Captain Frederick Pabst contributed to Milwaukee?s status as a cultural landmark of the upper Midwest by building Pabst Theater, formally known as Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater, in 1895. According to legend, when he was informed that his theater had burned to the ground, the brewing magnate interrupted his European vacation to wire home the order to ?Rebuild at once!??and 11 months later, the stage was completed anew. Where the old theater honored German artists by having their names inscribed along the cornice of the auditorium, the new building featured an international consortium of cultural notables. The theater?s globe-spanning influences were made even more apparent with the installation of an Austrian crystal chandelier and an Italian marble staircase.
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.
Amid the tangy aroma of buffalo wings and the clink of beer glasses, patrons at Karma Bar & Grill gather around 20 HDTVs with MLB, NHL, NFL, and UFC packages, eyes locked on the match. Servers keep the atmosphere inviting as they deliver pitchers of beer, hefty 1/2-pound Angus steak burgers, plates of six-cheese mac or house-smoked brisket and pork, Friday fish fries, and other from-scratch specialties. During baseball season, Karma offers patrons a Brewer shuttle during every home game, and stand-up comedians appear on select Wednesdays and Fridays. The private Karma Lounge is also available for rental for groups of 10?80, and sports a giant projection screen along with a private bar.
Florentine Opera Company?the nation's sixth oldest?has blanketed audiences with the voices of local, national, and international opera singers since its premiere season in 1934. Guests unfamiliar with opera can gain insight to special productions thanks to meet-the-artist sessions, pre-performance talks, and other events. Between performances, Florentine's members build appreciation for culture by serenading fast-food employees through the drive-thru microphone and by leading arts-education programs in schools and in the community.
For more than two decades, laughs have permeated the space within Comedy Cafe. On its stage, a rolling list of local and nationally acclaimed comedians—such as Tommy Chong and Bobcat Goldthwait—launch into schticks or go about repairing minor damage to brickwork. Audiences can work on their spit takes thanks to a menu of margaritas, martinis, and snacks such as popcorn.
Girls Night: The Musical will bring to the stage of the 14th Street Theatre a heartfelt, comedic story of five friends celebrating their history and future together while embarking on an epic night of karaoke. Actresses belt out renditions of such female classics as "It's Raining Men," "I Will Survive," and ?Lady Marmalade? amid vibrant set pieces. Theater seating harkens back to intimate cabarets of yore, with up to four seats and a Dean Martin wax figure adorning each table. Groupon holders receive the best non-VIP seats possible (any table other than tables A-G) upon the redemption of their vouchers at the theater's will-call station.