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

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: First productions set by theater in Manitowoc

Critic At Large

Parkview Playhouse featuring The Little Bakery Players

Production image. (Warren Gerds amalgamation)

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – After being throttled more than a year by the COVID-19 pandemic, Parkview Playhouse is headed for an opening in a refurbished building.

According to a press release, leading the project are owners/producers Bernie and Marilyn Starzewski of Manitowoc and artistic director Tom Berger of Sheboygan.

The new venue at 932 S. 12th St. in Manitowoc draws its name from its original purpose as Parkview Bakery.

The first production is “110 Stories” by Sarah Tuft. The play recounts the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York City, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and in Pennsylvania as told by people who were there. The performances dates for staged readings are Sept. 9, 10 and 11 – coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Bernie Starzewski will direct. Auditions are July 8 and 9. Info:

Also scheduled is “Rocky Horror Show,” a camp goth musical for mature audiences.

Snapshot: Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named Rocky.

Directing is Tom Berger. Performances are Oct. 29-31. Auditions are Sept. 13-15. Info:

Also on the calendar are “Wait Until Dark” by Frederick Knott adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher (Bernie Starzewski directing), opening in April 2022, and “Force of Nature” by Steven Dietz (Tom Berger directing), opening in May 2022.

In residence will be The Little Bakery Players and Tom Berger’s company, Seven Ages Theatricals.

Planned at the playhouse are film festivals and stand-up comedy from such companies as Fox Valley Comedy.

In December, the playhouse will host “Holiday Memories,” an arts and crafts fair with local entertainers performing holiday music.

A cabaret of love songs, “Love is in the Air,” is planned with a cast performing in formal wear in the tradition of classic TV shows such as “The Lawrence Welk Show.”

The playhouse is available for rental.

Parkview Bakery was built in 1922 by master baker Gustov Boeder. Later sold to Frank Sindelar, the building housed Sindelar Bakery until 1953. Among its other lives, the building has been used for storage and a church.

The venue has been brought back to its original style as an industrial space with its original window and exposed steel girders. Where brick ovens once stood, the stage space is now placed – the oven’s soot and scorch marks visible.

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