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The Friday Five for June 7
A toolkit for filling your summer with the city's best arts, theater, accordion playing, angry witches and live classical music.

The summer is upon us, and time for me to retreat to my cabin in the woods, where I continue work on my “other” project, my book on the history of Duck Pin bowling, which now stretches into four volumes. (I couldn’t skimp on the marvelous career of Samuel “Lefty” Obramowicz and his 1924 battle with the DPBAA over his alleged use of performance-enhancing homebrew.)

In other words, this is the last Culture Club column until August. Until then, feel free to plan your summer arts and recreation involvements with the Milwaukee Magazine 2013 Summer Guide. And with the following late-breaking events  plus a bonus event  which weren't announced in time to be included.


Piano Arts Wisconsin Music in the Cities—Vienna and Paris

June 7-10, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 North Prospect Ave.

 Because it offers a veritable Who’s Who in Milwaukee classical music, with concerts and multimedia programs of every stripe devoted to two European meccas. Relive the Mozart family’s Grand Tour with a lecture demonstration from Dr. Sylvester Kreilein, immerse yourself in the world of 18th-century Versailles with Gloria Chuang, with pianist Aaron Wunsch. Learn about the tumultuous relationship between Frederick Chopin and George Sand. And relax with cafe mit schlag in a traditional Viennese coffeehouse setting. Performers include Kurt Ollmann, Stefanie Jacob, Scott Tisdel, Adrien Zitoun, Paula Tillen and Leslie Fitzwater.


Pink Banana One Acts: Game Night

June 6-15, Next Act Theatre, 255 S Water St.

Because Pink Banana Theatre is where you’ll find the stars of the future, which doesn’t mean there’s reason to wait. Here, an evening of one acts features both local actors and playwrights (and some national playwrights mixed in for good measure), and is devoted to the theme of games, as in the kind people play away from the Monopoly board. Featured in the mix is Tears, or the Woman’s Defense, by local acting star Angela Iannone, and Chicken by Fly Steffens.



June 12 through July 7, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St.

Because it’s once again time to defy gravity and take off with Steven Schwartz’s blockbuster musical based on Gregory Maguire’s blockbuster novel. Since it last appeared in Milwaukee in 2010, Schwartz’s stock has soared with the revival of his 1972 musical Pippin, which should garner its share of Tony Awards this weekend. But this witches tale—which unfolds long before Dorothy and her ruby pumps arrive on the scene—is one of the most satisfying musicals to hit Broadway in a long time. The Marcus Center is banking on that, booking the production for several weeks with the hope of luring Milwaukeeans from their sacred outdoor summer pursuits.

(photo by Troye Fox)

UWM Summerdances

June 12 through July 7, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St.

June 13-15, North Point Park and Water Tower

June 14-15, Milwaukee Art Museum: Cudahy Gardens, 700 Art Museum Dr.

Why? Because the Peck School of the Arts dance programs are always satisfying, but this special installment of the annual summer repertory concert should prove to be extraordinary. To mark the end of the Peck School’s 50th Anniversary “Year of the Arts,” the school has enlisted award-winning director-choreographer Stephan Koplowitz to stage site-specific dance-theater works in two iconic Milwaukee locations—the gardens of the Milwaukee Art Museum and the North Point Water Tower. The pieces feature 30 dancers, as well as original music by Tim Russell, projections by Luc Vanier and music by the Bel Canto Chorus.

Theatre Gigante presents Guy Klucevsek

June 20-21, Paddy's Pub, 2339 N. Murray Ave.

Because you will never hear the accordion played the way Klucevsek plays it. He’s a virtuoso to be sure, but not in the traditional Myron Floren “Lady of Spain” way. He finds new sounds, new emotions, and powerfully rich experiences from “the ol’ squeezebox”, and the chance to hear him in the intimate environment of the upstairs room of Paddy’s Pub is a remarkable opportunity. Don’t miss it.

The Fine Arts Quartet

June 10, 17, 23 and 30, Helene Zelazo Center, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Because it’s a great Milwaukee music tradition. One of our finest music ensembles offers a panoply of chamber music over the course of four short weeks, surveying the repertoire from Haydn to Stravinsky with a host of internationally-known guest musicians to compliment its own accomplished musicianship. This season, there’s an all-Brahms program of two String Sextets featuring violist Gil Sharon and cellist Niklas Schmidt (June 30); and a rare performance of a string quartet arrangement of Frederick Chopin’s First Piano Concerto. As always, Dr. Timothy Noonan introduces each concert with a lecture that beings an hour before curtain time.

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