By Kayla Zastrow
MONDAY 11/14 | MERRILL HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM, MERRILL
Empire Wild is a genre-bending, crossover trio founded by Ken Kubota, Brandon Ilaw, and Mitch Lyon. All classically trained, the three musicians met at Juilliard and formed Empire Wild as a vehicle for their love of musical exploration – fusing the sounds of pop, folk, Broadway and more into their songwriting and performances. Based in NYC, they have brought their signature mix of original music, inventive covers, and twists on the classical canon to audiences across the country. 7 pm. Membership required: $45 adult, $18 student, $105 family membership. Details at merrillconcerts.org.
THURSDAY 11/17 | CAMPANILE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, MINOCQUA
Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater has produced well known alumni including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, Bill Murray and more. See the nation’s newest and best comedians in this touring performance. In their The Second City Hits Home show, you’ll see hilarious sketches, songs, and improvisation from the famed Second City archives. This is a must-see night of comedy featuring some of Chicago’s brightest comedy stars in a special one-night engagement. 7 pm. $30 adult, $15 student. Details at campanilecenter.org.
FRIDAY 11/11 | MALARKEY’S PUB & TOWNIES GRILL, WAUSAU
Minneapolis-based singer and songwriter Tony Williams returns to Malarkey’s Pub for an evening of engaging tunes. The solo artist’s songs are a blend of indie and rock, featuring melodic choruses that leave your head nodding, and revealingly honest lyrics that leave your heart aching. His performance features unique mashups and extensive live looping, where songs are built up layer by layer to sound like a full band. 8 pm. 715-819-3663.
FRIDAY 11/11 | INTERMISSION, WAUSAU
Pretend Friend is a bluegrass roots band from Wichita, Kansas that has blended traditional and pop genres since 2017. Featuring Grant Boesen on lead vocals and guitar, Brody Wellman on bass, Evan Ogborn on mandolin, and Garrett Briggeman on banjo, Pretend Friend has been described as “rockgrass,” “new high lonesome,” and “if Robert Plant and the Stanley Brothers had a baby.” 9:30 pm. 715-849-9377.
THURS.-SUN. 11/10-13 | UWSP STUDIO THEATRE, STEVENS POINT
Students from UWSP’s Department of Theatre and Dance showcase their creativity in this annual dance concert. These students have put tons of work into this concert, directing their own cast of dancers and creating costume and lighting designs to bring their imaginative and inspired visions to life. You’ll see a variety of styles including jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet and more. 7:30 pm Thurs.-Sat.; 2 pm Sat.-Sun. Tickets $27 adults, $24 seniors, $16 ages 17 and under. Tickets at tickets.uwsp.edu.
- “Flight of Motion” by Sophie Brooks, a senior dance major, finds inspiration in the beauty and graceful power of the sandhill crane.
- “A Glimpse” by Jordan Busse, a senior dance and studio art major, blends performance art with contemporary dance to explore themes of uncertainty and connection.
- “Living Memories” by Abbi Wasielewski, a senior dance major and creative writing minor, investigates how memories shape our present selves.
- “Blue Haze” by Emily Meyer, a junior dance, drama, media studies and arts management major, explores themes of social isolation within the “blue haze” of our modern technological world.
- “Blissful Ignorance” by Kenna Kramer, a senior dance and psychology major, navigates the search for meaning and purpose in life through curiosity, intentionality and reflection.
- “Audacity of Two” by Maya Dorangrichia, a senior dance major, harnesses the power and solidarity of two audacious women.
- “Coexisted” by Hanna Kiel, a senior dance major and arts management minor, examines the possibility of forming connections among strangers.
- “In the Absence of Conformity” by Elizabeth Pischel, a junior dance and pre-physical therapy major, explores the potential for community within the stark dichotomy of conformity and individuality.
SATURDAY 11/12 | NORTH STAR MOHICAN CASINO RESORT, BOWLER
With a perfect balance of good-old-boy, hell-raising anthems and tender balladry, Tracy Byrd became one of the bigger stars of the second wave of country music’s new traditionalists. Born in rural Texas, he released his debut album in 1993 and climbed to the top of the charts with the song “Holdin’ Heaven.” The debut album went on to be certified Gold! Byrd went back to the studio in June of 2016 and started work on his first project in 10 years. This new album features 8 tracks all written by Byrd, a fact he is very proud of. Show starts at 8 pm. Tickets start at $35. Details at northstarcasinoresort.com.