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What’s Going On

For the week of February 13-19…

You say you didn’t have time to properly celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Here are some ideas to help you make up for lost time!

Rep Lab, February 15-19, Stiemke Studio, 108 E Wells St (milwaukeerep.com)

The Milwaukee Rep now has a new tradition to add to its annual production of A Christmas Carol.  From Thursday through Monday, the Rep presents its 8th annual Rep Lab Short Play Festival, a showcase featuring the Rep’s Emerging Professional Artists (ie, interns).  In the course of two hours, audiences will see nine actors perform in eight one-act plays of varying lengths and running the gamut from serious drama to riotous farce.  The high-caliber performances have caught on with theater fans, and past festivals have sold out the intimate Stiemke studio, so you better hurry if you don’t want to be shut out this year!

Andreas Delfs Returns, February 16-17, Marcus Center, 929 N Water St (mso.org)

Former Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andreas Delfs (who has served longer in that post than anyone else) was here earlier this season to lead the Holiday Pops concerts (and certainly relished the role of Pops emcee).  But this weekend Delfs returns to lead an MSO Classics program which also features his longtime friend and MSO Concertmaster Frank Almond in the Milwaukee premiere of Pierre Jalbert’s Violin Concerto (The Prometheus Trio performed a well-received Jalbert chamber piece last season).  The program opens with Mendelssohn’s delectable Overture, Nocturne and Scherzo from Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Milwaukee Ballet just announced they’ll be performing this piece next season utilizing Mendelssohn’s timeless music).  The program concludes with Vaughan Williams’ majestic Sea Symphony, in which the MSO will be joined by the magnificent MSO Chorus.  It’s a bountiful musical smorgasbord, to say the least!

Festival of Films in French, February 16-25, UWM Union Cinema, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd (uwm.edu/french-film-festival)

When it comes to movie showcases here in Milwaukee, the lion’s share of attention is given to the Milwaukee Film Festival, and rightfully so.  But one shouldn’t overlook what may be considered the granddaddy of Milwaukee film festivals.  Beginning Friday for the next ten days, the 21st annual Festival of Films of French will take up residence at the UWM Union Cinema.  Please note these are French-language films which were produced, not only in France, but Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Tunisia and the Congo as well!  The diverse lineup has something for every age and taste:  Comedy (Tour de France, starring Gerard Depardieu); docudrama (The Young Karl Marx); vintage film noir (1947’s Panic); family fare (the animated April and the Extraordinary World); classic silent films (Arabesques and Finis Terrae, both featuring live musical accompaniment by Renato Umali); and several impressive documentaries (Antarctica: Ice and Sky, about global warming from the director of the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins; the 2017 Oscar -nominated I Am Not Your Negro, based on the works of James Baldwin and directed by French filmmaker Raoul Peck; and Latest News from the Cosmos), just to name a few.  And best of all, all the screenings are FREE!  It’s best to keep that in mind and arrive early, as the theater is packed for many of the screenings.  Full film and schedule information is available at the link listed above!

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