Author : Tom Strini

  • Let’s skip the drama and build the MAM addition

    The Milwaukee Art Museum brass and architect Jim Shields have resolved their differences, and Shields is back as lead architect on the museum’s renovation/addition plans. On May 6, the museum released Shields’ revised plan, which would extend the 1975 Kahler annex eastward toward Lake Michigan. A murky dispute between Shields, Milwaukee’s star architect — designer of both the Museum of.... Read More
  • ‘Skin Tight’ shows love’s profundity

    What is love? You really want to know? Go see Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight at Renaissance Theaterworks. Love is a wild beast, at least as Elizabeth and Tom, an Aussie farm couple, practice it. Leah Dutchin and Braden Moran dash onto the set at the start. They hop onto a raised platform about the size of a boxing ring. They square off and punch, parry, grapple and throw in convincing fight chor.... Read More
  • Ava Pine’s Cleopatra made the slog through Florentine’s ‘Julius Caesar’ worth the effort

    Whenever Ava Pine, as Cleopatra, sang on March 28, we heard and saw the glory of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. Otherwise, not so much. The Florentine Opera production around Pine had some issues. Conductor William Boggs maintained reasonable tempos and cued nicely. But he drew no lift or lilt from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Except for some episodes of recitativo secco, when the contin.... Read More
  • ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ recreates the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance

    The vastly accomplished cast of the Milwaukee Rep’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ sings, dances and acts. Among the five of them, they play piano, drums, bass, banjo-uke, violin, saxophone, trumpet and tuba. On opening night, they moved from task to task and location to location with nonchalant joy. Director/music director Dan Kazemi, in eliminating a separate band in favor of actors with musical cho.... Read More
  • Happily reunited with the Lipinski Strad, violinist Frank Almond recounts his great adventure

    Given the volume of local and worldwide news coverage, you’re surely familiar with the Lipinski Stradivarius caper. In case you’re not: Thieves stunned violinist Frank Almond with a taser and stole the Strad (crafted in 1715) after a Frankly Music Concert on Jan. 27. Milwaukee police recovered the violin on Feb. 6. “I’m still trying to get my head around it,” Almond said, over lunch rece.... Read More
  • Florentine Studio artists 23 enchant in ‘Opera’s Greatest Hits’ program

    Before Julie Tabash, Erin Gonzalez, Aaron Short and Pablo Siqueiros even sang a note the evening of Feb. 1, happiness filled the Florentine Opera Center. And why not? The four young singers, the Florentine Studio Artists, stood beaming and eager in full view before the concert. A big crowd of opera fans and friends of the company — many of them know one another and the singers — socialized ami.... Read More
  • ‘Woody Sez’ brings Guthrie’s iconic folk music to life with authenticity

    Music direct to your ears from the singers’ lips and from plucked strings — without electrical intervention — is crucial to the aura of naturalness that permeates Woody Sez. Amplification, if there is any for this Milwaukee Rep Stackner Cabaret revue, is so subtle as to be undetectable. The natural sound fits as a crucial element in a show that posits Woody Guthrie, the iconic figure in Ame.... Read More