Where to go and what to see this season
The Madrid-born dancer eventually joined Milwaukee Ballet, in large part because she admired artistic director Michael Pink’s work. “When I was still living in Europe, I remember reading a review of his Dracula, raving about how great it was,” she says.
Fittingly, San Miguel’s first role with the company was in Pink’s moody, macabre retelling of the vampire story. And before she hangs up her tutu for a final time this October after 14 seasons with the company, she will reprise the role once more. “It’s really hard for a dancer to retire,” she admits. “There’s definitely a grieving process.”
But San Miguel says she still has much to look forward to, because Pink has invited her to continue working with the company as its ballet master. In the new role, which she has been gradually taking on over the last two years, she’ll help Pink perfect his choreography and teach the steps to company members.
In accepting the role, San Miguel has ensured that she’ll have a place at the company, and in Milwaukee, for many years to come. “If a dancer finds their home,” she says, “they stay for a long time.”
The Dance Must-Hit List
Oct. 20-21 and 25-28
Danceworks Studio Theatre
Acts of Discovery
Art Moderne Warehouse
Nov. 28-Dec. 1
Folk artist Levi Fisher Ames made intricate wood carvings and peddled them from town to town across Wisconsin. The creators of this Danceworks performance imagine Ames on the day of his death, reflecting on his life’s work.
The tiled walls and terracotta floors of the Art Moderne, once a warehouse owned by Dairy Distributors Inc., will serve as the backdrop for Wild Space’s latest performance, in a circular room in the 1946 building that lets audiences circle the dancers, musicians and guest artists.
Nine of UW-Milwaukee’s most accomplished undergraduate dancers consider the concept of placemaking as it relates to the human body and movement, choreographing energetic, physically demanding new works.
The Pabst Theater
At the intersection of hip-hop and ballet you’ll find the German dance crew Flying Steps. The group performs to live mash-ups of Johann Sebastian Bach’s classic compositions and contemporary electronic music.
But May Adrales, who joined The Rep as new associate artistic director in spring of 2017, didn’t come to Milwaukee to maintain the status quo. She came to break it.
With this fall’s In The Heights, she hopes to do just that.
The show Lin-Manuel Miranda created before Hamilton, In The Heights rocked the 2008 Tony Awards, creating a new kind of contemporary classic by embracing hip-hop and salsa over standard song-and-dance numbers, emphasizing timeliness over timelessness. And yet the material is as prescient as ever, a story still dying to be told. And in Adrales – whose lengthy directorial resume of bold, progressive, new-age theater makes her a near-perfect stylistic match – it seems to have found a fitting storyteller.
“It was so empowering to see people of color in these rich, fun, very complex roles,” says Adrales. “It’s one of the few musicals that I really love.”
She hopes the show’s run in Milwaukee will draw new faces into The Rep, whose audiences aren’t typically “representative of the city as a whole,” she says. “But this musical does represent the entire community of Milwaukee. My hope is that it’s an invite to people who don’t often experience theater.” — BRIAN BOYLE
The show’s Milwaukee run marks a regional premiere, and The Florentine is also capturing the production’s first-ever live recording. Florentine staple Keith Phares stars while original composer Carlisle Floyd serves as artistic advisor.
The Theater Must Hit List
Skylight Music Theatre
Nov. 16-Dec. 23
Broadway Theatre Center
“You Can’t Stop the Beat” of this Broadway sing-along. Skylight is set to cast over a dozen local high schoolers to fill out the ensemble for this big-haired, big-hearted show set in Baltimore in the 1960s.
Broadway at the Marcus Center
It’s a comedic musical about inventing musicals: The Producers with a Renaissance twist. Two would-be playwright brothers living in London in 1595 craft the very first song-and-dance musical in history – or try to, anyway.
Oct. 12-Nov. 11
Kid detective Nate the Great has a case to solve: Who stole his friend Annie’s prized painting? First Stage is mounting the world premiere of this family-friendly musical, recommended for theater lovers four and up.
Oct. 19 – Nov. 11
They say that good neighbors make good fences. And this explosive comedy of manners, about neighbors fighting over the boundary of their property line, proves that old adage hilariously true.
Next Act Theatre
Earlier this year, Anthony Crivello and Steve Scionti mounted a production of this heartwarming one-man show about love and family. It was so successful that the dynamic duo are putting it on again this fall.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the best years for live music in Milwaukee in decades. Wondering which bands you should see this season, and which of their songs you should add to your Spotify rotation? We’ve put together a playlist featuring touring artists visiting the city this fall.
“Bad Luck,” Hell-On
“rockaballad,” Windy City
“Jump (Feat. Gizzle),” Drogas Light
The Rave-Eagles Club
“Best 4 U,” Red Pill Blues
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco
“Jesus, Etc.,” Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
“Mesmerizing,” Exile in Guyville
Turner Hall Ballroom
“The Sky is a Neighborhood,” Concrete and Gold
The Music Must-Hit List
The future of Present Music
Present Music Founder Kevin Stalheim will be retiring at the end of the company’s 2018-19 season, after 37 years. “It’s an amazing experience to have a vision and have so many people contribute and help out in various ways to achieve that vision,” he says. “So going into the last year is bittersweet. I’m really thankful to the amazing people that have helped me along the way.”
For his final season-opening concert, Stalheim is teaming up with conductor David Bloom (co-founder of new music ensemble Contemporaneous) to take audiences on an auditory odyssey that spans time, space and musical styles. – CALVIN SKALET
- Kevin’s Last Season Opener, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and information, go to PresentMusic.org.
BMO Harris Pavilion
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
West Performing Arts Center
The Violent Femmes may be Milwaukee’s most famous local band, so it’s only fitting they’ll be the first group to play at the Fiserv Forum. And immediately after, of course, the Killers – who continue to churn out critically acclaimed, commercially adored power pop ballads at a steadier clip than just about anyone else in the music industry – will take the stage. If you see only one concert this season, make it this one.
The Pabst Theater
Twenty-some years after Neko Case first graced the airwaves with her searing, soaring indie pop, she’s just as relevant, and just as beloved, as she’s always been. In fact, her latest album, “Hello-On,” may be one of her best.
Bayshore Shopping Center
Every one of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s ensembles will play at this family-friendly event. That means you’ll be able to listen to the city’s best and brightest young musicians playing in orchestral ensembles, jazz duos, steel bands and more.
Sept. 28-Jan. 6
Milwaukee Art Museum
Push a little harder and she settles on Alexander Girard’s colorful, geometric textiles. For the exhibition, she’s taken cues from Herman Miller and hangs them as they were displayed in the famed furniture designer’s New York City storefront in the 1960s.
Obniski hopes the objects on view will attract audiences of all ages. “I’m trying to appeal to every generation,” she says. “I think that different generations will be drawn to different things.” – OLIVIA JONES
The Art Must-Hit List
Tory Folliard Gallery
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Museum of Wisconsin Art
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Through Oct. 21
There’s still plenty of time to take in this free outdoor display, showcasing 21 works along Wisconsin Avenue from Sixth Street to the Northwestern Mutual campus. To find out about lectures and other related events, go to SculptureMilwaukee.com.
Aug. 26-Nov. 24
RAM’s Wustum Museum
Every year, RAM’s curators put together a picture-perfect exhibition of photographs by Wisconsin artists. And this year, a dozen of the 52 featured artists – including Azure Mahara, Dennis Darmek and F. Fischer – call Milwaukee home.
Aug. 26-Nov. 25
Lynden Sculpture Garden
Visual artist Tyanna Buie sets off this summer as a newcomer to the “Call & Response” project at Lynden where she responds to the work of other artists of color in exploration of the radical black imagination.
Aug. 17-Jan. 27
Haggerty Museum of Art
In a multi-medium exhibit, Sable Elyse Smith analyzes different limitations and freedoms humans experience through the incarceration of her father. Her personal testimony speaks to more than just an absent father, but probes the topics of race, family and internal struggle.
Nov. 15-Apr. 14
Charles Allis Museum
Wisconsin takes the lead in “Forward 2018” as Wisconsinites submit recent artwork for the spotlight. With minimal guidelines, this showcase will be one that surveys the art created in the state within the last two years.
Fiserv Forum – aka the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks – officially opened in August. And even though the team won’t start playing in the new arena until October, fan excitement is already through the (dramatically arched, zinc-shingled) roof. Tickets (and season tickets) are selling at an impressive rate, according to Bucks president Peter Feigin, and the arena’s general manager, Raj Saha, expects to book an unprecedented number of concerts for the 2018-19 season, including several headlined by A-listers like Justin Timberlake, who will be playing his first Milwaukee show in 15 years on Sept. 21. – LINDSEY ANDERSON
Giannis Antetokoumpo’s stomach evidently matches his stature – the 6’11,” 222-pound “Greek Freak” has taken to Twitter to gush about his love of American junk food. A few of his most toothsome tweets:
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) June 5, 2018
Going to bed tonight thinking about what I’m going to try next! Tomorrow I’m on a mission to become a better player and to find funnel cakes and smoked turkey legs with mustard! #GoodNight #StayFreaky
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) June 8, 2018
While having my first pedicure in two years, I tried my first bag of Funyuns. They where good but I’ll stick to American Cool Ranch Doritos ✌🏾#AmericaStayBlessed #WhatsNextForTheFreak pic.twitter.com/ojiagExo3n
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) June 7, 2018
The Entertainment Must-Hit List
Sharon Lynne Wilscon Center for the Arts
Taliesin Estate, Spring Green
Once a year, the Taliesin Preservation throws a black-tie dinner and award ceremony to honor those who embody the innovative spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright. Chef Luke Zahm, of the Driftless Café, lends his talents to the kitchen staff for the evening.
Oct. 26-Nov. 16 (Opening Reception Nov. 2)
Latino Arts Inc.
Consider Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” a celebration of life. And the opening reception for this group exhibition of local Latino artists will certainly be lively – visitors are encouraged to bring food for departed loved ones and stay to listen to the many live music performances taking place throughout the evening.