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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘Home for the Holidays’ returning in Fish Creek

Critic At Large

Northern Sky Theater

Show poster.

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Northern Sky Theater will present its annual holiday revue “Home for the Holidays” next week in the company’s Gould Theater.

Performances are at 4 p.m. Dec. 27-31. Info: northernskytheater.com.

Masks are required of audience members due to COVID-19 concerns. Also, this from the company: “All patrons (except those under 5 years of age) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the performance.”

According to a news release: The fully in-person concert will feature three long-time Northern Sky Theater personalities: Doc Heide, Karen Mal and Matt Zembrowski.

The three have known each other personally for many years but never performed as a group before.

The show will feature holiday humor and traditional and original holiday songs.

Fred “Doc” Heide says, “I have a number of new songs for the show, some that are funny – like one about why the Packers are called the Packers – and some that are pretty and optimistic – like one about the 14th-century saint Julian of Norwich. We’re planning on some other originals by Karen and Matt, as well as a number of traditional holiday favorites. It’s going to be a really lovely mix, I think.”

Doc Heide is Northern Sky Theater’s co-founder. He is an acclaimed singer-songwriter with three studio albums to his credit, in addition to the many songs he has written and co-written for musicals. Those musicals include “Belgians in Heaven,” “Packer Fans from Outer Space” and “Guys & Does.” Heidi “is known for his lyrical elegance, prowess as a guitarist, and sweet, mellow vocal style,” the press release says.

Heide retired from full-time teaching last spring at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco and now lives in Door County. This year, he’s been supervising doctoral theses, publishing research and writing songs. He also presented online courses on mindfulness and self-compassion through Northern Sky Theater and was the final performer (with his wife Jody) in the company’s winter season series.

Karen Mal first appeared on the Northern Sky Theater stage in 1992. Since then, she “has remained one of the troupe’s most beloved singers and instrumentalists. Karen’s exquisite voice and instrumental skills graced the Northern Sky stage in dozens of productions over the years, including as the original Kid in ‘Lumberjacks in Love’ and the original Angelique in ‘Belgians in Heaven,’ as well as previous incarnations of ‘Home for the Holidays’ and this summer’s ‘Whatever Happened to Karl Janko?’”

In the last year and a half, Mal has been busy writing and recording songs and videos, performing in a weekly live broadcast to fans far and wide, acting in Shakespeare’s “Pericles” (via zoom), and has contributed/appeared in much content for Northern Sky Theater’s virtual offerings. She also co-leads a hybrid outdoor concert/nature hike series called “Strings in the Woods” and homeschools her 9-year-old daughter.

Matt Zembrowski wrote the book, lyrics and music for “Doctor! Doctor!” (premiered 2016), “Dad’s Season Tickets” (premiered 2019), and “Whatever Happened to Karl Janko?” (premiered 2021) for Northern Sky Theater. He also wrote music for and performed in “Sunsets and S’mores” in 2009. “Though he’s known mainly as a writer to Northern Sky audiences, Matt’s talents as a singer and pianist are also prodigious,” the press release says.

Zembrowski spent the last year recording several “At Home” videos for Northern Sky Theater, and co-headlined “Nerd Night” with singer-songwriter Katie Dahl in October. He is a lifelong Wisconsin resident, and currently resides in West Allis with his wife Lori, his daughter Kathryn.

All seats are reserved. Each show will also feature drawings for gift certificates from Northern Sky Theater’s local business sponsors.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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