The Turtle Island Quartet
with singer Tierney Sutton.
#5: The Turtle Island String Quartet with Tierney Sutton at the Wilson Center for the Arts:
Why? Because Turtle Island has always excelled at cross-genre performances, bringing new life to jazz and rock standards with innovative string arrangements. Here, they’re joined by celebrated jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton for a program called “Poets & Prayers,” which includes music by Joni Mitchell and John Coltrane and settings of poems by Rumi and the Sufi poet Haziz. The quartet performs by itself on Friday, and Sutton joins them for a concert on Saturday.
#4: The Alchemist Eye at Alchemist Theatre:
Why? Because Aaron Kopec has energized Milwaukee theater with his Bay View storefront, offering a space for groups from around the city to stage original and innovative shows. But things really get serious when Kopec himself is at the helm. His Halloween season offerings have topped each other year after year, and audiences have packed the theater to see what he’ll offer next. This year’s original play revolves around a mystical amulet and a haunted house, tossing and mixing horror traditions from Steven King to Edgar Allen Poe.
#3: Jerry Seinfeld at the Riverside Theatre:
Why? So what if his web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” was as dull as its title suggests. Seinfeld can still hold a room better than any standup around, no matter if it’s a small nightclub or the cavernous Riverside Theatre. These days, he’s wearing a power suit instead of basketball shoes and stone-washed jeans, but he continues to mine fresh material out of day-to-day life.
#2: Frankly Music at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music:
Why? Because Milwaukee Symphony Concertmaster Frank Almond has assembled a knockout group of local musicians for the opening of his ninth Frankly Music season, including clarinetist Todd Levy, violinist Ilena Setapan and the MSO’s new principal cellist, Susan Babini. On the program is Brahms’ Piano Quintet, a sonata for clarinet and piano by the Polish-Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg, and Bela Bartok’s trio, Contrasts, which was originally created for Joseph Szigeti and Benny Goodman.
#1: Fiasco Theatre’s Cymbeline at Marquette University’s Helfaer Theatre:
Why? Because you might think that Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline is appropriate material for a group which calls themselves “Fiasco.” We’re betting this New York City touring ensemble—created in 2007 by graduates of Brown University’s theater program—will bring some focus and heart to one of Shakespeare’s most sprawling plays. To do so, it pares the scale down to a six-actor feat of storytelling. As the New York Times said of the production, it is a “charming” production “without postmodern riffs and frills.”