Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers have the perfect idea for music fans looking for a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day: On Friday night, the band is playing at Route 20 in Racine County.
And that’s not all.
The $10 admission also includes a copy of the band’s new EP, “Awaken.”
“There are four songs on the EP,” Ade said. “Two of them are on iTunes and Spotify and other music platforms, but the other two — “Awaken” and “The Show” — haven’t been released yet and will be performed for the first time Friday night.”
Both songs have similar themes about parenting and having to let go.
“‘The Show’ was inspired by my son and is about the gift of parenting and letting go of your kid throughout different transitions in life,” Ade said. “It’s happy and sad at the same time. ‘Awaken’ is similar and is about you as an adult going through transitions in your life, opening and closing chapters of your life and letting yourself be vulnerable to new experiences.”
Ade wrote the lyrics to both songs. Joe Adamek came up with “a little riff” for “The Show,” and the band’s cello player, Cameron Fair, wrote “the riff” for “Awaken.”
“Cameron gave that riff to the band, and I latched onto it,” Ade said. “He’s fresh out of college and was struggling with that new chapter of his life, of turning into a legit adult. You think you know everything, and you come to find out you don’t know everything at all.”
Friday’s Valentine’s Day show came about, Ade said, “as our way of starting off 2020 and shaking off the cold weather. We haven’t been playing a lot because we’ve been writing songs and making plans for spring and summer. We wanted a significant day to perform our new EP, and Valentine’s Day was coming up.”
The band Would You Kindly? kicks off Friday’s show at 8 p.m. at Route 20, 14001 Washington Ave. in Racine County. For more about the show and other live music events, see Paddy Fineran’s local music column on Page 10.
The Fine Arts at First concert series continues with a performance by the Milwaukee-based Philomusica String Quartet.
The concert is 3 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church, 919 60th St. Admission is free.
The Milwaukee-based quartet — made up of violinists Jeanyi Kim and Sascha Mandl, violist Nathan Hackett and cellist Adrien Zitoun — will be performing works that span from the Baroque to the Romantic period. Four Fugues from “The Art of the Fugue” by J.S. Bach, “String Quartet No. 17 in B-Flat Major, K. 458” (“The Hunt”) by W.A. Mozart and the “String Quartet in C minor” by Max Bruch are part of the program.
The critically acclaimed Philomusica String Quartet is the resident quartet at Wisconsin Lutheran College and was formed in 2008 to “create an outlet for sharing and expressing their love of chamber music,” according to concert organizers. “Each musician brings to the quartet a wealth of experience as versatile performer and educator.”
In addition to their own Milwaukee concert series, now in its 12th season, the Philomusica Quartet has performed at institutions such as Yale University, Roosevelt University, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, UW-Milwaukee, Lakeland College, Nicolet College and the Oconomowoc Arts Center.
Along with pianist Daniel Del Pino, the quartet has also performed for live radio broadcasts and as part of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago.
Because the Big Day is Friday, we offer some last-minute Valentine ideas:
Going out today
Food and a flick: We admit, dinner and a movie isn’t the most original way to celebrate Valentine’s Day — but it’s a classic option because so many people love it. There are plenty of places offering special Valentine’s dinners, from four-course feasts to heart-shaped pizzas.
As for the movie portion of the evening (or afternoon), the comedy/drama “Downhill,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a couple forced to re-evaluate their lives after they barely survive an avalanche during a family ski vacation, opens tonight. (See the review on Page 13.) Also new this week is the romance “The Photograph,” the animated/live action film “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Fantasy Island.” Don’t go looking for wish fulfillment on this “Fantasy Island,” however; it’s a horror movie take on the 1970s TV show.
Discover Mads Tolling & The Mads Men: Grammy Award winning violinist and composer Mads Tolling is playing a free concert 7:30 tonight (Feb. 13) in Carthage College’s Siebert Chapel. The title of the program refers to his third studio album: “Mads Tolling & The Mads Men —Playing the ‘60s.” The program will feature re-imagined classic songs from 1960s television, film and radio, including “Mission Impossible,” “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “Georgia on My Mind.” For the finale, Tolling will invite the Carthage Philharmonic and instrumentalists from local schools onstage for a collaboration. Admission is free; however, tickets are required. Get tickets online at www.carthage.edu/fine-arts or call 262-551-6661.
Hit the lanes: Guttormsen Recreation Center, 5411 Green Bay Road, has a Valentine’s Sweetheart Bowling Special today (and Friday). The cost is $22 and includes 90 minutes of bowling and one large pizza. Reservations are recommended; call 262-658-8191.
Enjoy some good, old-fashioned moral outrage: Historian Cathy Polovina presents another “Old Weird America” program this evening at the Northside Library, 1500 27th Ave. Tonight’s focus is on “Peyton Place: The Scandalous Book that Captivated America.” In 1956, a lurid and gripping tale of murder, incest and hypocrisy in a small New England town became the literary sensation of the century. Likewise, its author Grace Metalious incited an uproar with her unapologetic attitude and unconventional opinions. 6 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Enjoy some Midwestern storytelling: In Milwaukee tonight, Garrison Keillor, the beloved creator of Lake Wobegon, is performing tonight at Colectivo Coffee. He promises a night of “stories, songs, poetry and humor.” After retiring from his radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” Keillor has kept busy writing a memoir and a book of limericks and is now working on a musical and a Lake Wobegon screenplay. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $40 (plus fees) at pabsttheater.org.
Going out Friday
Lunchtime music: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a free daytime concert. The Spring 2020 Noon Concert Series at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is back, and this Friday’s concert features a performance by percussionist Eliana Firmani Alcocer. The performance is noon Friday in UW-Parkside’s Bedford Concert Hall. Admission is free, leaving you enough cash to spring for a late lunch someplace nice or, if you’re heading back to the office, a romantic dinner.
Live theater: The Lakeside Players theater troupe is performing the musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” continuing this weekend. The show is all about love — love for a lonely florist, love for a sadistic dentist, love for a killer plant — which makes it perfect for your Valentine’s plans. The show runs weekends through Feb. 22. All shows are at the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St. Tickets are $15-$18.
Live music: Two local shows are happening on Valentine’s night in downtown Kenosha: Indigo Canyon and Matt Meyer & the Smooth Riders are performing a Valentine’s themed show starting at 8 p.m. at Fusion, 5014 Seventh Ave. Admission is $7. www.kenoshafusion.com. And “The Legendary Ladies of Country Music” show is Friday night at the Wyndham Garden Hotel. Darcy Wood performs as Patsy Cline, with Kaylor Otwell as Loretta Lynn and Nicole Kaplan as Dolly Parton. They are backed by a four-piece band and perform hits including “Walking After Midnight,” “Jolene” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The show starts at 8:30 p.m.; tickets start at $25. A 7 p.m. prime rib buffet dinner can be added for $29. Call 1-800-838-3006 or log on at www.hap2it.com.
Reach for the stars: Let’s hope for clear skies Friday night, when the Carthage College Society of Physics Students hosts an evening of stargazing at the Griffin Observatory on the Kemper Center grounds, 6501 Third Ave. The free event is 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Participants will be able to view the night sky using Carthage’s 11-inch telescope. Weather permitting, highlights should include Jupiter and Saturn. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome.
View some artwork: On Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m., Le Freak Art Salon, 1351 52nd St., is hosting an opening reception for its Winter 2020 exhibit, featuring artists from all over the United States. The exhibit’s theme is “love me, love me knot.” Artists with works in the show are Matthew Bailey of Milwaukee, Troy Kick of Kenosha, Rachel Grubbs of Wadsworth, Ill., Teresa Ettel of Bainbridge Island, Wash., Teresa Austin of San Diego, Calif., Marc Travanti of Kenosha (and New York City), Caleb Mulholland, Spencer Rogers and Zachary Blatt of Chicago and Stephanie Karamitsos of Kenosha (the gallery’s artist-in-residence). After opening night, this exhibit will be on display until April 19. For more information about the gallery, go to lefreakartsalon.com.
Take a hike: The Pringle Nature Center is hosting a Valentine’s Candlelight Hike from 6:30 to 8 Friday night on a candlelit trail at Bristol Woods County Park. You can come and leave as you like and warm up afterward by a crackling fire. Hot chocolate will be served inside the center. The cost is $6. Pringle is located at 9800 160th Ave. in Bristol. For more information, call 262-857-8008 or log on at www.pringlenc.org.
Take a tropical hike: If you prefer to enjoy nature in a warm place, head up to Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes, 542 S. Layton Blvd., for its “Hearts Under Glass” Valentine’s Day event, featuring a light show amid the Miniature Milwaukee Train Show in the Show Dome. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10 per person at the door; no reservations are required. Food and beverages are available for purchase. www.milwaukeedomes.org.
Now that we’ve given you a wide range of options for entertaining your sweetie, get out there!
Activities for families this week include a Valentine’s Day program that encourages a love of nature and of creating artwork:
Families are invited to the Kenosha Public Museum for “Winter Family Activity: Inside Frida Kahlo’s Garden” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 14). In this free program, families will create an art project inspired by the plants and animals featured in the museum’s Frida Kahlo exhibit exhibit. Admission is free. For more information, call 262-653-4140.
On Sunday, the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave., is hosting President’s Day Family Game Day,with free games from noon to 3 p.m. The acitivities are centered around games different U.S. presidents enjoyed, including marbles (John Adams) and Scrabble (Barack Obama).
The Kenosha Public Museum hosts “Museum Munchkins” programs from 9:30 to 10 Wednesday mornings. The Feb. 19 program is on ravens.This is a free program, open to preschoolers with an adult. For more information, call 262-653-4140.Coming up: polar bears on Feb. 26.
Kids’ stuff at the library includes several storytimes each week, plus special activities:
Children ages 5 to 9 are welcome to the Southwest Library, 7979 38th Ave., this evening (Feb. 13) for “Books and Cookies.” From 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., the kids are welcome to “listen to some fun books, make a craft and enjoy a sweet treat all while working on literacy and social skills.”
Also this evening at the Southwest Library, theGame Club, for ages 12 and older, meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
On Friday, two of Kenosha’s Public Libraries are hosting FREE Friday Fun Days: From 1 to 3 p.m., the Simmons Library, 711 59th Place, and the Northside Library, 1500 27th Ave. Note: The Northside program is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
At the Southwest Library Monday, teens (ages 12 and older) are invited to enjoy “Coloring & Conversation.” From 7 to 8:30 p.m., participants can work on coloring pages and books for adults, using the library’s variety of coloring utensils. Coloring, organizers said, “generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates the brain areas related to motor skills, senses and creativity.” The library will supply everything you need to get coloring.
Go to the library’s website (www.mykpl.info) to sign up for a slot in Beginner Balloon Twisting. The program, for ages 9 to 12, is 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 18) at the Simmons Library. Participants will learn the basics of balloon twisting and make simple balloon sculptures. Admission is free, but registration is required.
Here’s another fun class to sign up for: Constellation Cross-Stitch (for ages 12 to 19) is 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. next Thursday (Feb. 20) at the Northside Library. This crafting program combines astrology/space with basic cross-stitching. Participants will learn cross-stitch skills and then practice by making a piece of art focused on a constellation or zodiac sign. Admission is free, but registration is required at www.mykpl.info.
On Wednesday (Feb. 19), the Southwest Library is hosting another Chess Night at the Library with the Kenosha Chess Association. Everyone is welcome to play chess at the library, 7979 38th Ave., from 6:30 to 8 tonight. Admission is free. www.kenoshachess.org. Admission to all these programs is free. For a list of storytimes and other events, check out the website at www.mykpl.info.
The Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, is hosting a “Knee-High Naturalist” program at 10 a.m. today (Feb. 13). Children ages 3 to 5 are welcome to come and meet some “Dear Deer.” Note: Be prepared to go outside. Admission is free; call to register at least 48 hours in advance, at 262-878-5601. This is a free program, but a valid Wisconsin state park admission sticker is required to enter Bong. For more details, go to www.bongnaturalistassociation.org.
Families can also bundle up and head to Bong for the Saturday (Feb. 15) program “Animal Tracks and Signs.” From 1 to 2 p.m., participants will search for animal tracks and other signs to discover which animals are active and what they’ve been doing to survive the winter. Note: There is no cost for the program, but you will need to have or purchase a state park vehicle admission sticker.
Jelly Belly tours
Jelly Belly Candy Co. in Pleasant Prairie (off of Highway 31 just north of Highway 165) offers free interactive tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The free tours include a 25-minute train ride through the Jelly Belly warehouse for a behind-the-scenes look at how the company makes its famous jelly beans. The tour features interactive exhibits, including “smell stations,” virtual games and one-of-a-kind mosaics. Free samples are offered at the end of the tour. For more information, visit www.jellybelly.com.
“Something Rotten,” Feb. 21-23, 28-29 and March 1 at Bradford High School.
The musical comedy — with a book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick — is set in 1595. The story follows the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, who struggle to find success in the theatrical world as they compete with the wild popularity of their contemporary, playwright William Shakespeare.
The show opened on Broadway in March of 2015 and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Holly Stanfield is directing the show, with choreographer Andrew Waters and stage manager Bryn Aehlich.
Note: This show is a pilot production for Music Theatre International and will compete to appear on the Main Stage of the International Thespian Festival. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for senior citizens (55 and older) and $12 for adults. For tickets, to go www.kusd.edu.Tickets are also sold at the door.
“Into the Woods Jr.,” Feb. 21-23 at Wilmot High School.
This production by the Christian Youth Theater is the “junior” version of Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s “cockeyed fairytale.”
The Tony Award-winning musical features familiar characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and the Witch in a musical retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables.
This musical fairy tale follows a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the king’s festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Performances are 7 p.m. Friday (Feb. 21), 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 22) and 2 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 23) at the high school in Wilmot. Tickets are $13-$15 in advance at www.cytchicago.org and $17 at the door.
“A Fox on the Fairway,” Feb. 21 through March 8 at the Racine Theatre Guild.
Ken Ludwig’s “A Fox on the Fairway” is a farce golf and theater lovers alike will enjoy.
Two rival country clubs, Quail Valley and Crouching Squirrel, are competing head-to-head in the Annual Inter-club Golf Tournament. With money, jobs and reputations on the line, madcap adventures ensue with slamming doors and over-the-top romantic shenanigans.
The show is described as “a hilarious tribute to the Marx Brothers where man’s eternal love affair with golf takes center stage.”
Note: Some adult humor may not be suitable for younger audience members. Tickets are $13-$18 and can be purchased online at www.racinetheatre.org or by calling 262-633-4218.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Do something sweet for someone else — and for yourself.We suggest eating lots of dark chocolate! It's also Book Giving Day, which is a great way to celebrate the book lover in your life (including yourself).
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Noon Concert Series starts a new semester today with a free performance by percussionist Eliana Firmani Alcocer.The free performance is noon in Bedford Concert Hall, located on the west side of the campus at 900 Wood Road.
"Little Shop of Horrors" continues this weekend at the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St. The musical will be performed at 7:30 tonight and Saturday night and 2 p.m. Sunday (shows continue Feb. 21-22). Tickets are $18 for adults; $15 for senior citizens and students. www.rhodecenter.org.
Saturday, Feb. 15 --
It's Hippo Day and World Whale Day. Which makes us think it's a perfect day to visit one of our area zoos. The Racine Zoo doesn't have a resident hippopotamus, but you can find one at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Sing. Sing a song. That's what you'll hear tonight at theKenosha Unified School District’s 54th annual Choral Festival. More than 1,300 students from KUSD’s elementary, middle, high and charter schools will be performing. The guest conductor is Pearl Shangkuan; the accompanist is Kristen Singer. 6:30 p.m. at Indian Trail High School and Academy, 6800 60th St. Tickets are on sale at kusd.edu/finearts.
Do you have a Valentine date who loves dance? Head to Milwaukee's beautiful Pabst Theater for a performance of "Ballet Russe Reimagined." In early 1900s Paris, the world’s most influential artists (Chanel, Picasso, Matisse, Debussy and more) collaborated to create new, ground-breaking ballet. They would become the Ballets Russes. Milwaukee Ballet, a home for new work, honors this legacy by presenting new works inspired by the Russes’ iconic pieces, created by its own choreographers. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13-15 and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Tickets are $16-$112 (plus fees) at pabsttheater.org.
Sunday, Feb. 16 --
Put a little bit of almond joy into your life today to celebrate Almond Day.Go ahead, go nuts!
The Fine Arts at First concert series at First United Methodist Churchcontinues its season with a performance by the Milwaukee-based Philomusica String Quartet. Philomusica’s members — violinists Jeanyi Kim and Sascha Mandl, violist Nathan Hackett and cellist Adrien Zitoun — "have been delighting audiences in southeastern Wisconsin since their founding in 2008," according to concert organizers. The program will include works by J.S. Bach and Robert Schumann. 3 p.m. at the church, 919 60th St. Admission is free. Audience members are invited to a free reception after the concert. www.fineartsatfirst.org.
Monday, Feb. 17 --
Wrap up your Valentine's Weekend by starting the workweek with Random Acts of Kindness Day. Be a sweetheart and bring someone coffee ... or bake some muffins and share them with friends and family ... do something to make the world a better place by spreading a little light around.
Today is your final chance to visit the 2020 Chicago Auto Show— also known as “the place to see all those cool concept cars we’ll never be able to actually purchase and drive.” At Chicago’s McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive. Admission is $7-$12; free for kids 6 and younger. www.chicagoautoshow.com.
Tuesday, Feb. 18 --
It's Drink Wine Day ... which is a great way to celebrate a Tuesday in February. But wait, there's more!
Drink Wine Day also goes well with today's celebration ofPluto Day. (Not Mickey Mouse's dog; this day celebrates our far-off solar system neighbor). We grew up with a solar system that had nine planets in it. And that's how we like it. Then one day, the powers that be decided that designating Pluto as a planet was just wrong, and our most distant friend in the solar system suddenly was told he wasn’t good enough for the planet club anymore and would forever be considered a "dwarf planet." So raise your wine glass and toast Pluto Day, which celebrates the discovery of Pluto in 1930, when it was designated as a planet ... and that’s how it should have stayed!
It's also the Spring Primary today. Did you know that? Get out and vote!The primary will narrow three candidates to two in the statewide race for state Supreme Court and locally for the District 15 seat on the Kenosha City Council.
Wednesday, Feb. 19 --
The Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave., is hosting a “Museum Munchkins” program from 9:30 to 10 this morning. Today’s program focuses on ravens ... the bird, we assume, and not the NFL team. This is a free program, open to preschoolers with an adult. For more information, call 262-653-4140.
The Southwest Library is hosting another Chess Night at the Library with the Kenosha Chess Association. Everyone is welcome to play chess at the library, 7979 38th Ave., from 6:30 to 8 tonight. Admission is free. www.kenoshachess.org.
Genre-bending singer-songwriter Ben Folds blends his chart-topping hits with the full power of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra tonight at the Riverside Theater in downtown Milwaukee. The program will feature Folds' tunes, including "Brick," "You Don't Know Me," "Luckiest" and a movement from his Billboard chart-topping piano concerto. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$91 (plus fees) atpabsttheater.org.
Thursday, Feb. 20 --
It's Love Your Pet Day, but isn't that EVERY day?Seamus and Ruby say yes!
Tinseltown Theater, 7101 70th Court, is showing sneak peeks tonight of the new film “The Call of the Wild,” starring Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck, who share an adventure in 1890s Alaska. In other words: The perfect flick for "Love Your Pet Day"! The movie officially opens Feb. 21. www.cinemark.com.
In Milwaukee tonight, rockers Big Head Todd and The Monsters are performing at the Pabst Theater. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 (plus fees) atpabsttheater.org.
Friday, Feb. 21 --
A free screening of the animated film "Coco" is the "Winter Picnic Flick" today at the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave. Families are welcome to come at 5 p.m. for art and music projects, with the film starting at 6 p.m. Don't forget your picnic blanket and snacks! Admission is free, but registration is required. Call 262-653-4140.
"Fighting for Home: Stories of Women Who Serve" — written by Carthage College theater professor Martin McClendon and directed by Marcella Kearns — opens tonight at Carthage in the Wartburg Theatre. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-22 and 27-29 and 3 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 23). "Fighting for Home" presents stories from women in the military, using their own words and built from extensive interviews and research. The play highlights women’s struggles to protect their country from all enemies while they deal with rapidly changing policies and deeply entrenched beliefs within the military. Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for senior citizens (55 and older) and $8 for students with a valid ID and can be purchased at www.carthage.edu/tickets.
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Noon Concert Series continues today with a performance by the Chicago Koto Group.Noon in Bedford Concert Hall, located on the west side of the campus at 900 Wood Road.
Saturday, Feb. 22 --
It's Margarita Day, which you can take with a grain or salt (or two)!
The Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Ave., is hosting a Winter Scouts Day — and you don't have to be in a Scouts troop to take part! Activities are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., open to all girls and boys in grades 2-5. There will be a campfire lunch along with the activities. The cost is $15, and registration is required in advance.www.pringlenc.org.
“3 Sisters” — a drama by UW-Parkside graduate Ann Walaszek — will be performed tonight in Studio A at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The story, based on the play "Three Sisters" by Anton Chekov, was developed by Parkside Playwriting Workshop participants over the last several months. Ten students tackle a classic play — interweaving their experience, memories and perspective into the lives of three sisters as they question the meaning of life. Admission is free to this Fresh Ink staged reading of the play. Performances are 7 p.m. Feb. 21-22 at UW-Parkside. There's also a 2 p.m. matinee today (Feb. 22) at Kenosha Creative Space, 624 57th St.
In Milwaukee tonight, comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White, who first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, is performing at the Riverside Theater. 8 p.m. Tickets are $45-$75 (plus fees) atpabsttheater.org.
The Anderson Arts Center at Kemper Center will reopen Feb. 23 after a $4.3 million renovation project.
The arts center, “one of the hubs for art in southeastern Wisconsin,” will begin a new chapter when it reopens, said Rena Lee, the arts center’s new administrator.
The first official day for the “new” arts center starts with an opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 23. The public is invited to view the exhibits — including “Artistic Expression from a Diverse Collection” by the League of Milwaukee Artists and “Renewal” by members of the Area Artists Group — and enjoy refreshments. Admission is free.
The arts center will also host an invitation-only event on Feb. 22 for city and county officials, Anderson Arts Center board members, artists, donors and members of the Anderson Family.
The 9,000-square-foot, 30-room Anderson Arts Center was built between 1929 and 1931 as a home for the Anderson family. In 1977, Janet Lance Anderson deeded her house to Kenosha County to be part of the Kemper Center park grounds. She continued to live in the house until her death in 1989, at the age of 96, and the home officially became a part of the Kemper Center in 1990.
The Anderson Arts Center opened in April 1992 and, since that date, has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to view more than 25 art exhibitions each year, participate in art and music programs and attend other events.
The revamped arts center features a new geothermal heating and cooling system, new handicapped accessible bathrooms, a repaired roof and exterior walls, new landscaping and updated gallery spaces and hanging systems.
“We are very excited to be able to reopen the new and improved Anderson Arts Center. You can feel how special the building is as soon as you enter,” said Edward Kubicki, executive director of the Kemper Center. “The updates will allow us to show even more artwork from more diverse artists from all over the region.”
The yearlong renovation, funded jointly by the city and county of Kenosha, began in January 2019 because of external repairs needed on the 90-year-old building. Madison-based InSite Consulting Architects and Kenosha-based Camosy Construction handled the project.
“This project really shows how the city and county can work together for the good of the community,” Kubicki said.
Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said he was pleased to partner with the city and the nonprofit Kemper Center “to help preserve a community jewel.”
This project, he said, “ensures that the Anderson Arts Center will grace our lakefront for generations to come. I thank the mayor for his support and the great project team that orchestrated a first-class restoration of this historic building.”
Kenosha County Public Works Director Ray Arbet said the project team — led by the county’s engineering project manager, Frank Martinelli, and staff members from InSite Architects and Camosy Construction — “did an excellent job of designing and managing the project.”
“This was a complex project requiring a balance between the restoration of the building’s historical integrity while simultaneously installing a high-tech, energy-efficient building environment control system,” Arbet said. “All of this was accomplished under the project’s budget.”
The Anderson Arts Center “has been a gem in the community for many years,” said Mayor John Antaramian. “The city is pleased to support the efforts to update the building and ensure it remains a showcase for art in Kenosha.”
After the opening day on Feb. 23, the arts center will be open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. The current exhibitions will be open through May 2. Admission is free. The Anderson Arts Center is funded through donors and sponsors, grants, and artwork and gift shop sales. No tax dollars are used to fund it. For more information, visit www.andersonartscenter.com or call 262-653-0481.
The Kenosha Unified School District’s 54th annual Choral Festival starts at 6:30 Saturday night (Feb. 15) in the Indian Trail High School fieldhouse, 6800 60th St.
The event will showcase more than 1,300 students from the elementary, middle, high and charter schools.
The guest conductor is Pearl Shangkuan, director of choral activities at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Shangkuan is visiting KUSD secondary schools to rehearse with the choirs today and Friday.
The concert will feature performances by seven individual high school choirs. In addition, there will be combined performances featuring mass choirs from middle and high schools and the All-City Elementary Choir.
Participating directors and their schools are Bradley Mann, Bradford High School and Bullen Middle School; Kristen Singer, Harborside Academy; John Choi, Indian Trail High School and Academy; Polly Amborn, Tremper High School; Rita Gentile, Lance Middle School; Kathleen Crane, Lincoln Middle School; Beth Herrendeen-Smith, Mahone Middle School; Jeanne Olsen, Washington Middle School; and Shannon Robertson, Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum.
Kristen Singer will serve as accompanist for the festival.
Scott Plank, KUSD’s coordinator of fine arts, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Choral Festival tickets are also on sale at kusd.edu/finearts. All seats are reserved. Patrons can choose between the fieldhouse performance venue ($10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens) or live-feed video auditorium seating ($4). The performance will also be streamed live on Channel 20 and the KUSD YouTube stream. Note: This event traditionally sells out, and tickets cannot be guaranteed at the door.
First off, happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovers out there. For those of you, like me, who save your love for your dogs and live music, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s start with a place that lovers of music and beer will appreciate. Would You Kindly? will perform Saturday night at Rustic Road Brewery. I’ve mentioned the band before but haven’t properly introduced everyone. The eclectic, very melodic indie rock band is comprised of lead singer Gina DiSalvo, guitarist Paul Hoskins, violinist Kathleen Nottingham, bassist Daniel Harrison and drummer Jake Kleinhardt. They play a mix of original tunes and covers, so they can appeal to a lot of audiences. The band will have their new demo available at the show. This is a band on a definite upward trajectory.
Would You Kindly? performs from 6 to 9 Saturday night (Feb. 15) at Rustic Road Brewery, 5706 Sixth Ave.
Speaking of beer and music and, umm, babes, Friday night marks the return of Babe-alon 5 to Public Craft Brewing. The vocal trio — Kasey Foster, Kiley B. Moore and Tara Smith — are an incredibly fun group. Joined by one of the great keyboardist names in the biz, “Pianu Reeves” (Matt Gunsaulus), Babe-Alon 5 is equal parts great singing, entertainment and comedy. They are a throwback to cabaret/vaudeville shows yet are totally modernized.
To fully appreciate their music, make sure to listen to the lyrics as the Babes are very good with puns. Good times to be had.
Babe-Alon 5 performs starting at 8 Friday night (Feb. 14) at Public Craft, Brewing Co., 716 58th St.
Noon concerts at UW-P
I’ve been waiting and waiting to write this one up. Friday marks the first free Noon Concert of the semester at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The Noon Concert Series is a series of free performances presented Fridays at noon during the fall and spring semesters.
The diverse lineup includes solo and chamber recitals, large group concerts and lecture/recitals.
First up is percussionist Eliana Firmani-Alcocer. The UW-Parkside alumna graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in music performance. While at Parkside, Firmani-Alcocer performed regularly with the Wind Ensemble, orchestra, jazz band, jazz combo, percussion ensemble and choirs. She is a recipient of the Percussive Arts Society Ludwig Industries Scholarship and was a featured soloist at the Wisconsin Days of Percussion.
She currently teaches privately as well as through the Kenosha Unified School District. She is also a teaching artist through the Ravinia Reach, Teach, Play program — an El Sistema program that aims to create social change through music in underprivileged communities.
Eliana Firmani-Alcocer performs starting at noon Friday (Feb. 14) in UW-Parkside’s Bedford Concert Hall in the Rita on the west side of the campus, 900 Wood Road. Admission is free.
Five bands, one night
Have you ever wanted to Invade The Port? Well, that is the theme for a five-band bill Saturday night at The Port of Kenosha. It all starts at 7 p.m. with a TBA. After that, it’s Dead Eye Ry (who I can’t find any information on. Sorry.). Up next is Four Eyes. They rock out oldies and goodies hits. Then it is Timmy Smith, and finishing things up is the ska, grunge, punk, pop and hardcore mix of Two Ball Screwball.
“Invade The Port,” featuring five bands is Saturday night (Feb. 15) at The Port of Kenosha, 716 50th St.
I’ve known Betsy Ade way before she became a Well-Known Stranger and certainly prior to becoming famous on NBC’s “The Voice.”
She has always been a kind, gracious, thoughtful good citizen in addition to having great singing and writing chops.
Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers will perform Friday night at Route 20 up in Sturtevant. Joining them, starting at 8 p.m., is Would You Kindly?
Ade, along with fellow band songwriter and guitarist Joe Adamek, has been an outspoken voice for victims of human trafficking and other social issues. While the message is strong, the music is upbeat and accessible to audiences of all tastes. A $10 admission charge will include sets of both bands and a copy of Betsy Ade and Well-Known Strangers’ new EP “Awaken.”
Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers plus Would You Kindly? perform starting at 8 Friday night (Feb. 14) at Route 20, 14001 Washington Ave. in Sturtevant. The venue is on Highway 20 (Washington Avenue) in Racine County, a block west of I-94.
Paul Little, who operates the Steampunk General Store, is hosting a meeting from noon to 3:45 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 16) at the Northside Library, 1500 27th Ave., to start organizing “Led Beethoven: A Kenosha Steampunk Music Project.”
This project, he said, “is to help the community, raise steampunk awareness and get more music in our lives.”
The meeting is free to attend and is open to people from the area of all ages, children included.
He hosted a meeting on Jan. 18, too, but said the wintry weather dampened turnout that afternoon.
“We want to discuss ways of making music in a new manner,” Little said. “We are especially looking for music teachers who could help us in this endeavor. Please check out the steampunk General Store Facebook page for lots of details, especially on the event page. We are trying to do something for the children and adults of Kenosha and the community in general. We all need more music in our lives!”
Little added, “If you play a musical instrument, please bring it, including amplifiers and guitar pedals to experiment with instruments that are not usually electrified or changed but using pedals.”
For more information, check the “Steampunk General Store” page on Facebook or call Little at 262-705-2268. The Steampunk General Store, 2219 63rd St., is inside Don’s Hobbies.
Re:Vision Gallery classes
Cartooning Classes with artist Skrauss Khroma-Pop are offered at 4 p.m. on four Saturdays, starting Feb. 22, at Re:Vision Gallery, 4625 Sheridan Road.
The gallery will also feature “Live Painting with The Skrauss” at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 2 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information about these events, call 262-764-6603.
For information about the gallery, check the gallery’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/revisiongallery).
Enjoy these Kenosha area events and more this weekend:
Friday (Feb. 14), enjoy a Valentine’s Candlelit Night Hike, 6:30—8 p.m. at the Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Ave. Enjoy the serenity of Bristol Woods on a romantic candlelit hike followed by hot cocoa in the nature center. Come and leave as you like. The general public fee is $6. Pre-registration is required at 262-857-8008.
Also Friday, go Stargazing at the Griffin Observatory, 7:30 9:30 p.m. at Kemper Center, 6501 Third Ave. The Carthage College Society of Physics Students and friends will make available Carthage’s 11-inch telescope. The event is free. This continues, weather permitting, every Friday through March 6. Participants can view the universe from a historic setting, using modern technology. For more information, call 262-551-6042.
Friday through Sunday, enjoy the Lakeside Players’ production of the Broadway musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St. This also takes place Feb. 21 and 22. Tickets are $15-$18 and are available at rhodecenter.org. For more information, call 262-657-7529.
Friday through Monday, shop at the Presidents’ Day Caseload Sale at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center, 10100 Jelly Belly Lane. Enjoy a sale on select items, including a Belly Flops Deal. Besides shopping inside the store, also enjoy the free interactive tour experience. The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tours are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 866-868-7522.
Also Sunday, enjoy the President’s Day Family Game Day, with activities from noon to 3 p.m. in the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave. Celebrate President’s Day with games some of the presidents loved: mini-golf in the museum; be like John Adams and challenge friends to a game of marbles; throw horseshoes like George W. Bush; or play scrabble like Barack Obama. For more information about this free event, call 262-653-4141.
For more information about events happening in the Kenosha area, call the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 24-Hour Event line at 262-654-7307, ext. 3, or log on to VisitKenosha.com.
Meridith Jumiskois the public relations director for the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Carthage Trio — which this year is focusing on the influential works of composer Ludwig Van Beethoven — is performing 7:30 Monday night (Feb. 17) in the college’s Siebert Chapel.
Beethoven’s chamber music alone consists of 16 string quartets, five string quintets, seven piano trios, five pieces for string trio and a dozen works for wind instruments. Songs that will be featured during Monday’s performance include Beethoven’s “Sonata Op. 69 for piano and cello No.3” and Beethoven’s “Variations Op. 121a for piano, violin, and cello.”
The recital will feature Wael Farouk on the piano, Herine Coetzee Koschak on the cello and Andrew Williams playing the violin.
Farouk, an assistant professor of music at Carthage, has an impressive track record, having performed all over the world on five different continents. He directs the Carthage keyboard studies program and oversees the Carthage Arts Academy in Kenosha.
Koschak is a founder of the Fifth House Ensemble in Chicago and has performed with many well-known orchestras, on national radio stations and on concert stages.
Williams is an adjunct professor of violin at Carthage and teaches at the nationally renowned Merit School of Music. He is also a member of the Fifth House Ensemble.
The concert is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for all ages. For more information, call the Fine Arts Box Office at 262-551-6661 or email email@example.com. Also, “like” Carthage on Facebook www.facebook.com/carthagefinearts for information about upcoming events and fine arts at the college.
Ben Schwartz was up to speed on Sonic the Hedgehog long before he voiced the lightning-quick character in a new movie.
The comedian grew up playing the Sonic video games on SEGA Genesis with friends from Public School 24 in the Bronx during the early 1990s, so it was a dream come true when the chance to star in the upcoming “Sonic the Hedgehog” flick presented itself.
“We would go after school, we would watch ‘Disney Afternoon,’ and then when that was over, we would play Genesis,” Schwartz, 38, recalled recently.
“We would play ‘Sonic.’ We would play ‘Sonic 2.’ I remember the thing that made it so exciting is that you could play a board at a certain speed, and then you could play the same board trying to go as fast as you can, and you could have a totally different experience. I have incredibly fond memories of it.”
Fast-forward to present day, and Schwartz is still making fond memories with the rapid-running Sonic.
The actor, who played Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation,” initially became attached to the new film when director Jeff Fowler and producer Tim Miller asked him to lend his voice to Sonic in a test reading as they pitched the movie to studios.
“It was the quickest ‘yes’ in the universe,” Schwartz said. “Then I got lucky enough that they loved my voice so much that I guess it didn’t matter that there were probably more famous people out there who wanted to play the role. They just liked my performance so much that they let me keep doing it.”
“Sonic the Hedgehog,” which zooms into theaters tonight, centers on the title character arriving on Earth from a faraway planet and attempting to evade the evil Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, who wishes to capture the spunky blue hedgehog and use his unmatched powers to dominate the planet.
The movie features a live-action cast other than Sonic, who was created using computer animation. The film’s release was pushed back a few months after Fowler opted to redesign Sonic’s appearance, following feedback from fans.
The eagerness for excellence from the fan base left Schwartz feeling excited.
“I love this character,” Schwartz told The News. “I hope people cared.”
Watching Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s deeply uncomfortable absurdist relationship drama “Force Majeure,” one can’t help but think that this bleakly obtuse and existentially unbearable film is the type that would never be greenlighted in the United States.
So it’s a bit of a shock that the award-winning 2014 film has now been remade in English as “Downhill,” with beloved comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who co-wrote the script with “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong.
A “force majeure” is a legal term referring to natural and unavoidable catastrophes that absolve parties from fulfilling any obligations interrupted by said event. That title is a bit more complex than “Downhill,” but then again, so is everything about it.
The themes that are unspoken, gestured at and repressed in “Force Majeure” are drawn out and made broad, obvious and slapstick in “Downhill,” which spoon-feeds the lessons of the dark-ish comedy and cuts short the plot for the easiest-to-digest ending. Still, “Downhill” retains the essential DNA of “Force Majeure,” and therefore remains a strange and prickly piece of work.
The Stanton family, Billie (Louis-Dreyfus), Peter (Ferrell) and their two sons (Julian Grey and Ammon Jacob Ford) arrive for a luxurious ski vacation in the Alps, though it quickly becomes a reckoning of their identities, relationships and purpose. During lunch on an outdoor deck, the Stantons observe a controlled avalanche on a nearby mountainside. And as the cloud of snow bears down on them, Peter grabs his phone and runs, leaving his wife and sons clutching each other in terror.
In shock from the event and astonished at her husband’s actions and his subsequent denial of what he did, Billie unleashes an unholy war of passive aggression against her husband, in the form of tense teeth-brushing, teary, wine-fueled accusations and jaunts on the slope with a hunky Italian ski instructor. Peter does his own soul-searching, hanging with his much younger co-worker Zach (Zach Woods), drowning his shame in shots at the aprés-ski club and goading his sons into daredevil snow stunts.
Quite unlike “Force Majeure,” “Downhill” wants to offer explanations and rationalizations for why the Stantons are the way they are. Peter’s grieving his father and seems thrust into a midlife crisis, relying on spontaneous “carpe diem” thrills as a reaction to Billie’s aggressive competence, the kind of “can I speak to your manager”-style assertiveness into which she mostly likely feels pigeonholed.
As older parents, what they realize is while their individual identities still need nurturing, there’s a degree of parental theater and compromise required to make the family unit run smoothly.
But all the pre-chewed subtext doesn’t necessarily earn “Downhill” a gold medal, as the degree of difficulty is so high. This is a challenging film, starring comedians in largely dramatic roles and tonal shifts filled with hairpin turns. The big event happens early and the rest is all, well, downhill from there, as the avalanche draws out the big questions about what it means to be in a family. Despite the Stanton’s fumblings and shortcomings, Faxon and Rash have a deep well of empathy, trying to explain them, in the hopes that audiences will empathize with these difficult (and ultimately human) characters, too.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Universal Pictures said Tuesday that it will release the social satire “The Hunt,” a film it canceled in the wake of criticism about its premise of “elites” hunting people for sport in red states.
A trailer announcing the film’s March 13 release date presents the “elites” hunting regular people as a conspiracy theory. Star Hilary Swank says at one point that “it wasn't real” amid images of shootings, explosions and other violence.
The trailer includes the line, “The most talked about movie of the year is one nobody’s seen yet.”
In August, Universal Pictures canceled a September release for “The Hunt” after criticism, including from President Donald Trump. The president, without mentioning the film by name, said it was intended “to inflame and cause chaos.”
The cancellation came after the studio had already paused the ad campaign for the R-rated film in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California.
The film features 12 strangers who awake in a clearing who don’t yet know they’ve been chosen for The Hunt, but one of them manages to turn the table on the pursuers, a synopsis released Tuesday stated.
"The Hunt," produced by Jason Blum's Blumhouse, stars Oscar winner Swank and Betty Gilpin, and is directed by Craig Zobel. It was written by Damon Lindelof and his “Watchmen” collaborator Nick Cuse.
News of the film’s release was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Imagination dominates the top DVD picks for Feb. 18, from the Land of Make Believe to a young boy’s manic imaginary friend Adolf Hitler:
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”:
In these trying times, even small acts of empathy can feel radical, but this story featuring a certain beloved TV host feels revolutionary.
Inspired by a 1998 Esquire profile by Tom Junod, the film follows jaded journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who is sent to interview Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks, giving a soothing performance) while his deadbeat dad (Chris Cooper) attempts to come back into his life. As Lloyd struggles to accept Fred’s vibe as genuine, Fred’s seeming ability to see through to the soul prompts a journey of forgiveness.
Director Marielle Heller beautifully captures each character’s humanity, from the prickly to the patient, the pleading to the peaceful. The narrative beats and visual style encourage the viewer to slow down and express gratitude for life, no matter how messy, much like real-life Rogers. And while it’s not quite as much of a tear-jerker as the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” was, it’s sure to tug at the heartstrings.
Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth who fawns over der Fuhrer to such an extent that Hitler (Taika Waititi) is his imaginary friend. After discovering his idealistic mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish teenage girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home, the 10-year-old grapples with his blind fanaticism and innate humanity.
Waititi, who also wrote and directed the film (based on “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens), took home the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay at this year’s ceremony. (He’s the first person of Maori descent to win an Oscar.)
The visual style and snappy dialogue screams “Wes Anderson meets the Nazis,” though the “satirical” story aspects tend to fall flat. It’s tough to pull off that zaniness while also trying to be simultaneously emotionally moving and biting. The tonal shifts are jarring, with more schtick than social commentary. Still, it’s ambitious, with plenty of moments both tragic and touching.
Also new on DVD Tuesday
“Midway”: Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the infamous World War II battle between Japanese and American forces begins.
A New York detective (Chadwick Boseman) searches the city for a pair of cop killers while all of Manhattan’s bridges are closed.
A famous French movie star with terminal cancer (Isabelle Huppert) gets her extended family together in Portugal in an attempt to wrap up her affairs.
“Disturbing the Peace”:
An ex-Texas Ranger (Guy Pearce) faces a biker gang.
“The Twilight Zone”:
The first season of the CBS All Access series based on Rod Serling’s 1959 original series stars Jordan Peele as the narrator of the eerie sci-fi vignettes.
Available on digital HD Tuesday
Three women working for a private detective agency team up to stop a sinister entrepreneur from abusing a new energy source. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska star.
An attorney (Kenosha native Mark Ruffalo) fights back against a chemical company that may be responsible for previously mysterious deaths.
“Queen & Slim”:
After a traffic violation stop turns deadly while on their first date, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) go on the lam.
“Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer”: This documentary explores the juiciest stories of the notorious tabloid magazine.
This week’s edition includes stories on “Little Shop of Horrors” coming to the Rhode, a new opera premiering at Carthage College, upcoming local music events over the weekend and much more. Read all about the local events so you don’t miss out.