Saturday, April 19, 2014

MSO: Rossen Milanov, Frank Almond, Shakespeare, Actors and More

Rossen Milanov
A sword fight broke out at the Milwaukee Symphony concert Friday night.

That's what you get when bring Shakespeare and actors into it. Michael Cotey and Nicholas Harazin, as Tybalt and Mercution, and then Max Mainwood as Romeo, gave a most convincing account of the first fatal scene from Romeo and Juliet. The theatrical excerpt, directed by Mark Clements, set the image for the ensuing musical excerpt from Prokofiev's famous ballet score.

But with Rossen Milanov conducting and the MSO playing with such ferocity, the music alone captured the energy of the combat vividly. Milanov reached deep into a score we're accustomed to hearing with a pit-sized orchestra as we watch a ballet. To hear the full might and virtuosity of the Milwaukee Symphony applied to it with a conductor so well-attuned to its drama is to hear it anew.

In Michael Pink's Milwaukee Ballet R&J, the Capulets' ballroom number is no mere dance, but a collective dagger ritual. Milanov went to similar extremes, but purely in sound in that episode. He drew enormous, pendulous weight from the MSO's stellar basses and low brass. The Capulets sounded like some marauding monster of a family, which is of course exactly what they are.

In all versions of the ballet (I've seen many), Juliet enters this scene like a dove gliding placidly unaware a few yards above the fires of Hell. Milanov and the MSO brought special grace to this arresting moment. In the music from the Balcony Pas de Deux, they made us hear puppy love grow into something grand and then distill into something intimate and profound.

All seven musical excerpts played this vividly and this specifically. The actors, with Erin Stapleton as a disarmingly natural Juliet, did not disrupt the music. On the contrary, their just-long-enough scenes set the stage for the music and prepared us to hear it more keenly. The only stumble in this risky enterprise involved the sound system; reverberation made the actors difficult to understand, especially at first.

I like Milanov's style. He holds a wide battery of expressive gestures at his command, and he understands body language exceptionally well. He's expressive and interesting to watch without being flamboyant. Tightly bound shoulders elicit one sound; free and easy carriage elicits another. He employed the entire range with purpose to every bar of this program, and the MSO's musicians reacted with charged, nuanced playing.

In Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, the tiny, taut 1-2 beat of Milanov's baton prompted high energy and very low volume from the strings in the speedy, skittering lead-in to the principal theme. He relaxed and beat time as if he were spreading icing on a cake to capture the suave, legato second theme. This fresh, committed reading charmed until the very last chord, when someone's pitch went awry somewhere in the woodwinds.

Milanov and violinist Frank Almond harmonized beautifully in Bartók's Rhapsody No. 2 and Chausson's Poème.

Frank Almond
The MSO had never performed the 11-minute Rhapsody, which I do not recall hearing before. This piece, from 1928, came on the heels of Bartók's field recordings of folk music in Eastern Europe and North Africa. Earthy, crunchy dissonance, declamatory melodies, propulsive rhythms, toe-stubbing syncopations and meter changes abound.

Almond perfectly parsed the gruff recitative at the outset as it rambled and sprawled like a clever best man extemporizing a long wedding toast. Milanov and the orchestra sidled their in and took over the solo line without a missed syllable. The orchestra doesn't so much accompany the soloist in this piece as supplement him and expand his voice. Milanov picked up the momentum of the violin phrase and aligned the orchestra with it without fail.

The first movement, in terms of structure, is about transformation of a meaty idea into an ethereal one, and then the combination and further transformation of those two different but related ideas. The second movement, by contrast, unfolds in a series of dance episodes, each one wilder than the next. If the first movement was the eloquent wedding toast, this second in the increasingly drunken reception dance.
Peter Brueghel the Younger, Peasant Wedding Dance, 1607. Oil on panel.
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Almond and the MSO ripped through slews of tricky rhythms and split-second exchanges with enormous gusto and impressive precision. Margaret Butler notably twined a snaky English horn line through a violin solo running at full tilt, to me THE wow moment in a movement bursting with them.

Almond quieted the rousing ovation for the Bartók and returned a few moments later with the Chausson.

Even more than in the Rhapsody, in Poème the orchestra extends and amplifies the solo violin rather than accompanies it. Again, Milanov and his players listened acutely and matched Almond's timbres and fell in step with his momentum. Orchestra and soloist merged and parted ways seamlessly. They rode the same waves.

Almond was splendid with the vigorous, hearty Rhapsody, but the Poème lies precisely in the heart of his strength as a violinist. He is all about beauty, and not only the sheer beauty of sound. He has a special way with the pliant, poignant, lyrical line. Poème comprises one long, pliant, poignant, lyrical line after another, many of them for violin alone. To hear Frank Almond play this piece on that gorgeous Stradivarius is to be struck dumb with the beauty of it all.

This program, given at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall, will be repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday (April 19). For tickets, call the Marcus Center box office, 414 273-7206.

More Tom Strini music reviews.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kenilworth Open Studio, Nice Numbers, Coming Soon

Kenilworth Square East
Every Spring, UWM's Peck School of the Arts opens the doors of its wonderful Kenilworth Building to the public. Saturday is the day, April 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The massive building, at 1925 E. Kenilworth Place (at Prospect Avenue), was once a munitions factory. UWM owned it for decades, but used it primarily for storage. Some faculty and graduate students had caged studios there, and the UWM Motor Pool lived there for a while. Until the 2006 renovation, war-time blackout paint covered the windows. I was in there a few times in those days -- Kenilworth was a dark, forbidding place.

A public-private partnership transformed it in 2006, in a $68 million effort that removed a linking building and split the two-city block complex into separate buildings, as it was originally built. Kenilworth West is now apartments for graduate students on the upper floors, two floors of parking and some street-facing private businesses. Kenilworth East, which will be open Saturday, houses wonderful art studios for faculty and graduate students, an animation studio, dance studios, theater spaces, the guitar program and more on the upper floors and the Inova Gallery and retail businesses on the ground floor.

Daylight floods the upper floors, which are usually closed to the public. The studios will be open, and artists will be on hand to show and discuss their work. Musicians will play, singers will sing, dancers will dance, film and video will roll. Anyone can drop in and explore six floors of art and participate in hands-projects including T-shirt printing and pewter casting. Advisers will be on hand to talk with prospective students and their parents. Student jewelry and art will be on sale.

I never miss Kenilworth Open Studio. Wandering amid all those energetic students doing what they love is exhilarating, and you'll be surprised at the varied work going on in the faculty studios. It's an art party.

As most of you know, I'm married to Lee Ann Garrison, of the UWM art faculty. We'll be hanging out in her painting studio on the fifth floor, Room 551. Do drop in and say hi.

Admission is free, no tickets required. Just come on down.

Have you picked up the April Milwaukee Magazine yet? Please do. And check out my piece on the Florentine Opera's Casa di Opera. It starts on page 56.

Tom Strini Writes topped 50,000 page views last Thursday, and as I write this the all-time number stands at 51,779. Those aren't Huffington Post numbers, but not bad for a six-month-old local arts blog with a marketing budget of zero. Thanks to all of you not only for reading but for passing on links to my stories via social media and word of mouth, especially Facebook and Twitter (@striniwrites). Please continue to spread the word. I want a million.

If I weren't attending the Milwaukee Symphony concert Friday night , I'd be home watching the national telecast of the Milwaukee Ballet. That's right, PBS will air Michael Pink's airborne and very charming Peter Pan from coast  to coast in prime time. So tune in if you can, 8 p.m. on Channel 10. More on Peter Pan here, from Steve Kabelowsky at OnMilwaukee.

Coming Soon: The Milwaukee Symphony will stage -- yes, stage -- an especially interesting program at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (April 18-19) at Marcus Center Uihlein Hall. Concertmaster Frank Almond will be the soloist in both Bartók's Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra and Chausson's Poéme for Violin and Orchestra. I'm a big Bartók fan, but I don't know this piece, from 1928, at all. I look forward to hearing it.

Rossen Milanov
Guest conductor Rossen Milanov, who did very well here in 2010, will lead the MSO in the violin works, the Overture to Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet music. Shakespeare will be in the house as well as in the notes. Actors Max Mainwood, Michael Cotey, Nicholas Harazin and Erin Stapleton, with the Milwaukee Rep's Mark Clements directing, will put on scenes from R&J between musical episodes. Tickets and further information at the Milwaukee Symphony website; or call the Marcus Center box office, 414 273-7206.

The MSO is my only review event this weekend, unless I'm missing something. (I'm sure I'll hear about it something's slipped by me.) But I would like to bring your attention to an under-the-radar event set for Wednesday, April 23:

Geoffrey Gordon, the talented and tireless globe-trotting composer based in Cedarburg, has composed a new work for two horns and piano. (He's best-known here for his terrific trombone concerto for Megumi Kanda.) Horn players Gregory Flint, of the UWM music faculty, and Neil Kimel, of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and pianist Kuang Hao Huang will premiere Gordon's Sonata in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the UWM Recital Hall. Kimel, by the way, graduated from UWM with a degree in film, though he studied horn there with the retired Barry Benjamin.

Also on this UWM faculty program: Baritone Kurt Ollmann, pianist Jeffry Peterson and flutist Jennifer Clippert perform Poèmes de Jade, by Thérèse Brenet (b.1934); soprano Tanya Kruse and pianist Elena Abend will sing and play "Days and Nights," by Lori Laitman (b. 1955); and Abend will play "Why (?) Jacob" by Daniel Asia.

Still-Relevant Reviews of Ongoing Shows: The Rep's History of Invulnerability and Ain't Misbehavin', Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's Lend Me a Tenor, Next Act Theatre's Three Views of the Same Object, Renaissance Theatreworks' Skin Tight.

Also Coming Soon: The controversy about the Milwaukee Art Museum's $15 million renovation and addition has not escaped my notice. I'll have something to say about it next week.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Pitch-Perfect in "Lend Me a Tenor"

Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, Linda C. Lov-
ing and Peter Sisto in Lend Me a Tenor.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre photo by Mark
We've met all the characters in Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor before the curtain even rises on the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's sparkling new production. The star-struck ingenue, her befuddled suitor and blustering father, the loose woman, the wolfish star and his jealous wife, the wise-cracking bellhop, the randy matron -- we know them from any number of vintage movie comedies that aimed for wit and sophistication.

Ludwig set his 1986 farce in 1936, the golden age of such comedies. He wasn't out to break new ground, but to tread familiar ground with a footstep of air. He crafted an amusing and delightful genre piece that has found a lasting place in the repertoire for very good reasons. Great one-liners and ample opportunity for physical comedy abound in his snappy script. And Ludwig makes the zaniest situations just plausible enough and the characters and relationships just real enough to let us care about them without worrying about them. The result is engaging rather than idle fun.

This deft script doesn't play itself. Lend Me a Tenor requires a director and cast with a profound grasp of its airy style, of the rhythm and lilt of its phrasing, of the split-second timing of its physical action and of the hint of real personalities behind the stock characters.

Director C. Michael Wright, his winning cast and his design team get all of that exactly in a production that wraps goofiness in elegance in a satisfying package.

Rick Pendzich is at the dizzy center of things as Max, the put-upon assistant of Saunders (Drew Brhel), the volcanic general director of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. Brhel's slow burns leading to explosions are among the greatest pleasures in the show.

Pendzich plays Max as harried, uptight, panicky, eager-to-please. His tense body language and pleading vocal timbre tell us who this fellow is without annoying us. We can sense his endless good intentions. Because we know how these stories go, we anticipate that he will grow and bloom. He does, in interesting ways. We feel for poor Max as he pours his heart out to Maggie (Hannah Klaperich-Mueller), Saunder's daughter and the love of his life.

Maggie only has eyes for Tito Merelli, the star tenor imported at enormous expense as a make-or-break risk for the Cleveland Grand. Steven M. Koehler plays Tito perfectly, as a womanizer but not really a cad. He's a village paisano who by some quirk has a great voice and has become a star. Koehler's Tito relaxes and accepts what comes his way, the exact opposite of Max -- who, disastrously as it turns out, is charged with keeping Tito out of trouble in Cleveland.

Steven M. Koehler, as Tito, inspires Rick Pendzich's Max.
Mark Frohna photo for MCT.
Nothing can perturb Tito except Maria, his spitfire Italian wife. Rána Roman cuts through him with a laser-beam evil eye and terrorizes all the other characters. Wrapped tight in a sexy little red and black suit and holding herself taut as a snare-drum head, the pint-sized Roman is a walking hand grenade with a loose pin.

Roman is all sharp edges. Physically and vocally, Alexandra Bonesho is all soft, voluptuous curves. She is Diana, a soprano set on bedding Tito for fun and for profit. ("One word from Tito, and I'm at the Met!") Bonesho didn't impersonate Mae West, but clearly took her cues from that comic blond siren of the 1930s. Her Diana is hilarious and dead sexy at the same time. And Bonesho should wear that platinum wig all the time -- what a bombshell!

Peter Sisto and Linda C. Loving emerge from one of the six doors (I told you it was a farce) now and then to deliver nifty little sub-plots and jokes that throw the plans of the principals off kilter. I like Sisto's decision to make the autograph hound bellhop sly and insidious rather than openly aggressive. Loving, like Bonesho, reminds us of a Hollywood legend without imitating her -- Margaret Dumont's legacy continues!

Alexandra Bonesho, Drew Brhel, Rick Pendzich. Frohna/MCT.

The entire cast meshes beautifully as doors open and slam shut, people hide in closets, clever dialogue zips by and the action rises to a predictable but nonetheless charming and satisfying climax. All this occurs on Rachel Finn's elegant hotel-room set and clothed in gorgeous period garb by costume designer Debra Krajec. It's all just perfect.

Lend Me a Tenor runs in the Cabot Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center through April 27. For tickets and further information, visit the company's website.

More Tom Strini Writes Theater Reviews.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Rep's "History of Invulnerability"

JJ Philips, Luke Brotherhood, and Bob Amaral in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s The History of Invulnerability. Rep photo by Michael Brosilow.
The moral wrongs wrought by the Nazis during the Holocaust dwarf the moral wrongs that the American comic book industry inflicted on Jerry Siegel, creator of Superman. Playwright David Bar Katz conflates the two in The History of Invulnerability, and that is the central problem with this play, which the Milwaukee Rep opened Saturday at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.

Katz juxtaposed scenes of Nazis brutalizing helpless Jews at concentration camps with scenes of Siegel pleading for his just share of royalties from the Superman franchise. Given the imbalance in stakes, one cannot possibly care about the whiny guy who wrote corny dialogue and ridiculous plots for an iconic character that his partner drew.

That is the fatal kryptonite, but just the first of a long list of problems with this messy play. Katz set it in Jerry Siegel's mind as he lay dying in Los Angeles in 1996. I can't recall all the subjects of the many vignettes that occur in this disordered brain, but the list includes the Eureka moment with artist Joe Shuster (Michael Kroeker); various versions of an abortive uprising at a concentration camp; projected/enacted panels from comic strips; a sub-plot involving an estranged son; a court scene; scornful treatment from rotten DC Comics execs; Ukrainian Jews suffering during a pogrom; and Siegel working in the Los Angeles Post Office. These vignettes orbit ongoing dialogues between JJ Phillips' Man of Steel and Bob Amaral's Siegel, which sometimes veer into pop-psychology daddy issues between figment and creator.

Michael Kroeker, Bob Amaral, Greg Wood, Angela Iannone
and JJ Philips. Michael Brosilow photo for the Rep.
In addition to playing the welter of brief scenes on a sliding scale between naturalism and comic-strip zap and pow, the actors deliver yards and yards of explainery directly to the audience. They must, as the dramatic action leaves many blanks. The dull monologues fill us in on biographical facts, sales figures for Superman-related kitsch, the number of newspapers that carried the Superman strip, the numbers of comic books sold and on an on, long past the point where we stop caring. When actors stop acting and start telling you things, drama fails.

Director Mark Clements, designer Todd Edward Ivins and a hard-working cast of 18 tried mightily to make this turkey fly. Ivins, with lighting designer Thom Weaver, video production designer Jared Mezzochi and lighting and video director Ryan Bertelson, made a cool set with many suspended panels perfect for projecting comic-strips. Costume designer Rachel Laritz came up with enormously clever layered, tearaway costumes that allowed not only Clark Kent to become Superman instantly, but also allowed ensemble actors to take on new characters in the blink of an eye.

In the end, that heroic effort failed to save the day. The sketchy plotting and dialogue forced the ensemble actors to play everything broadly to get information across quickly; the play has no nuance. Amaral did what he could with Siegel. But what's to be done with an annoying little man who had one good idea and spent the rest of his life ticked off about allowing himself to be cheated out of it? It was like spending the evening with Mort Goldman.

OK, Jerry Siegel, you're right -- it wasn't fair. But enough, already.

The History of Invulnerability runs through May 4. Tickets and further information right here.

Coming Wednesday (sorry for the delay): Review of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's Lend Me a Tenor.

More Tom Strini Writes theater reviews here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Early Music Now: Four Nations Ensemble's French Glitter and Passion

Jason Swearing Eternal Affection to Medea,
Jean-Francois de Troy, 1742-43. National Gallery, London.
The glittering virtuosity of late French Baroque music dazzled once again, as Early Music Now presented the Four Nations Ensemble at the UWM Zelazo Center.

Perhaps the most extravagantly bejeweled music came in eight selections from J-P Rameau's Pieces de Clavecin, from 1724. Andrew Appel, the ensemble's harpsichordist and leader, had a brief memory lapse in one selection, but what matter if a few pearls fall the the floor amid such abundance?

Appel otherwise displayed total command of this highly virtuosic music. It comes encrusted with the most extravagant ornamentation, with much written and more expected of the player. The interpretive challenge lies in maintaining tension between the momentum in these stylized, vestigal dances and the desire to savor the ornaments. Appel measured that beautifully, sometimes integrating the turns and trills into the metric flow and sometimes stepping out of the dance to show off a particular delicacy. The harpsichord, with its dry way of presenting each note particularly, even at high speed, is the perfect vehicle for this aesthetic.

So is the voice of soprano Dominique Labelle. Her dark, powerful yet wonderfully agile singing conveyed both the weighty drama of L.M. Clerambault's Medée and its virtuoso display. This remarkable "cantata for voice and instruments," from 1710, is something of a mono-opera. Labelle, supported by Appel, violinist Tatiana Chulochnikova, cellist Loretta O'Sullivan and, in one number, flutist Colin St. Martin, ran the gamut of high emotions in a series of charged recitatives, airs and a vivement section that serves as a spectacular cadenza.

Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Love Song, c 1717.
The ensemble doesn't merely play continuo as Medea ponders her revenge on her faithless husband. Clerambault gave each player, cellist included, explosive solos that cut through the texture and stretches of instrumental coloratura intricately twined with the vocal lines. The singer and the ensemble breathed and phrased as one. The players gave Labelle the support and confidence to let the melodies bloom and get to the black heart of Medea's emotions.

The first half was more civilized and courtly, with J-M Leclair's Sonata for Violin and Continuo Opus 9 No. 3, two airs de cour by Michel Lambert (1610-1696), Rameau's air Heureux Oiseaux, and a Telemann's French-styled Deuxième Suite for all four instrumentalists.

Labelle and the players made it all light, dazzling and sly, all about plasir. This is the French rococo we know, that of Fragonard and Watteau, and it was lovely. But the revelation of this program is that the era wasn't all charming flirtation and glittering surfaces. Deep in the consciousness, passion stirred and Medea lurked.

More TSW Music Reviews.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Present Music: Life, Love and Death

Kevin Stalheim conducts singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and the Present Music Ensemble.
Angela Morgan photo for Present Music.
What is and what isn't authentic Sean Nós, or Old Style, Irish singing seems to be open to question. But some consensus appears to hold on the idea that its roots run hundreds of years into the past, that it expresses the most soulful emotions, and that Iarla Ó Lionáird is exceptionally good at it.

I can attest to the second and third of these notions, having heard Iarla Ó Lionáird Friday evening with Present Music at Turner Hall. Ó Lionáird sang a traditional  unaccompanied tune, "Táim Cortha ó Bheith im’ Aonar im’ Lu," or "I'm Weary of Lying Alone." Ó Lionáird pushed out the expansive, unbarred melody in a keening, yearning tenor that brought David Byrne's voice to mind. He exposes rather than conceals the effort. The calculated strain in his voice contributes to the tense emotional response it evokes in the listener. Barbed little ornaments, executed in the back of the throat and somewhat akin to Blues sobs, strike frequently, potently and without warning.

The persona of "Táim Cortha" is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood. The sentiment is not at all comic: "For the truth is I say I'll die in despair if I lie any longer alone, alone..." Likewise, "Táim Sínte ar do Thuama" ("I Am Stretched Upon Your Grave") and "Gra Agus Bás" ("If it happened in our pleasure that we made a child, and if you were to deny the deed, I would be near death...") lament common human tragedy.

In these latter numbers, Ó Lionáird showed his progressive colors, as an artist willing to extend as well as preserve the Sean Nós tradition. Most experts consider it a solo singing form, but Friday Ó Lionáird sang the second and third songs with the Present Music ensemble at small-orchestra scale.

I spoke with Present Music artistic director Kevin Stalheim, who conducted both numbers, after the concert. It turns out that Ó Lionáird reads not a note of music. Composer Donnacha Dennehy arrangements allowed some room for variation by the singer.

Segnitz surrounded that intense voice with a gorgeous glow of Impressionist harmonies for violin, viola, cello, electric, clarinet, flute, bass, trombone, piano and percussion. Dennehy added piccolo and trumpet to the mix in "Gra Agus Bás," composed originally for Ó Lionáird and the Crash Ensemble.

Dennehey hurls waves of harmonic, melodic and coloristic terror at the ear, to match the terror in a  female protagonist who fears she will be abandoned in pregnancy. ("There is a nail on my heart/I am filled with love for you.") The episodes swing from meditation to outburst, and they go on and on relentlessly. Ó Lionáird's voice burns like an acetylene torch amid wild shrieking flights from the woodwinds and above dense, dissonant chords buzzing in string tremolos. It's so emotionally and sonically intense that you can hardly stand it, but it's so beautiful you don't want it to end. Just listening to it was draining; I can't imaging playing and singing this daunting work with the confidence and mighty energy the singer and the musicians brought to it.

Kelsey Stolhand, Nadin Bailey and Brooke Miller dance to Phil Kline's
Exquisite Corpse. Angela Morgan photo for Present Music.
The theme of the Present Music program was "Life, Love and Death," and the Sean Nós covered two of the three. Louis Andriessen's Life (2009), a round of traditional Norwegian tunes from Hardanger fiddler Cleek Schrey, Evan Chambers' Fire Hose Reel and Phil Kline's paradoxically lively Exquisite Corpses said "Let There Be Life!"

Andriessen made Life in conjunction with filmmaker Marijke van Warmerdam. Her four brief films ran in conjunction with Andriessen's four movements. The imagery is painterly: Leaves blowing about an industrial landscape, an elderly couple seated on a bench on a lawn near a pond; a Venetian blind being disturbed by a finger running up and down the slats; a view of a green landscape through a foggy window pane. The music, for large ensemble, is quirky, witty and apt to the imagery. Life is charming.

So is Exquisite Corpse, and Stalheim amplified its charms by bringing in Dani Kuepper to create a little dance for it. Kelsey Stolhand, Brooke Miller and Nadin Bailey, all in white and surrounded by hoop skirts of various lengths, nattered about like curious ground-bound birds, a good fit for Kline's delightfully percolating music.

Schrey's genteel dances on the Hardanger fiddle, very 19th-century, made a smart contrast to Chamber's Fire Hose Reel. Violinist Eric Segnitz and pianist Yegor Shevtsov played this virtuosic, post-modern fantasy on Irish fiddling with five-alarm heat.

More Strini music stories here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crossword #5 (Scroll down for hints)

Milwaukee Arts Quiz Crossword No. 5

Milwaukee Arts Quiz Crossword No. 5

Tom Strini

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All the clues and answers in the Crossword #5 pertain to stories published at Tom Strini Writes between March 20 and April 9. The answers lie somewhere within the 12 stories written during that period.

Don't bother with printouts or pencils. Simply click on any grid square to start. A clue will pop up; when you type the correct answer, it will magically appear on the squares. I've linked the clues in the list below to the appropriate stories. So if you get stumped, you can use the search box or simply click on the link below to find the answer -- you cheater.

Amy Seiwert's new dance for the Milwaukee Ballet.
This group of actors did 10 short plays on a two-hour program.
MSO met this emergency fund-raising goal.
Fine Arts Quartet gave this obscure Italian an airing.
Actress played a sensual farm wife at Renaissance Theaterworks.
Edo de Waart led three straight programs with a symphony by whom?
The lovely and talented ______________.
Ava Pine triumphed in this role at the Florentine.
Florentine singers' residence.
Renaissance Theatreworks stage director.
MSO alternative venue recently.
Fine Arts Quartet guest pianist.
Handel's Roman hero at the Florentine.
Veteran Milwaukee actor played Poppy 1 at Next Act.
John Adams' musical setting of Walt Whitman Civil War text.
Matthew Neenan's new dance for the Milwaukee Ballet.
Strini recently published in this print venue.
Aussie farmer Tom at Renaissance Theaterworks.
Taut epidermal drama of love.
What businesses can now do at Tom Strini Writes.
Next Act's Three Views of the Same Object playwright.
Brilliant MSO soloist in John Adams' Saxophone Concerto.
She sizzled in John Adams' Violin Concerto with the MSO.

Previous crosswords here.