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The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It serves as the home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Ballet, First Stage Children's Theater and other local arts organizations.
The Marcus Center was designed in the Brutalist style by noted Chicago architect Harry Weese. Construction began on June 27, 1966, and it opened on July 26, 1969 as the Performing Arts Center. After a $25 million donation from the Marcus Corporation in honor of its founder Ben Marcus and his wife Ceil, Milwaukee County changed the venue's name in 1994.
In 2017, Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall was fully renovated, including a new Riverwalk Entrance and lobby foyer, designed by LA DALLMAN, the Milwaukee and Boston-based architecture practice of Grace La and James Dallman. Renowned for sensitivity to mid-century modern buildings, both La and Dallman are appointed faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
The center contains four major theater venues. Uihlein Hall is designed for operas, musicals, orchestral concerts and theatrical productions. It has also hosted lectures and film screenings. With a capacity of 2,305 it is the largest theater in the Marcus Center. The Hall is named in honor of the Uihlein family, owners of the Schlitz Brewing Company. Todd Wehr Hall hosts lectures, concerts, plays, conferences and meetings. Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall is designed for business purposes such as teleconferencing, new product introductions, but also plays, dance programs and concerts. Peck Pavilion is the center's open-air structure located on the Milwaukee River. Events such as concerts, film series, dance and dramatic performances and even product demonstrations have been presented at the Peck Pavilion. The Marcus Center also includes two banquet halls, an atrium and a garden.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to put on a broadway musical? Get a behind-the-scenes peak at setting up for "Wicked" at the Marcus Center in the video below.
In addition, the center's grounds feature several public artworks including Seymour Lipton's Laureate and Allen Ditson's Trigon.
On July 31, 1974, The Marshall Tucker Band recorded their set at the venue. Four songs from the performance were included on their 1974 album, Where We All Belong, and one song was included on the band's 1975 album, Searchin' for a Rainbow.
Cover image by John Begalke is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Information courtesy of Wikipedia.