GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)
Below is more information on “The Phantom of the Opera”in Appleton, “The Gift of the Magi”in Green Bay, “A Christmas Carol(?)” in Oshkosh, “Frozen Jr.” in Oshkosh, “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” in De Pere, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in Shawano, “A Stable Situation” in Sturgeon Bay, “It’s a Wonderful Life” in Sheboygan, “FrUiTCaKes” in De Pere, “Elf The Musical Jr.” in Abrams, “It’s a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play” in Port Washington, “Monty’s Christmas Magic” in Tisch Mills, “The Nutcracker Ballet” in Sheboygan, “Miracle on 34th Street” in De Pere, “Daddy D’s Christmas” in Marion, Ashwaubenon, Manitowoc and Green Bay, “A Christmas Carol” in Oshkosh, “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” in Sheboygan, “Christmas with the Knights on Broadway: Finding Hope” in De Pere, “A Tuna Christmas” in Sturgeon Bay, “A Frank’s Christmas” in Manitowoc and Green Bay… performances involving Special Consensus, Fox Valleyaires, UWGB Choirs, UW-Oshkosh Handbell Choir, UW-Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble, Capitol Civic Centre Community Chorale, Martina McBride, St. Norbert “Festival of Christmas,” UWGB Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Symphonic Band, Jeff Dunham, “Mistletoe Musings,” UW-Oshkosh Choirs, Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Oshkosh Symphony, The Celts, Lakeshore Chorale, Chevelle, St. “Brass and Organ Christmas Spectacular” West Shore Chorale, UW-Oshkosh Bands, “Swing for the Holidays,” Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, The OK Factor… news of a photographic exhibition in Sheboygan.
– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera”in 16 performances Dec. 4-15. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-the-phantom-of-the-opera-returning-to-appleton/.
– In Green Bay, Play-by-Play Theatre will present the James DeVita and Josh Schmidt adaptation of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-famed-the-gift-of-the-magi-with-music-scheduled-in-green-bay/.
– In Oshkosh, Acts of Peace Players will present the Brad Dokken adaptation of “A Christmas Carol(?)” at 7 p.m. Dec. 5-6 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7, in Peace Lutheran Church. Preview story:
– In Manitowoc, Treehouse Theatre will present the Disney musical “Frozen Jr.” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in University Theatre of Lakeside Hall of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus. Info: treehousetheater.com. Based on the 2018 Broadway musical, the show includes all the songs from the 2013 animated film plus five new songs. The story of Princesses Elsa and Anna in the magical land of Arendelle expands on the emotional relationship and journey between the sisters. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. Producer is Karen Rohrer, with direction by Lisa Heili, music direction by Claire La Liberte and choreography by Madde Gilmore.
– In De Pere, Birder Players will present Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 5-6; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 7; 7 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 1 p.m. Dec. 14. Info: birderonbroadway.org. Directed by Alicia Birder, the production with a cast of 60 features Chad Lemerande as Ebenezer Scrooge.
– In Shawano, Box in the Wood Theatre Guild will present Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in Mielke Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Info: https://m.bpt.me/profile/72495. Snapshot: With a cast of 20 children and 10 adults, the story is about the casting of the annual Christmas pageant that usually has few changes until a child outgrows his or her part. This year, however, the Herdman kids decide they want to be in the play… in the leading roles. The play turns into a comical yet heartwarming tale.
– In Sturgeon Bay, Rogue Theater will present John Steele’s “A Stable Situation” at 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1756 Michigan St. Admission free, with donations accepted. Info: (920) 818-0816. In a Bethlehem stable, animals discuss the evening and the arrival of the baby Jesus. The script includes well-known Christmas carols and a chance for the audience to sing along. A cast of 20 children, teens and adults from throughout Door County is directed Lola DeVillers of the community troupe Rogue Theater.
– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Theatre Company will present the James Rodgers adaptation of the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” in Leslie W. Johnson Theatre of Horace Mann Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7; 2 p.m. Dec. 8; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-14. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-its-a-wonderful-life-opening-in-sheboygan/.
– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present the Julian Wiles comedy “FrUiTCaKes” in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College at 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7; 2 p.m. Dec. 8; 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-christmas-comedy-fruitcakes-scheduled-in-de-pere/.
– In Abrams, Abrams Spotlight Productions will present “Elf The Musical Jr.” at 7 p.m. Dec. 6; 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 1 p.m. Dec. 8; 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14; and 1 p.m. Dec. 15. Info: abramsspotlightproductions.com. The show is based on the 2003 film and features songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. Story: A young orphan mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, and his stepbrother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of the holidays. Featured as Buddy is Bella Frank. She will be joined by KK Blau, Kael Richard James, Myah Jane Mlnarik, Natalie Pera, Paityn Keller, Nick Blaser, Brynna Moody, Lauren Herison, Emma Ronk, Brady Cox, Sophia Wonz, Sadie Smith, Faith Marquardt, Sydney Surber, Ashlynn Vanderheyden, Cora Heinecke, Mary Peterson, Hailey Marquardt, Jaycie Norman, Hannah Nicholson, Darcin Wright, Eden Kuchta, Alexa Samsa, Maria Ronk, Sawyer Norman. The youth-driven production staff includes Jr. director Sydney Surber; Jr. production coordinator Ellie Finger, Jr. stage manager Allie Brehmer and Jr. choreographer Bella Frank. The Young @ Heart production staff includes director Liz Jolly, production coordinator Ali Carlson and choreographer Debra Jolly.
– In Port Washington, Memories Ballroom will present seven performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play” Dec. 6-8 and 13-15. Info: memoriesballroom.com. The story is adapted by Joe Landry, with music by Kevin Conners.
– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will host “Monty’s Christmas Magic” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Info: forstinn.org. Area entertainer Monty the Magician, a Guinness World Record-holder, will present a show with magic and song.
– In Sheboygan, Brittany’s School of Dance will present “The Nutcracker Ballet” in Weill Center for the Performing Arts at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Info: weillcenter.com. This production by the troupe from Plymouth features a Christmas party, a battle between life-size mice and toy soldiers and a magical journey through the snow into the fantasy land of the Sweets. Featured are a multitude of costumes and colorful sets.
– In De Pere, The Green Room Players will present “Miracle on 34th Street” as a radio play at 7 p.m. Dec. 10-11 in The Green Room Lounge. Info: thegreenroomonline.com. This is a continuation of a tradition of bringing a holiday classic to life. This show is based on the popular 1947 movie that was adapted in 1948 by Lux Radio Theatre. The story is about a department store Santa who believes he is the real Kris Kringle and a little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa at all. Kris Kringle’s claim leads to human resources getting involved, psychiatric observation and, ultimately, a court case. The story runs approximately and hour, followed by a sing-along of songs of the season. Gary Radke directs, with sound effects by Maggie Dernehl and Patricia Jagodinsky. In the cast are Mike Eserkaln, Nancy Geneva, Phil Gospodarek, Tom Harter, Lee Kerwin, Carrie Platten Liebhauser, Melissa Ott, Jennifer Pettit, Gary Radke, Scott Roemaat and Ian Wisneski.
– In Marion, Ashwaubenon, Manitowoc and Green Bay, Daddy D Productions show troupe of Green Bay will present variations of “Daddy D’s Christmas” in various venues. Info: daddydproductions.com. Places and dates: Marion (Dec. 10), Ashwaubenon (Stadium View, Dec. 12-14), Manitowoc, (Dec. 17), Green Bay (Riverside Ballroom, Dec. 18-21), Ashwaubenon (PAC, Dec. 22).
– In Oshkosh, Timber Mill Theatre will present a dinner theater presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 12-14 (6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:15 p.m. dessert and show arrival, 7:30 p.m. show) at Becket’s, 2 Jackson St. Info: timbermilltheatre.com. Professional performers act, dance and sing as they tell the tale of the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge as he is led on a journey to rediscover the meaning of the Christmas season.
– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Theatre Company Studio Players will present Jeff Goode’s “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-14 in Paradigm Coffee and Music. Info: stcshows.org. According to a press release: The production is intended for a mature audience and is not recommended for children. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. As mass media descends upon the event, the other members of the sleigh team demand to share their perspectives and a horrific tale of corruption and toxic masculinity emerges. With each deer’s confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations become clearer and clearer and seem to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. The Studio Players’ production features Randy Stache as Dasher, Devin Bayer as Comet, Leah Bischoff as Dancer, Levi Kohlmann as Hollywood (Prancer), Alyssa Mares as Cupid, Karen Quicker as Blitzen, Ty Wesley as Donner and Nanette Bulebosh as Vixen. The production is not for the faint of heart. Sheboygan native Hilarie Mukavitz is making her directing debut. Mukavitz says, “Since the era of the court jester, comedy has helped us face difficult truths. The magic of the laugh is it gets past our defenses, and we find ourselves thinking about and talking about some of the darker aspects of our society and ourselves. This is the darkest of dark comedies, with frank discussions about sexual assault, corruption and toxic masculinity. Prepare to be entertained, and prepare to be thinking about the ideas for a long time afterwards.” Mukavitz was most recently co-producer and playwright for the annual MadCap 24 Hour Theater Festival (Mad Yarn Theatre). In 2017, Mukavitz published her American history audiobook “Game Changers, Caretakers and Dunderheads” featuring local actors playing the American presidents.
– In De Pere, Knights on Broadway of St. Norbert College show troupe will present “Christmas with the Knights on Broadway: Finding Hope” in Dudley Birder Hall at 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14; 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15; and 7 p.m. Dec. 17. The production is cabaret style musical theater with songs of the season.
– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse will present the Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams comedy “A Tuna Christmas” Dec. 12-31 (7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays) in the playhouse’s Studio Theatre. Info: thirdadvenueplayhouse.com. According to the website: The sequel to “Greater Tuna” visits Christmas in the third-smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities focusing on the big annual event – the Christmas lawn display competition. But the activities are in jeopardy because the Christmas Phantom is on the loose. All 22 characters are played by two quick-changing actors, veterans of Door County professional theater and beyond, Alan Kopischke and Noah Simon. Directing is Robert Boles, co-artistic director of the playhouse.
– Manitowoc and Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions of Green Bay will continue its performances of its 20th annual “A Frank’s Christmas.” The Manitowoc performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The Green Bay run starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 6. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-20th-a-franks-christmas-set-in-menasha-manitowoc-green-bay/.
ON THE CONCERT SCENE
– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will host Special Consensus to continue its 36th season of the inn’s winter folk concerts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. Info: whitegullinn.com.
Sold Out – In Appleton, Fox Valleyaires men’s barbershop chorus will present “Barbershop Bistro Christmas Dinner Show” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Grand Meridian. Info: foxvalleyaires.com.
– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present its Concert Choir and University Singers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Cofrin Family Hall of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Info: weidnercenter.com. Conducted by Randall Meder, Concert Choir is the top UWGB choral ensemble. The University Singers, conducted by Tomás Dominguez, includes quality singers from all over campus. Both choirs perform repertoire drawn from a wide variety of periods and styles, from Johann Sebastian Bach to traditional folk tunes.
– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a holiday concert by its Handbell Choir at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in Reeve Union. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.
– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a holiday concert by its Jazz Ensemble at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.
– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host the Capitol Civic Centre Community Chorale in “Coolest Coast Chorale Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. The concert will be repeated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in University Theatre of Lakeside Hall of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus. Info: cccshows.org. According to the website: Directing are Susie and Jim Miller. Guest narrators are Tina and Jason Prigge. Sixteen soloists will be featured throughout the concert. Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in A Swingle Singer” jazzy arrangement will open the concert followed by Gabriel Faure’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” featuring harpist Izabella Sand. Next is a gospel song, “Order My Steps.” The chorale will feature King’s Singers arrangements of “You Are the New Day” and “Shenandoah.” A medley from the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” will end the first half. “Shepherd’s Joy, A Celtic Christmas Celebration,” with bodhrán player Julie Woodcock, will open the Christmas-themed part of the concert. Next is a bluesy-gospel arrangement combining “Amen” and “Go Tell It on The Mountain.” Next is the gospel song “Glory Is A-Coming Our Way.” “Can You See the Light in Bethlehem?” includes the familiar “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow.” Gustav Holst’s “Christmas Day,” a carol fantasy on old carols, leads into the finale, the jazzy-rock song “Text Me Merry Christmas.”
– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host “Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas Tour” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Info: reschcenter.com.
– In De Pere, St. Norbert College music department will present “Festival of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The annual concert will feature all of the college’s music ensembles, including choirs, bands, brass, flutes, piano, organ and handbells. A ticketed gourmet holiday dessert reception follows, with music provided by the St. Norbert College Jazz Band.
– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present its Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Symphonic Band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Cofrin Family Hall of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Info: weidnercenter.com. Conducted by Kevin Collins, the program includes marches, movie scores, contemporary compositions and Romantic symphonies. The Symphonic Band features students from all over campus and performs a high quality and entertaining repertoire. The Wind Ensemble is UWGB’s premiere concert band, performing a wide range of challenging repertoire both solo and with the UWGB Orchestra, comprised primarily of stringed instruments.
– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host “Jeff Dunham Seriously?” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and 5 p.m. Dec. 7. Info: reschcenter.com.
– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will continue its new edition of “Mistletoe Musings” cabaret show with area performers. Info: forstinn.com. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; 2 p.m. Dec. 8; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-13.
– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a holiday concert by its Handbell Choir at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Oshkosh Public Library, Under the Dome. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.
– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present its Choirs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.
– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present “Christmas at Birch Creek” at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Juniper Hall on campus. Info: birchcreek.org. Featured are faculty brass and percussion, vocalist Cynthia Stiehl and singers from Southern Door High School.
– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra will present “Holiday Celebration” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in The Grand Oshkosh. Info: oshkoshsymphony.org or thegrandoshkosh.org.
– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “Christmas with The Celts” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.
– In Sheboygan, Lakeshore Chorale and Lakeshore Youth Chorale will present “Believe” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in St. Peter Claver Church. Info: lakeshorechorale.org.
– In Oshkosh, Menominee Nation Arena will host Chevelle at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Info: menomineenationarena.com.
– In De Pere, St. Norbert College music department will present “Brass and Organ Christmas Spectacular” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in St. Norbert Abbey Church, 1016 N. Broadway. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The concert will feature traditional holiday music performed by faculty and friends of the college from Northeastern Wisconsin. Admission is free; goodwill offerings will benefit the “Nubbie” Ecker Chamber Music Endowment, which helps fund the concert each year.
– In Marinette, West Shore Chorale will present “Twinkle, Twinkle” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in Herbert L. Williams Theatre of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. Directed by Jane Wells, the concert will feature pieces about stars and holiday songs about the Christmas Star. Freewill offerings will be accepted.
– In Menasha, Fox Valleyaires men’s barbershop chorus will present “Return to the Island of the Misfit Toys” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Perry Hall of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus. Info: foxvalleyaires.com. The chorus and chapter quartets will be joined by the Fox Valley Chorus of Sweet Adelines.
– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present its Bands at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.
– University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music’s “6:30 Concert Series” will present “Swing for the Holidays” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in Cofrin Family Hall UWGB’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Info: weidnercenter.com. According to a press release: This year’s program will feature “Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite” along with other jazzed up versions of holiday favorites. Performed by the Green Bay Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Adam Gaines of the faculty, the program also will vocalist Courtney Sherman of the faculty. Composed in 1892 by Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker Suite” is an instantly recognizable holiday classic being played today in movies, television shows, commercials and performed at countless symphonies and ballets around the world. In 1960, the composing duo of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn took a swing at re-imagining the Russian classic. More than just a “jazzy” version of Tchaikovsky’s original, it is new and unique without losing the melody, imagination, and feelings evoked in the original. The Green Bay Jazz Orchestra consists of professional musicians from the Green Bay area. Also in the concert, Sherman will sing such classics as “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
– In Manitowoc, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus’ Lakeshore Wind Ensemble will present “Festival of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Capitol Civic Centre. Info: cccshows.org. According to a press release: Conducting is Marc Sackman of the faculty. Tom Zalaski, WFRV-TV Channel 5 news anchorman, is back this year to narrate. Joining the ensemble are vocalists David Bourgeois and Barbara Whitcomb and the Festival of Christmas Children’s Choir under the direction of Manitowoc’s Monroe Elementary music teacher David Bourgeois. Sackman’s plans for the program include traditional holiday tunes, a few sacred favorites and selections from Christmases of yesteryear. Selections include “Carol of the Drum” (The Little Drummer Boy), “O Magnum Mysterium” and “Minor Alterations-Christmas Through the Looking Glass.” The children’s choir of 14 will sing “Merry Christmas to You,” “Hot Chocolate!,” “We’re Makin’ Cookies” and “Still, Still, Still” and be part of a sing-along of traditional carols.
– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host The OK Factor as a Backstage Pass event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Info: weillcenter.com.
– In Sheboygan, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus, Fine Arts Gallery will present “The Sheboygan Files & Assorted Mysteries: A Photographic Exhibition by Lennart Larsen” Dec. 6 to Feb. 14. According to a press release: Larson is a multi-media artist whose images entice the viewer to investigate the seemingly ordinary and mundane to discover underlying curious mysteries. Larson, who lives and works in Roskilde, Denmark, will be also serve as a visiting artist during the first two weeks of February 2020. The closing reception and “meet the artist” will be Friday, Feb. 7.