Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Ten productions in region that seized the moment in 2021

Critic At Large

Overall, an active year

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The year 2021 was somewhat slow in live performances in Northeastern Wisconsin because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But I still saw 141 performances to review for WFRV on its website –, click on community, click on critic at large.

Fifty of the performances were seen by way of computer screen, and 91 were live, in-person productions.

Success sometimes comes by seizing the moment, and that dominates the 10 productions I have picked for this column.

Excitement from beginning to end radiated from the comical musical “Something Rotten” (my review) done by the Birder Players in Broadway Theatre in De Pere.

Victor Santiago Asuncion (my review) played piano in electrifying and silken was as the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra sprung back into action in Appleton.

Also performed in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, the profound musical “Hadestown” (my review) brought new life to a 2,000-year-old love story.

That followed – at the PAC – the amazing, continuing rush of “Wicked” (my review) for a throng of more than 44,000 people and a payday of more than $13 million.

Attic Chamber Theatre based in Menasha had a jolly time with the British comedy, “Jeeves at Sea” (my review).

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre explored the high dramatics of turmoil in “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” (my review).

Northern Sky Theater of Door County got cosmically comic in the variety show “Home for the Holidays” (my review).

Music Theatre-Summer Stage of St. Norbert College in De Pere embraced emotions in its first original musical, “The Curtain Rises Again” (my review).

When hardly anybody was doing live shows, Let Me Be Frank Productions based in Green Bay was there with sass in “Menoma Mia!” (my review) loaded with ABBA songs.

Playing many times was Northeastern Wisconsin’s own touch of class, the Griffon String Quartet (feature story) of Door and Brown counties.

More about the year in area performance is in a best-of column today, Sunday, Jan. 2, on local groups and Monday, Jan. 3, on professional productions.

Overall, seizing the moment ruled.

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