Closing Night at Alchemist Theatre
Why? Because that haunted, hallowed season is upon us, and deserves to be celebrated in ways that don’t just involve mucas-green Jell-o shots at the local bar. Bay View’s Alchemist theater does many wonderful things, but it has developed a special skill and affinity for staging the supernatural in its tidy space. And occasionally, they go all out and present “participatory” theater in which members of the audience play a role. Here, the evening is interrupted by murder most foul, and the investigation takes you through dark passages of both the mind and the theater.
Unruly Music at the UWM Music Recital Hall
Why? Because Christopher Burns’ semi-annual new music festival covers the gamut of recent music innovations, including the bits and bytes of digital sound. But this time, he’s staying away from laptops. Lisa Cella plays a solo flute recital on Friday. And Saturday, instrument builders Hal Rammel (Milwaukee’s New Music guru) and Lou Bunk offer an evening of electro-acoustic improvisations. Rest assured that you’ll hear sounds you’ve never heard before.
Milwaukee Symphony’s “Concertos for Orchestra” at the Marcus Center
Why? Perhaps you’ve read Jay Kirk’s recent Harper’s essay, “Bartok’s Monster,” which follows the trail the composer followed when he “collected” folk melodies from rural Hungary. Or perhaps October has simply put you in a Transylvania mood. You’ll want to take the chance to hear Bela Bartok’s best known work, the “Concerto for Orchestra,” which combines Hungarian tunes and spectacular orchestral effects. One of Mozart’s most beloved concertos opens the program, with the MSO’s great Todd Levy playing his Clarinet Concerto.
In Tandem Theatre’s Burying the Bones at the 10th Street Theatre
Why? Because M.E.H. Lewis’s play digs deep into the world of post-Apartheid South Africa. Set at the 1990s “Truth & Reconciliation” commission hearings, it tells the story of a woman searching for the story of her husband’s death. When the search brings her to James, the Afrikaner officer accused of killing her husband, things get surprising and complicated. Malkia Stampley and Mark Corkins stars, and Lewis will be here for the opening night and lead a talkback discussion about the play.
Milwaukee Film Festival—Week 2
Why? Because with 240 films on the docket, the MFF is many things to many people. You use it to tune in to the Milwaukee film scene. Preview future Oscar contenders (August, Osage County, for example). Or, you can get a taste of the cutting edge of film art. Last week, for instance, you could have seen two of the bravest, most visionary films released in the past year, Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color and Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux. They stretched the conventions of realism and visual storytelling, but were visually stunning and altogether vibrant experiences. And they were certainly way beyond the conventions of Multiplex style. There’s more opportunity this week, including one of the MFF’s big events, the screening of Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s silent film Earth, with live musical accompaniment by Altos.