Before going into this week’s events, just a quick headsup that you still have time to take advantage of advance discount tickets for this Sunday’s 12th Annual WMSE Rockabilly Chili Contest at the Kern Center, 1245 N Broadway, on the MSOE campus. The forecast calls for a cloudy, chilly day…perfect chili eatin’ weather! You have till 6 pm Friday to order your discount tickets (plus 4 free chili sample tickets!) at wmse.org. Join 3000 of your closest friends for one of Milwaukee’s biggest parties all year! And now…
For the week of February 25-March 3…
Anatole, now-March 16, Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N Water St (firststage.org)
Just because Milwaukee’s First Stage theater produces shows for family audiences doesn’t mean the productions aren’t up to the high standards of some of the more “adult” companies in town. A perfect case is their current production, the world premiere musical Anatole. This story of the heroic French mouse based on Eve Titus’ books, features music by James Valcq (The Spitfire Grill). Directing the show is Molly Rhode, who was behind Skylight Theater’s smash hit productions of Les Miserables and The Sound of Music. And there’s a mighty talented cast on board, including Milwaukee Rep favorite Gerry Neugent in the title role, Rick Pendzich as his companion Gaston, plus great support from Karen Estrada, Drew Brhel, and the usual talented young actors that abound in First Stage shows. It’s another special treat that’s great for kids…of all ages!
Eric Schoor Trio, February 27, Transfer Pizzeria, 101 W Mitchell St (transfermke.com)
For most of its 10 year existence, Milwaukee’s popular Transfer Pizza has presented free live jazz every Tuesday night, courtesy of the Transfer House Jazz Band featuring Neal Chandek. Starting this Thursday for the next four months, Transfer will be expanding its free jazz offerings by presenting the Eric Schoor Trio every 4th Thursday of the month. The talented young saxman will be joined by We Six bandmate Jeff Hamann on bass, along with legendary Milwaukee guitarist Manty Ellis. Great comfort food and warm jazz sounds on a cold winter’s night…you best get there well before the 7:30 starting time to make sure you don’t get squeezed out!
An Iliad, February 28-March 23, Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeerep.com)
There’s no arguing that Homer’s Iliad, the epic poem chronicling the Trojan War, is a classic of world literature. But a night of great theater? Before you pooh-pooh the idea, consider this: the Milwaukee Rep recently staged Shakespeare’s Othello using Harley-Davidson motorcycles; in fact, the scenery for this show looks like it was recycled from Othello. No, there won’t be any rumbling Harleys here, but this Iliad definitely has a more contemporary look to it. Add to that the fact that this show is a tour de force for Jim DeVita, one of this region’s great actors, and you know you’re in for an evening of truly riveting drama. Word of mouth buzz will make this show a hot ticket indeed, so like they say, “Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment!”