Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Here’s to dynamic productions in a summer of added challenges

Critic At Large

Eager followers energize theater troupes

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Fall arrives this week, and leaving is a great summer on stages in Northeastern Wisconsin.

After months of limitations and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person performances made the theater season especially wonderful.

Easily more than a dozen theater productions in the region hit on all cylinders.

Theater companies that worked around the coronavirus challenges found eager followers.

Thrills started with the excitement generated by the Birder Players of De Pere in the comically named musical “Something Rotten.

Wholly impressive was Door County’s Door Shakespeare in a one-man performance of the iconic “Hamlet.”

Ryan Schabach put his heart, energy and acting talent into a dizzying array of characters.

Peninsula Players Theatre near Fish Creek Filled the eye and mind with the high-level “Talley’s Folly.”

Coastal Players of Marinette/Menominee burst into action in Peshtigo in an all-out farce called “Boeing Boeing.”

Katie Dahl humanized the founding of the first Wisconsin state park – Peninsula State Park – in “The Fisherman’s Daughters” for her beloved Northern Sky Theater of Door County.

Wolf River Theatrical Troupe of New London enchanted with the classic songs of a legend in “Always… Patsy Cline.”

For the first time in its long history, St. Norbert College Music Theatre of De Pere created an original show with the heart-filled “The Curtain Rises Again.”

Scene from “The Curtain Rises Again,” an original musical production created by St. Norbert College Music Theatre – Summer Stage. (Josh Fields)

In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective unleashed “A Streetcar Named Desire” and showed why the drama is famous.

Last weekend, a little theater in Manitowoc audiences to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and poured soul into “110 Stories.”

The powerhouse play happened to be the premiere production of Parkview Playhouse featuring The Little Bakery Players. Also set free in the dynamic summer were “Romeo and Juliet” by Play-by-Play Theatre of Green Bay, “Not Even Remotely” and “Whatever Happened to Karl Janko?” by Northern Sky Theater of Fish Creek, “The SpongeBob Musical” by St. Norbert College Music Theatre-Next Stage of De Pere, “On Golden Pond” by The Forst Inn Arts Collective of Tisch Mills, “Jeeves at Sea” and “The Lifespan of a Fact” by Attic Chamber Theatre of Menasha and “Romance in D” by Peninsula Players Theatre of Fish Creek.

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