December 16 – 31
For more than 20 years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s annual winter tours have been a multi-generational holiday tradition. The 2017 production — The Ghosts of Christmas Eve — features new effects and staging, and comes to BMO Harris Bradley Center, 1001 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee, for two shows Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $44–$84. The current tour will be a celebration of the art and accomplishments of the group’s late creator, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neill. 414-227-0400 or bmoharrisbradleycenter.com
Doug Jarecki’s comedy holiday hit ’Twas the Month Before Christmas returns to the Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St., Milwaukee, Dec. 15–23 (see website for showtimes). Tickets are $25. The production takes a unique look at Joseph and Mary, the three kings and the innkeeper, and shares the “other” stories that led to the magical night in Bethlehem. 414-278-0765 or nextact.org
Pianist George Winston is best known for his solo piano recordings, with several of his albums from the early ’80s having sold millions of copies each. Winston brings his piano styles — including folk, stride and New Orleans R&B — to the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee, Dec. 19–20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38. The show features support for local food banks, and attendees can bring a donation of canned food to the concert. 414-273-7206 or marcuscenter.org
Laughing Liberally Milwaukee is a monthly, progressive political comedy show featuring some of Milwaukee’s top liberal and progressive comedians. The next show takes place Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. at ComedySportz Theater, 420 S. First St., Milwaukee. Admission is $8. The show is hosted by comedian, satirist and progressive talk-radio host Matthew Filipowicz, and December’s outing — a special “War on X-Mas Comedy Extravaganza” — will feature Dina Nina Martinez, Marcos Lara, Cynthia Marie, J. Tyler Menz, Addie Blanchard and sketch-comedy group The Accountants of Homeland Security. In addition to the comedians, Laughing Liberally Milwaukee will feature an interview with Molly Collins, associate director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. laughingliberallymilwaukee.tumblr.com
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra — under the baton of Yaniv Danur — performs John Williams’ score from Steven Spielberg’s movie classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial while the movie is being shown on a giant screen. The shows are Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m. at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee. Tickets are $112. 414-291-7605 or mso.org
Off The Wall Theatre presents the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, taking place at Off The Wall Theatre, 127 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, with performances Dec. 13–17, Dec. 20–23, Dec. 29–30, and a special New Year’s Eve show with free food and drink Dec. 31. Curtain times are Wednesday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, except for New Year’s Eve, which are $50. 414-484-8874 or offthewalltheatre.com
Madison’s Queer Pressure is a mobile dance party for queers hosted by DJ Boyfrrriend and Sarah Akawa, with collaboration from other radical queer DJs, artists and activists. The party happens Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. at the Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets are $10. Queer Pressure events encourage safe-space practices, including wheelchair accessibility and gender-neutral bathrooms. Predatory behavior, racism and classism are not tolerated. 414-897-0663 or cactusclubmilwaukee.com
The Original Harlem Globetrotters are “worldwide icons synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment.” The team brings its 2018 World Tour to the BMO Harris Bradley Center, 1001 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee, for the final time on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets start range from $26.50 to $146.50. 414-227-0400 or bmoharrisbradleycenter.com
Thirty international artists explore ever-changing opportunities for rest and renewal in The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat, running through Dec. 31 at Jewish Museum Milwaukee, 1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee. The exhibit features diverse works ranging from lithographs and paper cuts to items fashioned from recycled metal and wood, and was organized by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum of New York. Museum hours are Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, and free for children six and under, as well as active-duty military. 414-390-5730 or jewishmuseummilwaukee.org
January 1 to 14
Criss Angel RAW — The Mindfreak Unplugged is a theatrical experience that brings Angel’s sleight-of-hand street magic, mentalism, and some of his most iconic illusions, to life. The show takes place Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets are $39.50–$125. 414-286-3663 or pabsttheater.org
Brought to life by an all-female creative team, and inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna — a waitress and expert pie maker — who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. The production takes place Jan. 2–7 at Uihlein Hall at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee (see website for showtimes). Tickets are $31–$126. The show features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy-nominee Sara Bareilles, a book by screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). 414-273-7206 or marcuscenter.org
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) has a variety of ongoing exhibitions on display through the holiday season and into 2018.
The first retrospective of American photographer Anthony Hernandez features more than 150 photographs — many never before shown — from the artist’s more than 45-year career. The exhibition engages with contemporary social issues through photographs of Los Angeles, and will be on view through Jan. 1, 2018, in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.
Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France tells the story of modern art’s development through 150 works by influential artists working in Paris during the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition — which includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures — features works by masters of modern art, including Manet, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso, and is on view through Jan. 28, 2018.
Jaime Hayon: Technicolor allows visitors to enter the Spanish artist-designer’s vibrant world and find inspiration in his embrace of imagination. The exhibition — on view through March 25, 2018, — includes sculptures, ceramics, textiles and playground equipment, as well as the premiere of Afrikando, a collection of artistic glassworks commissioned for MAM.
Designing Paris: The Posters of Jules Chéret features posters advertising products, department stores, Paris’s many entertainment venues and more in the late 19th century. These are the works that made French artist Chéret (1836–1932) famous. His work in color lithography transformed printmaking into a medium that artists today still embrace. The exhibition runs Dec. 15–April 29, 2018.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is at 700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., except Thursday, which is 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Admission is $19 for adults, $17 for students (w/ID) and seniors (65+), free for members, and free for kids 12 and under courtesy of Kohl’s Cares. 414-224-3200 or mam.org