Friday Five: Beyond the Galleries

Concerts and plays to round out your Gallery Night weekend.

Thousands will be heading to the Third Ward and Easttown for Gallery Night and Day this weekend, but there much more than that sort of aesthetic ambling this week. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

#5: The Pillowman at Soulstice Theatre

Why? Because Halloween only happens once a year, but that doesn’t we can only get creeped out in October. Soulstice happily obliges those looking for the macabre and mysterious even as Spring sets the trees to bud, producing Martin McDonagh’s landmark play about the stories we tell. His dialogue sparkles and his imagination goes to very dark places, but Pillowman is the play that shows McDonagh to be a true man of the theater who loves to tell a good story, then let us wonder how much of it is true. Bo Johnson directs.

Simone Ferro
Simone Ferro. Photo by Meredith Watts.

#4: One Dance, Three Lenses at 338 N. Milwaukee St

Why? Galleries will be hopping all over town this weekend, as Gallery Night and Day proves that its weekends don’t always have to be shrouded in bad weather. One of the most intriguing events combines photograph and performance. Three photographers—Rikki Thompson, Meredith Watts and Jeff Pearcy—were on hand to record the creation of a new piece by UW-Milwaukee’s Simone Ferro, chronicling community meetings, rehearsals and on-site performances. Dancers will be on hand to perform excerpts of the piece, “Because of Lisbon,” alongside the photographs.

The Prometheus Trio
The Prometheus Trio.

#3: The Prometheus Trio at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Why? Because the trio wraps up its 15th season in typically eclectic fashion, featuring music from the earliest years of the piano trio (by Papa Haydn) to a 21st-century work by composer Daren Hagen. But the centerpiece and highlight will be a trio version of Brahms’s shatteringly beautiful String Sextet, Op. 18, which offers juicy parts for all the players involved. It’s a special concert, as well, because it’s the last time violinist Timothy Klabunde will play with Prometheus. You’ll still see him hanging around the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra string section, but come bid him a fond farewell from his chamber music home of 15 years.

Blue Heron Choir
Blue Heron Choir.

#2: Early Music Now presents the Blue Heron Choir at the St. Joseph Center Chapel

Why? Because EMN’s yearly lineup of early music ensembles is always stellar, but there is something special about vocal ensembles like Blue Heron. The purity of solo voices in resonant spaces like St. Joseph’s chapel creates sounds that are transcendent and memorable. Here, the Scott Metcalfe’s acclaimed, 13-voice choir presents a mass taken from the Peterhouse Partbooks, music with no ascribed composer written during the reign of Henry VIII for services at Canterbury Cathedral.


From Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's "Jeeves Takes a Bow." Photo by Paul Ruffolo.
From Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s “Jeeves Takes a Bow.” Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

#1: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Jeeves Takes a Bow at the Broadway Theater Center

Why? Because MCT shoots for a hat trick of hit comedies with this third installment of Margaret Raether’s adaptations of P.G. Wodehouse novels. Matt Daniels and Chris Klopatek return to play the ever-efficient butler Jeeves and his “master,” Bertie Wooster. This time, Wodehouse gets mingled with a little Damon Runyon as the pair relocate to New York City and try to break into show business, where they encounter innocent chorus girls and not-so-innocent men with nicknames like “Knuckles.” Tami Workentin directs.



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.