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April showers bring May flowers ... and more monthly events than you can shake a bouquet at.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

May 1-6
MARCUS CENTER

All’s fair in love and murder, according to Monty Navarro, the distant heir to a family fortune. The eight relatives standing between Monty and a massive pile of money are all played by the same actor, who sings and dances (and repeatedly croaks) his way through this slapstick musical comedy.

Bravo, Next Act!

May 3
NEXT ACT THEATRE

Enjoy a taste of la dolce vita at Next Act’s annual gala, complete with wine tastings, antipasti, Italian music and a bocce ball tournament. Broadway actor and Marquette University alumnus Anthony “Tony” Crivello pays salute during a special cocktail reception before the main event.

Milwaukee Psych Fest

May 4-5
MULTIPLE VENUES

Get psyched for the city’s yearly celebration of mind-altering, mood-boosting music. This year, bands from as far afield as Chile, Norway and Japan are flying into Milwaukee for the festival, which takes over venues across the city, including Boone and Crockett’s sprawling new Water Street space.

Art in the Green

May 5-6
MITCHELL PARK HORTICULTURAL CONSERVATORY

Leave the barren white walls of modern galleries and museums behind for this two-day event, featuring hundreds of artworks on display inside Mitchell Park’s Conservatory Annex. Food and drink vendors will be stationed throughout the Domes, too, along with local performers.

Year of the Arts Festival

FREE
May 9

SUMMERFEST GROUNDS

Six thousand youngsters strut their creative stuff at this student showcase of art, music, theater and dance. The event caps a yearlong push to integrate the arts more fully into the Milwaukee Public Schools curriculum.

Spring Literary Luncheon

May 11
WISCONSIN CLUB

You can chat up author Luis Alberto Urrea while chowing down on upscale cuisine at this luncheon – presented by Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library, Boswell Books and the Wisconsin Club. Urrea’s latest book, The House of Broken Angels, has garnered glowing reviews.

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The Five Star Gala

May 12
PFISTER HOTEL

Every year, the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee hosts a gala to raise funds for its professional development and scholarship programs (HPGM has awarded $400,000 to 97 students to date). Actress Diane Guerrero, best known for her role in “Orange is the New Black,” gives the keynote address.

Home and Hope: A Community Call to Action

May 16
POTAWATOMI HOTEL & CASINO

Matthew Desmond won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, an eye-opening work of nonfiction set in some of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods. Now he’s returning, at the behest of Jewish Family Services, to talk about safe and affordable housing in our city.

The Immigrant Story

May 16
IRISH CULTURAL & HERITAGE CENTER OF WISCONSIN

In the immortal words of Lin Manuel Miranda: “Immigrants, we get the job done.” Tonight Bel Canto Chorus pays homage to the musical heritage of some of Milwaukee’s early immigrants with a night of choral music.

Urinetown

May 18-June 10
SKYLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Songs like “It’s a Privilege to Pee” and “Snuff That Girl” may be silly, but their underlying message – about corporate greed and capitalism run amok – is pretty serious. The satirical comedy with music by Mark Hollmann mopped up the competition at the 2002 Tonys, winning three awards.

The 14th Annual Milwaukee Pugfest

May 20
MILWAUKEE COUNTY INDOOR SPORTS COMPLEX

The nonprofit group Pug Hugs is unleashing North America’s largest pug-centric celebration on unsuspecting Milwaukeeans this month, to raise funds for abused, neglected or injured pugs. Expect costume contests, races, silent auctions and a “Blessing of the Pugs” administered by the Rev. John Allen of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

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Bark at the Park

May 24
MILLER PARK

Someone let the dogs out! If you purchase tickets to the Brewers game tonight you can bring your pooch with you, too. And the first 300 people who sign up get to march in a pregame parade around the warning track.

Wilde Subaru Family Kite Festival

FREE
MAY 26-27

VETERANS PARK

Kites are the star attraction at this family-oriented festival. The featured performers – including an internationally touring competitive kite team called The Windjammers – fly high too.

Jazz in the Park

FREE
May 31
CATHEDRAL SQUARE PARK

This long-running summer concert series returns to its old stomping grounds tonight, with Oshkosh-based jam band Jazz Orgy. Visitors can picnic in the park, or buy food at the venue (alcohol is sold on site but can’t be brought in).

Swan Lake

May 31-June 3
MARCUS CENTER

Beautifully costumed ballerinas and a live orchestra bring new life to an old, but much-beloved, story. Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink has shortened the ballet from four to two acts to make Tchaikovsky’s dramatic score more accessible.


‘Agenda: May’s must-see arts and cultural events’ appears in the May 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 30, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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