LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Door County professional theater preparing for first winter season

Critic At Large

Northern Sky Theater

Season poster.

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – The professional Northern Sky Theater is announced a winter season for the first time as it aims to keep operating during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured will be eight virtual offerings, including both live concerts and archived material.

According to a press release: “We’ve had a holiday show for years now, but we’ve never programmed anything between January and April,” said Molly Rhode, associate artistic director. “The pandemic sparked the thought for us that a winter season was possible. We still miss our audiences, and we hope they miss us, so why not take this opportunity to connect?”

The season will consist of roughly two shows a month.

+ Activity starts Dec. 31 with “The New Year with Northern Sky,” a concert of original material performed and recorded by Northern Sky writers and singers across the country.

+ Jan. 23, Northern Sky will present multi-instrumental string whiz Eric Lewis live in concert from Memphis, Tennessee.

+ California songsters Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan will perform live Feb. 6. from the San Francisco Bay area.

+ Feb. 14, Northern Sky will premiere “Love: It’s Not Just for Lumberjacks,” an archival compilation of video footage from Northern Sky shows about love and courtship gone wrong and right.

+ March 6, Northern Sky will present singing and stringing duo Karen Mal and Will Taylor in concert live from their home in Austin, Texas.

+ March 17, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the company will premiere a full video archive of a 1993 performance in the Peninsula State Park amphitheater of “Malarkey!”, a collection of Irish stories, songs and humor. The cast of “Malarkey!” includes late Northern Sky co-founder Fred Alley and Kelly Brainerd, Suzanne Graff, Doc Heide, Jeff Herbst, and Karen Mal.

+ “Only the Silly Songs: An April Fool’s Day Festival of Fun,” premieres April 1 and features archival videos of some of the “guffaw-inducing, kid-enchanting” onstage antics Northern Sky is famous for.

+ April 17, Northern Sky presents singer, songwriter, playwright and company co-founder Doc Heide live in concert from Baileys Harbor.

In addition, Northern Sky will resume Facebook-based “The Jeff & Katie Show,” featuring hosts Jeff Herbst and Katie Dahl amid banter, music and bakery with a variety of special guests. “The Jeff & Katie Show” will happen roughly monthly throughout the winter. Shows are scheduled Jan. 3, Jan. 31, Feb. 28 and March 28.

All concerts will be available on demand after they premiere, and any given ticket purchase ensures unlimited viewing of that event through June 1. Seeking to enhance accessibility, the company has moved to a “pay what you choose” tiered pricing model for this winter season.

“We’re trying to pay the bills and employ our company, sure,” said Rhode, “but most of all we want to make sure our work is accessible to our audience during these long winter months when we still have to be apart from one another.”

Pay-what-you-choose tickets go on sale Dec. 17 at

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