Sean Allan Krill in Sunday in the Park with George.
Photo by Mark Frohna
#5. Broadway Today! at the Wilson Center for the Arts.
Why? Because it’s the Lusty Month of May and Everything’s Coming Up Roses. There’s no better way to roll into the week than With a Song in Your Heart. This straight up review of recent Broadway hits includes both relatively new stuff (Wicked, Jersey Boys) and recently revived classics (South Pacific, West Side Story). There aren’t likely to be any flying witches or big dance numbers, but you get to hear your favorite songs from several musicals all wrapped into one review—and you don’t have to sit through all that talky “acting” stuff that usually clutters up the time between songs.
#4. Philomusica Quartet at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
Why? Because last fall, Frank Almond and his trio played the living Sitkovetsky out of the Bach “Goldberg Variations,” a monumental keyboard work (arranged here for strings by Dmitri Sitkovetsky). By chance, you can hear another variations in the same season, as the Philomusica Quartet brings longtime Milwaukee Symphony bassist Roger Ruggieri into its fold to play a quintet version of Bach’s masterpiece (also arranged by Sitkovetsky—we just like writing that name so much). Ruggieri is joined by Philomusica regulars Jeanyi Kim, Sascha Mandl, Erin Pipal and Adrien Zitoun. Let the counterpoint begin!
#3. GERALDCASELDANCE at UWM’s Mitchell Hall.
Why? Because Casel has danced with some of the giants of contemporary dance, including Michael Clark and Steven Petronio, and has performed all over the world with his company. His recent time in Milwaukee, as Visiting Professor at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts, has given him time to set a new work on Milwaukee dancers, including Christina Briggs Winslow, Steven Moses and Kelly Anderson. Dwelling uses improvised elements to explore the ideas of home and displacement, reflecting the sometimes itinerant life of an artist.
#2. Florentine Opera’s Idomeneo at the Marcus Center.
Why? Because John La Bouchardière is back in town. And if that name doesn’t sound familiar, opera fans will certainly remember his previous work at the Florentine, Handel’s Semele. The British director returns to tackle Mozart’s early “opera seria” Idomeneo, a rarely performed story set amid the post-Trojan-War world of Greek myth and history. As with Semele, La Bouchardière will take an inventive approach to the piece, employing live and recorded video. And there are singers, too! Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Georgia Jarman, both seen in 2010’s Rigoletto star. And Sandra Piques Eddy (Juno in Semele) returns as Idamante.
#1. Skylight Theatre’s Sunday in the Park with George at the Broadway Theatre Center.
Why? Because “Art Isn’t Easy,” as the song goes—the signature refrain from Stephen Sondheim’s great work about painter George Seurat. But the Skylight Theatre should rise to the occasion with its final production of the season, a piece on director Bill Theisen’s professional Bucket List for some time. Chicago actor Sean Allan Krill makes his Skylight debut as Seurat, and he’s joined by a stellar cast of Skylight regulars, including Alison Mary Forbes as (Dot/Marie) and Niffer Clark, Bryce Lord and Georgina McKee.