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Color My World
The Friday Five for Feb. 22.

A 1940 photo by Marion Post Wolcott from the Milwaukee Art Museum show, "Color Rush."

#5: Stand-Up Spectacular at the Pabst Theater.

Why? Because when you wander around your DVR cue late at night, you are prone to linger on funny. And these days—with the end of 30 Rock, the hiatus of Louis, and the sacrilege being foisted on the original creation of Community—there is a bit of a gap in your life. Or perhaps call it a gaping maw, a black hole, a wormhole of such vacuous emptiness that you’ve even thought about a visit to Downton Abbey. But fear not, two of the funniest people on television will be in Milwaukee this weekend. Friday, the impishly quick-witted Craig Ferguson (host of The Late Late Show) headlines at the Pabst Theater—we know not if Geoff the Robot will be in tow. Saturday, that Meistersinger of machismo, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) arrives. We expect he’ll find great pleasure in Milwaukee’s meat-eating culture (a pre-show Sauerbraten at Mader’s perhaps?). But will be none-too impressed with the Pabst’s gilt curlicued décor, which he will undoubtedly pronounce “unmanly.”

#4: Pinkalicious at First Stage Children’s Theater.

Why? You’re a six-year-old girl—what’s not to love about this new musical. How much pink is too much? Pinkalicious Pinkerton discovers the answer to that perennial question when she comes down with a nasty case of Pinkititis. John Maclay directs First Stage’s usual cast of first-rate child performers, who are joined by seasoned pros Niffer Clarke and Karen Estrada.

#3: Frankly Music at Schwan Concert Hall, Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Why? Because Frank Almond—Milwaukee Symphony Concertmaster and virtuoso-about-town—will release his new recording, A Violin’s Life, in April. But since Almond is our home-town guy, we get to hear it before it circulates among the international music cognoscenti. The CD is a musical history of Almond’s “Lipinski” Stradivarius, and since it’s been around since 1715, it’s quite a history. The program includes works that were played on the violin over the centuries, including pieces by Brahms, Liszt, Schumann and Julius Röntgen, whose family owned the violin for several generations. Almond’s frequent collaborator, William Wolfram, joins him on the program.

#2: Color Rush at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Why? Because, as Paul Simon says, Kodachrome gives you those nice bright colors, and makes you think all the world’s a sunny day. And this new show, the swan song of MAM’s former photography curator Lisa Hostetler, survey’s the history of color photography, from 1907 to 1981. Fine art and commercial, magazine and museum, it covers the gamut of images that shaped American culture in the 20th century. And offers some beautiful images along the way.

#1: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Underneath the Lintel at the Broadway Theatre Center.

Why? Because playwright Glen Berger does not want to be remembered as one of the minds behind the Broadway debacle, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. And with good reason. Before he hooked up with Edge and Bono, he penned some of the wittiest and most adventurous plays in the American theater, including this 2001 play about a librarian and a mystery: who returned a book that was 113 years overdue. MCT’s production offers a great director-actor team: MCT Artistic Director C. Michael Wright, and American Players Theatre’s James Ridge. 

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