What we’re doing on our summer vacation

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While many of you might be heading out of the city for the summer, the luckier few of you will still be in Milwaukee. And since you’ll be here with us this summer, we figured we’d finish the year by giving you a taste of what our beloved Cream City has to offer in the upcoming months. So, when you’re bored waiting for fall classes to start up, check out these sweet events. We’ll see you there.

Getting a glimpse of ancient China … by Sarah Elms/ sarah.elms@marquette.edu

"Seven Sages in a Bamboo Forest" by Du Yuanzhi (1700s). Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Art Museum.

This summer you can travel across the globe without even leaving Milwaukee. No plane ticket or passport is necessary, just 12 bucks and your student ID.

The Milwaukee Art Museum will open “The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City” June 11, as the first in a series of five exhibitions on Chinese art coming to the museum this summer. The exhibition is a rare look into three thousand years of China’s history through art, showcasing murals, paintings, furniture, architecture, jades and metalwork.

According to the museum’s website, “The Emperor’s Private Paradise” is especially significant as the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of only three museums in the world to display the exhibit. It includes over 90 objects from the Qianlong Garden in Beijing that are wrapped in history and have never before been seen by the public.

The items in the Qianlong Garden have remained unaltered since the end of the Qianlong Emperor’s reign in 1795, and the garden was abandoned in 1924 after the last emperor, PuYi, left the Forbidden City (the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty where the Qianlong Garden is located). In 2001, the Palace Museum, now housed in the Forbidden City, and the World Monuments Fund in New York began the restoration of the garden’s 27 buildings and pavilions.

Once the exhibition leaves the museum and travels back to its native country, the website said, it is likely to never leave China again.

The museum will have a special MAM After Dark event in celebration of a summer dedicated to Chinese art on June 10. This event provides the opportunity to explore the exhibition in a more casual setting with curator-led tours before its official opening the next day.

“The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City” will be on display from June 11 to September 11. The Milwaukee Art Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 8 p.m. It is closed Monday. Admission is $12 for students with an ID, seniors and active military members and is $14 for adults.

Catching some killer shows … by Annie Bolger/ anne.bolger@marquette.edu

Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae are headlining their two-month North American tour. Photo via brunomars.com.

This summer there’s a swarm of artists coming to the Milwaukee area, which you can divide into two categories: bargains and splurges.

The bargains are our personal faves. You’ll be able to catch a handful of headliner bands this summer for under $40 — music to our wallets’ ears.

The first to make a stop in Milwaukee is Bruno Mars who will be playing at The Rave along with Janelle Monae May 24. Whether you want to have a “Lazy Day” with him or just want to swoon as he serenades you with “Just the Way You Are,” he’s one to check out.

Other artists making their way to The Rave are Arctic Monkeys on May 27, The Maine with Augustana June 5 and Forever the Sickest Kids on June 30. And the venue is close to campus, so why not check these out?

If you’re willing to pay big ticket prices, some powerhouse artists are hitting up the Bradley Center this summer.

For those who love jazz, or at least the modern-day Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble will show you “How Sweet It Is” to join him in concert when he comes to Milwaukee on June 5.

Taylor Swift will bring some country up to the north when she arrives on June 8, and Josh Groban will make a pit stop on his “Straight to You Tour” when he visits on August 9. The ticket prices are high, but these performances might just be worth it.

So whether you’re a saver or a spender, this summer, Milwaukee will have a concert ready for you at the price you love.

Watching theater under the stars… by Jennie Jorgensen/ jennifer.jorgensen@marquette.edu

In the 16th century, William Shakespeare’s playing company performed his works in the outdoor Globe Theatre. This summer, Optimist Theatre hopes to recapture the spirit of original Shakespeare performances with its second annual Shakespeare in the Park, a free outdoor theater event.

Optimist Theatre, in cooperation with Alverno College, will present their production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” this June. While the actual dates and times of the eight performances have not yet been released, Managing Director Susan Scot Fry said these will be finalized and released to the public by the end of next week. At that time, tickets will be available free of charge on a first call, first serve basis.

The performance will take place at Alverno College’s Alumnae Courtyard, where about 200 to 220 seats will be available for reserve for each performance. Once those are full, guests are welcome to walk in and see the show, provided they bring their own lawn chair or blanket and can find an open space in the courtyard.

Prior to each performance will be a picnic period with live music, where guests can either bring food and beverages from home or purchase them at the concession stand.

Fry said “Twelfth Night” was chosen for this year’s event because the theater wanted to present one of Shakespeare’s works that isn’t often performed but that is also extremely accessible and fun for the audience.

Since one of the main goals of Shakespeare in the Park is to attract nontraditional theater-going or Shakespeare audiences. “Twelfth Night” seemed like a good choice, since its storyline is easy to follow.

“We want to depict Shakespeare and outdoor theater to people who never would’ve thought to give it a try,” Fry said.

Even though it may seem difficult to overcome a fear of Shakespeare’s material, Fry said Shakespeare in the Park is a great opportunity to get your feet wet in a fun, different and welcoming group environment.

“If you make that leap and get out there once, it’s easy to get hooked,” she said.

Alverno College is located at 3400 S. 43rd St. For ticket info, contact Susan Scot Fry at 262-498-9788 or visit optimisttheatre.org.

And relaxing with some jazz. by Jennie Jorgensen/ jennifer.jorgensen@marquette.edu

"The Tempest" was the inaugural performance of Shakespeare in the Park. Photo courtesy of Optimist Theatre.

Summerfest may be known as the “big gig,” but it’s not the only summer music festival worth checking out in Milwaukee this summer.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, Summer Sizzle, the Third Ward’s annual outdoor jazz festival, will offer much of the same as Summerfest: live music on multiple stages, specialty vendors and food. But it’ll also offer a day-long, intimate, classy setting Summerfest simply can’t, and it’s free of charge.

Organized by the Historic Third Ward Association since 1999, Summer Sizzle features the live jazz sounds of local, regional and Chicago musicians in a variety of styles: traditional, Latin, swing, smooth and Dixieland.

Though this summer’s entertainment lineup isn’t yet released, it’s sure to be as sizzling as it promises based on previous featured musicians, including Kevin Eubanks, T.S. Monk, Terence Blanchard, Steve Cole and others.

Along with the festival itself, usually spanning across North Broadway Street, Summer Sizzle also features an outdoor marketplace with shopping, food and beverages, and boasts a brass band parade. Dozens of vendors offer everything from fair trade gifts and handcrafted drums to jewelry, clothing and home decor.

The goal of the festival, according to a previous statement made by the Historic Third Ward Association, is to generate awareness of the Third Ward neighborhood — not to raise a profit for the association. The group relies completely on local sponsors to make Summer Sizzle possible. This year’s sponsors include WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7, Miller Lite, Milwaukee Public Market, Spin Milwaukee and the Art Institute of Milwaukee, among others.

It may not be the biggest gig of the summer, but Summer Sizzle in the Third Ward promises to be one of the cozier, more tasteful downtown festivals for jazz music-lovers to relax at this August.

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