The Friday Five for May 11th

#5: Mango Blue at Latino Arts. Why? Because Ecuador-born bassist, vocalist and composer Alex Alvear is always up to something different with his music ensemble. Their latest album, Immigrant Blues taps the genres of R&B, jazz, funk, and of course, latino rhythms, to create a potent, very danceable blend that doesn’t avoid commenting on the issues of the day. The crowd at Latino Arts is always enthusiastic, and there no doubt will be dancing shortly after that first clave marks the rhythm.   #4: Radio WHT’s Invisible Man at Alchemist Theatre. Why? Because Bay View’s Alchemist is the go-to place…

#5: Mango Blue at Latino Arts.

Why? Because Ecuador-born bassist, vocalist and composer Alex Alvear is always up to something different with his music ensemble. Their latest album, Immigrant Blues taps the genres of R&B, jazz, funk, and of course, latino rhythms, to create a potent, very danceable blend that doesn’t avoid commenting on the issues of the day. The crowd at Latino Arts is always enthusiastic, and there no doubt will be dancing shortly after that first clave marks the rhythm.

 

#4: Radio WHT’s Invisible Man at Alchemist Theatre.

Why? Because Bay View’s Alchemist is the go-to place for Milwaukee theater groups who thrive on creativity rather than big budgets. And Charles Sommers’ Radio WHT has been presenting its brand of “live radio drama” for enthusiastic audiences at Alchemist since 2009, staging classics like The Wizard of Oz and Sherlock Holmes in a signature old-time radio style. This time, they’ll tackle H.G. Wells classic, The Invisible Man.

 

#3: Ruthie Foster at South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

Why? Because Ruthie Foster is the real thing. Raised in the gospel church, her music has the depth and soul of that tradition, and the innovation and fizz of today. She’s a Grammy nominee and the winner of 2010 Female Blues Artist of the Year. And there’s quite a bit of buzz about her latest release, Burn It Down, which is full of new and old school covers by the likes of Los Lobos and Pete Seeger.

 

#2: Theatre Gigante’s Our Our Town at UWM’s Peck School Kenilworth Hall.

Why? Because it’s not a misprint. This isn’t Thornton Wilder’s  Our Town, but Mark Anderson and Isabelle Kralj’s variation on a theme of home, community and art. As always, Gigante has assembled an impressive group of artists from various genres, including actors John Kishline, Deborah Clifton and Malcolm Tulip, dancer Elizabeth Johnson and visual and theater artists as well. Expect to be challenged and amused.

 

#1: Milwaukee Ballet’s Peter Pan at the Marcus Center.

Why? Hmmm….let’s see. Pirates, killer crocodiles, loveable St. Bernard’s and a version of Lord of the Flies with a happy ending! What’s not to love. All that, and great dancing too. And we hear that those balletic leaps net an impressive amount of air time. The Milwaukee Ballet brings back its much loved version of J.M. Barrie’s classic story, with Marc Petrocci once again dancing on window sills and topsails along with the rest of the Darling family.

Comments

comments

Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.