The Crème de la Crème Burlesque Festival
Saturday, Sept. 7, Turner Hall Ballroom
If the last three-months of fresh air and sunshine has got you pining for a smoke-filled room replete with half-naked ladies and fedora-ed men slugging down cheap booze, look no further than this national showcase of burlesque performers. You can spend the afternoon taking lessons, and return for the evening show, which features Philadelphia’s legendary Lulu Lollipop and Detroit’s Lushes LaMoan.
Zappa Plays Zappa
Sunday, Sept. 8, Pabst Theatre
To many, Frank Zappa was a musical jokester, perhaps a cut above Weird Al Yankovic. But if all you know about him is that he didn’t eat yellow snow, stop by to hear his son Dweezil’s crack tribute band, which has been spreading the Zappa gospel for a number of years. This time around, they’ll perform Zappa’s 1974 album “Roxy and Elsewhere” in its entirety.
Saturday, Sept. 7, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave.
A “pre-season” concert from the local authorities on pre-Baroque music, this evening asks the age-old question, “Do you speak chalumeau?” If you do, you’ll know that the chalumeau isn’t a rare, lemur-like marsupial native to Rwanda, or an obscure dialect of French spoken only in Montreal delicatessens. It’s an early precursor of the clarinet, and this Early Music Now program offers a century-long (18th, mostly) survey of pieces written for the instrument that would eventually make Benny Goodman famous. Eric Hoeprich is the nationally known early clarinet authority here, and he’s joined by soprano Clara Rottsolk, and pianist Byron Schenkman.
Victory for Victoria
Sept. 6-7, Sunset Playhouse, 800 Elm Grove Rd., Elm Grove
Milwaukee Opera Theatre continues its role as an incubator for music theater by local writers and composers. The latest project is the story of Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States. Susan Peterson Holmes and Peggy Peterson Ryan wrote the lyrics, and Alissa Rhode wrote the music. And to unveil the project, the trio have assembled a stellar cast of singing actors, including Joel Kopischke, Alison Mary Forbes, Kay Stiefel, Drew Brhel and Nathan Wesselowski.
John Luther Adams
Present Music’s Inuksuit
Saturday, Sept. 7, Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W. Brown Deer Rd.
Last season, Kevin Stalheim’s contemporary music group started to think a bit small, inaugurating a series of chamber music concerts presented at private homes and small venues. But a big extravaganza is never far away with Present Music. They kick off this season with John Luther Adams’ massive environmental piece for 99 percussionists, designed to be performed in a large open space. It’s named after the stone markers Inuit people use to orient themselves in the vast landscapes of the north. Here, it will be staged in the lovely environment of Lynden Sculpture Garden. Don’t worry, even though the published music warns that performance may require: “topographic maps, GPS units, two-way radios, cellular telephones, backpacks, tents and camping gear, off-road vehicles and other such tools,” you don’t need a Boy Scout merit badge to attend.