After a season of preparing for online shows and limited capacity events, Milwaukee’s theater, classical music and dance groups are returning to public performances for larger audiences this fall.
With the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus still wreaking havoc, nearly every performing arts professional group in Milwaukee will require members of the public to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a spectacle.
Theatergoers will notice another difference when they find their seats. Marcus Promotions decided to stop producing Footlights, the printed poster that had been used by many groups.
“With the loss of revenue and staff over the past year, as well as market uncertainties, Footlights has found it too difficult to move forward into a new season with confidence and determination,” editor Steve Marcus wrote in the September issue. from ArtsScène magazine.
Here’s a capsule guide to each band’s first in-person production this season. This includes their mask policy. Unless otherwise specified, each production requires members of the public to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. They are listed in chronological order. Productions and requirements are subject to change.
Violinist Frank Almond’s chamber music series returns with a program by Bach, Mozart and Brahms featuring cellist Julian Schwarz and harpsichord pianist Marika Bournaki. as well as musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras and Milwaukee Youth Symphony. 7 pm September 22, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St. Masks required, proof of vaccination not required. Info: franklymusic.org.
Next act theater
Edward Morgan directs Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Three Viewings”, a trio of stories shared in a funeral home by David Cecsarini, Cassandra Bissell and Carrie Hitchcock. 23 Sep-Oct 17 to Next Act, 255 S. Water St. Next Act requires that all customers be vaccinated and wear masks in the building. The theater is also planning a virtual option to view this production. Info: nextact.org.
FOLLOWING:First Stage’s ‘new normal’ includes layered COVID protections when returning to in-person shows
Skylight musical theater
James Gray directs and choreographs “The Full Monty,” the musical adapted from the film about unemployed steelworkers who turn to stripping for cash and unexpected emotional growth. Sep 24 Oct 24 17, Broadway Theater Center, 158 N. Broadway. Masks required. Info: skylightmusictheatre.org.
Pianist Stefanie Jacob, cellist Scott Tisdel and violinist Margot Schwartz return to action with a program by Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Clara Schumann and Ernest Bloch. Sep 27-28, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 N. Prospect Ave. Masks required. Info: wcmusic.org/concerts-events/prometheus-trio.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Music Director Ken-David Masur directs MSO’s season opener, which features pianist Aaron Diehl performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, as well as a world premiere by Eric Nathan. October 1-3, Bradley Symphony Center, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave. Masks highly recommended. Info: mso.org.
Todd Thomas sings the title role of the hunchback jester in Verdi’s tragic opera “Rigoletto” on October 8-10 at the Uihlein Hall of the Marcus Center. Masks required. Info: florentineopera.org.
Violinists Jeanyi Kim and Alexander Mandl, violist Nathan Hackett and cellist Adrien Zitoun, with guest violist Matthew Michelic, perform a program by Beethoven, Astor Piazzolla, Vivian Fine and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. October 11, Wisconsin Lutheran College Schwan Concert Hall, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave. WLC strongly encourages the wearing of a mask. Info: wlc.edu/Philomusica-String-Quartet.
Marcus Performing Arts Center
“Hamilton” North American Tour kicks off a new season of Broadway musicals October 13-24 at the Marcus Center, 929 N. Water St. Masks are required. Info: marcuscenter.org.
The Milwaukee Contemporary Music Ensemble will present a new composition by Latvian composer Krists Auznieks October 14-15 at Jan Serr Studio, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. (in the UWM Kenilworth building). Masks required. Info: presentmusic.org.
In Bekah Brunstetter’s comedy-drama “The Cake”, a lively but conservative pastry chef is baffled when her daughter reveals that she is going to marry a woman. So is mom making the wedding cake, or not? 22 October-Nov. 14, Next Act Theater, 255 S. Water St. Masks required. Info: rtw.com.
Milwaukee Chamber Theater
In Zora Howard’s “Stew,” three generations of women come together in the kitchen to cook up a grand annual feast, with ingredients that include both love and latent resentments. Malkia Stampley conducts. 22 October-Nov. 7, Broadway Theater Center, 158 N. Broadway. Masks required. Info: milwaukeechambertheatre.org.
“Connect” features works by contemporary choreographers Darrell Grand Moultrie, Danielle Rowe and Mauro de Candia (winner of MB’s “Genesis” choreographic competition). October 28-31, Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Center. Masks required. Info: milwaukeeballet.org.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Matt Zembrowski’s “Dad’s Season Tickets” musical has already been a huge hit for Door County’s Northern Sky Theater. Now, the folks at the Gold Package in Milwaukee can enjoy this story of three adult sisters arguing over who will inherit their father’s Packers tickets. 29 October-Jan. 2, Stackner Cabaret, 108 E. Wells St. Masks required. Info: milwaukeerep.com.
Danceworks Performance MKE
Through dance, visuals and music, “Fight or Flight” explores stress, the nervous system and mental health. 30 Oct-Nov 7, Danceworks Studio Theater, 1661 N. Water St. Masks required. Info: danceworksmke.org.
Wild space dance company
In the latest in a series of parking lot dances, Wild Space will dance in the Interstate Parking Lake Lot, 328 N. Van Buren St., under the curved exit ramp to the Hoan Bridge. Spectators can watch these evening shows from the safety of their cars. November 19-20. Info: wildspacedance.org.
The family-owned Milwaukee business is directing “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, adapted from the classic animated television special. 20 Nov-Dec 26, Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N. Water St. Members of the public 12 years of age and older will be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Masks required. Info: firststage.org.