Photo courtesy of Trisha Brown Dance Company
The late 1960s and early ’70s were heady days in New York City. SoHo still had its raw industrial patina, and its warehouses and lofts were filled with artists transforming the idea of painting and sculpture by paring them down to their “minimal” forms. Choreographer Trisha Brown was also on the move, experimenting with pieces that took simple, everyday movement and turned it into dance. Alverno Presents and Lynden Sculpture Garden re-create this scene – and its synergy – when the Trisha Brown Dance Company comes to town, performing some of Brown’s early experimental works at the Lynden, alongside the kindred minimalist sculptures that were part of those New York days. It’s a rare, one-of-a-kind event that should not be missed. (Paul Kosidowski)
➞ Trisha Brown Dance Company (July 27). Lynden Sculpture Garden. 2145 Brown Deer Rd., 414-446-8794, lyndensculpturegarden.org.
Photo: Adam Ryan Morris
This year has been kind to Todd Umhoefer. Under the local musician’s creative moniker, Old Earth, he’s already been able to spread his experimental folk sound through acclaimed releases like All Kill, a four-movement suite that is at once ambient and aggressive, and Milwaukee to Edinburgh, 2013, a live tour album filled with auditory snapshots from his time recording in Scotland. This summer, he’ll be releasing a new, as-yet-untitled LP, with contributions from several of his Brew City friends, including Jon Mueller of Death Blues, whom he’ll be performing alongside at the Cactus Club this July. If you’re looking to get a glimpse of those new songs in concert, consider this your ideal chance. (Matthew Reddin)
➞ Old Earth (July 12). Cactus Club. 2496 S. Wentworth Ave., 414-897-0663, cactusclub.dostuff.info.
Courtesy of Brett Newski
Sometimes it takes experiences like riding a motorcycle around southeast Asia or writing jingles for tampon ads for an artist to finally discover his creative stride. That was the route Brett Newski took, and it became the basis for his music – its guitar-and-harmonica folk meanderings crossing multiple continents and coming-of-age phases. Newski’s latest “power folk” album, American Folk Armageddon, which Wisconsin-based Goodland Records released in May, includes equal doses of energetic strumming and amiable hooks. (Claire Hanan)
➞ Brett Newski (July 11). South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. 901 15th Ave., South Milwaukee, 414-766-5049, southmilwaukeepac.org.
No Spoilers, Here
Every month is a good month to catch The Improvised Musical: a never-the-same-twice comedy experience performed by a dozen-odd actors and musicians who take an audience suggestion for a brand-new musical and improvise the songs and story on the spot, with hilarious results like Gotham City Graveyard, Fiddler on the Bed or Nursing Home Vigilante. But if you only go to a T.I.M. show once this summer, make it in July. The troupe will be celebrating its third anniversary, with free champagne, a huge after-party and, of course, the unexpected theatricality fans have come to expect. (Matthew Reddin)
➞ The Improvised Musical (July 17). ComedySportz Milwaukee. 420 S. First St., 414-272-8888, timthemusical.com.
Milwaukee Falls by Nathaniel Stern. Photo courtesy of the artist and Tory Folliard Gallery
Canvasing the State
One of the better opportunities to take the temperature of Wisconsin art is Tory Folliard Gallery’s biennial Summer in Wisconsin show. 2011’s edition included highlights like the whimsical yet mysterious scenes of Sofia Arnold, the striking portraits of Jan Serr, the Wisconsin-evoking photographs of Mark Brautigam, the sublimely sketchy work of Mark Mulhern, the silverpoint and watercolor renderings of Mary Alice Wimmer, the stitched creations of Mary Bero and the intriguingly abstract images of Derrick Buisch. Anyone down on local art should show up and submit to a sound refutation. (Matt Hrodey)
➞ Summer in Wisconsin (July 11-Sept. 6). Tory Folliard Gallery. 233 N. Milwaukee St., 414-273-7311, toryfolliard.com.
This article appears in the 2014 City Guide in the June 2014 issue of