Free Summer Concert, July 26, Washington Park
  • Free Summer Concert, Aug. 6, Lions Legend Park
Concordia University


Danceworks Performance MKE

David Barnett Gallery

  • Patterns and Textiles Show, through July 15
  • The Splendor of Nature in Art, Capturing the Intimate to the Magnificent, July 21-Oct. 17
Door Shakespeare

  • Bailey’s Harbor
  • The Old Man and the Moon, June 28—Aug. 26
  • As You Like It, June 28—Aug. 26
Dead Man's Carnival

Early Music Now

Ex Fabula

Falls Patio Players

  • Dear Edwina Jr., June 30
Festival City Symphony

Fine Arts Quartet

  • July 9, Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
  • July 13, Jewish Community Center
First Stage

Florentine Opera

Forte Theatre Company

Frank Juarez Gallery

Frankly Music

Gallery 218

Gallery Night MKE

  • July 21—22
Greendale Community Theatre

  • The Prom, July 27—Aug. 5
Grohmann Museum

  • David Plowden: The Architecture of Agriculture, through-Aug. 20

    Photographer David Plowden, age 90, lives in Winnetka, IL. “I befriended him in 2011 when we hosted an exhibition of his railroad photographs Madison,” says the Grohmann’s director James Kieselburg. “It is in knowing and befriending Plowden that one also knows that his full impact is likely yet to be felt, as we continue to lose the features of the American landscape that he so expertly and thoughtfully captured. From the rural landscape to railroads to bridges to heavy industry, he has distilled in many ways the essence of America by portraying our too often overlooked treasures—the commonplace fabric of our familiar environment—dilapidated or dismantled today.” (David Luhrssen)

Grove Gallery

Haggerty Museum of Art

  • Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists 2022, June 2—Aug. 6
Harley-Davidson Museum

  • Off-Road Harley-Davidson, continuing
  • Building a Milwaukee Icon: HD’s Juneau Ave. Factory, continuing
  • Tsunami Motorcycle Display, continuing
H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art

Hyperlocal MKE

Inspiration Studios Art Gallery

  • June: Anita Burmeister: Everything Art
  • June: Kith&KinTheatre: Hairspray
  • July: Midwest Collective Art Exhibit
  • July: Broadway Bound Wisconsin: Bedtime Storie
  • August: Amy Marks Group Exhibit
  • August: Outskirts Theatre Presents: Dog Sees God
  • August: Kith&KinTheatre: LaLaLand
James May Gallery

  • Openings:
  • July 7 5:30—8:00 p.m.: Family Dinner: Adam Fulwiler, Kara Slamka, Nicole Woodard, Ally Wilbur
  • Aug 4 5:30—8:00 p.m.: Zodiac Gala: Nathan Von Braun: Solo Exhibition
  • September 1 5:30—8:00 p.m.: Liz Rundorff Smith, Damien Hoar DeGalvin, & Ellen Weider
Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

  • “Degenerate! Hitler’s War on Modern Art,” through June 4

    “Degenerate! Hitler’s War on Modern Art” is a well curated investigation of the forbidden visual arts of Nazi Germany. The exhibition at Jewish Museum Milwaukee derives its title from the infamous 1937 “Degenerate Art” exhibit in Munich that attempted to discredit the art Hitler hated through disinformation and appeals to populism. (David Luhrssen)

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

  • Arts/Industry Highlights, through Aug. 20
  • Andrea Chung:“if they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away” through Oct. 1

    Chung, a San Diego-based artist, seeks to “confront the legacy and trauma of slavery from the perspective of an Afrofuturist utopia.” The artist, of Jamaican/Chinese and Trinidadian descent, acknowledges the overriding influence of slavery’s horrors in the exhibit. Despite the dark overtones, Chung sees her installation as a place of healing, one that honors midwives and celebrates birth, rather than death. (Michael Muckian)

  • Morehshin Allahyari: Moon-faced, through July 16
KACM Theatrical Productions

Kettle Moraine Symphony

Kohler Memorial Theater

Ko-Thi Dance Company

Lake Arts Project

Lakefront Festival of Art

  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • June 16—18
Latino Arts, Inc.

  • Mama Said: A Reflection on Material Figures, through June 2
  • The Big Idea X: A Decade of Creative Treasures, June 23—Aug. 18
Lily Pad Gallery West

Lynden Sculpture Garden

  • Milwaukee Bonsai Society 52nd Annual Exhibit, Aug. 26—27
Marcus Performing Arts Center

  • Tootsie, June 6-11

    Tootsie was a hit in movie theaters back in 1982 with Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor impersonating a woman in order to get a role on a daytime soap opera. Sydney Pollack’s satirical comedy was transformed for the stage with a book by Robert Horn and songs by David Yazbek. Debuting in Chicago (2018), it moved swiftly to Broadway, closing just before COVID with 293 performances. (David Luhrssen)

  • Ten Chimneys Presents: The MIKE Show, June 9
  • ABBAFAB, Aug. 27
MARN Art + Culture Hub

Master Singers of Milwaukee

Material Studios + Gallery

Memories Dinner Theatre

Menomonee Falls Symphony

MIAD Gallery at the Ave

  • From This Point Forward, through July 1
Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Native America: In Translation, through June 25
  • Lakefront Festival of Art, June 16-18
  • Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980, through July 23
  • In Honor of Kevin Fahey: Selections from the Fahey/Grzebielski Collection, June 2-Oct. 1
  • A Very Strong Likeness of Her: Portraiture and Identity in the British Colonial World, June 23-Oct. 22
Milwaukee Ballet

Milwaukee Chamber Theater

Milwaukee Children's Choir

Milwaukee Comedy

Milwaukee Festival Brass

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design Galleries

Milwaukee Irish Arts

Milwaukee Jazz Institute

Milwaukee Makers Market

  • June 18, Discovery World
  • July 16, Discovery World
  • Aug. 13, Discovery World
  • Aug. 27, Third Ward/The Starling
Milwaukee Musaik

Milwaukee Opera Theatre

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Strauss & Schumann, June 10-11

  • Jupiter & Serenade, June 9-11
  • Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, June 16-17

    Gustav Mahler wasn’t content with his reputation as Europe’s greatest opera conductor. He wanted to compose. His music was often received with contempt by the press and public but admiration from other composers. Haunted by the monumentality of Beethoven and Wagner, Mahler’s symphonies were dramatic, polyphonic tapestries, apocalyptic at their climactic moments. His Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) is true to form, thematically complex, anxious but hopeful in the end. (David Luhrssen)

  • Joshua Bell, June 20
  • Marvel Studio’s Black Panther, June 23-25
  • Jaws, June 30-July 1
  • Chris Botti, July 23
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

Milwaukee Youth Theatre

Morning Star Productions

  • Revolution, June
Museum of Wisconsin Art

  • Breaking the Cycle: Teens on Transformation, through July 9
  • Working on the Bias: The Fine Art of Fiber, through July 9
MOWA | DTN (Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel)

  • Anna: Photography by Lidia Sharapova, through July 9
MOWA on the Lake (St. John’s on the Lake)

  • Jerry Jordan: Expressions for a New Renaissance, through Aug. 27
Next Act Theatre

Nō Studios

  • Nō Studios Dance Fest 2023, June 24, Bayshore Mall
North Shore Academy of the Arts

Northern Sky Theater

  • The Fish Whisperer, June 14-Aug. 25, Peninsula State Park
  • Cheeseheads: The Musical, June 15-Aug. 26, Peninsula State Park

    The musical comedy by Paul Libman and Dave Hudson had its 2017 world premiere at Northern Sky and returns for another long run. It explores (“with typical Wisconsin good humor”) the dream of winning the lottery shared by workers at a Sheboygan factory in danger of shutting down. It’s been called “a touching and joyful Wisconsin musical gouda luck fable” (ouch!) (Morton Shlabotnik)

  • Guys on Ice, July 5-Sept. 1, Gould Theater
  • Guys & Does, July 15-Sept. 2, Gould Theater
Oconomowoc Arts Center

  • Main Stage Academy of Dance, Cinderella: A Storybook Ballet, June 4
  • 5678 20th Season Celebration, June 15-17
  • Elation Moments, June 24-25
Oil: A City Gallery

Optimist Theatre

  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • Cymbeline, July 9&Aug. 13
Outskirts Theatre

Over Our Head Players

  • Theatre Schmeatre, June 2-10
Peninsula Music Festival

Peninsula Players

  • A Rock Sails By, June 13-July 2
  • Blithe Spirit, July 5-23

    Blithe Spirit was twice filmed, in 1945 by director David Lean and in 2020 by Edward Hall, but neither stands up well next to a well-staged version of Noël Coward’s comedy. The play concerns an author who invites a medium to his house to conduct a séance, hoping for material for his next novel. He has more material than he bargained for when the medium contacts the vengeful ghost of his first wife. (David Luhrssen)

  • Dames at Sea, July 26-Aug. 13
  • Trying, Aug. 16-Sept. 3

  • William Eddins Plays Granados' Goyescas, June 11
Portrait Society Gallery

Present Music

Quasimondo Physical Theatre

Racine Art Museum

Racine Symphony Orchestra

Racine Theatre Guild

  • Rent, July 14—23
Real Tinsel Gallery

  • Moving Target (With Chair Caning), through June 25
Renaissance Theaterworks

Sacra Nova Chorale

Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel

  • Intimate Gestures: Drawing on Desire by Yuna Kim, through June 30 (The Closet)
  • Relief: The Stories We Carry by Bela Suresh Roongta, through July 2 (Gallery)
  • Still Life by Jaymee Harvey, through Aug. 6 (The Vitrine)
  • Magic Hour: Intersections of Contemporary Film and Fiber Art, through Sept.11 (The Space)
Seat of Our Pants Reader Theatre

Sculpture Milwaukee

  • "Dear Nature," through October
  • "Nature Doesn't Know About Us," through Fall
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

  • Starry Nights, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11
Skylight Music Theatre

  • SuperYou, through June 18

    One of the best ways to kick-off this summer in Milwaukee is a high-energy night of rock music, empowered women, poignant lyricism and superheroines. The Skylight Music Theatre’s SuperYou is an uplifting story presented by a team of talented women that will leave audiences inspired and ready to rock out. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center

  • Danceworks, June 10
  • South Milwaukee Youth Theater, Peter Pan Jr., July 15
  • South Milwaukee Youth Theater, Little Mermaid Jr. July 28-30
Sunset Playhouse

  • Agatha Christie’s Spider’s Web, June 1—18
  • It’s My Party! ‘50s & ‘60s Singalong, June 8—11
  • Dancing in the Streets: Motown & Soul, June 25
  • Summer Stars Broadway Cabaret, July 9
  • The Little Mermaid, July 13—Aug. 6
  • The Little Mermaid Jr., Aug. 11—13
Sunstone Studios

Theatre Gigante

Theatrical Tendencies

Third Avenue Playhouse, Sturgeon Bay

  • Daddy Long Legs, June 21-July 9
  • Boeing-Boeing, Aug. 2-27
Thrasher Opera House, Green Lake

  • Missoula Children’s Theatre, Beauty Lou and the Country Beast, June 24
  • Scott Kirby, June 29
  • Cedar Ridge Sessions, July 27
Tory Folliard Gallery

  • Michael Hedges: New Paintings, June 2—July 8

UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts

  • UpStart: Dance MFA Concert, July 21, Mitchell Hall
  • University Community Orchestra, July 28, Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
UW-Whitewater Crossman Gallery

Var Gallery & Studios

  • Stuart, the Earth, June 1
  • Prez Harris with Forever, June 2
  • Wildered album release show, June 23
  • Hildur Hogland, July 27
  • KELS with Allison Mahal, Aug. 10
Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

  • Mestiere Biennale, through Aug. 13

    “Mestiere” is Italian and translates roughly as craft or skilled handiwork. Phoenix Brown, senior curator at Villa Terrace, explains that the museum’s new exhibition of contemporary Wisconsin artists, “Mestiere Biennale,” was prompted by the recent “renaissance in craft and decorative art.” Villa Terrace’s Executive Director Jaymee Harvey Willms adds that the rebirth is “a human reaction—the antithesis of the internet.” (David Luhrssen)

Village Playhouse

Voices Found Repertory

Walker's Point Center for the Arts

Warehouse Art Museum

  • Objects of Substance, through July 22

    “Objects of Substance” is as a cross-section of present-day, high-end handmade work in many media from across the world. The growing interest in craft, with a proliferation of makers markets and the popularity of Etsy, can be seen as pushback against the Digital Age not unlike William Morris’ challenge to the Age of Industry. “Objects of Substance” makes an argument in the ongoing discussion over where art ends and craft begins. “There’s good art and bad art. A good glass vase is as good as any monumental painting. We make no distinction,” co-director John Shannon says. “A slipshod painting and a slipshod vase are equally bad.” (David Luhrssen)

Water Street Dance Milwaukee

  • Revel V. 3, June 17, The Studio, Cedarburg
  • Illuminate, June 23-24, Broadway Theatre Center
  • Water on Water, Aug. 2, The Studio, Cedarburg
  • Solstice V, Aug. 4, The Studio, Cedarburg
Waukesha Civic Theatre

  • Bloom, June 2-18
  • Greetings from Green Lake, June 14-15
  • The Spongebob Musical: Youth Edition, July 21-30
  • Fleeing Artists Theatre, A Raisin in the Sun, Aug. 18-20
  • Civic Broadway Singers, Aug. 23
West Allis Players

West Performing Arts Center

  • Aladdin Jr., July 28
Wild Space Dance

Windfall Theatre

Wisconsin Craft

  • Morning Glory Art Fair, Aug. 12—13, Deer District at Fiserv Forum
Wisconsin Lutheran College - Center for Arts and Performance

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Art

  • “Akiko Ike: Boro Chiku-Chiku,” through Aug. 27

    A renowned textile artist, teacher, and gallery owner from Japan, Akiko Ike has exhibited her signature style internationally, including throughout Japan, in France, Australia, and in 2019 in a group exhibition at Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Art. (Morton Shlabotnik)

Wisconsin Philharmonic

  • Starry Nights, July 7
Woodland Pattern Book Center