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Igudesman and Joo. Photo by  Julia Wesely Comedic Keys Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo aren’t your typical classical musicians. The self-described “Mozart meets Monty Python” duo combines slapstick comedy with orchestral compositions to attract a wider and younger audience to their craft. The group gained international notoriety on YouTube, collecting more than 30 […]

Igudesman and Joo. Photo by 

Julia Wesely

Comedic Keys

Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo aren’t your typical classical musicians. The self-described “Mozart meets Monty Python” duo combines slapstick comedy with orchestral compositions to attract a wider and younger audience to their craft. The group gained international notoriety on YouTube, collecting more than 30 million views for their goofy renditions of age-old classics and contemporary hits. Now they’re taking their antics on the road to perform the critically acclaimed A Little Nightmare Music, which has been praised by no less than Paul Simon and Billy Joel. The performance breathes laughable charm into an ancient art. (Greta Weber)
➞ Igudesman & Joo: A Little Nightmare Music (Oct. 17). Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. 19805 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield, 262-781-9520, wilson-center.com.


all the terrible things I do. Photo: BPTU/Shutterstock

Dramatic Discovery 
“I think it’s important not to become one of those theaters that are just producing yesterday’s hits,” says the Milwaukee Rep’s Mark Clements. And this season, audiences will start to see the results of the quest for new dramas that Clements started when he became the Rep’s artistic director in 2010. A. Rey Pamatmat’s after all the terrible things I do has been attracting lots of buzz in theater circles since it was commissioned by the South Coast Repertory, a major incubator for new American plays. It’s the story of two people who meet while working at a Midwestern bookstore and find they have a disturbing shared past. This will be the play’s world-premiere production, and Rep associate artist May Adrales directs. (Paul Kosidowski)
➞ after all the terrible things I do (Oct. 1-Nov. 9). Stiemke Studio. Milwaukee Repertory Theater. 108 E. Wells St., 414-224-9490, milwaukeerep.com.

Tune-Yards. Photo by Holly Andres
Pop Art
Tune-Yards is the musical brainchild of Merrill Garbus, whose latest release, Nikki Nack, reinforces her quirky take on electronic pop and was deemed “dazzlingly imaginative” by NPR. The former puppeteer is an oddball at heart and on stage, often donning face paint and feathered shoulder pads as she strums her electric ukulele over layers of drum loops and harmonies. She harnesses the power of playful experimentation to give audiences a refreshing sound and fantastically bizarre aesthetic. Her intricate looping process is tailored for live performances, which you can witness firsthand this month. Put on your face paint, wear a costume and be prepared to dance. (Greta Weber)

➞ Tune-Yards (Oct. 23). The Pabst Theater. 144 E Wells. St., 414-286-3663, pabsttheater.org.

An Evening with John Williams. Photo Courtesy of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Winning Scores
It’s hard to conjure any image of the original Star Wars trilogy without also recalling the soaring notes of composer John Williams’ universally loved score. Prior to working on that definitive space opera, Williams’ use of a tension-laden ostinato in Jaws, combined with Steven Spielberg’s masterful directing, basically invented the modern summer blockbuster. And Williams, compositions have since gone on to populate every corner of pop culture. For this performance with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – his first pairing with our world-class ensemble – the 82-year-old Williams will thumb through his vast catalog and conduct a greatest-hits revue, pulling from box-office record-breakers such as Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and E.T., to name but a few. (Tim McCormick)
➞ An Evening With John Williams (Oct. 4). Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. 929 N. Water St., 414-291-7605, mso.org.

Unruly Music Festival. Photo by Bobby Fisher
New and Novel 
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Unruly Music Festival didn’t get its name from playing it safe, but Christopher Burns’ always-fascinating collection of concerts gets a little long-hair prestige with the inclusion of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The fall weekend festival will feature music performed by Yarn/Wire, a quartet of percussionists and pianists, and a live performance – by the vocal group Quince – of Morton Feldman’s “Three Voices,” a piece originally written for new music pioneer Joan La Barbara. The weekend finale will feature the MSO playing five pieces from its Composer Institute, a national initiative to encourage new music for orchestras. (Paul Kosidowski)
➞ Unruly Music Festival (Oct. 23-25). Multiple locations. Peck School of the Arts. 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd., 414-229-4308, uwm.edu/psoa.

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