Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre closed in 1989 and reopened its doors in 2001 after city funds helped 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee. But its most notable feature is the 2,200-pound chandelier, which gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
• Seating in section 2 or 4, rows C–J, for the show on Thursday, July 14, at 10 a.m. • Seating in section 2, rows C–J, or section 4, rows D–J, for the show on Friday, July 15, at 10 a.m. • Seating in section 1, row C, or section 2 or 3, rows D–J, for the show on Saturday, July 16, at 10 a.m.
The Music Theatre Company's production of Merrily We Roll Along, a Stephen Sondheim composition based on the 1934 Kaufman and Hart play, weaves a show biz success story in reverse. The musical begins with Franklin Shepard’s wild fame as a film producer before unraveling nearly 20 years of his past to uncover countless love affairs, missed opportunities, and humble dreams.
During the day, the concrete heights of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts tower over the waters of the Milwaukee River like an imposing, postmodern fortress. As night falls, however, and patrons meander toward their evening's entertainment, the building’s façade glows with colorful, scintillating lights that hint at the eclectic performances inside. The elegant Uihlein Hall regularly hosts such august organizations as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Florentine Opera Company, whereas smaller, more intimate venues such as the Todd Wehr Theater situate audiences close to the stage so they can immerse themselves in dramas or hear the wail of a set builder who smashed his thumb with a hammer.
Summerfest is the pride and joy of Milwaukee's music scene, attracting between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people a year with bands playing on 11 stages. The first day of the festival features a variety of general-admission shows, with the first Groupon listening opportunity kicking off at 4:15 p.m. with the Mechanical Kids on the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage. Headlining acts that begin at 8 p.m. include Tokyo Police Club and Colbie Caillat. At 10 p.m., the big hitters emerge from the bullpen with the sultry rhythms of Sheryl Crow, the smooth jamz of The Wailers, the electro-fun of Passion Pit, and more, creating a musical-chairs game of concert options. Check the Summerfest website to view the full music schedule for June 24 (please note that your general-admission ticket does not get you into the Tim McGraw performance in the Marcus Amphitheatre).
The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, written by acclaimed playwright Rebecca Gilman, is the story of Dana, a heralded artist who checks into a mental ward after a disastrous gallery opening. Happy at the hospital but running out of insurance, Dana cooks up an elaborate scheme to pretend that she thinks she is actually baseball legend Darryl Strawberry so that she can stay in the mental ward. The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is directed by Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's producing artistic director, C. Michael Wright. Despite rave reviews for his work as Guildenstern to Dwight Gooden's Rosencrantz in a recent West End production of Hamlet, Darryl Strawberry himself will not be appearing in this show.