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A “Great” Time to Go to the Movies

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by Guest Blogger Maxwell Zupke

The Charles Allis Art Museum will screen the 1949 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” May 8 at 7:30 p.m. It’s a rare film never aired on television nor released on VHS or DVD. The screening, which precedes a wide theatrical release of a new adaptation, will be shown as part of Charles Allis’ bi-monthly Movie Time series, which showcases classic films from the vast personal collection of Milwaukee’s leading film historian, Dale Kuntz.

The collection of art and furniture on display at the Charles Allis Art Museum makes Movie Time a double feature. For $7, patrons enjoy a general admission ticket to explore the home before taking their seats for Movie Time, which is always preceded by Kuntz’s inside scoop on the featured film.

Exploring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 seminal novel has become a staple of high-school English classes and a popular project in Hollywood, which has adapted the classic five times, perhaps due to the continuing relevance of Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the empty nouveau riche lifestyle. “The Great Gatsby” screen debut was a silent film released in 1926, though it has since been lost.

The 1949 version highlights '40s megastar Alan Ladd as the eponymous Gatsby and features Academy Award-winner Shelley Winters in a small role. Due to legal loopholes and entanglements, the film has never been televised. Thankfully, one reel has been kept in pristine condition by Kuntz. The condition of the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was not so pristine, garnering mixed reviews at best, which is far better than 2000’s made-for-TV flop starring Paul Rudd and Mira Sorvino.

Here’s to hoping the latest big-screen adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, fares better. Helmed by “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!” director Baz Luhrmann, the film retains Fitzgerald's 1920s setting, but adds a punchy, modern soundtrack.

Sounds like a “great” time to dust off that faded “Gatsby” from English Composition (insert your decade here), reacquaint yourself (or acquaint, like me, as I have yet to read it) with Gatsby, Nick, Tom and Daisy, then check out back-to-back “Gatsbys” – first at the Charles Allis on May 8, then May 10 at the Marcus Theatre of your choice (I’ll be planted, popcorn in hand, at the Majestic). It's a great opportunity to view two versions of a timeless tale, one Fitzgerald fans shouldn't miss.

Movie Time
Charles Allis Art Museum
1801 N. Prospect Ave.


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I’m Melting

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

I got on the elevator after work the other night (you know, that one night it was raining) and a gentleman got on one floor down, umbrella in tow. He quickly noticed I was without precipitation protection.

You’re gonna get wet,” he smirked.

Of all the replies running through my head (“not if I take your umbrella” popped in there pretty quickly), I calmly countered with “Well, I hope I won’t melt.”

He chuckled a muffled chuckle, realizing what he’d just said to a stranger was quite odd. I chuckled, internally, a last-laugh laugh because the word “melt” reminded me I was going to Melthouse Bistro for lunch the following day and, well, that’s the kind of stuff I find funny. Internally.

The menu at Melthouse Bistro, however, is no laughing matter. A giant chalkboard greets you upon arrival at their east-side location on East Kenilworth a half block west of Farwell. Filled with mouth-melting choices like The Cheesehead (provolone, aged cheddar and muenster), The Sergeant Pepper (Wisconsin pepper Jack and cheddar cheese, roasted cauliflower and red peppers with tempura fried onions on sourdough) and The ‘Lil Kahuna (Wisconsin pepper Jack, pineapple, sautéed bell peppers and smoked ham on country buttertop buns), Melthouse Bistro takes the grilled cheese sandwich to mythic proportions.

“Our gourmet flavor combinations are a culinary adventure, bringing warmth, comfort and absolute bliss together that will bring you back again and again,” is how Melthouse Bistro tells it. And they’re spot on.

The day a co-worker and I visited, it was rainy and cold (a dramatic shift from the otherwise windy, rainy and cold). We were in uber need of warmth and comfort and we found it in the form of The Big Sal (Wisconsin asiago and fresh mozzarella, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and sautéed onions, portabella mushrooms and bell peppers on ciabatta bread) and The Biloxi (Wisconsin fontina, pulled barbecue pork, pickles and creamy coleslaw on buttertop white).

But, Melthouse Bistro is more than delectable artistries between bread, their sides and choice of beverages (they offer wine and beer pairings from local wineries/breweries for all sandwiches) alone warrant repeated visits. We sampled the mac ‘n cheese, waffle fries and a bowl of Yukon potato soup, as well as Sprecher Root Beer and Sprecher Orange Dream – in frosted glasses.

Ironically, we appeared to be in a frosted glass as we gazed onto Kenilworth from our window seats. The steady rain obscured our view, but not our grilled-cheese escape. I can’t wait to make another escape to Melthouse Bistro. So, let it keep raining. I’ve got a lot of menu to cover.

Melthouse Bistro
1857 E. Kenilwoth Place


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Let’s Celebrate Milwaukee Day

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By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Sunday is April 14 and you know what that means. It’s 414 and that’s the code, as in area code, for MKE. It’s a day to celebrate the city we hold dear, so put on your thinking cap and get out there and find an “only-in-Milwaukee” way to enjoy your favorite place on the planet!

I’ve got a few ideas to get you started, but the key to doing it right is to make the day your own. What do you love about Milwaukee? What are some of your favorite ways to spend time here? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

  • Start a blog about why you love Milwaukee
  • Enjoy all four food groups in a Bloody Mary Milwaukee-style
  • Start the day off with a big cup of Joe at Alterra
  • Learn about new restaurants and cool neighborhoods on a Milwaukee Food Tour
  • Walk through the Milwaukee Public Library
  • Take your best friend out for frozen custard
  • Go for a stroll along the lakefront
  • Share the Dear MKE feature film with someone who doesn’t live in Milwaukee
  • Take your pic with the cow at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and post to Facebook
  • Have brunch at a new restaurant
  • Instagram from atop the Pilot House at Discovery World
  • Visit a neighborhood you’ve never been to
  • Take a Miller Park tour
  • Have a drink, an appetizer, a sandwich, a stroll with your best friend – anything. Just do it on Milwaukee Street.
  • Bike the Oak Leaf Trail
  • Go bowling!
  • Take someone from the burbs on a tour of Milwaukee and post all your pics online
  • Have a Milwaukee microbrew from your favorite watering hole  
  • Grill a bratwurst

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50 Family Fun Ideas – Spring Break in Milwaukee

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by Guest Bloggers Carrie Woods & Kerry Burke



Looking for things to do while the kids are out of school this week?

Check out this list of 50 fun things to do with the family on Spring Break in Milwaukee!


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