Our calendar of cultural fun
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Take a trip to 1950s Paris, where the cast of La Bohème pirouettes through charming cafés and jetés across city streets. The Milwaukee Ballet Company first staged this wordless interpretation of Puccini’s classic tale in 2012 and presents it again this year to sate audiences craving an encore.
University of Wisconsin-Waukesha
Get lit – literary, that is – at this two-day fete for bibliophiles. Internationally best-selling author Nickolas Butler gives the keynote address, and scores of publishers, authors and booksellers transform the venue’s exhibition room into a living library.
Salute our nation’s troops at this patriotic parade, complete with floats, bands and military equipment on display. Many veterans march as well, with flags – and heads – held high as civilians cheer them on.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Start flexing your bidding hand for this annual art auction and gala, organized to raise funds for new museum acquisitions. It’s a great way to start – or augment – your art collection, all for a good cause.
Don’t chuck that “I’m With Her” pin just yet, because Hillary Clinton is coming to Milwaukee. The former senator and secretary of state shares stories from her latest memoir, What Happened, and talks candidly about the 2016 election and our country’s current political climate.
Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall
Not one, not two, but three Grammy Award winners – William Bell, Bobby Rush and Charlie Musselwhite – delight listeners with the music of the Mississippi Delta at this event. They’re backed by a Memphis band with members who, you guessed it, have also won or been nominated for Grammy awards.
Tchaikovsky was notoriously critical of his own work. The Russian Romantic insisted that his fifth symphony would “never please the public.” Watch the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra prove him wrong, and oh so right, over the course of this stirring concert series.
Lynden Sculpture Garden
Co-founders of the Milwaukee Craft Guild David Cobb and Weissman help you make your own cutting board, shepherding you through the construction process from start to finish. At the end, christen your baby board with some bread, cheese and wine – all provided.
November 14 to December 17
The Quadracci Powerhouse Theater
Don’t miss the Midwestern premiere of the latest caper by Jeffrey Hatcher, a playwright who also penned the screenplay for the movie Mr. Holmes. The rollicking whodunit – set months after Sherlock supposedly plunged to his death at Reichenbach Falls – keeps mystery fans guessing until the culmination of its final act.
Keep your spirits bright at the kick-off event for this long-running holiday festival. There’ll be fireworks, a variety show and no less than 500,000 lights – illuminating thousands of smiling, upturned faces.
Wisconsin Expo Center
Cultures collide at this fair, now in its 74th year, celebrating the diversity of Southeastern Wisconsin. Visitors can enjoy ethnic music and dance performances, shop for folk art at an international bazaar and sample food from near and far.
Since 1927, the city has ushered in the holiday season with a massive parade. Wake up early to stake out a spot along Kilbourn Avenue – you won’t want to miss the costume-clad marching bands, festive floats or giant balloons.
Turner Hall Ballroom
The cerebral indie rockers behind Hippo Campus have released only one full-length album to date, but it’s a doozy. February’s Landmark catapulted them into the pop music stratosphere,
and they’ve been flying high ever since, playing to huge crowds at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and South by Southwest.
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Richard Linklater and Jack Black may have brought School of Rock to the big screen, but Andrew Lloyd Webber is bringing it to a stage near you. His musical, based on the 2003 film, tells the story of Dewey Finn, a struggling musician who poses as a substitute teacher to make some extra money.
We have Germans to thank for Christkindlmarkts – charming holiday fairs filled with food and handicrafts. This one boasts 10,000 square feet of heated tents, dozens of vendors, an indoor beer garden, German food galore and live polka played nightly.
He may be best known for his turn as the government-hating, breakfast-loving Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” but Nick Offerman is a man of many talents. He also pens semi-autobiographical books and runs a side-hustle as a master woodcarver. And this month he brings his solo stand-up show, “Full Bush,” to Milwaukee audiences.