GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Musical troupe in De Pere basks in excitement of live show

Critic At Large

Birder Players

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – “Something Rotten!” has been thrilling audiences.

Energy leaps from the production being put on by Birder Players.

Opening night June 2 in Broadway Theatre is a sign of how hungry audiences are for live theater after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practically every song was greeted by a big wave of applause and cheers.

It was exciting to be in that super-charged atmosphere.

I have experienced many such moments at performances, including rock concerts, but the end-to-end rush for “Something Rotten!” was a rarity.

Enthusiasm gushes during a dance as part of final bows on opening night of Birder Players’ production of “Something Rotten!” (Warren Gerds)

The show is an appreciation of – and a big tease of – William Shakespeare.

Two brothers are trying to write a show that is better than anything by the great one.

Shakespeare is portrayed as a rock superstar with a huge ego.

A third-rate soothsayer foresees the brothers putting on a new invention for the 16th century – a musical.

The soothsayer mistakenly sees the show as “Omelette” instead of the iconic “Hamlet.”

Along the way, there are tap-dancing eggs and finished omelettes.

The show feeds on references to famed musicals while popping in suchs looks as the Fiddler from “Fiddler on the Roof,’ nuns from “The Sound of Music” and The Phantom from “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Double entendre meanings – all kinds of sassy stuff – fill songs and situations.

The show is like those smart aleck kids in the back of the class have cut loose.

The cast of finely tuned local players is spiced by performers with professional experience.

Remaining performances in Broadway Theatre are at 2 p.m. June 6; 7:30 p.m. June 8, 10, 11; 2 and 7:30 p.m. June 12; and 2 p.m. June 13. Info: birderonbroadway.org.

You may be greeted at the door by producer and director Alicia Birder, an expert at putting together name musicals.

Everybody is eager to get back to live performance, including the support crew, some of whom are pictured in the lower left corner of the photo montage above.

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