For the week of February 9-15…
Picture of Dorian Gray, February 12-14 and 19-21, Pabst Theater, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeeballet.org)
An annual highlight of the Milwaukee Ballet’s season are their performances in the cozy confines of Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theater, and this season is no exception. But this season’s presentation at the Pabst will be truly special. It’s the premiere of Artistic Director Michael Pink’s adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic and it marks the first time in its history the MBC is doing a full story production at the Pabst! It’s also the first time the Ballet Orchestra will be performing at the Pabst as well! Teaming up again with Pink to bring this classic tale to life are Milwaukee theater veteran James Zager (in the speaking role of Lord Henry Wotton), composer Philip Feeney and scenic and costume designer Todd Edward Ivins…and of course, the great MBC dancers! Given the success of previous Pink works like Dracula and Peter Pan, not only will this be a high point of the MBC season but Milwaukee’s 2016 arts calendar as well! And considering the Pabst is a much smaller venue than the Marcus Center, tickets are going fast!
Festival of Films in French, February 12-21, Union Cinema, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd (uwm.edu/french-film-festival)
For the 19th year, the UWM Union Cinema hosts this showcase of French language films embracing many genres from around the world. This year’s festival features 13 programs over 10 days, and once again all the screenings are free, thanks to the UWM French Department along with many other community partners. Click the link above for full program and schedule information, but I did want to mention in particular a rare screening of the 1927 silent film Verdun on February 16, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the bloodiest battle of World War I. This epic features many veterans of the battle (including Marshal Petain himself!), and live musical accompaniment will be provided by Renato Umali. And a word to the wise: Thea theater quickly fills for many of the screenings (especially single-screening films like Verdun), so make sure to get there early to avoid disappointment!
My Way, February 12-14, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (mso.org)
Celebrating Valentine’s weekend and Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, the Milwaukee Symphony Pops present My Way this weekend. The MSO will be joined by vocalist Cary Hoffman, a devoted Sinatra fan who will be presenting his acclaimed PBS one-man show that tells the life story of Ol’ Blue Eyes and features 20 Sinatra classics…perfect timing for Valentine’s Day! Ring-a-ding-ding!
Lonely Hearts of Sacred Heart Hospital, February 14, Alchemist Theater, 2569 S KK Ave (thealchemistheatre.com)
Also celebrating Valentine’s Day are Wisconsin’s favorite purveyors of old-time radio drama, Wisconsin Hybrid Theater, whose plays are heard every first Sunday of the month on WMSE’s Frontier Radio Theater. This live outing takes the 1782 French novel and turns it into the long-running WHT soap opera Lonely Hearts of Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s anyone’s guess (including the WHT folks!) how the story will end up after they get through with it, but suffice it to say General Hospital was never like this! Don’t miss this opportunity to step back in time to revisit the days of the “Theater of the Mind!”