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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: A few choices dot the calendar for Northeastern Wisconsin

Critic At Large

Including the globe-trotting Blue Man Group

Lineup for 50th anniversary Jazz Fest. (UWGB image)


Below is more information on “It’s True, It’s True, It’s True” in Green Bay, “Blue Man Group Speechless Tour” in Appleton, “Shadowland: The New Adventure” in Fish Creek and Kohler, “Tuck Everlasting” in De Pere… performances involving “Rave On: The Buddy Holly Experience,” Christopher Titus, Frank’s Tribute and the All-Star Band, UWGB Jazz Fest with Squirrel Nut Zippers and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, “Mike Super: Magic and Illusion,” Steely Dane, Anthony Padilla and Michael Mizrahi, Nate Bargatze, C.J. Camerieri, ABBA Mania, Mile Twelve… news about “Oshkosh on Broadway,” “The Green Bay Art Colony 2020 Exhibition: The Legacy Continues,” Door Shakespeare, Audrey Olson.


– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theatre will host Theatre Z in a reading of the Ellice Stevens and Billy Barrett drama “It’s True, It’s True, It’s True” at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in Robert Lee Brault Playhouse. Preview story:

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Blue Man Group Speechless Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26. Info: Directed by Jenny Koons, in her first-time collaboration with Blue Man Group, the world phenomenon bald and blue trio embarks on a fresh journey of discovery, result of 27-plus years observing human nature. “Speechless” includes new and original compositions, invented instruments and inventive situations alongside established Blue Man Group moments based in joy, art, music, comedy, social commentary and absurdity. New York-based Jenny Koons is known for her expertise in dissolving spatial boundaries. She has a diverse background in theater and activism. Prior to the tour, she said, “‘Speechless’ will feature material that fosters communal moments, debut the evolution of our tube-based instruments to support all new music and include large-scale audience participation. It is my hope that this show will deliver on its name and continue Blue Man Group’s legacy to transcend words and inspire audiences through non-verbal connections.”

– In Fish Creek and Kohler, respectively, Door Community Auditorium and Kohler Distinguished Artist Series will host Pilobolus dance company in the presentation of “Shadowland: The New Adventure” Jan. 28 and Jan. 30. Preview story

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Knight Theatre will present the musical “Tuck Everlasting” in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 30 and 31; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1; and 2 p.m. Feb. 2. Preview story:


– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Rave On: The Buddy Holly Experience” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in Kimberly-Clark Theater of the center. Info:

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Christopher Titus at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. Info:

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host Frank’s Tribute and the All-Star Band at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24. Info: According to a press release: Members of Let Me Be Frank Productions of Green Bay combine songs from star vocalists and comedy bits in a wide-ranging revue. Featured artists include Elvis Presley portrayed by Frank Hermans, Reba McEntire portrayed by Amy Riemer, Yakov Smirnoff portrayed by Pat Hibbard, Barbra Streisand portrayed by Lisa Borley, Karen Carpenter portrayed by Kasey Schumacher and Paul Evansen as Neil Diamond. The performance will also feature the band that won “Best of the Bay” for the last five years – Adam Cain on drums, Pat Hibbard on bass, Tony Pilz on keys and Dennis Panneck on guitar.

– In Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will present its 50th anniversary Jazz Fest with key events Jan. 25 in Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Preview story:

– In Brussels, Southern Door Community Auditorium will host “Mike Super: Magic and Illusion” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. Info:

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Steely Dane at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present “Piano Duos” with Anthony Padilla, piano, and Michael Mizrahi, piano, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “Nate Bargatze: A Good Problem to Have Tour” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host a guest recital with C.J. Camerieri, trumpet, at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in Harper Hall.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host ABBA Mania at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Jan. 28-29. Info:

– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will host Mile Twelve as part of the inn’s ongoing winter folk music series at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Info: The Boston-based bluegrass band played to a sold-out crowd at the inn last May. Featured are David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals) and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals). The group won the International Bluegrass Musician Association 2017 Momentum award.


– In Oshkosh, community members will perform in “Oshkosh on Broadway” at 7:30 p.m. Jan 24-25 in The Grand Oshkosh. According to a press release: The show of song and dance will benefit the theater’s Oshkosh educational and free community programs. According to a press release: The fundraiser began in 2004 as a musical revue starring local “celebrities” who were not usually seen on stage. After a five year “intermission,” the show is returning. Performers include nonprofit leaders, elected officials, media personalities and more, including five actors from the original 2004 cast. The lineup: Alex Hummel, Aubyn Vogel, Brenda Haines, Christian Gossett, Cynthia Thorpe, Diane Stueber, Frank Tower, Gary Konrad, Gordon Hintz, Hayley Tenpas, Herb Berendsen, Janelle Galica, Jay Stoflet, Jessie Opoien, Jessie Tadder, Joe Ferlo, Jon Doemel, Julie Basler, Kate Wyman, Kris Kenowski, Kris Larson, Kylie Kintopf, Laurie McKenzie, Lisa Cadkin, Lizz Redman, Lori Renning, Marc Dosogne, Mary Lajcak, Michelle Rector, Molly Butz, Sammie Michalski, Sandy Morrissey, Sean Lewis, Stephanie Kintopf, Sue Panek, Sue Ziegler, Teri Stern, Terri Vnuk, Pam Elmer, Warren Bergmann, representatives of Oshkosh YMCA, representatives of Oshkosh City Council.

– In Green Bay, Neville Public Museum will host “The Green Bay Art Colony 2020 Exhibition: The Legacy Continues” Jan. 25 to March 29. Info:

 – In Liberty Grove, Door Shakespeare has moved into a new headquarters. According to a press release: Thanks to an anonymous donor, the theater company is celebrating its 25th anniversary year in a home of its own. In late November, Door Shakespeare took possession of the building at 10038 Highway 57 in the Town of Liberty Grove. The original site of Celeste Wegman Interiors, the building will house the theater’s administrative offices, box office, costume storage and rehearsal space. Amy Ensign, managing director, and Michael Stebbins, producing artistic director, began settling into the new surroundings in December. Door Shakespeare’s move comes after many years in downtown Baileys Harbor, the last six in a building which fronted Highway 57. Ensign learned early in 2019 that the company’s lease would not be renewed in 2020. In fall, a donor who knew of the organization’s situation offered to fund a purchase. Soon after, board chair Carl Zapffe became aware of the Liberty Grove property, and things came together quickly. In addition to visibility, the building provides expanded space, a flexible floor plan and outdoor areas. Stebbins said, “We’ll be experimenting and learning how to use the space throughout the year, but it’s very exciting to have the prospect of perhaps hosting small events or gatherings in our own home.” An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony are planned for the spring. Door Shakespeare was founded in 1995 under the umbrella of the then-named American Folklore Theatre. Since becoming its own nonprofit in 1999, the organization has produced 40 productions of classical theater by playwrights including William Shakespeare, Moliere and Oscar Wilde in the Garden of Björklunden’s 405-acre estate on Lake Michigan south of Baileys Harbor.


– In Green Bay, Green Bay Boy Choir founder Audrey Olson died Jan. 19 at age 91. The organization Audrey Olson started in 1980 grew to become today’s Green Bay Boy and Girl Choir. “We’re trying to teach them to become better citizens,” she once said of the boys. Audrey Olson developed the philosophy that the choir is more than about boys singing, that it is about developing poise and what respect means. Her choir became a state of mind, a belief system, one that believes in itself. The choir originated as a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay class project with 41 boys. Ten years later, the choir grew to 104 members, with some going on a performance tour in Europe. An irony is the creator of a boy choir had three daughters and no sons. Visitation will be held 4-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Proko-Wall Funeral Home. Information: Visitation will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe St., with the service starting at 10:30 a.m. The current choir will sing during the service, with alumni invited. A short run-through of the songs will be held prior to the service. Songs will include Audrey Olson’s signature version of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Boys will form an honor guard for the recessional.

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