The Nutcracker by Rick Brodzeller
These days, it’s nearly impossible to stay away from holiday-themed events. Christmas seems to span eight weeks and create all sorts of chaos, especially at shopping malls. My advice is to skip the gifts and revel in the cheesy traditions. Heck, why not try out a few new ones this year, too. There’s plenty from which to choose.
The Milwaukee Ballet presents The Nutcracker
December 10-26 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N. Water St.)
Maybe you see it every year. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to see it and never have. Either way, The Nutcracker, with its elaborate scenery, lavish costumes, creative choreography and memorable score, never loses its luster. The Nutcracker is the city’s biggest holiday spectacle and Artistic Director Michael Pink and the dancers of the Milwaukee Ballet company find a way to reinvent themselves ever year.
For tickets, call 414-902-2103 or click here.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra plays Handel’s Messiah
December 14-18 at the Cathedral of St. John (802 N. Jackson St.) and at St. Josaphat Basilica (601 W. Lincoln Ave.)
Hearing sacred classical music in some of Milwaukee’s most breathtaking spaces is a unique and powerful experience. The MSO Chorus and the Florentine Opera Company Studio Artists accompany the Orchestra for this traditional work. Yes, you’ve definitely heard it. I bet you’ll recognize it when they start the hearty “Hallelujahs.”
For more information or to order tickets, call 414-291-7605 or click here.
Bartalotta’s Dickens’ Dinners
December 16-18 and 20-22 at the Pabst Mansion (2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.)
Seeing the Christmas Carol at the Pabst? Why not make an evening of it with a traditional English three-course dinner and drinks from Bartolotta Catering & Events. Complimentary parking and entrance to the mansion is included with each $89 ticket for a 5:15 p.m. or a 7:30 p.m. reservation. For more information or to make a reservation, call 414-727-6980 or click here.
Scrooge photo by Mark Frohna Photography
In Tandem Theatre presents Scrooge in Rouge
Through Dec. 31 at Tenth Street Theatre (628 N. 10th St.)
A wacky parody on the traditional Christmas Carol, Scrooge in Rouge is a play about actors – 23 of them – set to present a musical version of A Christmas Carol until 20 of them come down with food poisoning. Hilarity ensues. Just trust me on this one; you will laugh until your stomach hurts.
For more information or to order tickets, call 414-271-1371.
See the holiday lights on the G4S Jingle Bus
Thursday-Sunday, through December 30, 6-9 p.m. (the last bus departs at 8:20 p.m.)
Gaze at downtown’s holiday lights aboard the G4S Jingle Bus. Led by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors, the 40-minute tour takes riders past all the festive scenes, including “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park, “Let Us Entertain You” at Pere Marquette Park and “Holiday Sweet Treats” at Zeidler Union Square.
G4S Jingle Bus tours depart from the Plankinton Arcade at The Shops of Grand Avenue (161 W. Wisconsin Ave.). Hop on the bus for just $1!
As long as you are at Grand Avenue, check out these activities:
Westown Indoor Market
Wednesdays, through December 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Just because it’s winter, the farmers markets don’t have to stop. Shop a mix of Wisconsin-grown greenhouse items, prepared food and local handcrafted art on the Second Street Skywalk.
Keep the kiddies busy with arts and crafts provided by the Milwaukee Public Theatre Dec. 17-18 from 12-3 p.m. Make and take holiday ornaments, cards and more with MPT’s artistic elves. Pay $5 per person to make 3 craft items. For more information, call 414-347–1685.
If you aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit after all of this, stay tuned for next week’s Main Event. I have a show that you are sure to like.
One More Not to Miss
MAM After Dark Festivus: Friday, Dec. 16, 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Ah Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us – introduced by Seinfeld and now a cult favorite. Comedy Sportz star Beth Lewinski will lead the Airing of Grievances and other traditions like the Feats of Strength, a donation to the Human Fund and the Festivus Pole.
Free for Milwaukee Art Museum members. Join at the door and get in free with a friend! For everyone else, it’s $12 at the door or $6 if you buy in advance here.
Follow me on twitter @jkashou for more insider tips, events and happenings around town. Or, tip me off to an event you know of that you’d like me to cover.