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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fair
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Art meets biz on lakes
From the Isthmus archives, Sept. 9, 1988

Staff writer Paul Gerard, contributing editor James Rhem and contributing writer Tom Laskin give Festival of the Lakes mixed reviews. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra conductor David Lewis Crosby prefaced the opening-night concert with a litany of thank-yous so profuse that "art seemed to serve business rather than business serving art," writes Gerard, while jazz composer-musician Roscoe Mitchell's Saturday concert at the Wisconsin Union Theater was marked by "clarity, mood, structural coherence [and] remarkable texture," and Broom Street Theater's dramatic biography of Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy was "a frightening vision of a society marching lockstep behind its pop-culture hero." Rhem hails Claudia Melrose as a dancer-choreographer with "extraordinary artistic gifts," and her collaborations Friday night at the Madison Civic Center with the Sankofa Drum Ensemble, dancer-choreographer Clyde Morgan and classical musicians as "a model of the festival at its best." Laskin takes in Saturday's concert by Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds at the Dane County Expo Center: The latter struggle with a faulty sound system before inducing a frenzy at the end of their set with "Tuff Enuff," while "Stevie Ray's Double Trouble spends most of the night cranking out dull blues progressions behind his guitar pyrotechnics." The festival is discontinued after its 1990 edition. Vaughan is killed in a 1990 helicopter crash following a concert at Alpine Valley near East Troy. Crosby dies in 1998. Mitchell continues to record and perform, and is now the Distinguished Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in California. Melrose is now an emerita professor with the UW Dance Program.

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