For a few months now, we’ve been watching Around the Corner with John McGivern on Milwaukee Public Television. It usually airs Thursday nights at 7:30 on WMVS Channel 10, and Friday nights at 8:00 on WMVT Channel 36.

The show is a breezy half-hour tour of a particular Milwaukee neighborhood — or of a community in the greater Milwaukee area. Past episodes have showcased Milwaukee’s Bay View Neighborhood, Wauwatosa, the Riverwest Neighborhood, Cedarburg, Sheboygan, King Drive, Burlington and Brady Street, and each has offered some intriguing glimpses of activities in communities within easy driving distance.

Host John McGivern is a comedic storyteller and actor with a goofball approach that can get a little cloying at times, but it also puts his interview subjects very much at ease as he asks them about their shops and restaurants, attractions, workplaces, and local culture.

Around the Corner‘s biggest strength is the variety of appealing highlights it packs into each half hour, beginning always with a thumbnail history sketch from Milwaukee historian John Gurda, who should perhaps have a show of his own. Thus briefed, McGivern visits specific businesses of the featured community, then pops into its restaurants, attractions, schools, gardens, parks, shops, houses, front yards, and waterfronts. Each installment ends with McGivern giving a local official 30 seconds to persuade viewers why the place is the best place to live, work, and play.

This week’s episode, embedded above, spotlighted our own fair city of Racine, Wisconsin — where McGivern talked to:

That’s quite a list for a 30-minute show. Extended interview clips are available in the Around the Corner with John McGivern section of the website.

John McGivern is appearing in a Racine Theatre Guild special event on Saturday, March 31. Written by Steven Tomlinson, American Fiesta stars McGivern as an obsessive collector of vintage Fiestaware on an antic journey across America, and sheds light on our cultural/political divide.

For tickets, phone (262) 633-4218.

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