Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Classics and spanking-new titles

Pre-holiday surge continues

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Below is more information on “Swan Lake” in Green Bay, “Bash: Latterday Plays” in Sheboygan, “A Christmas Carol (Musical)” in Green Bay, “Legally Blonde, The Musical”

in Green Bay, “The Fantasticks” in Oshkosh, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in De Pere, “The Smell of the Kill” in Tisch Mills, “Disenchanted, The Musical” in Oshkosh, “PJ Masks Time to Be a Hero Live!” in Appleton, “Thanksgiving on Serendipity Lane” in Green Bay, Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck!” in Menasha, “Menominee River Mysteries: The Summer of ’27” in Marinette, “Proof” in Sturgeon Bay… performances involving Mike Block, Jim Brickman, Six Appeal Vocal Band, Gene Bertoncini, “Makin’ Cake with Dasha Kelly,” “Universal Laughter – A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine,” The BreakWomb,  “Ladies of Laughter,” Lawrence Academy of Music String Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra, Fox Valley Symphony, Soldi Brass Ensemble, “Talent Jam,” Manitowoc Symphony, Tom Washatka Quorum, Renee Fleming, St. Norbert College Youth Orchestra Program, UWGB Jazz Ensembles.

ARRIVING

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host The Russian Grand Ballet presenting “Swan Lake” at 7 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 15. Info: weidnercenter.com. A company of more than 50 dancers will present the famed work with music by Peter Illych Tchaikovsky. Drawn from Russian folk tales, the ballet tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. Only Prince Siegfried’s devotion can save Odette.

– In Sheboygan, University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan Theatre will present the Neil LeBute drama “Bash: Latterday Plays” Nov. 15-18 in University Theatre of the Fine Arts Center. Info: sheboygan.uwc.edu/campus/arts/theatre. The production is drama made up of three short plays that are from the first-person directly to the audience. The first story, “Iphigenia in Orem,” is a modern retelling of the Agamemnon myth. In the second, “A Gaggle of Saints,” a young couple retells their own versions of a dark night. The final story, “Medea Redux,” is a modern retelling of the Medea myth. The plays have been described as “unblinking portraits of the complexities of evil in everyday life.” Directing is Thomas Campbell of the faculty.

– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions will present “A Christmas Carol (Musical)” Nov. 16-18 at Riverside Ballroom. Preview story: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large-wearegreenbay/warren-gerdscritic-at-large-green-bay-troupe-retools-its-a-christmas-carol/856668616.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre will present “Legally Blonde, The Musical” Nov. 16-18 in University Theatre of Theatre Hall. Preview story: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large-wearegreenbay/warren-gerdscritic-at-large-musical-legally-blonde-set-in-green-bay/854397303.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre will present the famed Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt musical “The Fantasticks” Nov. 16-19 in Fredric March Theatre. Info: theatre.uwosh.edu. based on “Les Romanesques” by Edmond Rostand, the story tells of young neighbors, Luisa and Matt, who are moon drenched as they fall in love atop their dividing wall. But their feuding fathers are determined to keep them apart. When bandits threaten Luisa, Matt heroically saves her. Their fathers rejoice, and they all live happily ever after. Not quite. Moonlight is not forever. Matt and Luis quibble about each other’s imperfections and drift apart. In their separate journeys, they discover their identities and each other. Their love, although imperfect and sometimes painful, is true. Directing is Merlaine Angwall of the faculty.

– In De Pere, Evergreen Theatre community theater will present its holiday tradition, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” in five performances Nov. 17-19 in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Info: snc.edu/tickets. Based on the Barbara Robinson story, the comical and poignant play tells of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant faced with the Herdman kids – “probably the most inventively awful kids in history.” The devilish Herdmans turn with the telling of the Christmas story, complete with many little angels.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present the Michele Lowe play “The Smell of the Kill” Nov. 17-19. Info: forstinn.com. Snapshot: Take three delicious, malicious wives, add three miserable, unloving husbands – and chill (fairly literally as the play goes). That’s the recipe of the sharp-edged comedy that played on Broadway in 2002. The cast features Kendra Verhage as Nicki, Erin Horst as Debra, Elizabeth Szyman as Molly and Thomas Moore as The Guys. The production is directed by Michael Sheeks and costumed by Claran LaViolette.

– In Oshkosh, Grand Opera House will host “Disenchanted, The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org. Fairy tale princesses get a sendup in this not-for-kids show by Dennis T. Giacino. Tips: Cinderella is bit of a nitwit, Snow White can be a little mean and Sleeping Beauty is apparently narcoleptic. This is all a tease of “happily ever after” in fables.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “PJ Masks Time to Be a Hero Live!” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Info: foxcitiespac.org. The new show features the heroic trio from the TV series “The PJ Masks.” Catboy, Owlette and Gekko try to save the day from the sneaky villains – Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl. There’s leaping, flipping and climbing live on stage, with familiar music from the show and brand new songs. 

ENDING

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present its final performances of the Kathy Campshure comedy “Thanksgiving on Serendipity Lane” Nov. 15-19 in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse. My review:

– In Menasha, University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley Theatre will present its final performances of the Jay Torrence play Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck!” Nov. 16-18 in Lucia Baehman Theatre. Preview story: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large-wearegreenbay/warren-gerdscritic-at-large-joy-tragedy-next-on-uwfox-theatre-bill/851683964.

– In Marinette, Theatre on the Bay will present its final performances of the Anthony LaMalfa play “Menominee River Mysteries: The Summer of ’27” Nov. 17-19 in Herbert L. Williams Theatre. My review: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large-wearegreenbay/warren-gerdscritic-at-large-review-historical-play-has-dash-in-marinette/855644031. An exhibit of historical photos of Marinette and the surrounding area will be on display in the art gallery adjacent to the theater to Nov. 24.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Isadoora Theatre Company will present its final performances of the David Auburn drama “Proof” Nov. 17-19 in the Inside/Out Theatre space of Margaret Lockwood Gallery. Preview story: http://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large-wearegreenbay/warren-gerdscritic-at-large-searching-proof-on-tap-in-sturgeon-bay/851573510.

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a guest recital by Mike Block, cello, at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Harper Hall. Free.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Jim Brickman – A Joyful Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Info: foxcitiespac.org. Note: Heid Music will host a preview event with Jim Brickman at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15; free, but RSVP needed by Nov. 14.

– In Oshkosh, Grand Opera House will host Six Appeal Vocal Band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Blackhawk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– SOLD OUT – In Appleton, Trout Art Museum will continue its “Jazz at the Trout” series with guitarist Gene Bertoncini featuring Janet Planet and John Harmon at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. This event is sold out. Info: troutmuseum.org.

– In Sheboygan, John Michael Kohler Arts Center will host “Makin’ Cake with Dasha Kelly” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Info: jmkac.org.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “Universal Laughter – A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host The BreakWomb (moms who do sketch comedy) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Info: cccshows.org.

– In Oshkosh, Grand Opera House will host “Ladies of Laughter” (Alycia Cooper, Christine Stedman and Kelly McFarland) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host the Lawrence Academy of Music String Orchestra and Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra Philharmonia Concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host the Lawrence Academy of Music Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

– In Appleton, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “European Tour” as its theme for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Info: foxvalleysymphony.com. Brian Groner will conduct this program: Gioachino Rossini: “Semiramide: Overture;” Richard Wagner: “Tristan und Isolde, WWV90: Prelude & Liebestod,” with guest vocalist Katy Harth, a graduate of Lawrence University, Appleton; Sergei Prokofiev: “Classical Symphony, Op. 25” and Benjamin Britten: “Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a.” 

In Green Bay, Brown County Civic Music Association will host Solid Brass Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in Ralph Holter Auditorium of Green Bay West High School. Info: bccivicmusic.org. The program: “Medieval Ceremonial Music,” arranged by Elizabeth DiSavino; “Prince of Denmark’s March,” Jeremiah Clarke; arranged by John Iveson; “Sea Songs,” Ralph Vaughn Williams, arranged by D. Haislip; “March of Les Toreadors” from “Carmen,” Georges Bizet, arranged by D. Haislip; “Semper Fidelis,” John Philip Sousa; “Radetsky March,” Johann Strauss, arranged by D. Haislip; “Procession to the Cathedral” from “Lohengrin,” Richard Wagner, arranged by D. Haislip; “Renaissance Dances” from “The Danserye,” Tylman Susato, arranged by John Iveson; “I’m Just a Lucky So and So,” arranged by Carl Della Peruti; “Tuxedo Junction,” arranged by Carl Della Peruti; “The Lonely Bull,” Sol Lake, arranged by D. Haislip; “California Girls,” The Beach Boys; “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Freddie Mercury, arranged by Carl Della Peruti; “Who Loves You Pretty Baby,” Robert Gaudio and Judy Parker, arranged by Carl Della Peruti.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “Talent Jam” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Manitowoc, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra will present “Songs of Harvest and Holidays” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Capitol Civic Centre. Info: manitowocsymphony.org. Wayne Wildman will conduct this program: Edvard Grieg: “In Autumn;” Alexander Glazunov: “Autumn;” Giuseppe Verdi: “Autumn” from the “Four Seasons Ballet in I Vespri Siciliani;” Emile Waldteufel: “Skater’s Waltz;” Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: “Polonaise from Christmas Night;” and Peter Illych Tschaikovsky: “Nutcracker Suite.”

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a Chamber Arts Series with Tom Washatka Quorum at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in Music Hall of the Arts and Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/calendar-of-events.

– In Kohler, Kohler Foundation Inc.’s Distinguished Guest Series will present soprano Renee Fleming at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in Kohler Memorial Theatre. Info: kohlerfoundation.org/tickets.

– In Green Bay, St. Norbert College Youth Orchestra Program will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The concert will celebrate 50 years of youth orchestras in the greater Green Bay and De Pere areas. Audrey Nowak leads the String Orchestra, composed of students in grades 4-8. For many, this is their first orchestral experience. Selections include “Bella Bocca Polka,” “A Vivaldi School Year,” “Northern Lights” and “Flight of the Furies.” Heading the middle group, Philharmonia, is Jim Thaldorf. Typically students in this orchestra range from grades 6 - 12. The Philharmonia’s four selections span about 125 years and are culturally diverse, including pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg and Amilcare Ponchielli. Mike Ross will take the oldest group, Youth Symphony, on an exploration of the diversity of American music. Students in this orchestra range from grades 10 to age 21. Using works like a “Star Wars Medley” from John Williams, and “Allegro con fuoco” from “Symphony No. 9 (‘From the New World’)” by Antonín Dvořák, the orchestra will musically represent characteristics embraced by the American people, such as imagination, nostalgia, pride and emotion. The youth orchestra program at St. Norbert College, formerly the Green Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra, is open to students from grade four to age 21 and features three orchestras – string, philharmonia and youth symphony – each with increasing difficulty and advancing experiences. Participation in the program is by audition only.

In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present its Jazz Ensembles at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, in University Theatre of Theatre Hall on campus. Info: weidnercenter.com.

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My books, “Three Miles Past Lost and in the Pickers” and “Nickolaus and Olive – a naïve opera (in words)” and the award-winning “Real, Honest Sailing with a Great Lakes Captain,” are available online and in Green Bay at Neville Public Museum, Bosse’s and The Reader’s Loft.


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