Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 7-10

A rooftop holiday cocktail pop-up, two Nutcrackers and an ice fishing and winter sport show might make you start wishing for the snow to fall.


Hip-Hop Nutcracker

Tcaikovsky’s classic score gets a contemporary update, courtesy of hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow and 12 explosively talented dancers. They may not be en pointe, but their moves are absolutely on point. The show comes to the Riverside Theater (116 W. Wisconsin Ave.) on Thursday, December 7.

Annia Hidalgo and Randy Crespo. Photo by Mark Frohna

The Nutcracker

More than 200 dancers (105 each night) take to the Uihlein Hall stage at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N. Water St.) each year to tell the story of Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the beloved Nutcracker. The Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and the Milwaukee Children’s Choir perform the wonderful Tchaikovsky score. The production kicks off this Saturday, December 9 and runs through December 26.


Courtesy of Milwaukee Art Museum

Gallery Talk

Can’t tell a Manet from a Monet? Let the students of Sarah Schaefer’s UW-Milwaukee art history classes help you out. They share what they know about the master painters featured in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s (700 N. Art Museum Dr.) latest exhibit, “Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France” on Thursday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Bee in the Bush by Bill Reid courtesy of Tory Folliard Gallery

Derrick Buisch and Bill Reid

Beat winter blues with a burst of color. Two Wisco artists show their work at the Tory Folliard Gallery (233 N. Milwaukee St.) through December 30: painter Derrick Buisch and sculptor Bill Reid. Though they work in different media, they share a love of color and a cheery pop art aesthetic. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Black Nativity 

Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes penned this powerful retelling of the nativity story. The all-black cast sings traditional Christmas carols in a soaring gospel style. The production kicks off Thursday, December 7 and runs through December 17 at the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall (929 N. Water St.). 

Damien Escobar

The youngest musician ever admitted to Julliard, violinist Damien Escobar wowed millions when he performed alongside his brother for “America’s Got Talent” in 2008, and again when he played at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. The two-time Emmy winner will perform his blistering solo act at Turner Hall Ballroom (1040 N. 4th St.) on Friday, December 8.

Photo by Bizzy Amor

Alternating Currents Live

Some call it jazz, some call it classical. Whatever the genre, Nicole Mitchell is one of the world’s premiere contemporary flutists. She brings her quartet to Woodland Pattern Book Center (720 E. Locust St.) this Sunday, December 10 at 7 p.m. for one of the year’s must see concerts. Tickets are $8 general admission, $7 students and seniors, $6 Woodland Pattern members.

Holiday Fun

Miracle at The Outsider

Need a holiday jumpstart? Head to the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel’s rooftop bar (310 E. Chicago St.) for the “Miracle at the Outsider” Christmas pop-up, offering seasonal boozy bevs such as the hot mulled wine Bad Santa, plus a soundtrack and décor befitting the holiday. The Outsider is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. through December 24.


Photo by Getty Images

Milwaukee Ice Fishing and Winter Sport Show

Struggling to find the perfect gift for the ice fisher who reeled you in? From Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10, you’ll have several thousand selections to choose from at this indoor exhibition of sport goods at Wisconsin State Fair Park (640 S. 84th St., West Allis), catering to a variety of outdoorsy interests, and budgets. 


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Marcus Theatres partners with Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures to bring one of Sidney Poitier’s most enduring performances to a new generation of audiences. The film opens with an introduction from a TCM host. The special two-day cinematic event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 10 and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13 at select theaters