Thinking Inside the Box

Farewell to Winter: Great April Specials on MPTV

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg, Thinking Inside the Box, on Milwaukee Public Television and So how many times did people say to you over the past four months, "This is the worst winter I remember in my lifetime"? I said it often myself.

So I think that's why this April is one of the most anticipated months in my lifetime. No more wind chill warnings. Instead there are blossoming trees, blessed holidays when families will be together, warm temperatures, the return of robins and sparrows and warblers to our backyards, the first picnic of the year, the first tailgate of the season and the crack of the bat at Miller Park. The charm of spring. There's certainly a lot to love in April!

And we've got a few very special programs this month on Milwaukee Public Television I do want you to know about.

Let's start with THE ADDRESS, a new film by Ken Burns which tells the story of a tiny school in Vermont where each year the students -- who are teenage boys with learning disabilities -- all memorize and then recite publicly the Gettysburg Address. It's a surprisingly moving story that uses the stirring words written by President Lincoln 150 years ago, and it premieres Tuesday night, April 15, at 8 o'clock on Channel 10, underwritten by Hydrite Chemical Co. Linked to the film is a national initiative to get all Americans to record their own reading of the Gettysburg Address -- and there's still time for you, your friends, and family to do just that and uplink it to our website. A number of famous and not-so-famous Wisconsinites have already done so (me included!). Just click on THE ADDRESS link on to find out more.

On Friday night, April 18, at 8 o'clock on Channel 10, we are so proud to share with you PETER PAN FROM MILWAUKEE BALLET. The classic story by J.M. Barrie has been turned into a delightful production that the whole family will enjoy. There's a flying Peter Pan, and a stalking Captain Hook, and Wendy and Tinkerbell and Tiger Lilly. It's really a wonderful show, choreographed by Milwaukee Ballet's brilliant Michael Pink with an original score by Philip Feeney. Another thing that's special about this program is that it is not only airing on Channel 10. It's actually the main primetime program on PBS all around the country that night. So tell your friends and family who live in New York and Chicago, Houston, Denver, wherever, that they should watch their local PBS station on Friday night, April 18, to see what a jewel we have in Milwaukee Ballet. Major funding for the production was provided by Hydrite Chemical Co., with additional help from the Wisconsin Energy Foundation and the Anne Ray Charitable Trust -- and we thank them for their support.

Last but certainly not least, the biggest show of them all: the 46th annual GREAT TV AUCTION is back on Channel 10, and streaming live on, April 25-May 3. It's the largest on-air public TV auction in the entire country, and with a goal of $1 million, it's MPTV's largest single fundraiser of the year. We'll have over a thousand volunteers working at the MPTV Auction Studio in Brookfield -- and you can get involved in many ways. You can be one of those volunteers, you can still donate merchandise and art to the AUCTION -- and of course, you can watch and bid to get great bargains on unique items and services while you help your favorite public TV station.

So you can see April is more than just saying goodbye, at least for a while, to the dreaded polar vortex. Please join us for some really great TV in the coming weeks. Thank you for watching and supporting MPTV -- and I'll be back soon with more Thinking Inside the Box.