In 1928, John H. Harris, the manager of the Sheridan Square Theatre in Pittsburgh, found a month-old baby girl abandoned in one of the theater chairs with a note asking someone to take care of her. He took her in, dedicated his social club—the Variety Club—to underwriting her support and education, and named her Catherine Variety Sheridan. Harris’s efforts drew support from other entertainers internationally, who joined together to provide aid to disadvantaged youth and children with disabilities. Today, Variety – The Children’s Charity has chapters in 14 countries and 10,000 members and works to enrich the lives of children around the world.
The Wisconsin chapter was started in 1935 by businessmen with ties to show business, and it assists children with disabilities through three programs. The Freedom Program funds durable medical equipment to grant youth greater mobility, and the Caring for Kids program donates medical equipment and therapeutic devices to local clinics and hospitals. The Future Kids program provides educational experiences for young people, including trips to museums, sporting events, and shows.
At Healing Forest Studio, founder and former university art professor Lori Slocomb blends multiple artistic styles into one unique, accessible curriculum. Having lived in both New York and L.A., Lori has experienced first-hand the artistic differences that separate the coasts. She aspires to bridge that gap by sharing both conceptual and technical schools of thought with her students, as she and her team of instructors join forces to offer professional, college-grade drawing and painting classes. Lori also takes pride in the open atmosphere and positive energy of her studio, which makes beginner-level and veteran artists alike feel welcome.
Giggles' laughter-rich atmosphere recently earned it a pick as Milwaukee's Best Live Comedy Club by WISN.com and CityVoter in 2010. The pleasingly varied lineup, enables audiences to confidently leave tomatoes at home. Chicago natives John Roy and Dwayne Kennedy, along with Kevin Farley, and Dave Landau engage the audience in saucy satire and worldly wit.
Amid Centercourt’s 14,000-square-foot hardwood haven, people entertain their eyeballs with 20 flat-screen TVs, their ears with frequent live music, and their taste buds with a hearty spread of pub grub and brews. Centercourt fields a full team of wines and spirits, in addition to the 16 on-tap offerings and 30+ bottled beers awaiting their release. Sports enthusiasts can create an edible lineup with build-your-own sandwiches or Hobo fries (spud spears smothered in cheese and beef gravy; $4.95)—an appetizer that can be customized with bacon, chicken, or steak (up to $3.95 each). For a meal as light as a globetrotting eccentric’s hot air balloon, there are salads ($3.95–$9.95) and a roasted-vegetable wrap ($8.95).
Behind the headlining comic, dots of light slowly change color, a hypnotic alternative to the brick wall of many other comedy clubs. Long tables stripe the dim room, giving guests plenty of space to savor a menu of burgers, salads, steaks, and other pub grub. But what makes the cabaret of Jokerz Comedy Club really stand out is its gallery of larger-than-life caricatures. Lushly rendered and outlined by shimmering gold frames, the portraits of some of the biz's most legendary names serve as muses for the up-and-comers taking the stage: Sam Kinison, Jerry Seinfeld, the Blues Brothers, and even Cheech and Chong's iconically smoky joyride are immortalized in the baroquely rubber-faced paintings.
The Waukesha County Museum, which started in a basement room of the old courthouse in 1914, houses a more-than-2,000-square-foot repository for American history. The Memories of World War II touring exhibit pays homage to veterans, photographers, and reporters with more than 100 photos from Associated Press archives in addition to testimonies and hundreds of artifacts donated by local residents. Duck into the Greatest Generation Theater for a 20-minute film that illuminates the sagas of four local surviving WWII veterans.
M&M Gymnastics & Dance's world champion gymnast and instructor, Chellsie Memmel, draws on Olympic training and myriad competitions as she guides tykes toward healthy lifestyles. Gymnastics classes focus on building coordination, strength, the ability to tightrope between skyscrapers, and self-confidence in boys and girls of all ages, starting in infancy. Dance classes elucidate varying motifs from ballet to hip hop in wee ones age 2 and older. M&M's staff encourages talented students to join their competitive gymnastics, dance, and thumb-wrestling teams to further foster an athletic lifestyle. The ample studio space hosts balance bars and floor space for practice, as well as an inflatable playground, two in-ground trampolines, and obstacle courses for fun.