By Mary Boyle
High school is tough. Not only are kids growing in both brain and body at a rapid rate, they are in a sort of void - no longer children, but not yet adults. Outside of school, there are few places for teenagers to go where they are welcome, which not only welcomes trouble, but gives them no place in the community. Members of the Alliance Bible Church in Mequon hope to fill that void by creating a part of the community specifically for teenagers: The Student Union.
The TSU, which just opened in downtown Cedarburg this past September, is actually years in the making, and it began with a group of people from Alliance who were passionate about helping kids. They started a successful, free tutoring service called Acacia, but they felt that kids needed a space they could really call their own. Fundraising began, and the group kept their eye out for the perfect spot to open up. When the shop south of the Cedarburg Cultural Center became available, they knew it was the place; even so, it took about a year of renovation before they could open the doors.
While it resembles a trendy coffee shop, only middle and high school students with a student ID can enter the TSU. Coffee, tea, bakery, pizza, and more can be purchased at student-friendly prices and, unlike traditional coffee shops, students are encouraged to stay as long as they like to do homework, meet friends, get a drink or a bite to eat, play board games, and more. The space was specifically designed for middle and high school students: the entire front of the TSU is wide windows, and even the back room that is used for tutoring sessions has glass doors, to everyone is always visible. One area resembles a living room, with comfy stuffed chairs and a television, with the majority of the space is tables and chairs; but, there is also a small stage for performances, and a long bar with outlets over each space, for individual work.
Steve Schroeder, who helped lead the TSU charge and designed the space, wants to make sure the community knows that it's for all of the kids. "We're faith-based, and we're not trying to hide that, but we wanted to be 'non-churchy,' so that everyone would feel comfortable. We want kids to know they're valued, loved, and can make a big contribution to the larger community by making connections in this smaller community."
Sarah Rennicke, a former Acacia tutor, was recently named the Executive Director of TSU, and is excited for the possibilities. "Art events, music night, discussion about issues affecting the kids, community projects and partnering...we're here to serve our community and serve the kids, and we want everyone to come here."
One of the first events coming to the TSU is a Christmas Party on Friday, December 15th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Students can find out more by following the TSU Facebook Page, or on Instagram.
The Student Union is located at W62 N542 Washington Ave. in Cedarburg, and is open from 2-9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For more information, visit the TSU website at: http://www.thestudentu.org/
By Mary Boyle
Every live theatre production is unique; that's the wonder of live theatre, or any live performance, really - you'll never see the same show twice. That being said, with the Bard & Bourbon Theatre Company, the differences between shows are even more pronounced because, in every production, at least one of the actors is getting thoroughly drunk. Needless to say, if you want to make one of the Bard's comedies even funnier, just add alcohol. Such is the case with The Merry Wives of Windsor (Drunk).
Joel Kopischke, who played Antonio in B&B's recent production of Twelfth Night, is fabulous as Sir John Falstaff, an obese, cowardly and bumbling knight of the realm who decides that wooing two wealthy, married ladies, Mistress Ford (Samantha Martinson) and Mistress Page (Amber Regan), would be a great way to increase his fortune. Falstaff asks his men, Bardolph (Robin Christiansen) and Pistol (Keighley Sadler) to deliver identical love letters to the wives, but when they refuse to deliver the letters, Falstaff sacks them, and the two men seek their revenge by telling the ladies' husbands, Ford (Emmitt Morgans) and Page (LeAnn Vance), about what Falstaff is up to.
Page is unconcerned, but Ford, who is a jealous man, suspects his wife of cheating, and sets traps to try and catch her and Falstaff. Meanwhile, the wives are disgusted to discover they have both received the same letter from Falstaff, and they have plans of their own for him. Also, in true Shakespearean love-triangle style, while Falstaff is working overtime to woo the wives, Anne Page (Brittany Curran), the Page's daughter, has fallen in love with Fenton (Robin Christiansen), but her father wants her to wed Slender (Rick Bingen), a pathetic slip of a boy dominated by his Uncle Shallow (Danielle Levings), and her mother wants her to wed the French Doctor, Caius (Keighley Sadler). Secrets, bets, disguises, tricks, and traps--Merry Wives has it all, along with shots of bourbon!
Directed by Reva Fox, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Drunk), is just plain fun but, make no mistake, these actors know their Shakespeare. The theater at the Underground Collective is small, and the props are sparse, but the acting is strong—and it has to be, in order to accommodate an increasingly drunk and unpredictable actor. Amazingly, I watched Joel Kopischke down 10 shots of bourbon and still pull off all of his lines! This is the Bard & Bourbon's Shakespeare, and it is as Wisconsin as Shakespeare can get. If you want to put some "merry" in your holidays, you'll find it here.
The Merry Wives of Windsor (Drunk) runs through December 2nd at the Underground Collective, located in the basement level of the Grand Avenue Mall in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets are available by calling 414-792-9223, or online at https://www.bardandbourbon.com/. To keep on top of their season, follow them on Facebook:
If you want to see more Joel Kopischke, catch Joel Kopischke's I Got Yule, Babe at the Waukesha Civic Theater December 5th and 7th!
By Mary Boyle
I was a child in the eighties, and that meant that I grew up with Annie; the 1982 film (which was based on the musical which, in turn, was based on a comic strip), starring Carol Burnett as the evil Miss Hannigan and Aileen Quinn as Annie, was all the rage in my elementary school. In fact, the first and only play I was ever in was when my second grade class performed Annie for our parents; there was one little girl in our class who couldn't wait to wear her red curly wig and sing, while I was terrified of being an orphan and having to wake up and cry in the middle of the night in front of everyone. Interestingly, I didn't think of Annie as being a Christmas production—I'd long since forgotten that the holiday season plays a particularly important role in the story—but Skylight Music Theatre reminded me, and they gave all of us eighties kids a chance to introduce Annie to our own kids.
Annie (Double cast as Light/Sky: Eloise Field/KyLee Hennes) is the leader of the bunch of little girls in an orphanage in New York City, overseen by a lonely, eccentric, alcoholic tyrant of a woman by the name of Miss Hannigan (Carrie Hitchcock). Unlike the other children, Annie had a a half of a silver heart locket and a note from her parents promising they would return for her but, after 10 years of waiting and hardship, Annie decides to go looking for them herself. On the streets of New York, Annie befriends the homeless in the Depression-era "Hoovervilles," including a dog she names Sandy (Shiloh/Skippy), but a police officer manages to return her to the orphanage just in time for a bit of luck: a woman named Grace Farrell (Diane Lane) was there to choose an orphan to spend the holidays in the mansion owned by billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Andrew Varella).
Annie brings sunshine and optimism to all she meets, including Mr. Warbucks and President Roosevelt, himself (Dylan Bolin). When Mr. Warbucks offers a reward hoping to help Annie find her parents, it only seems to bring out the all of the wrong people, so he decides to adopt Annie, himself. Just when they think they've found her happily ever after, Annie's "parents" show up, but they are really Miss Hannigan's scheming brother, Rooster (Matt Crowle) and his lady, Lily St. Regis (Samantha Sostarich). Will the trick be discovered in time? If anyone's entitled to a Christmas miracle, it's this girl!
Director, Molly Rhode, was born the year Annie opened on Broadway: 1977. Both her and the musical celebrated their 40th birthday this year, but that's not the only reason this production is special to her. "I was 5 years old when the 1982 film came out [and] I had a small obsession with it. A story with a kid at the center, and that kid was a girl, and that girl had a fierce and fiery spirit. That girl was tough as nails, and though the world had only given her hardship, she remained full of optimism. She persisted. Annie is her own agent of change. She doesn't wait for things to happen to her, she seizes opportunity. What a stunning role model for my generation of girls."
As usual, Skylight has put together a very talented cast, full of Milwaukee favorites (these kids will knock your socks off!), and, of course, everyone loves a real dog on the stage. Fans of Annie will love the familiar songs, and the entire production builds an anticipation of the holiday season. This classic will feel like an instant holiday tradition, but it's really quite a rare opportunity, so I suggest getting your tickets while you can!
Tickets for Annie can be purchased in person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, located at 158 N. Broadway, or by calling (414) 291-7800, Monday – Saturday, noon - 6 p.m. Box Office hours are noon - 6 p.m., and the Box Office window is also open two hours prior to each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org.
About Skylight Music Theatre
Skylight Music Theatre’s mission since 1959: To bring the full spectrum of music theatre works to a wide and diverse audience in celebration of the musical and theatrical arts and their reflection of the human condition. Skylight presents productions “Skylight Style” – bringing fresh approaches or interesting twists to music theatre works, creating meaningful connections, not only between the characters on stage but with the audience as well. The beautiful, intimate Cabot Theatre allows audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.
By Mary Boyle
The stories of Sherlock Holmes by the British author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, have been incredibly popular over the past several years. The 2009 film, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, brought literature's most famous detective back into the limelight, and the fandom became even more intense when Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman took up the roles in the agonizingly slow Masterpiece Theater series in 2010. If you haven't gotten enough Sherlock in your life, you're in luck, because The Rep has brought Holmes And Watson to Milwaukee for the holidays!
Directed by Joseph Hanreddy, this 90 minute mystery utilizes two of Doyle's original stories: "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Final Problem." The story begins three years after Holmes' presumed death at Reichenbach Falls, where three patients (Ryan Imhoff, Grant Goodman, and Rex Young) in a Scottish asylum are claiming to be Sherlock Holmes. Holmes' trusted companion, Dr. Watson (Norman Moses), is called to the asylum by Dr. Evans (Mark Corkins) to determine if any of the men are telling the truth, but will he recognize his clever friend—if, in fact, any of the men are actually Holmes, at all—and why are they claiming to be Holmes, anyway? Does Holmes' nemesis, Moriarty (Eric Damon Smith) have something to do with it, or could it be "The Woman," Irene Adler (Maggie Kettering)? Watson must use the ingenuity of Holmes, himself, to get to the bottom of this mystery, and he takes the audience along for the thrilling ride.
Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, who is a huge fan of Sherlock, himself, of course, urges audiences not to get ahead of Holmes and Watson. "It's more fun not to know anything before the curtain goes up—you'll get a bigger kick out of it if you haven't been clued in." In writing the play, Hatcher knew that the person who played Holmes must be able to really own the character: "...he had better be tall, he had better be trim, with aquiline features, not soft ones, and God help the actor with a pug nose. His voice must have the authority of intellect and empire, and his diction must cut through diamonds." Fans of Sherlock, test your skill! If, in fact, Sherlock is alive, will you be able to find him?
Tickets for Holmes And Watson are available at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at 414-224-9490, or at the Ticket Office at 108 E Wells Street, Milwaukee. Student Discounts: Students 18 and under can purchase $20 tickets for select seating areas.
35 & Under: Select tickets available for $20 for patrons 35 & Under. (Select 35 & Under price at checkout online)
Veteran’s Night: Wednesday, November 29, 7:30pm
Partnered with the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, enjoy a performance of Holmes and Watson followed by a Panel discussion titled “Dr. Watson Is a Vet?! Representation of Veterans in the Media.”
About Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, featuring a World Premiere of a new adaptation in 2016, at the historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity.
By Mary Boyle
First, you take a familiar concept like a murder mystery. Then, to make it really interesting, you only have two actors: one to investigate the murder, and the other to play all of the suspects. Finally, you throw in a piano. Oh yeah - and both of the actors play the piano. Welcome to Murder for Two at The Rep!
Growing up in Milwaukee, Joe Kinosian was lucky to have a middle school teacher who took him, and other interested classmates, to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater on a regular basis. He couldn't have possibly known then that one day he would write a musical of his own and return to The Rep's stage to perform it. Now, this Milwaukee High School of the Arts alum has come home to co-star in the musical he wrote with Kellen Blair, in which a local author is murdered in a small town at his own surprise birthday party, and Officer Marcus Moscowicz (Matt Edmonds), who dreams of becoming a detective, is first on the scene. Can he figure out which one of The Suspects (Joe Kinosian) committed the murder before the real detective arrives?
The Rep's Stackner Cabaret is the perfect venue for this game-of-Clue-meets-dinner-theater production, where the actors get up close and personal with the audience, and the piano is the only accompaniment. Kinosian's rapid change between suspects, from a haughty ballerina who was having an affair with the victim to the three remaining choir boys from the twelve boy choir, is as impressive as it is funny, and Edmonds' seriousness is the perfect foil for Kinosian's plethora of crazy characters. Kinosian and Edmonds have great chemistry; they're both adorable, and they're both really good piano players. Laughter, romance, music, and mayhem - Murder for Two has it all!
Murder for Two runs through January 14, 2018, in The Rep's Stackner Cabaret, located at 108 E. Wells St. in Milwaukee. Tickets are avilable online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at (414) 224-9490, or in person at the Ticket Office.
About Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues: the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio, and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, featuring a World Premiere of a new adaptation in 2016 at the historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee's rich diversity.
In autumn, a favorite pastime is driving country roads in search of the beautiful bursts of fall color. With all of the natural beauty of Ozaukee County, it may come as a surprise that the roads we drive each day to get us to and from work, school, entertainment, and other activities are also a primary avenue for the invasion of unwanted plants.
Phragmites, Purple Loosestrife, Wild Parsnip - these plants are not native to Wisconsin, and pose a threat to our yards, gardens, woodlands, and wetlands. Wild Parsnip also poses a hazard to humans who come into contact with it (the plant juices, when activated by sunlight, can cause painful blistering burns that can result in scarring). Once established, these plants are difficult and expensive to eradicate, and they can reduce the value of your property, as well as your enjoyment of it. As with many problems, prevention is the key, which is why the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog (FOCB) have initiated a program to stop the invasion of these unwanted and invasive plants.
The Bog Guardian Program is funded by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT), a WI-DNR Citizen-based Monitoring Network, and by the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog. The Bog Guardians will recruit and train a cadre of volunteers to monitor, locate and eradicate invasive plants on roadways surrounding the Cedarburg Bog, and nearby State Natural Areas, in cooperation with Town, County and State Highway Departments. Furthermore, the program will reach out to landowners in the area to increase their awareness of the threats these unwanted plants pose to their properties, and offer to assist them in eradicating them, which will further help to stem the spread of these invasive species into our sensitive natural areas.
The Cedarburg Bog, which is located in the northwest corner of the Town of Cedarburg, was designated a State Natural Area in 1952, and was only the second property in the state added to this program. The preserve is one of the largest and best examples of the remaining wetlands in Southeastern Wisconsin, with large expanses of cedar-tamarack swamp forest, in addition to marshes, shrub carrs, swamp hardwoods, and both deep and shallow bog lakes. Its most unusual feature is the presence of a string or "patterned" bog, which consists of stunted cedars and tamaracks alternating with flatter, wetter areas dominated by sedges. String bogs are typically found much further north, and the Cedarburg Bog may be the southernmost string bog in North America.
Teasel and Wild Parsnip have yet to reach the Cedarburg Bog, but keeping these invasive plants out is much easier than trying to get rid of them after they've arrived, and this is now the mission of Jamie Sue Beaupré, the new Bog Guardian Project Manager. Beaupré is quite passionate about her work. "Its amazing, actually," Beaupré said, "All plants just want to grow, invasive or not." Once established, it is intended that the Bog Guardians, with help from neighboring landowners and communities, will sustain this program into the future and keep invasive plants out of the Bog, UWM Field Station, and State Natural Areas.
The Bog Guardians are looking for volunteers for this very important project; if you are interested in getting involved, Contact Jamie Sue Beaupré, FOCB Bog Guardian Program Manager, at 262-323-1887, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mary Boyle
One doesn't need to be a Musical Theatre nerd to know about Hamilton: Composer, lyricist, and performer Lin Manuel Miranda's award-winning production, based on the biography by Ron Chernow, about our Country's first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. The craze over the musical rapidly moved outside of the theatre world and into pop culture after its opening on Broadway on August 6, 2015, and has done nothing but gain in popularity since, racking up award after award along the way. You may have wondered, "Is it worth all of the hype?" The short answer is: yes.
Hamilton is simply revolutionary -- and not just because the Revolutionary War is a part of the musical. As Miranda, himself, has said, "History is entirely created by the person who tells the story." At face value, this is the story of the relationship between Alexander Hamilton, our Country's first Secretary of Treasury, and Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the United States, and the events that led to the duel between the two that resulted in Hamilton's death. We may even go so far as to say that it is the tale of the founding of our nation through the lens of these two key players. Both of those descriptions would be accurate...but...Hamilton is so much more than that. Quite simply, it is the "realest" story of our Country that has ever been told, because the person who is telling the story has — finally — included everyone and, in doing so, he has changed history. The real revolution happens when you realize that the Revolution never ended; in fact, this is not an old tale at all, but a very current one that is still being written.
Miranda grew up in New York, the son of mostly Puerto Rican immigrants, and the very definition of "melting pot." His influences reflect a life surrounded by true diversity, from hip-hop to musicals and Shakespeare to films, and they all come through in Hamilton in varying degrees. He wrote his first musical, In the Heights, as a Sophomore at Wesleyan University, which made its way to Broadway in 2008, winning three Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. The success paved the way for Hamilton, which Miranda worked on for several years, while also making film and television appearances and working on other musicals. He seemingly has the Midas touch.
Oskar Eustis, the Director the The Public Theater in New York where Hamilton made it's Off-Broadway debut, said, "Lin does exactly what Shakespeare does...he takes the language of the people, and heightens it by making it verse." I couldn't agree more, but the Shakespeare comparison goes further than that: When I first heard the opening song of Hamilton, my initial thought was that it was laid out exactly like a Shakespearean prologue. Miranda references Shakespeare numerous times over the course of the production, as well, but you will also find his other influences, particularly through the different musical styles: jazz, blues, rock, hip-hop, and more. The broad range of cultural diversity is part of what makes Hamilton so identifiable to so many people, but the lyrics are just brilliant. You will laugh, and you will cry but, at the end, you will feel more a part of your Country than you have ever felt. This is the power of theatre being used to its greatest potential: to bring people together; to change the narrative.
The success of the musical inspired a PBS documentary, Hamilton's America, as well as a book, Hamilton: The Revolution, both of which detail the creation of the musical and offer behind the scenes information, which is revolutionary in that the creation of no other musical has ever been so thoroughly documented (nor has one ever been so primarily created by one person). In fact, Hamilton has been so successful that the US Treasury Department changed their plan to take Alexander Hamilton off of the ten dollar bill, and decided to remove Andrew Jackson, instead. So successful that the production opened in Chicago in 2016, a US Tour is currently running in Los Angeles, and the show will open in London this December. Recently, it was announced that a production will open in Puerto Rico in 2019, with Miranda, himself, reprising his role as Alexander Hamilton.
There are some downsides to all this success. One is that tickets to the shows are incredibly expensive. The other is that fans (myself, included) have been listening to the Cast Album for a full year before Hamilton opened in downtown Chicago last year, and even longer for the other productions, so they already have a firm idea of how the characters should look and sound and, of course, the other productions are not going to be exactly the same, which sets you up for disappointment. I'm here to tell you that even if you've listened to the Cast Album a hundred times, watched the documentary, and read the book, there is still more to be gained from seeing the show.
The stage design in Chicago is an exact replica of New York, and the cast, as a whole, does an admirable job (I especially loved Chris De'Sean Lee as the Marquis de Layfayette and Thomas Jefferson and Jose Ramos asJohn Laurens and Philip Hamilton). The CIBC Theater, located at 18 W. Monroe Street in downtown Chicago, is quite ornate, historic, and intimate. Beware: there are many seats with obstructed views, but even if you're in the very back row, the venue is small enough that you can still see and hear very well. Allow plenty of time to deal with downtown traffic. The Lottery (a chance to win $10 seats) is available for the Chicago performances, and tickets can also be had if you're willing to wait until the last moment and seats open up. For tickets to Hamilton in Chicago, go to http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/show/hamilton-an-american-musical/ or call Ticketmaster at (800) 775-2000.
Are you looking for an absolutely one-of-a-kind gift? Perhaps you love supporting local artists? Then you may want to attend the opening reception of Cedarburg Art Museum’s fourth annual juried show, Iconic Wisconsin, on Saturday, November 11, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the museum.
From 156 submitted entries, 70 pieces for Iconic Wisconsin were chosen by a scoring of three jurors. Each of the exhibiting artists interprets this year’s theme of “iconic Wisconsin” in a different way. A diverse array of subjects, media, and styles make up this celebration of our state. From sculpture to photography to painting and drawing, 56 artists from all over Wisconsin, and several of its neighboring states, will display their unique expressions of what defines Wisconsin.
Frankie Johnson, the Best-of-Show winner of the 2015 Cedarburg Plein Air Event, will be featured in a solo show at the museum, which will run alongside Iconic Wisconsin.
Johnson’s exhibition, Rhythm & Color in Oils, features the artist’s versatility in her favored medium. Figurative works, still life, portraits, and landscapes are all part of this artist’s repertoire. The expressive palette of Frankie Johnson reflects her own approach to life: a playful, energetic, and spirited outlook. For the past 24 years of her 35-year career of creating and teaching art, Frankie Johnson has run her own art school in her hometown of Lake Zurich, Illinois. Johnson will speak about her work at 4:15 p.m. on November 11 at the museum.
Most works in both exhibitions are for sale, making this a great opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind artworks for the home or as gifts, while supporting Wisconsin artists and the museum. Generous support of Port Washington State Bank and Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly helps to provide awards for artists and assist with exhibition expenses at the Cedarburg Art Museum.
Both exhibitions run November 8, 2017 – January 21, 2018 at the Cedarburg Art Museum, located at W63 N675 Washington Avenue. Hours at the museum are Wednesday through Saturday 10 – 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 4 p.m. More information about the exhibitions and Museum can be found at www.cedarburgartmuseum.org.
Ozaukee County is the place to be for the holidays! From Thanksgiving through the New Year, there are festive events happening everywhere you turn. Here's the complete listing:
Saturday, November 18th
Sunday, November 19th
Saturday, November 25th
Monday, November 28th
Friday, December 1st
Saturday, December 2nd
Sunday, December 3rd
Saturday, December 9th
Don't forget the full listing of Cedarburg's holiday events here. If you don't see your event listed, let us know! Happy Holidays from Ozaukee Living Local.
Center Stage at the Cedarburg Cultural Center kicks off its “Rebels & Renegades” series on November 11th with Chicago Farmer and Joseph Huber.
By Kathy Lanser
Center Stage at the Cedarburg Cultural Center kicks off its “Rebels & Renegades” series on November 11th with Chicago Farmer and Joseph Huber. The CCC has curated the series to convey the lyrical honesty of Americana music through a variety of rollicking musical styles: bluegrass, blues, folk-revival, indie, and roots country. You can expect a fun vibe, full bar, free parking and reasonably priced tickets, without the usual added ticket fees.
“Our goal is to share a reliably-solid music experience with our audience,” stated Kathy Lanser, CCC Talent Booker. “The CCC showcases accomplished musicians from around the world, but never forgets the progressive local artists that have broadened our musical awareness.”
The CCC Center Stage 2017/2018 presents the “Rebels & Renegades,” featuring:
Saturday, November 11th Chicago Farmer / Joseph Huber
Saturday, November 25th Len Voy / The Blisters
Saturday, January 20th The Whiskey Belles / WheelHouse
Saturday, February 24th Altered Five Blues Band
Saturday, April 14th Zach Pietrini / Buffalo Gospel
Thursday, April 26th Mia Dyson
Saturday May 5th Aaron Williams And The Hoodoo
Saturday May 19th Davina And The Vagabonds
All shows start at 7:30 pm
The CCC is currently offering a Season Ticket promotion for the entire “Rebels & Renegades” series priced at $137.00, which also includes a complimentary Individual Membership ($35 value); or, purchase 2 Season Tickets and receive a complimentary Household Membership ($60 value). Existing CCC Members receive 30% off the series for a Season Ticket price of $100. Individual & Household Member Benefits include free First Fridays concerts, Free Yoga, 20% Discount on all art classes, and more.
ABOUT THE SHOWS:
Saturday, November 11th - 7:30 pm: Chicago Farmer / Joseph Huber $16 / $13
Lyrically driven, Chicago Farmer delves into the social and political issues of today’s world, taking it all in and putting it back through music as a commentary on modern times in the Midwest. With his unfeigned and relatable approach, Chicago Farmer has earned a place in the heart of his generation’s rise of protest songs. He composes music written and sung, by and for, the working class, recalling modern day folk tales.
Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Joseph Huber was a founding member of the .357 String Band -- a group that, despite its break-up, continues to gain popularity, and is known as one of the most influential groups in the recent insurgent, underground country and bluegrass movement. Whether it's irresistible, fiddle-driven, dancing tunes or honest, heart-wrenching "songwriter" songs, Huber spans the spectrum of 'Roots' music while preferring not to stay within the boundaries of any strict genre classification. Maintaining a solid touring schedule, playing all throughout both the U.S. and around Europe, Huber continues to gain positive press, including being listed on L.A. Weekly's '10 More Country Artists To Listen To.'
Saturday, November 25th - 7:30 pm: Len Voy / The Blisters $12 / $10
Len Voy is a return to the intimacy of isolation. Conjuring up memories through plucked strings and song, it is the sound of the cathartic, self-discovery process for Nick Lanser.
The Blisters are Henry Mosher, Spencer Tweedy, Hayden Holbert and Tory P-Lopez. The Blisters will be performing their folk-inflected interpretation of indie rock with material from their 2016 release, Cured, as well as from their 2013 debut, Finally Bored. Lead singer Henry Mosher's songs find their roots in Laurel Canyon songwriters, filtered through midwestern experience and adapted with 90s rockisms along the way.
Saturday, January 20th - 7:30 pm: WhiskeyBelles / WheelHouse $16 / $13
The WhiskeyBelles are an all-female traditional country and Americana trio based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Belles are widely known for captivating shows featuring their own take on classic and obscure vintage-country, Americana, folk-revival and roots-country tunes, with their witty originals sprinkled in. They’ve been compared with the Pistol Annie’s, Dixie Chicks and The Trio (Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris & Linda Ronstadt). The WhiskeyBelles have personalities as big as the Texan skyline - they have a great time on stage, and love to share the fun with their audience.
WheelHouse is a nationally touring Americana and bluegrass band whose high and lonesome harmonies come with a little bit of grit. As a full-time band, they perform over 220 shows per year and have garnered attention from national labels. Featuring three and four-part harmonies, fiddle and guitar leads, and driving rhythm of the upright bass, WheelHouse brings an energy and attitude unique to themselves. WheelHouse also owns their own brand of whiskey appropriately named WheelHouse Whiskey.
Saturday, February 24th - 7:30 pm: Altered Five Blues Band $16 / $13
For 15 years, Altered Five Blues Band has been winning audiences with a swaggering stomp of bruising, barrelhouse grit. According to Downbeat magazine, front man Jeff Taylor “sings powerfully” and “Jeff Schroedl’s live-wire guitar reaches the high bar of mixed invention and fluidity.” Blues Bytes magazine declares the group features “the funkiest rhythm section outside of Memphis.” Charmed & Dangerous is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the group’s 2014 album Cryin’ Mercy, which reached #3 in the iTunes blues store, hit #1 on the Roots Music Report blues chart, and won “Best Self-Released CD” at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.
Saturday, April 14th - 7:30 pm: Zach Pietrini / Buffalo Gospel $15 / $12
Voted Best Live Act in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Magazine, 2017), it’s been four years since Zach Pietrini showed up on the Milwaukee music scene. Despite being a Chicago transplant, The Zach Pietrini Band has become a recognized name around town, playing featured spots at Summerfest and Bastille Days. At the forefront of the Americana resurgence in the north country, Pietrini quickly distinguished himself with his fearless vulnerability, prolific writing, and dynamic live show. “Pietrini’s skill is crafting the kind of Americana that gets right into you with a beguiling friendliness.” -88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Buffalo Gospel delivers heartfelt and heartbreaking timeless Country/Western and Americana arrangements. Bleary emotion shines through in the raw lyrical honesty set against a tapestry of powerful minimalism. In a genre plagued by carbon copy insincerity, Buffalo Gospel’s breathtaking honesty and wildcat live performances take listeners to a dusty but strangely familiar place that simply gets sweeter with time. Buffalo Gospel’s music has been praised as “minimalist and masterful,” “musically arresting,” and “Milwaukee’s Best Kept Secret.” “Americana may continually blow in and out of fashion, but the expertly realized and deeply felt Americana of Buffalo Gospel defies any weather-bound tastes.” – Milwaukee Record
Thursday, April 26th - 7:30 pm: Mia Dyson $20 / $16
Mia Dyson is a four-time ARIA nominated and award winning Australian singer songwriter and guitarist. She's toured with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Chris Isaak and Joe Cocker. She has released her second American made album “Idyllwild,” a “Brilliant” (Daytrotter) and "bold new venture" (TheMusic.au) that finds her continuing to explore the boundaries of what one woman can do with a rock and roll band, a guitar built by her father, and “a sublime grit & gravel voice that lands her squarely between Lucinda Williams & Bob Dylan” (Boston Globe). Her forthcoming album, If I Said Only So Far, I Take It Back, was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL, with producer Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes, St. Paul & the Broken Bones) and famed original "Swamper" David Hood on bass and John Paul White (The Civil Wars) on backing vocals.
Saturday, May 5th -7:30 pm: Aaron Williams And The Hoodoo $15 / $12
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo’s music is unwavering, filtering blues, soul, roots, and rock through a prism of emotional authenticity. What emerges isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, rather something undeniable, and the very definition of a force of nature. It’s real American music at its core and at its best. Noticing his kid’s prowess for the blues, Aaron’s father, the famous Hammond organist Bluesman Cadillac Joe, signed Aaron to his blues band at a young age and hit the road, performing in the top blues venues and festivals with a long list of Blues legends. Aaron formed a stripped-down trio who continue to deliver their fused blues, roots and rock music to a wide audience. Original award-winning music including five WAMI’s, Six MAMA awards, including the coveted Best Vocalist Award, Best Blues/Rock Album, and a Grammy nod for their new live album, Live Loud Harmony, is critically acclaimed as one of the best live albums ever.
Saturday May 19th - 7:30 pm: Davina And The Vagabonds $25 / $20
“Davina Sowers is a one-of-a-kind performer whose singing… has a sassiness bearing some comparison to that of heart-thumping blues queens Ma Rainey and Ida Cox.” – Downbeat. Since exploding onto the scene in 2005, Davina and the Vagabonds have grown from a down-and-dirty blues band into one of the most exciting acoustic ensembles on the international stage. This high-energy quintet has established itself with a stellar live show, a professional look, and good old-fashioned hard work. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band draws from the last 100 years of American music, and is converting audiences one show at a time. So much more than just a blues act, DATV’s shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Davina’s voice and stage presence defy category in a different way. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice. Sowers is a true original. “Two things remain consistent at all her shows though: her throaty but cushiony voice, which has a sort of hard-mattress comfort to it that’s part Bonnie Raitt, part Etta James and a little Amy Winehouse; and her band’s rollicking New Orleans flavor, driven home by dueling horn players and a bayou-thick standup bass.” -Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
The Center Stage series is presented by Port Washington State Bank; Hotel Sponsor, The Washington House Inn; and, Media Sponsor, Milwaukee Record. Concerts take place at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, located at W62 N546 Washington Ave in Cedarburg. Tickets can be purchased online at http://cedarburgculturalcenter.org/centerstage.html or by calling the Box Office at 262-375-3676, ext. 101.