20 Things to Do in Milwaukee This April

How to take April by the cojones.

Daughters of the Dust

March 31-April 1
UWM Cinema

Lynden Sculpture Garden is working with UWM’s Union Cinema to screen Daughters of the Dust, a film about a Gullah community on an island off South Carolina. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance when it premiered, Daughters was the first widely distributed film made by an African-American female director.

The Oracle Presents Tyler Maas

April 1
Urban Harvest Brewing Company

The Oracle is an improv series where a guest speaker, in this case Milwaukee Record co-founder Tyler Maas, performs a monologue and then a troupe of improvisers uses it as the basis for its act. As improv goes, this has the ingredients for a great evening or a memorable disaster.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies

April 3
Miller Park

Ah, the unofficial spring holiday has returned and, this year, for the second time in three years, the rebuilding Brew Crew will dust off their bats to play the Rockies on the season’s opening day.

Bohemian Rhapsody

April 4
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

The Wisconsin Philharmonic pays tribute to Bohemian composers, including a special performance by cellist Joshua Roman, who performs Dvorak’s concerto.

Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar

April 6
Boswell Book Company

Journal Sentinel entertainment and features editor (and resident book critic) Jim Higgins knows his stuff when it comes to local writers. He’ll introduce you to some of the most notable while discussing his collection of their profiles.

Valerie Harmon of La Sylphide. Photo by Tom Davenport
La Sylphide with Sans Pleurer

April 6-9
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

This Milwaukee Ballet choreography showcase features both new (Sans Pleurer, directed by Timothy O’Donnell) and old, er, classic works (1836’s La Sylphide), and will captivate for three evenings as the second-to-last MB production of the season.

La Perichole

April 7-8
Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

UWM Opera Theatre performs Jacques Offenbach’s Peruvian tale of love, misfortune and royal hijinks.

My Favorite Murder

April 7
Riverside Theater

Comedian and writer Karen Kilgariff and TV host Georgia Hardstack bring their podcast, in which they banter about famous murders, to the Riverside. People who love discussing grisly crimes over brunch will enjoy this live recording session.

Photo by AC Klein Photography
Midwest Gaming Classic

April 7-9
Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel

An arcade hall, live music, and adults dressed like video game characters should be enough to entice gamers of all stripes, and, of course, those of us who are just plain curious.

Great Expectations

April 13-30
Broadway Theatre Center

The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents this coming-of-age classic, in collaboration with First Stage.

Egg Day

April 15
Milwaukee County Zoo

There’s plenty to keep kids entertained at this annual event, which includes an egg hunt, craft projects, face painting, and the Bubble Wonders Show. Festivities start at 9 a.m. and culminate at 2 p.m., with a parade.

Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds

April 19
Riverside Theater

Good writers loathe throwing around “iconic” lightly, but it’s perfectly acceptable when you’re talking about one of the most cherished albums ever made. Now card-carrying senior citizens, three members of The Beach Boys are billing this tour as your final chance to see the album performed in its entirety.

Erika Nordqvist: New Drawings

April 21-May 27
Tory Folliard Gallery

The Swedish artist depicts fantastical, everyday scenes using pencils and paper, and will show off her latest just in time for Gallery Night (April 21).

Festival of Laughs

April 22
Milwaukee Theatre

Four national comedians – Rick Smiley, Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce and Felipe Esparza – will bring the gutbusters to Kilbourn Avenue.

Crafts & Drafts Spring Beer Fest

April 23
Serb Hall

Five years ago, beer fests were a relatively novel event. Now, you can be choosy about how to spend your calories, because the city has many – and most are great, Crafts & Drafts features dozens of breweries, and the chance to taste “whales” (ultra-rare brews) like Central Waters’ Ardea Insignis Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.


April 25-30
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

This month’s Marcus Center Broadway offering celebrates its 20th year of reviving the classic musical about murderous fame-seekers.

Marc Maron. Photo by Travis Shinn Photography
Marc Maron

April 27
Pabst Theater

Marc Maron, the prolific comedian, podcast host, author, titular television star and self-proclaimed “feral cat wrangler” comes to Milwaukee for a night of stand-up.

The Nature of Slow Food

April 27
Milwaukee Public Museum

As part of the MPM’s beer-cum-science series, Jennifer Casey, who runs the Fondy Food Center, one of the area’s largest farmers’ markets, will discuss the importance of biodiversity and how it relates to the stuff we put in our mouths.

Time, Nature, Culture, Sound

April 29
Milwaukee Public Museum

Present music is known for taking its show on the road, and sometimes that road leads to some pretty wonderful places. Three years ago, they played John Luther Adams’ expansive aural adventure Inuksuit over several acres of the Lynden Sculpture Garden. They sent their musicians into the galleries of the Milwaukee Art Museum for various audio-visual interactions with paintings and sculptures. And they even tried to “talk” to the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo. For this month’s “exploratory concert” “Time, Nature, Culture, Sound,” PM’s Music Director Kevin Stalheim animates several Milwaukee Public Museum environments with live, contemporary music. The result of a year-long collaboration between the MPM and PM, the concert will feature world premieres created for such beloved spaces as the museum’s rain forest exhibit and the Soref Planetarium. The group will leave a permanent mark on the museum with a sound installation created by percussionist Julio Pabon, which will be installed in the Pre Colombian and Pacific Islands exhibit. – Paul Kosidowski

The xx

April 29
The Rave

The soft-spoken British electro-rockers promote their 2017 album / See You at the Rave for what will surely be a packed house. Don’t miss ’em. ◆

 ‘Agenda: April’ appears in the April 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 3, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.



Claire Hanan worked at the magazine as an editor from 2012-2017. She edited the Culture section and wrote stories about all sorts of topics, including the arts, fashion, politics and more. In 2016, she was a finalist for best profile writing at the City and Regional Magazine Awards for her story "In A Flash." In 2014, she won the the Milwaukee Press gold award for best public service story for editing "Handle With Care," a service package about aging in Milwaukee. Before all this, she attended the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and New York University's Summer Publishing Institute.