Here Are Your November Performing Arts Previews

What to see in Milwaukee this month

Milwaukee Ballet’s La Boheme

Michael Pink’s dance version of Puccini’s great opera — first staged in 2012 — is reset in the 1950s, but unfortunately, no better fate awaits Mimi and Rudolfo. The excellent MB company dances through Puccini’s great music. Luz San Miguel and Nicole Teague-Howell alternate as Mimi (Nov. 2-5).

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

This month, the music is back at Uihlein Hall, and at St. Josephat’s Basilica as well. The orchestra starts things off with an all-Bach program featuring two of the Brandenberg Concerti, and the sublime choral work, Magnifcat. Yaniv Dinur conducts (Nov. 4-5). The ensemble moves back to the Marcus Center the following weekend, and up a few centuries, with Karina Canellakis conducting Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto, with Jennifer Koh as the soloist (Nov. 10-12). Finally, the orchestra continues its tribute to Leonard Bernstein with a concert featuring his Second Symphony “The Age of Anxiety,” along with Brahms’s Symphony No. 1. Michael Francis conducts (Nov. 17-18).

Kamasi Washington
Photo by Janice Wang.
Cutting Edge Jazz

Turner Hall Ballroom scores big with contemporary jazz fans by hosting Kamasi Washington, the winner of countless awards for his politically charged tone poems (Nov. 7).

Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

Mystery is afoot as The Rep opens two murderously entertaining plays this month. The Stackner Cabaret hosts Murder For Twoa musical-mystery by former Milwaukeean Joe Kinosian (Nov. 10-Jan. 14). On the big stage, long-time Rep collaborator Jeffrey Hatcher returns with his play Holmes & Watson, which follows Dr. Watson’s search for his old boss after his disappearance at Reichenbach Falls (Nov. 14-Dec. 17).

Indian Dance

Brookfield’s Wilson Center hosts one of the most celebrated practitioners of classical Bharatanatyam Indian dance, Aparna Ramaswamy, who performs an evening-length piece, They Rose at Dawn with a live ensemble of Carnatic musicians (Nov. 11).

Danceworks Performance Company.
Photo by Jeff Zmania

The always unpredictable Danceworks Performance Company welcomes Jason Powell and Andrea Moser into the fold to help create Mad Li(m)bsan evening based on improvisation and on-the-spot invention (Nov. 11-18).

Early Music Now

The Midwest debut of Le Poème Harmonique, a French ensemble lead by Vincent Dumetre. The group presents a program of 17th-century French dance music that was influenced by the music of Spain (Nov. 11).

Next Act Theatre

Edward Morgan directs a work by Canadian playwright Rick Chafe. The Secret Mask tells the story of an estranged son who returns home to help his father after he suffers a stroke. James Pickering and Tami Workentin star (Nov. 16-Dec. 10).

Annie at the Skylight

The holidays approach, which means its time for a feel-good musical at Skylight Music Theatre. Molly Rhode directs a cast of Milwaukee’s finest in the classic story of the orphan who is always sure that tomorrow will be a better day. (Nov. 17-Dec. 27).

Present Music

The contemporary music ensemble offers its yearly Thanksgiving concert. This year the group will perform the world premiere or Ingram Marshall’s Alleluia Grace, which features string instruments and voices manipulated by an electronic digital delay (Nov. 19)

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

MCT gets in the holiday spirit with a play by the Bard of Buffalo, New York, Tom Dudzick. Raeleen McMillion stars as Clara Nowak, a materfamilias who really matters, particularly when it comes to taking care of the family shrine, which commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visitation to her father’s barbershop. Michael Wright directs Dudzick’s play, Miracle on South Division Street (Nov. 22-Dec. 17).

Frankly Music

Frank Almond and friends feature music from the movies, but this Movie Night offers Bernard Herrmann and Erich Korngold rather than John Williams. Almond is joined by the MSO’s Ilana Setapen and other guest artists to perform music from the golden age of Hollywood (Nov. 27).

In Tandem Theatre

In Tandem performs its perennial favorite, Scrooge in Rouge, a madcap retelling of A Christmas Carol featuring three actors performing all the parts. Chris Flieller leads the cast (Nov. 30-Jan. 7).



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.