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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: A mid-winter mix on Northeastern Wisconsin stages

Critic At Large

Including an acting showcase at UWGB

Rebecca Stone Thornberry of Marinette’s Theatre on the Bay will reprise her role in “Reckless” as part of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s “Words and Music: A Program of Monologues.” (UWGB, Marinette Campus photo)


Below is more information on “Anne of Green Gables” in Marinette, “Click, Clack, Moo” in Ashwaubenon, “Words & Music: A Program of Monologues” in Green Bay, “Cinderella” ballet in Appleton, “Birds of a Feather” in Clintonville, “Guys on Ice” in Fond du Lac, “Chicago” in De Pere, “Hamilton, Ltd. The Musical” in Green Bay and Manitowoc… performances involving Brantley Gilbert, Harmony, Peninsula Music Festival Winter Fest, UWGB Honors Recital, Forté & the Pianissimos, The Lettermen and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Fox Valley Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Lawrence Choirs, “Dancing with the Stars Live Tour 2020,” Korn & Breaking Benjamin, Okaidja Afroso Trio… news of St. Norbert Soul Food Dinner.


– In Marinette, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Children’s Theatre will present an adaptation of the classic “Anne of Green Gables” in Herbert L. Williams Theatre at 7 p.m. Feb. 7-8; 2 p.m. Feb. 9; 7 p.m. Feb. 14-15; and 2 p.m. Feb. 16. My review (from daytime performance):

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will present a touring production of “Click, Clack, Moo” as part of the center’s family series at 2 p.m. Feb. 8. Info: Presented by Theatreworks USA, New York, the musical is billed as “a barnyard story like you’ve never ‘herd] before.” According to a press release: The musical illustrates what happens when Farmer Brown declares his farm a “tech-free zone” and impounds his granddaughter’s laptop in a cold barn. Shivering cows “hoof it” over to the laptop, typing out requests for blankets. After being denied by Farmer Brown, the cows and chickens unite in peaceful protest to improve their working conditions: “No blankets: no milk, no eggs.” Adapted from the award-winning children’s book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, “Click, Clack, Moo” is a comical, “moooo-ving musical” that teaches about negotiation and compromise.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music and Theatre and Dance will present “Words & Music: A Program of Monologues” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11, in Fort Howard Hall of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus. According to a press release: This is the final event in the center’s “Think Theatre Series” launched in 2019-20. The program is a collaboration of faculty from three of UWGB’s four campuses. Admission is free. The event is a collaboration with UWGB Music’s 6:30 Concert Series. Performers and performance pieces: Rebecca Stone Thornberry, Marinette Campus, and Michelle McQuade Dewhirst (“Reckless” by Craig Lucas); Alan Kopischke and Luis Fernandez (“Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer); Kelli Strickland and Luis Fernandez (“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams); Thomas Campbell, Sheboygan Campus, and Michelle McQuade Dewhirst (original text by Campbell); Noah Simon and John Salerno (“Clarity” by Mark Young); Laura Riddle and Courtney Sherman (“Personal Service Announcement: National Anthem” by Laurie Anderson); Noah Simon, Kelli Strickland and Adam Gaines (improvised text and music). The 6:30 Concert Series was designed to connect the campus with the community through the exploration of music. Performances feature insightful presentations by performers, composers and special guests. The series offers new perspectives on diverse styles, often exploring the music from multiple angles. “Think Theatre Series” was designed to push the boundaries of idea and form one spoken word at a time. UWGB Theatre faculty and guests seek to not only entertain but also provoke responses, pose questions and spark dialogue. The “Think Theatre Words & Music: A Program of Monologues” event is part of the “Word Festival.” This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest. The “Word Festival” is also supported by the UntitledTown Book and Author Festival.  

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the Russian National Ballet production of “Cinderella” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12. Info: According to websites; The ballet in two acts with music by Sergei Prokofiev is a worldwide favorite dance production. Founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, the Russian National Ballet has been bringing ballet classics to the stages of North America since 1999. The Russian National Ballet Theatre is its own institution, with more than 50 dancers of intense instruction and vast experience. Elena Radchenko, a famed Bolshoi principal dancer, was selected by presidential decree to be the first permanent artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Theatre in 1994. She ensures that the company upholds the national tradition of the major Russian ballet works while developing new talent throughout Russia.


– In Clintonville, Phoenix Players Ltd. will present its final performances of “Birds of a Feather” in 1918 Auditorium in Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School at 7 p.m. 7 p.m. Feb. 7-8; and 2 p.m. Feb. 9. Preview story:

– In Fond du Lac, Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts will host the musical comedy “Guys on Ice” at 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 8 and 2 p.m. Feb. 9. Info: This is from my review of a 2016 production starring Doug Mancheski and Steve Koehler, both of whom will perform in Fond du Lac: Love, marriage, friendship, jokes, ice fishing, beer, whiffs of fame and the Green Bay Packers. What could be better? In a nutshell, that’s “Guys on Ice,” the especially fun and funny Wisconsin musical by Fred Alley and James Kaplan. This beauty has been around since 1998, performed by professional and amateur casts at many spots on the nation’s map. Together, Koehler and Mancheski create the story of two guys who spend a full day on the ice with plenty of time to explore what’s in their heads and hearts. The head stuff is comical (A one-arm guy caught a fish this long). The heart stuff is about jobs and women. While trying to fend off a sticky-fingered, mooching “pal,” they’re waiting for a shot at glory on a TV ice fishing show and eventually learn a great big lesson. And it’s all done in kind tones. Koehler and Mancheski have done this show so many times they know all the details and nuances of the show’s lines and situations. Watching Mancheski is like watching a countenance and body of rubber, ready to twist and turn whatever micro-millimeter and in whatever time it takes to get to the exact point and moment to trigger the release for laughter to explode. Seeing this done live is one of the pleasures of playgoing and experiencing “Guys on Ice.” Koehler plays Lloyd, who is going through a rough patch in his marriage. Seems his wife doesn’t think spending their wedding anniversary at the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field is romantic. Mancheski plays Marvin, who envisions himself as the king of ice fishermen. Second to his love of fishing is the checkout girl at the Pick N Save, who he admires in part for her tattoo of a Packers helmet. The set is simple – an ice fishing shanty that folds out. The audience sees the interior filled with guy stuff – photos, old signs, a Packers “G,” ice fishing paraphernalia, food/beer coolers, a fish net and a little stove.


– In De Pere, Birder Players will present the musical “Chicago” in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Feb. 6, 7, 8; 2 p.m. Feb. 9; 7 p.m. Feb. 14; and 1 p.m. Feb. 15. Preview story:

– In Green Bay and Manitowoc, Let Me Be Frank Productions will continue its run of “Hamilton, Ltd. The Musical” to Feb. 22 in Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Capitol Civic Centre in Manitowoc. Preview story:


– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host “Brantley Gilbert: Fire’t Up Tour 2020” with Dylan Scott and Brandon Lay at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host Harmony as part of its Jazz Seriesat 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Memorial Chapel. Info: According to the website: Guitarist Bill Frisell will be featured with notable players in a newly formed group called Harmony. Frisell, Petra Haden, Hank Roberts and Luke Bergman came together to record the Blue Note album “Harmony,” released in October. They have now taken “Harmony,” the album and group. on tour. Frisell is a Grammy-winning guitarist and composer. His work is rooted in jazz but incorporates blues and popular American music traditions. His writing, recording and performing career has spanned more than three decades. Petra Haden, provides the bulk of Harmony’s vocals.

– In Ellison Bay, Peninsula Music Festival Winter Fest will present its first concert of the year at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church. Info: The concert features Eric Olson, oboe; Ellen Caruso Olson, viola; Sara Bong, piano. The Olsons are members of the Festival Orchestra. Works are by Huw Watkins, Johann Sebastian Bach, William White, George Gershwin, Robert Morris and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will present its “Annual Student Honors Recital” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Fort Howard Hall of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus.

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will present a Fireside Coffeehouse Concert with Forté & the Pianissimos ukulele band at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. Info:

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host The Lettermen and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. Info:

– In Appleton, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Winter” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Preview story:

– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra will present “Heroes” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Weill Center for the Performing Arts.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Choirs Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Dancing with the Stars Live Tour 2020” at 7 p.m. Feb. 9. Info: Featured are Kate Flannery from “The Office” Brandon Armstrong, Lindsay Arnold, Alan Bersten, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Gleb Savchenko and Emma Slater.

– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host Korn & Breaking Benjamin with special guest Bones UK at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a World Music Series concert with Okaidja Afroso Trio at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in Harper Hall. Info:


– In De Pere, St. Norbert College will hold its annual Soul Food Dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Michels Ballroom on campus, 409 Third St., De Pere. The event is open to the public. Info: According to a press release: The celebration will feature the gifts in African American scholarship, food and music. The keynote speaker will be 2009 St. Norbert graduate Dominique M. Carter, Ph.D., St. Norbert College’s 2018 Young Alumni Award recipient. Carter is an infectious-disease scientist, an entrepreneur and a global-innovation strategist. Food will be served buffet-style and will consist of southern-style cuisine, including fried southern chicken, red rice, southern mac and cheese, collard greens, corn bread, sweet-potato pie and peach cobbler. Entertainment will be provided by a DJ.

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