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Anti-Glare, Patti Smith, Horses Anniversary Tour Extended

She punctuated her riff on Van Morrison’s golden-era classic Gloria, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” His version introduced suburbia to shady rock stars. Her version, In Excelsis Deo, the first song in Patti Smith’s long awaited return to Milwaukee, brought the audience to its feet in a standing ovation.

Many a Milwaukeean waited 38 years to hear Patti Smith’s searing voice amplified again. Nearly half of Milwaukee’s populous never had a chance ‘to be there’. The other half, unless transplanted or quite intrepid, waited their entire adult lives to witness this night within the city limits.

Memory’s Hiss

Patti Smith rocks this night in Milwaukee on the same date she met MC5’s “Sonic” Smith in Detroit, on the midwest tour that brought her to Milwaukee for the first time in 1976 (She came back in 1979). Her son, by him, stands in her peripheral vision on guitar.

Patti jokes before launching into a trilogy of songs written about Fred, “We actually didn’t create him on the that day.” March 9 is hence forth proclaimed Patti Smith day in Milwaukee. She took a second mid-show to retrieve the framed Proclamation to prove it. She duly notes Mayor Barrett gave it to her himself, in her mind outclassing NYCs mayor by a mile.

Reprise Revival

On her victory lap of the 40th anniversary tour of Horses, she is reciting the entire album. With two leafs of paper in hand she shows us her gift of song is best understood through her poetry. She’s delivering the prologue to Birdland, recounting a child, a funeral, a farm, long black cars and a shiny red tractor. As she reaches the end of these lines, she lets the first piece of paper fall from her hand.

The second sheet of paper she held floats to the floor, she left it to physics to tell the paper where to land. The first verse rolls into the second, then the refrain, she extolls in the voice of a young child who has lost their father, “…Take-me-up… Open up-the-belly-of-the-ship, the ships light-opening…I’ll go in…” By the third refrain she’s belting, shaking, “I-am-not-human…!”

As her breath is completely used, at 70 her mouth is still wet with saliva and she spits ruthlessly on the stage apron without flinching and rocks out the rest of the song. I’ve been to hundreds of shows and have never witnessed true moxie until this moment. Her natural irreverent performative power, carrying with it the essence of everything that festered No Wave from the burned out, and otherwise deleterious, bowels of downtown NYC, shining.

Old Milwaukee Style

Numerous signage within the Milwaukee Theatre commanded patrons not to record video, audio or still photography of Patti Smith’s performance. Naturally, a few phone screens can be scene flicking mementos.

As the impromptu general admission section forms in front of the first row, a dumbass positions himself right at Patti’s feet and begins egregiously filming with his cell phone. The man is forcefully ushered back to his seat, in the middle section at the 10th row, by a wild haired member of someone’s entourage.

Patti stops the show to drag him, “He’s going to jail… he’ll be in jail looking at all the other cell phones with half-filmed documentaries” keeping the warrior code she vanquishes him completely with something to the effect of ‘nobody’s gonna watch your half-filmed documentary of a show you could have watched yourself but you were too busy on your phone.’

Master Strokes

Unphased by this disruption, she carries on to Free Money, an impassioned anthem weaving a youthful daydream caught in the follies love, ambition and broke-ness. A song that begins as a ballad, erupts into a controlled rage with Patti emphatically singing fortissimo “When you’re dreaming, When you’re dreaming…” trembling, spitting, and possessed.

Possessed. Her intuitive understanding of voice and performative energy, and her sense gravity and urgency to use them, brought me to admire Patti Smith; her ability to say something beyond her ego. Yet she comes off grounded and accessible, grand in her ability to flaunt her flaws humbly.

She’s repeatedly gone to her hands and knees to wipe puddles of brew and water from the stage between songs. Having both chastised and warmly recieved the front section, she flung some beer soaked socks back at them (after someone lamely managed to get their socks off in a sway pit and throw them on stage during Dancing Barefoot). At a later point she goes shoeless, taking off her own black leather riding boots and socks explaining, “I’m pretty messy, only one of us can be messy in here.”

Power of Rememberance

We learn another dimension of her being. Her songs Break it Up and Elegie are tributes to Jim Morrison and Hendrix. Break it Up recounts a dream Smith had about Morrison after his death. He escapes entombment as a marble angle and ascends to the sky.

It’s striking to think Smith knew Morrison and Hendrix’s lives to be so monumental to commemorate them on Horses four or five years after their deaths. We’ll see in 2021, if Lou Reed, Bowie, or Prince stay in our collective pop memory enough for an artist to carve out time for them on an album. I doubt it. Many artist these days are loathe to publicly acknowledge anyone’s artistic influence but their own, even if they’ve stolen their entire persona.

Power of Recall

Smith reminds us the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love has come upon us; a landmark year of national turbulence and hope, receding into despair in 1968. She laments that her generation had potential to bring balance to the world with its vision of a just, harmonious and multicultural society.

She provides this epilogue to her cover of The Who’s My Generation, noting her generation (her birth year to be exact) also gave birth to Trump. She uses her pulpit to call out the rights-and-wrongs of the world.

In this regard, she never sold out, evoking the audience to be mindful with hearts full to defend America, its natural resources, its principles, and our fellow Americans. She called out Standing Rock, our waters and our boarders and told us in song ‘People have the Power’.

In relation to the political cycle, our ‘summer of love’ would’ve been 2015. Society finds itself in a similar position, resisting social progress, and a growing an appetite to deepen our governments role in largely pointless violent global and domestic conflict. At least Nixon had reasonable sensibilities about protecting America’s natural resources. Contemplating and channeling the Summer of Love may be what we need.

The Illusionist

As Patti reached the end of her set list, we were never forced to face the fact that we’ve been watching a person at the age of 70 deliver a masterful and virile performance, having out-classed and outwitted us the entire night.

Her singing voice, what might be more aptly referred to as her instrument, has maintained its rare and unorthodox tuning after all these years.

Her son Jackson and her life long friends Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty were here with her. Her long time bandmates look better than most forty year olds. Still together, they must be doing something right.

After a short break, at the end of the Horses set, they reappear and Kaye has a red solo cup, “What made Milwaukee Famous, made a loser out of me.” They definitely still have fun, and deep down must love this town.

Lean on Us

Smith’s people came out in force, spanning generations like Smith’s music. Burn outs turned yuppie, and burn outs still burned out; dirt punk and tragically hip kids, war veterans; people who have lost their mobility with old age have made a special trip out after dark to see Patti Smith.

Milwaukeeans entering their prime years have done their part recently to honor Smith’s legacy and influence. In 2014, Betty Strigens of Testa Rosa took over Alverno Presents to do Smith Uncovered, a series of retakes on cornerstone Smith songs. Reaching further in the MKE indie art scene artist space Orcanine Abbey’s exhibition Ego vs Rant (also 2014) was in part a tribute to Smith’s contributions to art ethos.

Pay No Mind

Although recently the ‘mainstream’ has finally noted her stature more readily, we could attribute Patti Smith’s relative obscurity to her contemporaries. Ramon, Reed, Warhol sat as giants in the lore of NYC music and art scene.

Even when her music was featured in Natural Born Killers in the mid-1990s (which is how I unwittingly fell in love with Patti Smith), she was omitted from the original soundtrack in favor of other more relevant artists.

I went to my VHS dub of this movie many days after school and the music from the opening sequences always stuck. Searching for this music was part of that life’s phase, I reached for the first time late in the 00’s, of retracing my teenage obsessions. A quest 15 years in the making, brought me to L7 and Patti Smith.

Presumably, the Natural Born Killers producers  purposefully omitted sections of her song Rock N Roll Ni**er. The chorus set the movie up so fittingly, “Outside of society, is where I wanna be…!”

Although conveniently taken out of context in the movie’s opening sequence, when I heard the song from beginning-to-end for the first time I smiled inside. When I learned more about Smith, it was impossible to imagine that a woman speaking from her perspective could earn the type of license needed to speak this word authentically.

Draining the Moat

In the context of the time period, she spoke new meaning, specifically, to a most despicable word. She spoke this meaning in a way that destroyed the mysticism and power of that despicable word in American society.

When Smith was done with it, the word no longer described an inherent inferiority of an entire group of people. It wouldn’t be far fetched that she was honoring Hendrix here too.

What she did in Rock N Roll Ni**r is emblematic of her importance as an rock icon. She’s a performance artist, but half of the time she is making new meaning across a load of flawed social conventions that are reinforced through popular culture (especially music). She deliberately crushes anything that fundamentally serves to reinforce dominance of one group of people over another group, or nature for that matter.

I suspect her Gloria (In Excelsis Deo) is much the same type of glass shattering response to Van Morrison’s Gloria, which is a fun but thinly veiled early attempt to objectify young women as sex objects through music.

She occupies a strange place in music. When seen as a performance artist, critics eyes could easily avert their gaze. A woman with deeply thoughtful commentary and command of language arts might be considered worse than nasty to the mainstream consciousness.

Grace in Torture

Bob Dylan chose Patti Smith to perform in his place at his Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony earlier this year. I’m sure he had his reasons, he’s a master of irony. Half the world probably shuddered as she stumbled through Dylan’s Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall.

A truly difficult song, most people probably hear something new every time they listen to it. The pan shots of this black tie event revealed the saddest thing about this audience, their smugly arrogant faces barely looked like they knew who Patti Smith was. They honestly didn’t deserve her presence.


As the show closed and Patti left the stage, a deep appreciation filled the auditorium. We wanted her and were honored by her mystical aura, I saw orange.

Her audience’s screams and applause cued an encore. Smith returns to the stage with a leather cuff on her right wrist and a guitar. She walks in front of the kick drum that had her name and Horses written in white Helvetica on it. She plugs-in to the amp sitting below and cranks it.

She snatches the PACE flag that was hanging in front of the drum kit, beside the Imperial Ethiopian flag, and drapes it over her head as she runs her black leather cuff up the neck of the guitar. She screams through her arm, the amp wailing made-up chords, reverb, distortion to hell.

The guitar’s parts struggle to contain her disturbed technique, you can hear creaking. Then snap, she pries the whammy bar off. She’s bending notes right in front of the amp for maximum noise, ping. The E string pops loose under the strain of her hand, she rips it from the guitar.

One by one she agonizingly severs the strings from the bridge. When none are left she tosses the guitar aside. She exhales, pauses and accepts the audience’s adoration graciously with an outstretched two/handed wave good-bye.
Moments from leaving the audience in a buzz, Patti reappears on stage. She’s shredded a really rad show, ripped a guitar to pieces, and just remembered to pickup her Patti Smith Day Proclamation; the last act to play CDBG’s redefining punk once again under a rainbow moon in Milwaukee.

Patti Smith returned to Milwaukee on March 9, 2017. She handn’t been here since June 6, 1979.

Connoisseur Culture, Most Roastiest, Pilcrow Coffee

Three boards holding dark stain jut perpendicular from the wall, taught and plum square; it’s almost an illusionist’s trick setting table ledges of half-inch thickness this way. Stark white paint covers the walls thoroughly from ceiling to terrazo floor, broken up only by Pilcrow Coffee’s candy red trim wrapping the tasting room like a waist belt. Milwaukee’s newest coffee roaster opened in January on the South end of MLK Drive, with a roast style that follows the decor: modest/mod/craftsman/independent.

Pilcrow Coffee carries its historical thread proudly. What Schlitz Brewery once used as a warehouse, now houses a wholesale coffee roaster. Chicago transplant via MKE ex-urb (the  same place that brings us Southside roaster Hawthorne)  Ryan Hoban explains, “We specialize in single source coffee, which allows us to have a direct relationship with the farms that our beans come from.” This arrangement allows Pilcrow’s coffee to go beyond fair trade to direct trade, allowing farms to capture the fairest price.

Bean Proof

I wait for my Panamanian green roast honey cappuccino. Although it has a tasting room open on the weekends, Pilcrow isn’t a coffee shop, they do wholesale and mobile retail. Pilcrow’s niche follows the high end theory of custom small batch production.

“Our specialty is light roast. When you roast coffee dark it takes a lot from the real taste out of the coffee bean itself.” Ryan turns to a small oven that looks like a chrome stainless pig roaster for your countertop. Roasting green coffee requires the right temperature and a precise amount of time under heat. “With green coffee I’m listening for the right sound of the bean opening, I’m smelling and looking,” Ryan notes plainly.

As a dogged dark roast drip sipper I’m skeptical, especially of cappuccino. At first taste of this brew I’m sold. The espresso gently accepted the honey and Sassy Cow whole milk. Expecting to be singed by light roast’s distinct tangy acidity, I’m soothed by the blend of flavors the same way creme brulee does. It worked exceedily well for this drink. I know how light roast hits the palette, usually bracing, and calling an acquired taste.

Learning the Way

Curious to know how Ryan learned his craft, I point to Milwaukee’s coffee scene that has roasters like Stone Creek which is known for its coffee science and purist leanings toward light roasts. Sacrificing longer evenings at home with his family, Ryan spent about year learning this roasting style from a friend who worked at Ipsento, one Chicago’s few indie coffee roasters. “I learned my roasting methods by doing. I don’t think coffee roasting has to be exclusive or necessarily intellectual,” he offers.

Observing it all, Pilcrow obviously loves the technical part of cupping just as much as Valentine or Stone Creek coffee. Every Pilcrow cupping passes grounds over a scale, has water measured and heated specifically for the preferred preparation method: brewed, pour-over, cold brew, or pressurized.

On a shelf behind the counter stands a three-level glass system that has a vessel with a turn valve leading to a set of spiral tubing that filters into an Erlenmeyer flask. Ryan tells me, “That’s for cold brew. You fill the top with ice water and drip it very slowly through the coffee.” These fellows have cold brew titration system. However hardcore, the focus of Pilcrow’s product remains the bean.

Not Fashion, Coffee

When asked about his roasting philosophy Ryan offers, “We try and let the beans speak for themselves. We are really specific about how we source our coffee.” With such attention to detail one can imagine that Pilcrow might be tempted to make statements about what people should drink.

Ryan easily differentiated Pilcrow by leveling their main purpose on providing buyers with the most refined and custom choices of coffee roast, in opposition to pushing any one type of cupping method or roast style.

The Land, Still Good

Expressing excitement about locating in Milwaukee, Ryan shared that locating in Bronzeville he found the right mix of regulation, price and place. “There are a lot of great things happening in Milwaukee, and on top of that Chicago doesn’t allow sidewalk food carts”

Flanking its entry way, Pilcrow’s display windows show-off two glossy red bikes hitched to golden-stained wood cases equipped with nitro coffee taps. Mobile vending, a practical and essential part of Milwaukee’s local economy, will add nitro coffee to the menu of things to look forward to this summer.

“Our nitro coffee uses pure nitrogen gas, it’s my favorite.” Luckily I don’t feel put-on. Ryan truly digs his nitro brew. I find out why. I pull a sip from a mini-snifter, rich, silky and earthy. It actually tastes like a well-done stout, but it’s coffee. 

If you are still being passive aggressive to your loved ones and coworkers by putting Folger’s or Kirkland coffee on the counter (Pink Banana, 2011), Pilcrow can bring you sweet redemption. Coincidentally, Pilcrow’s neighbor Northern Chocolate is only a few doors up the street. They share a kindred spirit about business hours and adhearance to craft principles. Pilcrow opens its tasting room on Saturdays from roughly 10:00a to 2:00p, 1739 N. MLK Drive, Milwaukee. The core of Pilcrow’s business centers around coffee subscription and office and restaurateur supply.

Science is Fun, Cooperative Performance, Fruition of a Delusion

Going back to the future with some Duran Duran playing in the background, pre-engineering major Ruby (Molly Corkins) has entered her mind palace. Once there, her imagination reanimates some of science’s greatest minds to group problem-solve her core values and her life purpose. She searches for her true inner-being in a world of shallow platitudes, self-interest, irresponsible power mongering, global doom and blatant disregard for facts.

My Posse Loves Science

Taking on novel personalities, Fruition of a Delusion protagonists Marie Curie, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Montgomery, Nikola Tesla, and Albert Einstein take turns between comedic bits and purposefully corny dance routines to recount their bouts with genius. Their stories unravel as parables to guide Ruby’s blossoming mind.

Marie Curie (Anna Lee Murray), a pioneering chemist and vociferous believer in scientific discovery, portrayed as flighty and slightly naive, freely experiments in a time when as woman thinking beyond child bearing and housework would have been taboo. She ultimately puts her own safety secondary to her curiosity. To her own detriment, her contributions to science duly receive history’s praise.

We find out gifted intelligence can be destructive. Writers Kelly Coffey and Don Russell recast Oppenheimer (Selena Milewski) in a stormy, death metal and occultish caricature. Milewski deftly summons a cold inaccessible presence that could conceive a technology able to kill 100,000 people in the blink of eye, yet possessing mysterious charm.

With a pipet of irony, Montgomery (Eric Scherrer) reveals that accidental brilliance can save humanity from something more dangerous than atomic weapons. Do IQ and social adjustment correlate? Coffey challenges the audience here, with Scherrer adding multiple doses of off-color humor. An epic breech of the forth wall brings Montgomery’s addition to the annals invention to bear, assisted by a low-tech Rube Goldberg machine.

Oft-noted local performance artists Sarah Ann Mellstrom and Ben Yela have serially trounced happily in the indie theatre scene and continue their proficiency here by grounding this play with well-rounded and interesting mannerism and movement. Yela, touting the exploits of Nikola Tesla’s seminal inventions that transformed the possibilities of transporting electricity without insulated wires, takes his character toward comedic lunacy. We learn even the best ideas can threaten powerful interests and be suppressed at the expense of humanity.

Introducing synchronicity, Einstein (Mellstrom) opens our thoughts to the possibility of natural harmony, even among objects of obvious discord. In the process, Einstein settles the debate of the solubility of geekiness and cool.

Techno Chango

Fruition of a Delusion brings Cooperative Performance Milwaukee together with students of Marquette U’s school of engineering. With that arrangement come some fancy toys to digitally assist the production. The school’s visualization lab gives the production a virtual set, a 3D projected environment (Chris Larkee) that turns a 4 x 15 alcove into a 1,550 square foot foyer. Imagine a video game transplanted out of a television set.

A live music ensemble provides the soundtrack for most of the musical numbers and scene interludes. Julianne Frey gives direction for Elizabeth Smith, Scherrer, Lizzy Biermann (Arrangement), Matthew Mueller to play the tunes live.

Rattle and Roam

Fruition of a Delusion tumbles through a rambling and prolix script relying heavily of the random access memory of Corkins, and the rest of the ensemble, to sharply deliver a succession of quip and obscure references to pop culture, philosophy, science factoids and terminology. In this task the ensemble passes the test, switching between the script and movement choreography (Daniel Burkeholder) with ease.

The costume design (Colby Breyfogle) follows the nontraditional casting, offering non-sequitur interpretations of style sense exuded by the scientists’ portrayed. Sydonia Lucchesi saw to the stage management.

Fruition of a Delusion is performed in the 3D Visualization lab of the Marquette University Opus School of Engineering, on the corner 16th and Wisconsin Ave. with remaining performances Friday February 17th and Saturday the 18th at 8p, and Friday February 24th at 8p, and closing the 25th with performances at 3p and 8p.

Fuken Zoeberfloten, Milwaukee Opera, Quasimondo, Zie Magic Flute

Centered in an ornate and improvised theater round, paper cut puppets (Anja Seiger) flutter mystically over a piano, depicting a cautionary ordeal of a prince, his confidant, his love jones and a serpent; an ordeal that hapless wanderers may undertake, and well-tempered town dwellers would dare not. So we gaze on.

This back-lit picture show, a classical spoof of scandal-lusting would-be medieval human interest news, wets the audience’s imagination for live theatre. Pianist Paula Foley Tillen accompanied by two-thirds of Cadance Collective, on cello (Alicia Storin) and flute (Emma Koi), deftly plays Mozart’s rapid immersion to the libretto of Mozart’s final composition and its 225th anniversary adaption: Zie Magic Flute.

Call to Cavort

A trio of Valkyrie (Tiana Sorenson, Erin Sura, and Jackie Willis) submerge us further, belting upper range octaves admonishing in song the two unenviable subjects of this tale; this is an opera. Charged to deal evenly and mercurially in all their worldly affairs, frien-emies Tamino (Benjamin Ludwig) and Papageno (Nathan Wesselowski) learn of the plight of fair princess Pamina (Jennifer Hansen), locked away by her maniacal father Sarastro (Mark Corkins).

The ladies tantalize Tamino ’s imagination, producing a fetching portrait of Pamina (Jennifer Hansen) for him to view with help from futuristic technology. Convinced to secure refuge for this fair damsel Tamino and Papageno set off, not without having been first equipped with Zie Magic Flute.

In their quest, Tamino separates from Papageno when Papageno becomes distracted by a nature’s fowl (Crystal Wagner). Happenstance brings Papageno to Pamina, who breaks her shackles in a unexpected burst of cunning. En route to escape, the Valkyrie accost Papageno and Pamina in service to the Queen of the Night (Sarah Richardson) and entrust a dagger to Pamina so that she might dispatch her father Sarastro.

Ram in the Bush

Meanwhile, Tamino has come across a humble wise man presenting himself as a commoner. Tamino , discouraged from his arduous trial, confides his purpose with the stranger. Having wisdom betraying his appearance the commoner warns Tamino of serving hidden intentions of the benefactor whose cause he bears.

Fates find joy when the spirits (Jessi Miller, Jenni Reinke, and Andrew Parchman) bring Tamino to Pamina . Doused in desire their chemistry is combustible, they want their burning to become an eternal flame. As any father might, Sarastro noticed his daughter’s escape and has easily tracked her with his fatherly instincts.

Sarastro confronts Tamino , Pamina, and Papageno disentangling them from the Queen of Darkness’s plot to have him killed. Trials of wit, human nature and determination issued by King Sarastro will divine clarity of everyone’s lot. Unexpected encounters with sinister elderly women, chalices filled with suspect tincture, the sea, and of course a mystical beast lay in wait.

A dagger and magic flute threaten to undo or bring salvation, but voice and persuasion, worldly and netherworldly, win the day. After flirting with tragedy, love reigns. In the end Tamino takes Pamina, Papageno does Papagina (Wagner) and as for Sarastro…. how now with the Queen? Don’t worry these aren’t spoilers, they give you half a chance to know what’s going on if you are not familiar. And after all this is a 225 year old story.

A Triumph for Artistic Manage Trois

Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theatre, Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Cadance Collective got together to bring Milwaukee this wondrous adaptation of The Magic Flute. These companies contain some of the brightest artistic minds Milwaukee has in Jill Anna Ponasik and Brian Rott. The choice to add Cadance Collective placed a sharp performative accent on the production.

Cadance Collective tether classically trained string and woodwind musicians together with interpretive dance, through Crystal Wagner’s powerful technique to the ensemble performance, and Storin and Koi’s musical virtuosity. Ponasik, a versatile and visionary artistic director in her own right, deserves a lot of credit for taking opera out of moldy places and into the light of contemporary tastes. Rott and his band of gypsies has held the spotlight for upstart and experimental theatre for a solid 5 years running.

Nice Choices

While this opera generally finds a proscenium, these conspirators chose an octagonal foyer in the Tripoli Shrine Center, as a nod to Mozart’s affiliation and knack of the libretto’s author to thread this story with Masonic imagery. A stunning back drop of geometrically patterned mosaic glass and tile from floor to ceiling, provided ornamentation for this theatre in the round. The staging’s close quarters with the audience and the dimension added by the balcony was used fully by the production ensemble.

The three piece music ensemble led by Paula Foley Tillen filled the space amply and dutifully. Dance, props, low-tech special effects, and kitsch comedic bits, hallmark elements of physical theatre, begged the audience’s imagination to participate in this story assisted by crude material representations earthly items and resourceful stage lighting design. Large format puppetry bestows even more fantasy upon this play. Born at the hands of Sally Duback, this production apparently awoke a ghastly beast from a 15 year hibernation.

Although an opera, the accessibility of this piece should comfort novice opera goers. Parochial opera patrons may find the upstart physical elements offensive to high minded sensibilities, but likely not. The performance gives you the snooty esteem I imagine pervaded high society engagements of Mozart’s time, snooty, cheeky, snide, absurd and mildly lewd. Corkins’ strength of presence grounds the attention of everyone in the room, and the voices of Richardson, Hansen and Sorenson carried it to the clouds. I really wished I had a powdered wig for this one.

Daniel Brylow completed the translation for Zie Magic Flute, Jason Fassl conceived the lighting design, Nikki Maritch fitted the costume design, Andrew Parchman designed the promotional artwork, and Jim Padovano saw to the stage management.

Zie Magic Flute runs through January 28 with remaining performances tonight (1/27) at 7:30p and weekend matinees Saturday and Sunday the 28th and 29th at 1:00p at the Tripoli Shrine Center on 30th and Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $28 with a student/artist discount available. The admission is on the pricey side and fitting for this lovely spectacle of the arts. Secure, off-street parking is available.


Pub Poetics, Alan Bunde, Milwaukee Breweries: The Poem

A bounty of microbrews have reached full fermentation in Milwaukee 2016. If a doubt lingered about what city is the beer mecca, the new brews on the scene have put those doubts to rest. 

You shouldn’t have had a hard time convincing your relatives to come to MKE anyway, so I’m sure you’re scratching your head about what to get into on the night before Christmas eve. If you can decipher these heartfelt lines of beer soaked poetry from long time home brewer, and self-proclaimed Ambassador of Beer, Alan Bunde, you’ll have a written treasure map to swilling delight.

A Toast to Milwaukee Micro Breweries 2016

BAVARIAN BIERHAUS, Glendale blitzkrieg
BIG HEAD, small space, Wauwatosa, State St.
BILOBA is expanding it’s Brookfield presence
BLACK HUSKY now on Locust St., Riverwest

BRENNER, brewing art studio, Walkers Point
Coming to Menomonee Valley CITY LIGHTS
COMPANY BREWING, was Onopa, Stonefly

DISTRICT 14 located off KK on South Howell
ENLIGHTENED another startup in Bay View
New Southridge Mall Brewpub EXPLORIUM
Hwy 60, Cedarburg, THE FERMENTORIUM

In old Crank Daddy, on Farwell, GOOD CITY
MILW. BREWING Second St., an offshoot of
MILW. ALE HOUSE, a Third Ward Brewpub

MOBCRAFT on West Virginia, Conejito’s block
PABST planning complex brewpub comeback
RAISED GRAIN, Waukesha, Bluemound Rd.
RIVERSIDE brewpub on Main St. West Bend

ROCK BOTTOM is downtown on Plankinton
SILVER CREEK Cedarburg old mill building
SPRECHER BREWERY fortified in Glendale

THIRD SPACE, West St. Paul in old factory
URBAN HARVEST on the south side, 5th St.
WATER STREET is established beyond downtown
Soon West Allis brew saloon WESTALLION

Did you make it?