JAZZ: Theatre X oral history recreates mood of Milwaukee’s mid-century jazz scene


In the mid-20th Century, Milwaukee’s Walnut Street neighborhood (known as Bronzeville) was awash with bars, music clubs and restaurants patronized by people from all corners of the city-the joints were jumpin’! However, freeway development brought this vital community to a halt and erased all physical reminders of what once was. jazz2.jpgTheatre X recreates the mood and honor the spirit of Milwaukee’s nascent jazz era in the oral-history play JAZZ, written and directed by Artistic Director John Schneider, to be remounted by Theatre X April 8 through May 16. The Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center will be transformed into a small cabaret with the audience as club patrons (with cocktail service provided!) Actors, playing the parts of the performers and club habitues that Schneider interviewed in his research, relate the bittersweet anecdotes with both saucy wit and poignant resignation. A hot jazz combo, led by music director Berkeley Fudge, accompanies the stories with jazz standards. Full-scale song and dance numbers featuring singers Adekola Adedapo, Robyn Pluer, Rodd Walker, Azeeza Islam and Romero Beverly bring down the house repeatedly. Also featuring Adebisi A. Agoro. TIME, VENUE AND TICKET PRICES 7:30 on all nights for Theatre X 2 on Sunday day. Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM- $22 Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM- $25 Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM- $22 The Thursday, April 8 performance (opening night) is pay-what-you-can. Student tickets are $10 for all performances. Tickets are available at the Broadway Theatre Center box office, (414) 291-7800. [The director and cast of JAZZ were interviewed on WUWM’s At 10 program. Listen to it here:]