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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Top 10 pro, local productions in Northeastern Wisconsin in 2020

Critic At Large

Live, in-person performances

Program covers of 2020 for region. (Warren Gerds)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Nearly 3,000 performances were shut down this year in Northeastern Wisconsin because of the coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.

Still, many shows did go on.

However, instead of seeing my usual 155 live, in-person shows, this year I caught only 43 such shows, and most of those were before March 12. Along the way, I also saw 37 virtual productions for review.

In this column, I give an overview of my top 10 live, in-person professional and local presentations in 2020, in no particular order:

+ The clever, high-tech Blue Man Group on tour at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton.

+ St. Norbert College’s Knight Theatre exploring mortality in the touching musical “Tuck Everlasting.”

+ Community and campus players giving all in “Shrek the Musical” for UW-Fox Theatre in Menasha.

+ Five splashy singers in “Girls on Thin Ice” for Let Me Be Frank Productions Dinner Theatre at Backstage at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay.

+ A dynamic production of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” by Green Bay’s Play-by-Play Theatre at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Allouez.

+ Russian National Ballet Theatre in sometimes daring displays in “Cinderella” at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton.

+ Lawrence University Opera Theatre unleashing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” in Appleton.

+ The powerful “Beast on the Moon” as presented by University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre with playwright Richard Kalinoski directing.

+ The modern classic musical “Miss Saigon” on tour at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton.

+ For real razzle-dazzle, the musical “Chicago” as presented by Birder Players in the troupe’s Broadway Theatre in De Pere.

Also today, Sunday, Dec. 27, I will post a column expanding on my best professional productions of the year, starting with the top five.

Monday, Dec. 28, I will post a column expanding on my best local productions with the top five. While my focus is on live, in-person performances, I will give notice to online productions that have sprouted because of the coronavirus.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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