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The Friday Five for May 31
A springtime weekend of small beauties: Small presses, DIY theater and the constellation of small-scale shows that is Gallery Night.

Sculpture by Manu Garay, on display during Gallery Night

Bay View Gallery Night

Friday 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., various locations

Because it’s time to celebrate Milwaukee’s Brooklyn, the bearded, tattooed, Twitter-savvy urban Mecca that lies just over the Hoan Bridge rainbow. There will be even more Makers and Creatives around than usual for the BVGN, centered at the Alterra Coffee (Lincoln Ave. & Kinnickinnic), but stretching to various nooks and crannies at various pubs and hair salons. Bay View loves the night life, so there will be DJs and craft beer—not just the usual gallery fare of chardonnay and Pepperidge Farms cookies. There will be murals, dancing, chit chat, and brass sculptures by Manu Garay at various locations. Plus the Artist Currently Known as dwellephant will draw you a picture while you wait for your wedge of sausage and mushroom pizza at Classic Slice.

Mike Daisey

World’s Stage Theatre’s The Agony of Steve Jobs at Next Act Theatre

Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m., 255 S. Water St.

Because you may have caught wind of the monolog-ist Mike Daisey, whose justly celebrated career received a bit of a shake up when it was revealed that he played fast and loose with the facts in his piece about Apple Computer’s China employment practices. Daisey has mea culpa-ed his way back into the good graces of the theater community (his latest piece, American Utopias, looks at places like Disney World and Burning Man). And his “Apple” monolog has been corrected to correct the errors of “creative storytelling.” It’s also been made available to theater companies free of royalties, which makes it the perfect vehicle for fledgling companies like World’s Stage. Robby McGhee, experienced in drama and improv, stands in for the author-provocatuer.

Catherine Wagner

Midwest Small Press Festival at Woodland Pattern Book Center

Friday 6:30 p.m., 720 E. Locust St.

Because Woodland Pattern’s celebration of can-do, often do-it-yourself publishing offers a broad spectrum of can-do, DIY authors on its roster. Everyone from lettered professors like poet Catherine Wagner, to the most independent of independent spirits, mIEKAL aND, who describes himself as at “DIY cultural anarchist.”  There will be readings, collaborative performances, film presentations (including a documentary about our own legendary “Overpass Light Brigade”). And representatives of small publishers such as Convulsive Editions and Rabbit Catastrophe Press will be on hand to sell chap books, talk shop, and celebrate the tenacity of the printed word in the digital age.

Aphra Behn

"Or," at Carte Blanche Studios

Friday 8:00 p.m., Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 6:00 p.m., 1024 S. 5th St.

Because James Dragolovich’s Carte Blanche Studios has stood fast for almost five years, and the savvy choice of plays like Liz Duffy Adams’ Or, explains why. A “history” play about Aphra Behn, known as the first professional female playwright, Or, received raves when it played New York City in 2009, earning comparisons to the master of the wit-soaked, historically inspired comedy, Tom Stoppard. Behn, it seems, was was many things beside a playwright, including a spy, which inspired Duffy Adams’ wiz-bang story of competing lovers, theaters and heads of state.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Marcus Center

Friday 8:00 p.m., 929 N. Water St.

Because it’s time to cede your ears to the sounds of summer—roaring Harleys, “Call Me, Maybe,” outdoor jam bands. To close his fourth season as head honcho of the MSO, Edo de Waart has a bit of a surprise. Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius isn’t exactly unheard of, but it isn’t exactly Beethoven’s Ninth or the Brahms Requiem, either. An oratorio in the tradition of The Messiah, Elgar uses an orchestra, chorus and three soloists to tell the story of a dying man and his search for meaning at the end of his life. Not surprisingly, the MSO has tapped a trio of A-list soloists, including mezzo Tamara Mumford, who recently appeared in The Met’s “Ring Cycle” and in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary.

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