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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Goodnight everyone and have an entertaining weekend!

Nostalgia


“Follow me and please watch your step!”

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

In high school and college, I worked about three dozen jobs. One of them was as a part-time janitor at an elementary school cleaning restrooms, toilets, kids’ vomit, mopping and sweeping floors, emptying trash, burning it in an incinerator, etc, etc. It made me appreciate working as a student at WUWM Radio.

My really cool job if you want to call it that because it involved little if any work was ushering at the old Performing Arts Center, now the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. I didn’t have to clean up anybody else’s mess. I wore a coat and tie. I saw great shows. And this college boy was surrounded by many pretty college girls.

 

This weekend many of the ushers that worked during the late 70’s and early 80’s are getting together at a reunion at the Marcus Center. Tonight, I highlight just some of the many great performers and performances I was privileged to see, like the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.









The Milwaukee Ballet...

 
















The sky was the limit working at the PAC. One night, opera, the next night a rock legend.

 














Music.kngine.com reports:

“Donna Summer's title as the ‘Queen of Disco’ wasn't mere hype -- she was one of the very few disco performers to enjoy a measure of career longevity, and her consistent chart success was rivaled in the disco world only by the Bee Gees. Summer was certainly a talented vocalist, trained as a powerful gospel belter, but then again, so were many of her contemporaries. Of major importance in setting Summer apart were her songwriting abilities and her choice of talented collaborators in producers/songwriters Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, which resulted in a steady supply of high-quality (and, often, high-concept) material. But what was more, few vocalists could match the sultry, unfettered eroticism Summer brought to many of her best recordings, which seemed to embody the spirit of the disco era perfectly. The total package made Summer the ultimate disco diva, one of the few whose star power was even bigger than the music.”

I'll 
never forget the night I worked the Donna Summer show because she and I had a very up close and personal moment.

For that show I was helping seat folks in the front rows of the Orchestra section. Naturally, the PAC was packed. When the program began, there wasn’t an empty seat in my section.

Not too long after Summer began singing, a couple came rushing down the hallway towards me, tickets in hand. The very first row of seats back then was marked AA as I recall. AA and BB would sometimes be taken out to accommodate an orchestra pit.

When I checked the couple’s tickets I immediately thought, “Oh no.” They had the two seats on the aisle in the front row. Problem. I knew there were already butts planted in those seats.
 
I whipped out my flashlight, told the couple, “Follow me,” and guided them to row AA. So as not to block anyone’s view, I knelt down next to the gent in the aisle seat. Now I know I didn’t put him there but being an ushering veteran, I know exactly what happened.

“Sir, could I see your tickets, please?”

“My tickets?”

“Yes, your tickets."

As my investigation was transpiring, Summer was dancing and singing at the other end of the Uihlein Hall stage. Or so I thought.

The sheepish, nervous man pulled out his tickets. Where were he and his date supposed to be? In the balcony. That would be the 5th and not the main floor.

Before I could perform the obligatory musical chairs, while still kneeling I gazed up. Keep in mind the front row in Uihlein Hall is practically onstage.

I sensed the spotlight.

There, smack dab in front of me was her left high heel.

My eyes moved slowly upward.

Then a leg. A very bare leg, exposed because her glittery gown had a slit that ended somewhere near Canada.







She was holding her mic, singing away, looking down directly at me with a huge smile.

I think I gulped.

For a split second, I imagined her stopping the show and chewing me out for causing a disruption.

It lasted but a fleeting moment or two, but long enough to show this woman was more gorgeous than any album cover could convey.

Being the calm, cool professional, Summer simply turned and walked to the middle of the stage.

When my ticker resumed functioning, I told the guy to come with me out in the hall. The proper ticketholders were then seated. Once outside the hall, I directed the displaced couple to take the elevator up to the 5th floor where they belonged. I couldn’t resist.

“And please, don’t ever try that again.”

Thank you, Donna Summer, for not embarrassing a poor college kid...and for the memories.
 

 




 





Of course, when Broadway came to town, it came to the PAC.








 




The old PAC was a treasure. I’m fortunate to have spent a few years enjoying its great history.

Good night.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Patronize the arts.

One more?




 

 

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