Just a few miles south of Milwaukee proper sits the aptly-named city of South Milwaukee. In addition to its natural wonders, some standout restaurants, and an awesome new statue downtown, the industrial suburb that’s situated on the shores of Lake Michigan is also home to South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. For more than 15 years, the pristine 786-seat performance venue has hosted school performances, national and international talent, and everything in between. Since its 2004 inception, the SMPAC has booked notable acts like Lindsey Buckingham, Arlo Guthrie, Travis Tritt, Violent Femmes, and a 2016 homecoming by South Milwaukee-born comedian Jackie Kashian.

Last week, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center Council announced its annual Performing Arts Series at a preview party. Today, they released its 2021-2022 season schedule to the general public. The season features a wide range of entertainment, including a ComedySportz Halloween Hoot-tacular, a North Mississippi Allstars and Rebirth Brass Band “Shake & Holla” tour stop, a Christmastime performance by The Texas Tenors, and a “Mutts Gone Nuts in Canine Cabaret” that combines dogs and comedy.

“Our post-pandemic 2021-2022 season will feature eight performances chosen for their energy, local connections, and broad appeal,” Rachel Sorce, Executive Director, said in a press release. “Our annual Performing Arts Series is designed for people of all ages and aesthetics, and we encourage performance enthusiasts to include SMPAC in their plans for next season.”

Beyond those eight eclectic entertainment options, South Milwaukee PAC also booked a weekly “Music At The Market” series that takes place in Downtown South Milwaukee every Thursday from June 3 through October 7. There’s also Summer Youth Theatre and Senior Outreach Programming, as well as “Additional Featured Events” like a “Milwaukapella” and an October 1 performance by legendary comedian Steven Wright. Go to SMPAC’s website for more information and check out the schedule and event descriptions below.

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Friday, September 24
Big Band. Big Club. Big Night!
The Bill Sargent Big Band at Bucyrus Club & Event Center
5:30 Cash Bar, 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Concert

Reserve your seats for this very special night at the historic and newly remodeled 1920s Bucyrus Club & Event Center in the heart of downtown South Milwaukee. Bring your friends for a big night on the town! Enjoy drinks, dinner and dancing to swing and Motown classics performed live by the impeccable Bill Sargent Big Band. The Bill Sargent Big Band has been called “the tightest, most solid ensemble of expert musicians Milwaukee may ever see,” (The Milwaukee Journal). Ticket price includes dinner and music. Cash bar. Bucyrus Club & Event Center is located at 1919 12th Avenue in the city of South Milwaukee. Parking is available in the adjacent lot.

Saturday, October 23, 7:30 pm
ComedySportz® Halloween Hoot-tacular
Impromptu laughter and shenanigans

ComedySportz® is an awesomely exciting comedy show played as a sport! The Halloween Hoot-tacular is the same ComedySportz® show that Milwaukee fans have come to love, but with a few Halloween themes included just for fun! During a “match,” you’ll see a Referee and two teams of Players competing in improv games based on audience suggestions. Expect 7-10 games per match and an occasional audience volunteer joining the teams “on the field” to help the hilarity ensue! Everything is made up on the spot. Nothing is rehearsed. Players are quick-witted, funny and compete as hard as they can to make sure the fans in the audience are laughing. ComedySportz® originated in Milwaukee in 1984 and is now played in 24 cities around the world.

Friday, November 19, 7:30 pm
Shake & Holla Tour
Featuring North Mississippi Allstars & Rebirth Brass Band
with special guest Cedric Burnside

The Shake & Holla Tour will showcase foot-stomping Mississippi “Hill Country” blues and the funky, syncopated sounds of New Orleans brass. Touring together for the first time, the Grammy-nominated and Blues Music Award-winning North Mississippi Allstars will be joined by the legendary Rebirth Brass Band for a musical celebration of two great southern musical traditions. Both artists are part of the vanguard of blues and soul music. Appearing with them is blues guitarist, vocalist and drummer Cedric Burnside, a Grammy-nominated artist in his own right and the grandson of legendary Fat Possum recording artist R.L. Burnside. Each artist will perform their favorites and collaborate throughout the show on a grab bag of great songs, exploring the musical connection between the Mississippi Delta and Bourbon Street… right down Highway 61.

Sunday, December 12, 2:30 pm
The Texas Tenors
Deep in the Heart of Christmas

The Texas Tenors have amassed a huge fan base worldwide with over half a million followers on social media and more than 20 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They are Billboard Magazine’s #10 “Classical Artist in the World” for 2019. With impressive live ticket sales tracked by PollStar they are considered the most successful touring group in the history of America’s Got Talent. As consummate professionals, these three friends with a simple All-American dream have proven that their impact will be long lasting. They have performed more than 1400 live concerts at performing arts centers, casinos, symphony halls, outdoor festivals and major corporate events. The Texas Tenors truly possess that rare, ever sought after quality of mass appeal.

Thursday, January 27, 7:30 pm
The World of Musicals

The World of Musicals brings the very best of musical theatre to life. This captivating production is an emotional journey through the world of great musicals that leaves audiences spell-bound. With beautiful and emotional ballads from Evita, Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera along with great up-beat favorites from Dirty Dancing, Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia, there is something in this show for everyone. Highlights from the newest musicals such as Sister Act II will be featured along with classics from the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gilbert and Sullivan, George Gershwin and Stephen Sondheim. The World of the Musicals is a show for the entire family, so get ready to be enthralled and sing along to all your favorite and beloved musicals in one unforgettable evening.
Direct from their Australian and European tours, this select cast of highly talented and accomplished performers have been featured in worldwide smash hits on London’s West End and Off Broadway such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, Celtic Nights, The King and I, Spring Awakening, Evita, Rent, and Avenue Q among many others. The World of Musicals was created by a powerhouse team in Dublin who are responsible for Celtic Nights, Gaelforce Dance and On Eagles Wings.

Friday, February 25, 7:30 pm
Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets®
Call Us Old-Fashioned: The Supper Club Tour

The Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets® take you on an “Old-Fashioned” road trip with a double shot of nostalgia in their brand-new show! In this energized entrée, the fabulous foursome serve round after round of classic doo-wop and tasty musical side dishes you are sure to relish! We know you will drink up every drop of fun right down to the orange slice and maraschino cherry! Join the Four Guyz in a toast. Your reservation is waiting!

Sunday, March 20, 2:30 pm
Celtic Angels Ireland
with Celtic Knights Dancers
and The Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin

Through their shared zeal and passion for Ireland’s musical traditions, this troupe enables audiences to experience Real Ireland for the price of a concert ticket. Celebrating their cherished heritage through Irish dance, music and song is something these entertainers take very seriously. You’ll be enthralled from the moment the lights dim as the sweet and stirring songs of Ireland, rigorously precise dances, and traditional musicianship carry you to Ireland on wings of music. Some of the sweetest voices under heaven make up the Celtic Angels: Victoria Kenny, Emily Carroll, Tammy Browne, Amy Penston, and Ellie Mullane – Irish to the core and seasoned entertainers all. The Celtic Knight Dancers feature two former lead dancers of Riverdance and perform with athletic precision. The Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin round out the show with flawless interpretations of authentic Irish Trad instrumentals.

Thursday, April 28, 7:00 pm
Mutts Gone Nuts in Canine Cabaret
Canines and comedy collide

From shelters to showbiz, the Mutts Gone Nuts canines unleash havoc and hilarity in an action-packed spectacular featuring talented 4 legged performers. The dogs are sure to steal your heart… and then your socks! Long-time comedy duo Scott and Joan Houghton introduced dogs into their act in 2005. Prior to involving dogs, the duo worked with Lee Greenwood in Tennessee and at Dolly Parton’s theaters in Branson, Orlando and Myrtle Beach. The Houghtons attempt to match wits with their mischievous canine partners in a family-friendly performance. All nine dogs are USDA APHIS (Animal Welfare) registered and adopted from animal shelters or rescue groups. Expect the unexpected! This show will leave you howling for more. Training methods are positive and reward-based. For all ages.

Additional Events

SUMMER YOUTH THEATRE

South Milwaukee Youth Theatre (SMYT) provides educational theatre experiences for youth in South Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. Each year, SMYT hosts approximately 100-120 students in multiple casts to produce two summer musical theatre shows. The SMYT Junior Cast of 6-11 year olds will present Disney’s Frozen KIDS on July 17 at 1:00 and 6:00 pm. The SMYT Senior Cast of 12-18 year olds will present Disney’s Moana JR. on July 30 and 31 at 7:00 pm and August 1 at 2:00 pm.

SENIOR OUTREACH

SMPAC brings performing arts experiences to senior living centers and sponsors concerts and other events in the community. Here are the performances set for the 2021-2022 season:

June 22, 2:30-3:30
Val Sigal at Willowcrest Care Center

July 14, 2:30-3:30
Matthew Davies at Oak Creek Place

August 11, 6-7 pm
Big Style Brass at Howard Village

SUMMER CONCERTS


South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (SMPAC) is proud to support live “Music at the Market” in downtown South Milwaukee starting June 3. SMPAC is partnering with the South Milwaukee Downtown Market to bring complimentary live, outdoor concerts to the heart of our community each week. SMPAC joins with other performing arts-minded sponsors to make this possible, including Classic Cargo International, Cousin’s Subs of South Milwaukee, DB Tax & Wealth, Eberhardy & Eberhardy LLP, Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home and Moran’s Pub. See full lineup HERE.

Additional Featured Events

Wednesday, July 21, 4:30-7:30 pm
Tom Sorce Band with Carol Hanzel
SM Heritage Days Spaghetti Dinner at the Firehouse

Friday, October 1, 8:00 pm
Steven Wright presented by ACG

Academy Award winner Steven Wright is a prototype comedian that many others continually try to follow. He’s had a long career in comedy. He booked for his first Tonight Show appearance on Friday, August 6, 1982. The king of late night enjoyed the performance so much he invited Steven to appear again the following Thursday, a rarity on The Tonight Show. His back-to-back appearances helped put his fledgling career into high gear. The comic soon found himself performing his off-beat routines on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, and numerous trips back to The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Sundays – October 31, February 13, April 10 (Concerts are at 3:00 p.m.)
Knightwind Ensemble

Milwaukee’s premier adult wind band.

Saturday, October 30 (All day student a cappella workshops plus an evening concert.)
Milwaukapella

An annual fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Mitchell Field. It will feature a day-long workshop for high school vocal students followed by a performance onstage. Sponsored by Landass & Company Investments and the Rotary Club of Mitchell Field.

About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.

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