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Milwaukee Ballet’s Sexy, Thrilling ‘Romeo and Juliet’

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By Margaret Casey
Public Relations Coordinator
VISIT Milwaukee

(Headline from Huffington Post article by Carla Escoda, October 15, 2013)

I’ve been fortunate to see several performances by the Milwaukee Ballet over the years and one thing always strikes me. Besides the masterful dancers, choreography, sets and costumes, it’s the audience itself. There’s not a more eclectic collection of fans to be found. You see young and old, in everything from formal evening attire, to blue-jean-clad couples, to little girls all dressed up and cheering for their heroes on the stage. A palpable excitement fills the air; the strains of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra start up; the curtain opens and this diverse audience is carried away by the magic of the ballet’s storytelling power.

The Milwaukee Ballet’s season opener Romeo & Juliet (Thurs. Oct. 31 – Sun. Nov. 3) promises to be a dazzling spectacle. Shakespeare immortalized this timeless love story more than 300 years ago, and it is retold here through the glorious music of Prokofiev, the choreography of our own internationally renowned Artistic Director Michael Pink, and the powerful physicality and acting ability of a Milwaukee Ballet ensemble of 45 dancers including children.

Leading artists Luz San Miguel and Davit Hovhannisyan (and in alternate performances, rising stars Nicole Teague and Alexandre Ferreira) will bring the passion, joy and ultimate tragedy of these characters to life through dramatic movement and dance. The sensuality and intimacy of the balcony and bedroom (and according to Nicole Teague, “...lots of making out”) will tell the steamy tale along with colorful crowd scenes and fight choreography, all set to Prokofiev’s magnificent music.

There’s nothing elitist about the story of the “star-crossed lovers” caught between feuding families. It’s a universal story of emotions that still rings true today. My bet is there won’t be a dry eye in the house …

“For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

See this link for a preview video:

See this link for an article in the Huffington Post, where Michael Pink is interviewed:

Romeo & Juliet at the Milwaukee Ballet

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Friday, November 1, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, November 2, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 3, 2013 | 1:30 pm


Les is More

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Every city has an identity, a face behind the name. These faces more or less reveal the character of the city and its people. Milwaukee is Brew City. L.A. is Tinseltown. New York’s The Big Apple. The city of Waukesha (just 15 minutes west of Milwaukee) is no different. From the second you enter its limits, you know Waukesha is more of Les – Les Paul.

Dubbed the Wizard of Waukesha, Les Paul was born in Waukesha County and invented the Gibson Les Paul solid body electric guitar. He is also famous for developing and popularizing many recording techniques including tape delay, reverb, close-miking, echo, sound-on-sound and phase shifting. Les has had a profound effect on musicians and music fans the world over.

In Waukesha, he’s simply known as a local boy who struck a life-altering chord with the world. Les’ impact is evident from the sign at the city entrance proclaiming “Birthplace of Les Paul” to 10-foot painted guitars (awesome photo ops) and murals scattered throughout the city, to the ultimate display of civic pride: his own exhibit.

“Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha” exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum takes you on a personable stroll through the life of Les Paul. From his first harmonica to his National Hall of Fame medal and world-famous guitars (you even get to strum a few on the wall), you’ll learn so much more than music and guitar history. You’ll learn about Les, his family, his values, his friendships and his love for both music and invention.

So, make a visit to Waukesha and the Waukesha County Museum (and check out several other exhibits!) and take note of how proud the city is to call Les its most-famous son. And how proud he was to call it home.

“I was on top of the world…and it all began right here in Waukesha. And wherever I went, I took Waukesha with me,” he said.

Les is, and always will be, music to Waukesha’s ears.

“Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha”
Waukesha County Museum
Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Closed Sunday, Monday, and some Holidays

Times for Milwaukee to Shine

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Check out our latest “guest blog” from New York Times writer Robert Simonson – on loan from his employer especially for this page (OK, not really, but we could tempt him back some day for a follow-up assignment).

Bryant’s to Bay View, Clock Shadow Creamery to Café Calatrava, Simonson packed in three days of MKE fun and spread the word on how Milwaukee is “a city that possesses a renewed vitality while still holding on to an Old World character.”

Read his entire article here and start planning your next 36-hour, MKE binge.



Happy Halloween!

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By Kerry Burke
Communications Assistant
VISIT Milwaukee

It’s that time of year for haunted houses, ghastly ghouls, and Halloween fun! Still looking for ways to make the most of it this year? Milwaukee has no shortage of parties and events for anyone to celebrate this spooky holiday.

Don your best costume and head to the Creatures and Creators Halloween Party at Turner Hall on Oct. 25. Dance the night away, see artists create art, create some yourself, and check out the Creatures and Creators Catwalk with works from Project Runway’s Timothy Westbrook!

To reach your quota of coffins and corpses this Halloween, visit Forest Home Cemetery and tour the resting place of some of Milwaukee’s most-famous spirits including the eternal homes of beer barons Pabst, Blatz and Schlitz. Perhaps you’ll see ghosts of Civil War soldiers marching among the tombstones or even apparitions of the dogs watching over the tombstone of their former owners.

If you want to get your heart beating this month, head to The Rock Sports Complex for The Hills Have Eyes, the most haunted hill event in Franklin. Experience two haunted trails, one thrill ride on the run-down “Scare Lift,” and Wisconsin’s first-ever 3-D Zombie Maze. These events will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday Oct. 24-26.

If that isn’t scary enough for you, try your best to get through all 13 terrifying rooms at Hauntfest at the Wisconsin State Fair grounds Oct. 11 – Nov. 2. Only the brave can face disembodied spirits, dark chambers, long spooky hallways, monsters, ghosts, and the undead that await…

Located in the Historic Walker's Point area of Milwaukee, Shaker’s Cigar Bar is housed in a building that was constructed in 1894, which served as a Schlitz Brewery cooperage house - making huge barrels for beer brewing and transport. Take one of their ghost tours or even spend the night in the haunted penthouse, which was the scene of the brutal hacking murder of a poor, ill-fated bordello girl!

If screaming in terror isn’t really your style, get into a spirited mood with Milwaukee Food and City Tours’ Ghouls & Spirits tour. This 3-hour bus tour takes you through the Third Ward, down Brady Street, Wisconsin Avenue and in the Concordia neighborhood with three food and drink stops along the way. You’ll also be joined by a lead investigator from a local paranormal society and hear all about their eery investigations!

For families with little monsters, go to the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular Friday, Oct. 26 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Find your way out of the Halloween haystack maze, ride the Raven’s Rail, fill up on candy at treat stops throughout the Zoo and more!

Young ghosts and goblins get ready for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum’s Not-So-Scary Halloween running Oct. 24-26. Celebrate the fall season indoors with fun Halloween activities specifically created for kids - like tricks and treats, craft stations, a spooktacular scavenger hunt, and interactive story time!

You Don’t Have to Leave the City to Find Fresh Cheese

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

When you think of a cheese factory, what do you think of? I’d be willing to bet you’re picturing a place in a rural area, near barns and corn fields. So you may be surprised to learn that Milwaukee is home to an urban cheese factory – Clock Shadow Creamery.

Clock Shadow Creamery, which opened in the summer of 2012, is one of only three urban cheese factories in the country (the other two are in New York and Seattle). It is there, in an award-winning sustainable building in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, where fresh cheese is made every day for distribution to many local grocers and restaurants.

The goal of the Creamery is to produce high-quality cheese that can be quickly transported to local buyers, therefore reducing transportation costs. The factory’s building is LEED Platinum certified; it’s made from 50% recycled material, holds a rooftop garden that’s part of a grey-water system, and has an elevator that regenerates electricity. Part of the building space is shared by Purple Door Ice Cream, another local favorite that makes flavors such as strawberry basil and even whiskey bacon!

Clock Shadow Creamery produces a variety of cheeses: favorites like cheddar, and newer flavors like Gouda queso and the less-familiar quark cheese, a versatile, spreadable cheese that is common in Germany and central Europe.

Tours are available at the Creamery, showing visitors a close-up look at the cheese-making process, demonstrating things such as how 10 pounds of whole milk is transformed into one pound of cheese!

Cheese products can also be purchased from the retail store inside the Creamery, including fresh food made daily like grilled cheese sandwiches, soft pretzels and bagels, as well as varieties of ice cream from Purple Door.

Let’s be honest. Cheese is basically synonymous with Wisconsin. Now you don’t have to leave Wisconsin’s biggest city to see for yourself how Clock Shadow Creamery is changing the rules of cheese making.

Clock Shadow Creamery
138 W. Bruce St.

Retail Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 10-6
Friday-Saturday, 10-8
Sunday, 12-4

Keepers of the Light

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By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukeeans are a fortunate lot. Big-city amenities with small-town prices. Clean and safe with some of the nation’s best waterways and a world-class lakefront. And parks, tons and tons of award-winning parks, the crown jewel being Lake Park, home to North Point Lighthouse.

Neatly tucked in the center of Lake Park (designed by premier 19th century architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park!), North Point Lighthouse is more than a grand, old maritime building, more than just a member of the National Register of Historic Places. North Point Lighthouse is history, an incredible 170-plus-years story of Milwaukee and its people.

The people who knew it best were the keepers and their families. Some were keepers for just a year, some for 26, like Georgia Stebbins, who called North Point Lighthouse home from 1881 to 1907. Known as the “Lady of the Lighthouse,” she was the longest-serving of 15 keepers, all with unique stories, but none more than Georgia.

Living in New York in 1873 with her husband Lemuel, Georgia was diagnosed with tuberculosis and her doctor suggested she move away from the polluted metropolis to live out her remaining days in a cleaner locale. Georgia packed her bags for Milwaukee, where her father and mother were keepers at North Point Lighthouse. Upon her arrival, she found her parents in worse condition than herself and began assisting, then eventually taking over, keeper duties.

Keeping the lighthouse miraculously kept her tuberculosis at bay and the “Lady of the Lighthouse” was soon joined by her husband, who opened a jewelry shop on Mason Street and the rest is their history. On and on history goes at North Point Lighthouse, all the while eight steadfast, stone lions sitting atop the bridge beneath it, guarding the bridge to its scenic entrance.

Whether you enter during weekend hours (open 1:00 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; children under 5 are free; under 12, $3; 12 and over, $5) or arrange for a private week-day tour (just $8 per person), you’ll learn about so much more than an incredible lighthouse and its amazing instrument, architecture and Lake Park landscape. You’ll be enlightened (had to throw one of those in) by the stories of the people who kept watch, high atop a serene bluff, on an incredible city.

And, you can’t beat the tower views, which are some of the best in said city - thanks to those who kept it.

North Point Lighthouse
2650 North Wahl Avenue
Open Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00-4:00 PM
Weekday tours available by appointment