Fun in Milwaukee

Last night I joined Judy for the first performance in our season subscription to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Many of the people I hope to see on these excursions were still traveling as summer draws to a close, but I can already tell it will be a wonderful way to stay connected with friends I met through Joe. And, of course, it was a great night of theater. The play was State of the Union, and as much as I worried about being burned out on the concept of presidential elections, it was interesting being reminded that politics were just as dirty in the 1940s, and the story’s human side was engaging and moving, especially given the quality of the production and acting.

This morning I joined Oliver at the Milwaukee Art Museum to see Sensory Overload, and I definitely recommend a trip to check it out before it closes in October if you can make it. I’ve always been interested in op art, and the restored “walk-in infinity chamber” was a truly breathtaking effect to experience, and it was nicely complemented by the new “Matrix XV” walk-through experience. There were some other fun interactive pieces, and of course the op art that I expected.

When we were getting our tickets (unexpectedly free, thanks to some guest passes generously shared with us by a friend at the Rep), we were told not to miss the photography exhibit on the mezzanine level just above Sensory Overload, and we were both very glad of that advice. The photos were surprisingly interesting and moving, contrasting some of the earliest daguerrotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes with very recent photographs made with similar techniques, and which look like they come from another time. Although Madison comes off seeming more eccentric and less classy than I like to think of it in the couple of pictures taken here, I now have much more interest in Manitowoc than before seeing this exhibit. These photographers developed the kinds of personal connections with their subjects that enable amazing portraiture, the kind that is completely impossible for me. It closes on November 30, and is definitely worth checking out too, if you can make the trip.

Another interesting find upstairs in the museum was “sphere #5” sculpted by Arnaldo Pomodoro, with intricate “machinery” showing through cracks. The effect is very steampunk, and reminded me strongly of some columns I had enjoyed very much at the new Amaliehaven park in Copenhagen when Joe and I were there last summer. Sure enough, they are by the same artist.

I felt a very strong connection with Joe while walking and driving around the city, and could not help feeling a bit wistful about the fact that, but for his cancer, we would probably be living there together today. I definitely want to spend more time hanging out there and even just enjoying walking and sitting in the lakefront parks.

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