22 Things to Do in Milwaukee This March

Here’s your March 2017 bucket list, Milwaukee: Theatah, sports, a fashion show and much more to march you into spring!

Photo by Paul Mitchell
Sensoria: Caught Up in the Moment

March 1
Kenilworth Square East

A free night of experimental music and dance courtesy of Wild Space Dance and UWM collaborators.

Women, Nature, Science: Cecelia Condit

March 4-June 25
Lynden Sculpture Garden

Multimedia artist and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee film professor Cecelia Condit will exhibit her latest installation featuring videos of a giraffe and zebra plus cerebral questions about how personal identity is affected by outside factors.

Shakespeare Raw: Romeo & Juliet

March 6-8
Best Place Tavern

This evening is brought to you by the aptly named Boozy Bard Productions, which recruits actors to show up at the preordained drinking establishment, pick a character’s name from a hat, drink, and then perform. You’ll probably want your own PBR to take it all in.

Taste & Toast

March 6-10
Downtown Milwaukee

Twenty four Downtown restaurants offer deals on small plates and beverages for the happy-hour crowd.

Ina Garten

March 8
Riverside Theater

The Barefoot Contessa brings tales of the good life in the Hamptons, and of preparing meals for her beloved Jeffrey, to Wisconsin Avenue for one evening of culinary charm and inspiration.

Patti Smith. Photo by FERIAL
Patti Smith and Her Band

March 9
Milwaukee Theatre

The rock (and all-around) legend and a couple original members of her band will perform her 1975 debut Horses

Milwaukee Collects

March 10-May 21
Milwaukee Art Museum

Large museums like our very own Milwaukee Art Museum keep tabs on local collections and usually know who has the goods. This month, they’ll tap into their Rolodex to showcase works of all genres culled from area aesthetes. 

Paula Nicho Cumez painting. Photo courtesy of Latino Arts Center
Visiones E Historia: Mayan Paintings

March 10-June 2
Latino Arts Center

Two prolific Guatemalan artists, Paula Nicho Cumez and Pedro Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay, exhibit their colorful, folksy paintings rooted in ancient Mayan traditions. 

Chris Rock

March 13
Milwaukee Theatre

It’s his first world tour in nearly a decade, and the new world order of the Trump era is certain to provide plenty of fodder for the comedian.

Vince Staples

March 17
The Rave

The 23-year-old Long Beach, Calif., rapper has wowed critics of all stripes, so prepare to party with a crowd when he brings his first headlining tour to MKE to promote his recently released EP, Prima Donna.

Don Giovanni

March 17, 19
Florentine Opera

Five cast members will make their Florentine debuts in this uber-popular opera about an unrepentant dirtbag. 

Photo courtesy of the Florentine Opera

Beauty and the Beast

March 17-26
Skylight Music Theatre

Just in time for the Disney blockbuster release starring Emma Watson, Skylight performs an English translation of the operatic fairytale

Director James Ortiz

Secret Symphony

March 18
Milwaukee Public Museum

Well, it’s not much of a secret, but that doesn’t mean all of the evening’s surprises are out of the bag. Yaniv Dinur conducts the MSO in performing Holst’s The Planets, which you can take in with a beer in hand (then later get that hand a palm reading).

Patrick Nickell

March 19
Suburban, Walker’s Point

Michelle Grabner and Brad Killiam hand over the reins to California sculpture artist Patrick Nickell, whose glass works sometimes resemble disentangled (and transfixing!) organ piles.

Strand of Oaks

March 19
Back Room @ Colectivo

Timothy Showalter last brought his angsty folk rock to Turner Hall in 2014, but this time he’s in the much more intimate Back Room @ Colectivo, where you will all but physically feel his pain.

Hops to Table

March 20
Milwaukee Public Market

A class for those who want to elevate their culinary skills beyond beer brats, featuring recipes like brown ale and butternut squash mac and cheese, from chef Terri Milligan.

Edra Soto

Opens March 24
The Ski Club

The installations of this Chicago artist examine Puerto Rican and Caribbean (and American) issues of race, class and identity. For this show, she’s promised to incorporate empty liquor bottles acquired while walking through her neighborhood.

Bottle Still Life by Edra Soto courtesy of The Ski Club

Stride and Glide for Independence First

March 25
Milwaukee County Zoo

Walk, run, assume the Downward Dog pose, or take in a wheelchair race around the Milwaukee County Zoo. Whichever activity you choose, do it to support the services at Independence First. 

A Retro Affair Fashion Show

March 26
Milwaukee County War Memorial Center

Vintage-and-retro threads retailers from around the world are teaming up to throw a runway bash that benefits the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. 

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls

March 26
BMO Harris Bradley Center

A Marquette reunion? Sort of. Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler will return to their college stomping grounds to meet the Bucks, who recently dismissed their own tall Marquette grad, Steve Novak. ◆

This Month in History

Increase Lapham, Milwaukee’s first scientist and pretty much Mr. Everything in the pioneer city, was born March 7, 1811. He arrived here in 1836 as the chief engineer of a canal that was never built, but stayed on as a surveyor, naturalist and education innovator. He corresponded with prominent scientists around the world and helped establish what’s now the National Weather Service. His pamphlet on plants and shells of the MKE area was Wisconsin’s first scientific imprint, but his best book was probably The Antiquities of Wisconsin, which mapped out Indian mounds. Rivaling that was Report on the Disastrous Effects of the Destruction of Forest Trees, Now Going on So Rapidly in the State of Wisconsin, a pioneering work for forest conservation, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society, which also reports: “Lapham was instrumental in the establishment of the Milwaukee public high school program and was a founder of the Milwaukee Female Seminary.” Plus he had a really cool name. – Tom Tolan


Unspoken Ode

The congressional record is the official record of the proceedings of the U.S. Congress. On March 29, 1977, 40 years ago this month, it included a speech by Rep. Henry S. Reuss (D-Wis.) on the subject of “A Championship for Marquette and Al McGuire.” I know this because I was a press aide in Reuss’ office that year, and I wrote the speech. Reuss never actually spoke these words – they were printed in a section of the record called “Extensions of Remarks,” in which members of Congress submit material on matters related – or not – to Congressional business. In honor of the 1977 championship’s anniversary, and the hoopla surrounding it, I dug up excerpts from this official (if sappy) document, found in the Central Library:

“My Milwaukee office reports that Wisconsin Avenue … was jammed last night with celebrators for the three miles between 16th Street and Lake Michigan. One staffer says that she was hugged… by total strangers…

“For all the shouting and press fireworks, there is a real sense of love on Mr. McGuire’s teams, and a feeling that the youngsters who come to Marquette… draw real guidance and purpose from their years with him.

“For all the winning, and all the brilliant strategy of Mr. McGuire’s games – I direct my colleagues’ attention to the way he handled the vaunted Carolina four-corner offense – he is above all an excellent example to young men who strive to be best.” – Tom Tolan

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

Find it on newsstands beginning February 27, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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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.