What’s Going On

For the week of February 24-March 2…

13th Annual Rockabilly Chili Contest, March 1, Kern Center, 1245 N Broadway (wmse.org)

So are you finally fed up with this seemingly never-ending winter? If you are, there are 50 area restaurants and 7 MFD firehouses that agree with you! And on Sunday they will join forces with WMSE Radio to present (for the 13th time) Rockabilly Chili. It’s Milwaukee’s biggest party since New Year’s, and it will take MSOE’s entire Kern Center to hold it all! If there’s anything that can lure Milwaukeeans out of their cabin fever, it’s chili…lots of chili! Every kind of chili is there for you to sample…traditional chili, veggie chili, super hot chili! And after making their debut last year, 7 MFD firehouses will be back for their own competition, and as most of you know, firefighters know how to cook up great chili! Both the fieldhouse and arena levels of the Kern Center will be utilized for the party…Veteran WMSE DJ’s Dietrich and Jonny Z will be spinning tunes, and hot local band Split Lip Rayfield will be playing live…and back by popular demand, the Racing Chili Peppers will return for a renewal of their rivalry, with several heats (good one there!) preceding the final race around the fieldhouse running track! And the popular Kids Area is back to keep the young’uns occupied while their elders are imbibing in the chili. And the chili loving public will have the opportunity to vote for the best traditional chili, veggie chili, hottest chili, booth display, and firehouse chili too! Most importantly, it’s the station’s biggest single day fundraising event of the year, which goes a long way to keep this Milwaukee cultural treasure going strong! Yours truly will be part of the volunteer army to ensure the event goes smoothly, so I hope to see your face in the place this Sunday! Yes, there are other chili cookoffs around town, but there’s only one Rockabilly Chili!!

All-Strauss Program, February 27-28, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (mso.org)

Celebrating the 150th birthday of the “other Strauss,” or the composer not known as the “Waltz King,” Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s weekend program consists entirely of some of Richard Strauss’ most audience-pleasing works. Headlining the concert is the magnificent tone poem Don Quixote, which features MSO principal cellist Susan Babini and principal violist Robert Levine in a musical retelling of the legend of Don Quixote and his faithful companion Sancho Panza and their quests of chivalry (which would later form the basis of the classic Broadway musical Man of La Mancha). Also on the program, Katie Young Steele is featured soloist in the composer’s Oboe Concerto, the kind of showcase you don’t hear every day. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find another piece in which the instrument is featured so prominently, unless you count the Duck character in Peter and the Wolf! Along with the opening Metamorphosen for String Orchestra, it’s not only a showcase for this great Romantic Era composer, but also for the wonderful MSO!

Big Nate the Musical, February 27-March 29, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (firststage.org)

The Battle of the Bands is a time-honored tradition of Rock & Roll, and it’s also the basis for First Stage Family Theater’s World Premiere production based on the popular comic strip. Sixth grader Nate’s band Enslave the Mollusk! seems like a shoo-in to take the crown at the school’s contest. But Nate has also racked up lots of detention time. Can he keep on the straight and narrow through the championship round, or will he knock himself and his band out of the running? The suspense is killing me! Once again, First Stage’s skillful mix of adult and youth performers will ensure this garage band battle will engage rockers of all ages!

Come Back, February 27-March 22, 10th Street Theater, 628 N 10th St (intandem.org)

Following up their rollicking holiday hit A Cudahy Caroler Christmas, In Tandem Theater presents a world premiere of a new musical from Neil Haven, the composer of another Milwaukee holiday favorite, the murder mystery musical Who Killed Santa? In Tandem describes the play as a “quirk comedy about grief, understanding and moving forward.” Without giving away too much of the story, let me say I couldn’t have put it better myself! The cast includes Milwaukee favorites Karen Estrada, Carrie Hitchcock and T Stacy Hicks. So if you enjoyed the Cudahy Carolers, “come back” to the 10th Street Theater for more hilarity!

The Train Driver, February 27-March 15, Studio Theater, 158 N Broadway (milwaukeechambertheatre.com)

Milwaukee Chamber Theater Artistic Director (and director of this show) C Michael Wright feels a special kinship to this latest play from the great South African playwright Athol Fugard. Back in the 80’s, Wright performed alongside Delroy Lindo and James Earl Jones in the Broadway production of Fugard’s classic Master Harold…and the Boys. Despite the fact apartheid ended in South Africa in 1990, Fugard continues to find dramatic grist for the mill. This is the story of white train driver Roelf, whose train accidentally struck and killed a black woman and her child. He embarks on a search to find the graves and identity of the pair, which leads him to the elderly black man Simon, a gravedigger who works in a squatter camp outside Port Elizabeth. The ensuing confrontation between the pair results in one of Fugard’s most powerful works, perfectly suited to the Studio Theater’s intimate setting. In a New Year already loaded with many powerful theater dramas, add The Train Driver to the list.

What’s Going On

For the week of February 10-16…

The Amish Project, February 13-March 22, Stiemke Studio, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeerep.com)

Following on the heels of Next Act Theater’s No Child, which features actor Marti Gobel in a virtuoso performance portraying a myriad of characters, comes Milwaukee Rep’s latest studio production of Jessica Dickey’s provocative play based on the 2006 Nickel Mines school tragedy.
Here, Rep Associate Artist Deborah Staples plays no less than seven different characters in director Leda Hoffmann’s story of a gunman who took down five Amish schoolgirls before turning the gun on himself. Staples portrays two Amish sisters killed in the gunfire, the gunman and his widow, and three other local townspeople. While the performances are a true acting tour de force for Ms Staples, the points raised in Dickey’s story are sure to stay with you long after you leave the cozy confines of the Stiemke Studio. Also, Staples replaced the originally cast Molly Glynn, who tragically died last September, and her performance stands as a fitting tribute to another dynamic acting talent who will be sorely missed.

One Singular Sensation: A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, February 14, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (mso.org)

Compared to the long tenure served by Milwaukee Symphony Pops Conductor Emeritus Doc Severinsen, successor Marvin Hamlisch was with the orchestra for a relatively short time before he died way too soon in 2012. But we Pops fans are grateful to have had this musical dynamo with us as long as we did. This award-winning composer of the legendary Broadway musical A Chorus Line was nothing less than a repository of American popular music history, knowledge he was always eager to share with his audiences. On Saturday, the MSO offers a special Valentine’s treat that is truly a musical valentine to Groucho Marx’s former accompanist (He was nothing if not a versatile music jack-of-all-trades!). This special one-night-only performance features guest vocalists who all have connections to Marvelous Marvin: Broadway veterans all, they have shared the stage with Marvin on numerous occasions (Doug LaBrecque has over 2000 performances in Les Miserables to his name and Jodi Benson has endeared herself to scores of Disney fans as the voice of The Little Mermaid!). One of them, Donna McKechnie, was in the original Broadway cast of A Chorus Line! And besides his many Broadway hits, Marvin was responsible for movie hits like “The Way We Were” and “Nobody Does It Better,” and almost singlehandedly spearheaded the revival of Scott Joplin’s ragtime music with his adapting Joplin’s catchy tunes for the score of the Oscar-winning flick The Sting. In fact, if you search around the Internet, you can find a clip of Marvin playing his hit version of Joplin’s “The Entertainer” on the classic 70’s TV series Midnight Special! All this musical greatness will be showcased this Saturday night!

And there are additional arts options for your Valentine’s weekend on top of the shows previously mentioned: It’s closing weekend for Renaissance Theaterworks’ Kreutzer Sonata, First Stage’s delightful Stargirl! and the Rep’s terrific Good People, featuring a towering performance from Rep Associate Artist Laura Gordon; plus Skylight Music Theater’s rousing and rollicking Caribbean musical Once on This Island; and the American folk music treasure trove The Beautiful Music All Around Us in the Rep’s Stackner Cabaret. Let romance (and the arts) be unconfined!

What’s Going On

For the week of February 3-10…

Genesis International Choreographic Competition, February 5-8, Pabst Theater, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeeballet.org)

One of the really great things Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink has done during his tenure is establish the Genesis Competition. It has resulted in creating opportunities for the MBC to perform in the cozy confines of Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theater. It has also provided exciting new works for the MBC dancers, a most welcome change of pace from the usual classical pieces that are the meat-and-potatoes of the MBC schedule. And perhaps most importantly, it provides a most valuable opportunity for young choreographers to showcase their work with a company loaded with highly professional, dynamic dancers. And so it is again this weekend when the Genesis competition returns to the Pabst. After poring over a myriad of videos, Pink again has selected three contestants for the competition. Three weeks ago, they arrived in Milwaukee with special pieces they crafted for the competition. Dancers’ names were drawn from a hat to match them with a specific choreographer and the preparation began for the show you will see this weekend. Italian Riccardo De Negris, American Garrett Smith, and Australian Matthew James Tusa will have their work showcased, and the music utilized ranges from specially composed pieces and treatments to classics of Haydn, Mozart and Rossini. A blue-ribbon judges panel of dance professionals will select the winner, who will be rewarded with a commission to create a piece especially for MBC! And the audience also gets the opportunity to have its voice heard by voting for a special Audience Award. And trust me, you will see some of the most energetic dancing you will ever experience at an MBC program! And with the Pabst as the backdrop, the final result is a true feast for any fan of great dancing. As the contestants themselves have already said in interviews, they already feel like they’re winners!

18th Annual Festival of Films in French, February 6-15, Union Cinema, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd (uwm.edu/french-film-festival)

The annual Milwaukee Film Festival has become one of this city’s cultural jewels. But before the MFF got rolling (in 1997, in fact), UW-Milwaukee rolled out its first Festival of Films in French. Note the festival’s title: The offerings are in the French language, but they come many different countries: French Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, and Belgium as well as France are represented in this year’s lineup. Seventeen films (many with multiple screenings) will be shown during the fest, featuring genres including animation, documentary, silent films, music films, comedy, and drama, and most of the films are making their Milwaukee theatrical premieres. So what is the cost to imbibe in these cinematic delights? $0, plus the ability to read subtitles (unless, of course, you already speak French!). As you can imagine, the screenings are very well attended, so make sure to get there early to avoid disappointment. Of the films included in the lineup, my personal pick has to be Last of the Unjust, the latest work from director Claude Lanzmann, whose monumental 80’s film Shoah is the definitive documentary on the Holocaust. This 2013 release is comprised of footage that wound up on the cutting room floor for Shoah, but is no less compelling. It centers around Theresienstadt, the “model camp” which was a Nazi showcase and actually was the subject of a Nazi propaganda film, where viewers saw a camp with happy, well-fed children who regularly attended school and where the arts were allowed to furnish, to the point where the camp had its own orchestra. Of course after the film crews departed, most of the people seen in the film were shipped off to Auschwitz for extermination. Along with the extensive use of archive footage that is a Lanzmann trademark, there are lengthy excerpts from a 1975 interview with Benjamin Mummelstein, who was at the time the only surviving president of the Jewish Council at Theresienstadt. A must-see for any student of the WW II era, the four-hour film’s only screening is at 2 pm on February 8. Other festival highlights include On My Way, the latest film starring French screen legend Catherine Deneuve; the acclaimed 2012 animated feature Ernest & Celestine; the 1925 silent masterpiece Mother (featuring live musical accompaniment from Renato Umali); The French Minister, a 2013 political farce from director Bertrand Tavernier; and 2 Autumns 3 Winters, a 2013 romantic comedy scheduled just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. Full festival film information can be found by clicking the link at the top of this article. C’est Magnifique!

Classic Rock 101, February 9, Next Act Theater, 255 S Water St (nextact.org)

While actor/director Marti Gobel is one of the true forces of the Milwaukee theater scene (She’s currently starring in Next Act’s hit production No Child-don’t miss it!), she is also an unabashed Classic Rock fan. On Monday night, she gets to indulge in her love of that music and share it with an audience in a show featuring music from The Band, Allman Brothers Band, Jim Croce, Fleetwood Mac, Joan Jett, Billy Joel, Queen, Billy Squier, Rare Earth, the Doors, the Doobie Brothers…well, you get the idea (What Marti, no Robert Palmer??). Marti will be backed by an all-star band featuring members of local bands Sorry, We’re Open and Fadeback, and Skylight Theater veterans Rana Roman and Tommy (Revolush) Hahn will be doing backup vocal duty. AND will Next Act Artistic Director David Cecsarini be channeling his inner Clarence Clemons?? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to show up! There’s really no better way to enjoy a chilly winter Monday night!! Bring your dancin’ shoes!

What’s Going On

For the week of January 27-February 2…

Award-winning Conductor James Feddeck, January 30-31, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (mso.org)

This weekend’s Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra program was originally set to feature music of Sibelius and Nielsen. But guest conductor Osmo Vanska was forced to withdraw, a new guest conductor was summoned, and the music was changed. For this music fan, the changes have added up to a stellar program! First, the new conductor is James Feddeck, winner of the prestigious Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2013, making him one of the true rising stars on the classical scene making his MSO debut! Retained from the original program is Nielsen’s jazz-inspired Clarinet Concerto, featuring virtuoso MSO Principal Clarinet Todd Levy. Filling the second half of the concert are two audience-pleasing favorites: Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture, followed by Liszt’s rousing tone poem Les Preludes! It all adds up to a can’t-miss program, AND you can get special $25 orchestra seats for this concert by going to the website above and using the code MKE when ordering! Bravo!

No Child, January 30-February 22, Next Act Theater, 255 S Water St (nextact.org)

Next Act Theater showcases one of Milwaukee’s most versatile acting talents in their latest production. Marti Gobel (also Artistic Director of Milwaukee’s Uprooted Theater) stars in this story of a young teacher who takes a job teaching in the New York Public School system. She brings her theater background to bear as she challenges her students to stage their own production. What makes this a truly standout production is that Ms Gobel portrays all 16 characters in the story, under the direction of another Milwaukee theater gem, Mary MacDonald Kerr. It’s a tour de force performance from one of Milwaukee’s acting treasures! And the story is a great allegory about the huge role public arts education plays in the shaping of our young people, and during these times when the UW System faces gigantic funding cuts, it’s a timely one.

Once On This Island, January 30-February 22, Cabot Theater, 158 N Broadway (skylightmusictheatre.org)

Former Skylight Artistic Director Bill Theisen makes a welcome return to the Cabot Theater to direct this Skylight production, which is a musical inspired by Romeo & Juliet and The Little Mermaid. It’s the story of two star-crossed lovers set in the French Antilles, so it’s filled with hot Caribbean rhythms and dancing, as well as glorious choral numbers. Several Milwaukee favorites are featured in the cast, and from the temperature predictions in the Milwaukee forecast, this show sounds like just the ticket to heat things up!

Prometheus Trio, February 2-3, Bader Recital Hall, 1584 N Prospect Ave (wcmusic.org)

This program of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s resident piano trio is PT cellist Scott Tisdel’s dream program, and it provides an opportunity to showcase several talented members of the WCM Voice Faculty: Jenny Gettel, Kathleen Sonnentag, and Nathan Wesselowski (fresh from his successful run at In Tandem’s A Cudahy Caroler Christmas and appearing soon in Milwaukee Opera Theater’s The Mikado!). As for the program, it features music of Brahms, Caroline Shaw, Robert Kahn, Viteslav Novak, Martinu, Beethoven…plus a special surprise that will delight prog fans!! Also, MSO violinist Margot Duffy Schwartz follows up her December PT appearance to join the festivities once again! Sounds to me like a musical adventure that’s not to be missed! Please note the February 3rd performance is a special weekday matinee starting at 11 am.

Coming Next Week: The Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis showcase and the 18th Annual Festival of Films in French at the UWM Union Cinema!

What’s Going On

For the week of January 20-26…

For years, my post-holidays mantra has been, “January sure is fun when the Packers are on a deep playoff run!” Unfortunately, the run is over for this season, but fear not! Milwaukee’s performing arts groups are here to fill the void, with several productions just underway or opening this week, followed by more next week! Here’s what’s on the docket for this weekend!

The Beautiful Music All Around Us, now through March 15, Stackner Cabaret, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeerep.com)

Grammy-nominated performer and musicologist Stephen Wade presents his cavalcade of songs and stories of American folk music, particularly music from the American South of the late 19th to the early 20th century, in this fantastic one-man show now playing at the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret. Perhaps some of the names featured in his narrative might be familiar; most of them, likely not. But their music is tightly woven into the fabric of the American Experience, as surely as the traditional melodies of Ireland, England, are part of their DNA. Wade’s stories behind the songs, along with his recollections of meetings with these musical heroes and/or their descendants leave audiences mesmerized. This show is a must-see for all music lovers, that special kind of show where you are educated as well as entertained.

Stargirl, now through February 15, Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N Water St (firststage.org)

Following on the heels of their smash holiday show Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Milwaukee’s favorite family theater group (First Stage) present this adaptation of the acclaimed young adult novel about a homeschooled girl starting school in a brand new town. This winning production will resonate with middle school kids while rekindling memories for older audience members who have gone through this rite of passage known as middle school. The production features many talented members of the First Stage Academy.

Good People, January 23-February 15, Powerhouse Theater, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeerep.com)

Milwaukee Rep Associate Artist Laura Gordon has already wowed audiences in this play in a production at Madison’s Forward Theater, and now she brings her Margie Walsh character to the Rep’s main theater in this Kate Buckley directed production. Margie is a single mother of an invalid child who is losing her job at the local Dollar Store in the working-class Boston neighborhood where she grew up. Looking for a way out, she turns to her old boyfriend Mike who long ago escaped the neighborhood to become a highly successful doctor. The play is an examination of the American Dream and how it collides with the class system inherent in the system, featuring a tour de force performance from one of Milwaukee’s truly great actors.

Kreutzer Sonata, January 23-February 15, Studio Theater, 158 N Broadway (r-t-w.com)

Another great Milwaukee actor is showcased in Renaissance Theaterworks’ adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic. Jim Pickering, best known to thousands for his many performances as Scrooge in the Rep’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, here portrays Pozdnyshev, a jealous husband who is possessed, not by voices in his head, but by the music in his head-namely, the Beethoven piece of the play’s title. Though Pickering is the only onstage character in the play, violinist Joe Ketchum and pianist Colleen Schmitt provide musical accompaniment, performing live, in recorded form, and a combination of both. Stage Director Marie Kohler and Music Director Jill Anna Ponasik have fashioned a production where Pickering’s Pozdnyshev portrayal is complemented by the Beethoven music, each feeding off the other. Along with Good People, Milwaukee theater fans have not one, but two superlative productions to see in the next few weeks!

What’s Going On

For the week of December 23-29…

Christmas Open House, December 25, Milwaukee Jewish Museum, 1360 N Prospect Ave (jewishmuseummilwaukee.org)

While most of us are celebrating Christmas on Thursday, there are those of us who don’t celebrate the holiday, or we celebrate but have nowhere to go to spend the holiday. Once again this year, the Milwaukee Jewish Museum comes to the rescue with its annual Christmas Open House. The museum will be open from noon-4 pm, featuring a movie doubleheader of the Meryl Streep/Anne Hathaway hit The Devil Wears Prada and the Humphrey Bogart classic Casablanca. Lots of other special goodies are in store for visitors that day, so come on down and celebrate the day and enjoy the camaraderie!

Sam Llanas/Delta Routine, December 27, Shank Hall, 1434 N Farwell Ave (shankhall.com)

Well, we’ve had a barrage of shows celebrating the Christmas holiday (some of which are still playing-see last week’s post for details!), and we’ll have plenty of ways to ring in the New Year next week. But what about that week between Christmas and New Year’s when many people have guests in town for the holidays? Well, there’s a show coming up Saturday at Shank Hall that fills the bill. Former Bodeans mainstay Sam Llanas and his great backing band headline the show, featuring songs from his great new album The Whole Night Thru, plus older solo material as well as songs from his former band. Seeing him in the intimate club setting at Shank Hall will be an extra treat. Opening the show is another great local band Delta Routine. From starting out as a typical bar band heavily relying on covers, they have evolved into a band with a strong book of original songs, sprinkling a few choice covers in for good measure. They’ll be sure to feature tunes from their upcoming album, due out next month, so make sure to get there on time to catch ALL the great music!

Uptown Savages, Rock ‘n Roll with the Uptown Savages (uptownsavages.com)
Whiskeybelles, Nothing Says Christmas Like Whiskey (whiskeybelles.com)

You say you’re getting a holiday wing-ding together and you need some great music to set the tone? May I suggest the following locally produced discs: The jump swing meets rock & roll sound of Uptown Savages have a brand-new album, and Jonny Z and his cohorts have a solid set of rockers that are perfect motivation for cutting the rug! You can find the CD at Rush Mor in Bay View, or go to the band’s website for other options.
And while we’re at it, don’t forget last year’s fine Christmas release from those Whiskeybelles to help balance the party mood. The album is a fine grab bag of Yuletide standards mixed with originals, all done in that inimitable Whiskeybelles style, and they’re assisted by some of Milwaukee’s finest musicians to boot. Check the band’s website to find out how to pick up this swell holiday disc.
With this pair of discs in the changer, your party is sure to be a huge hit!

What’s Going On

For the week of December 16-22…

Avalon Theater Grand Reopening, December 18, 2473 S KK Avenue (neighborhoodtheatregroup.com)

The week the Bay View area has been waiting for since the 90’s arrives with this week’s reopening of the historic Avalon Theater. With the opening, Milwaukee is now bookended by two classic movie palaces; the Oriental on the north side, and the Avalon on the south side. Milwaukee’s Neighborhood Theatre Group, which also manages the Times Cinema in Washington Heights and the Rosebud in Wauwatosa, has taken the longest time to reopen the Avalon. It’s also the most ambitious of the three theater renovation projects undertaken by NTG, and the one requiring the most work. Now that it’s done, one can see the wait was well worth it. It’s now a two-screen venue (The Times and Rosebud are single screens) with both sporting state-of-the-art digital projection equipment. The theater interiors have been completely upgraded, yet the hacienda courtyard and twinkling stars motif have been retained in the main theater. There’s also full food and beverage service, along with a brand-new lounge area which begs comparison to Whitefish Bay’s Fox Bay Cinema, itself a renovation of a 1950’s deco venue. The first two films featured in the new theater are The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and Night at the Museum 3. Hopefully the Avalon will follow the lead of the Rosebud and Times and occasionally show movie classics as well. But for now, let’s celebrate that Milwaukee movie lovers’ wish has indeed come true: the Avalon is back!!

The Sleighriders, December 22, Shank Hall, 1434 N Farwell Ave (shankhall.com)

Once a year, Milwaukee’s biggest rock band takes the stage at Shank Hall and presents a gift to Milwaukee’s music fans, and for decades the show has been a benefit for Variety Club Children’s Charities. Over 40 musicians (including a full horn AND string section!) take the stage, and the set list is a virtual jukebox of pop music genres, truly the ultimate Christmas party! Included on the band roster are Milwaukee music legends Sigmund Snopek, Xeno, Steve Cohen, Warren Wiegratz, Greg Koch, Eddie Butts, and Steve Grimm, plus dozens more! Like other Milwaukee Yuletide traditions like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, people attend this show year in and year out, and it’s become nothing less than an annual reunion with old friends, both on and offstage. The music rolls at 7 pm sharp, but a note of warning: If you’re not in line when the doors open at 6:30, you will NOT get in!

Also, just a note these Milwaukee holiday shows continue performances…
The Milwaukee Rep’s A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater through 12/24 (milwaukeerep.com)
The Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Marcus Center through 12/27 (milwaukeeballet.org)
The Milwaukee Rep’s Harvey at the Powerhouse Theater through 12/21 (milwaukeerep.com)
Who Killed Santa? at Soulstice Theater through 12/31 (whokilledsanta.com)
In Tandem Theater’s A Cudahy Caroler Christmas at 10th Street Theater through 1/4
(intandemtheatre.org)
The Wizard of Oz at Cabot Theater through 1/4 (skylightmusictheatre.org)
Liberace! at Stackner Cabaret through 1/11 (milwaukeerep.com)

And for those of you who are craving to see It’s A Wonderful Life on the Big Screen, the Times Cinema at 5906 W Vliet St grants your wish with screenings at 10 am on 12/20 (Saturday) and 12/24 (Christmas Eve)!