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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: An active week of classic play titles and newbies to area

Critic At Large

Miss Saigon’ returns next week

Blake Hermans, from left, Sarah Hibbard, Tom Verbrick and Lisa Borley perform in a scene from Let Me Be Frank Productions’ “Hamilton Ltd. The Musical.” (Sue Pilz Photography)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Below is more information on “Arsenic and Old Lace” in De Pere, “Shrek the Musical” in Menasha, “First Things First” in Oconto, “Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3” in Appleton, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites” in Sheboygan, “Miss Saigon” in Appleton, “(M)iyamoto is Black Enough” in Green Bay, “Becky’s New Car” in New London, “Bus Stop” in Green Bay, “Richard III” in Appleton, “Disney on Ice Presents: Big Dream” in Ashwaubenon, “Chicago The Musical” in De Pere, “Anne of Green Gables” in Marinette, “Hamilton Ltd. The Musical” in Green Bay… performances involving Erin Krebs Quartet, “Davina & the Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown, Lakeshore Chorale, Peninsula Music Festival Winter Fest, Manitowoc Symphony, St. Norbert Music Faculty Showcase, Civic Symphony of Green Bay, St. Norbert Winter BandFest, Lee Rocker, Allouez Village Band, Tim Albright, Nathan Krueger and Kirsten Ihde.

ARRIVING

– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College are at 7 p.m. Feb. 14-15; 2 p.m. Feb. 16; 7 p.m. Feb. 20-21; and 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 22. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-vintage-comedy-arsenic-and-old-lace-opens-this-week-in-de-pere/.

– In Menasha, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus Theatre will present “Shrek The Musical” in James W. Perry Theater at 7 p.m. Feb. 20-21; 1 and 7 p.m. Feb. 22; and 7 p.m. Feb. 27-29. Info: uwfoxtheatre.com. The show based on the Dreamworks animated motion picture and book by William Steig, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori. It’s the tale of a green ogre who embarks on a life-changing journey and discovers his place in the world along the way.
– In Oconto, The Machickanee Players will present the Derek Benfield comedy “First Things First” at 7 p.m. Feb. 14, 6 p.m. Feb. 15 (dinner), 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16 (dessert), 7 p.m. Feb. 21, 6 p.m. Feb. 22 (dinner) and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 23 (dessert). Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-comedy-first-things-first-opening-this-week-in-oconto/.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host a touring production of “Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3” at 2 p.m. Feb. 16, in Kimberly-Clark Theater of the center. Info: foxcitiespac.com. Written by series originator Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia, this is the concept for this show:  After teaching countless students about the saints, venial sins, limbo and more, Sister is now offering up comical lessons on the sacraments of marriage and the last rites, including her own wacky version of “The Newlywed Game.” Classroom (audience) participation is an essential part of the show.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia in its presentation of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites” as part of its family series at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18. Info: weillcenter.com. According to the website: Presented are three stories by the award-winning children’s book illustrator and author are retold on stage with black light theater and fanciful puppets. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” follows the adventures of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through an amazing variety of foods on his path to becoming a beautiful butterfly. High up in the sky, “Little Cloud” playfully transforms himself into various creatures, including a sheep, an airplane, a shark and more. “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” is bored with his life, sitting about predictably changing color all day. Following an adventurous trip to the zoo, he attempts to emulate the beautiful animals he sees before coming to the conclusion that there is value in his own unique self. The production is adapted, designed and directed by Jim Morrow, with music by Steven Naylor and narration by Gordon Pinsent.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host a touring production of “Miss Saigon” at 8 p.m. Feb. 18; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19-21; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Info: foxcitiespac.com. According to the website: This is a new production of the story of young Vietnamese woman named Kim. In a bar run by a notorious character called The Engineer, Kim meets an American G.I. just before the fall of Saigon.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “(M)iyamoto is Black Enough” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Info: weidnercenter.com. The production is described as an amalgam of punk, funk new poetry punk, acid new music in combination with poems to form “complex musical compositions that, together, speak directly and forcefully to the issues of all our times with driving and hypnotic beats. Featured are the poetry of Roger Bonair-Agard and the compositions of Andy Akiho (steelpan and percussion) with Jeffrey Zeigler on cello and Sean Dixon on drums.

– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will present Steven Dietz’s “Becky’s New Car” in Real Opportunities Outreach at 7 p.m. Feb. 20-22, 27-29. Info: wrtt.org. According to the website: Directing is Margie Brown.  Have you ever been tempted to flee your life?  Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage – with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night, a socially inept and grief-struck millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life. The audience gets a chance to ride shotgun in on Becky’s twisting, turning ride. The play is a comedy with serious overtones.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present William Inge’s “Bus Stop” in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-21; 4 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26-28; 4 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29; and 2 p.m. March 1. Info: gbcommunitytheater.com. Snapshot: In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a roadside diner. A whole lot is revealed among the snow-bound passengers. Directing is Dave Zochert.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University Theatre Arts will present William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in Cloak Theatre at 8 p.m. Feb. 20-21 and 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 22. Info: https://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/box_office/tickets. According to the website: The “misshapen” Duke of Gloucester seeks ultimate control of his environment as he perfects his capacity to achieve an ambitious list of ambitions, including: remove Clarence; marry Lady Ann; become Lord Protector of England; murder the young princes; marry niece; rule England forever. Along the way, the cast will speed-read 14 years into 80 minutes, “exploring how sheer will and adaptation can overcome limitations at significant personal and social cost.”

– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host eight performances of “Disney on Ice Presents: Big Dream.” Info: reschcenter.com. Performances are at 7 p.m. Feb. 20-21 and 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Feb. 22-23. Snapshot: Miguel aspires to be a musician and journeys through the Land of the Dead to unlock his family’s history. Moana and Maui bravely restore the stolen heart of Te Fiti. Anna and Elsa save their kingdom while the Disney Princesses inspire with stories of strength, determination and kindness.

ENDING

– In Marinette, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Children’s Theatre will present its final performances of an adaptation of the classic “Anne of Green Gables” in Herbert L. Williams Theatre at 7 p.m. Feb. 14-15 and 2 p.m. Feb. 16. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/top-stories/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-youth-embrace-anne-of-green-gables-in-marinette/.

– In De Pere, Birder Players will present its final performances of “Chicago The Musical” in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 and 2 p.m. Feb. 15-16. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-chicago-the-musical-company-razzle-dazzles-em-in-de-pere/.

ONGOING

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will continue its run of “Hamilton, Ltd. The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13-14; 1 and 7:30 Feb. 20; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in Meyer Theatre. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/community/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-hamilton-ltd-the-musical-a-merry-mix-of-much-in-green-bay/.

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host Erin Krebs Quartet as part of its Backstage Pass series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host “Davina & the Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown: The Finest Hour” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Info: dcauditorium.org.

– In Plymouth, Lakeshore Chorale will present “Isn’t It Romantic?” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in Plymouth Arts Center. Info: lakeshorechorale.org.

– In Ellison Bay, Peninsula Music Festival Winter Fest will present its second concert of the year at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church. Info: musicfestival.com. The concert features Susanna Self, flute, and Susan Wenckus, piano. Works are by Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Charles Tomlinson Griffes and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

– In Manitowoc, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra will present “Italian Journey – Valentine’s Matinee” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Capitol Civic Centre. Info: cccshows.org. Conductor Dylan T. Chmura-Moore will lead the orchestra in this program: Peter Illych Tchaikovsky, “Capriccio Italien;” Franz Schubert, “Overture in the Italian Style,” Felix Mendelssohn, “Symphony No. 4 in A Major (‘Italian’)” and Richard Strauss, “Lagoon Waltzes.” An “informance” with music educator Jim Miller will be held 1:45-2:15 p.m. in the center’s Mertens Lounge.

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College music department will present a Music Faculty Showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. The event features diverse performances by college’s music faculty. Admission is free and open to the public.

– In Green Bay, Civic Symphony of Green Bay will continue its 25th anniversary with “Festival di Musica Italiana” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Meyer Theatre. Info: meyertheatre.org. According to a press release: The concert will include works by Italian composers, or those inspired by Italy, including Guiseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Ottorino Respighi and Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky. Featured will be guest vocalists Yi-Lan Niu and Scott Ramsay, along with collaborations with the St. Norbert College Chamber Singers and the Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization. The evening opens with the overture to Verdi’s opera, “La Forza del Destino,” which translates as “force of destiny.” Verdi was to Italian opera what Ludwig Beethoven was to the symphony, and this overture to his tragic opera has a driving force and passion. Rounding out the first half is “Capriccio Italien” by Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer who was inspired by a trip to Rome with his brother to write this Italian fantasia on folk tunes which he believed a “good fortune may be predicted.” This work highlights the instrumentalists of the orchestra in a virtuoso way. The second half begins with Respighi’s “Ancient Airs & Dances Suite No. 2,” which features the dancers of NEWDO under the direction of Timothy Joseph. This 20th century composer’s take on dances from the 16th century is accentuated by the original choreography and performance of the young dances of NEWDO. Next is the aria “Quando m’en vo’ Soletta” from Puccini’s opera, “La Boheme,” featuring soprano Yi-Lan Niu. Niu has performed throughout North America and Asia. She is an associate professor of music at St. Norbert College. Another Puccini favorite, “Nessum Dorma,” from his opera, “Turandot,” features tenor Scott Ramsay, a Green Bay area native and attended the University of Wisconsin before launching into a career as a soloist worldwide while recently joining the voice faculty of DePaul University School of Music in Chicago. Niu and Ramsay will join forces with the St. Norbert College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Sarah Parks, to frolic in performing selections from Verdi’s opera, “La Traviata.” Club Italo Americano of Green Bay will co-host a pre-concert dinner at the Angelina Restaurant in Green Bay, which will include a multi-course dinner of Italian specialties. Doors open for the dinner at 4:30 p.m., which starts at 5:15 p.m. For more information about the concert, preceding dinner and to purchase tickets, visit gbcivic.org.

In De Pere, St. Norbert College music department will present its Winter BandFest Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts. The annual concert features the college’s Jazz and Wind ensembles along with the college’s High School Honors Band. Info: snc.edu/tickets.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host Lee Rocker at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, as part of its National Series. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org. According to a press release: Famous for singing, playing, spinning and rocking his giant upright bass, Rocker is a founding member of the Stray Cats. Joined with the creative forces of Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom, the Grammy-nominated group sold more than 10 million albums, earned 23 gold and platinum-certified records worldwide and became music video pioneers in the infancy of MTV. Among the hits: “Stray Cat Strut,” “Rock This Town” and “Sexy and Seventeen.” Rocker’s concert will include Stray Cats’ greatest hits and many other songs performed in his career that followed with music legends George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Fogerty and The Rolling Stones.

– In Green Bay, Allouez Village Band will present its big band concert, “Hooked on a Feeling… Peaceful & Perky!” at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Meyer Theatre. Admission is by suggested donation. Info: allouezband.org. According to a press release: An evening of all-American big band and jazz music will be offered on Presidents’ Day. Every February, the Big Band of Allouez Village Band takes the stage. Director Mike Ajango says, “I have an awesome all-new lineup of charts for this year. Our vocalist is also a favorite who has been with us before, Erin O’Connell Patchak.” Patchak’s other credits include St. Norbert College Music Theater, Last of the Big Bands, Kids from Wisconsin, Fab Fifties Live, Green Bay Community Theater and Broadwaymania. A graduate of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Patchak teaches social studies and English language arts in the Howard-Suamico School District. Sometimes dubbed the “Singing History Teacher” by her students, outside of her classroom, Patchak enjoys combining her love of teaching with her passion for the performing arts by serving as a director, choreographer and clinician for Northeastern Wisconsin middle schools and high schools. Vocal selections featuring Patchak include “’S Wonderful,” “720 In the Books,” “Summer Wind,” “The Nearness of You,” “Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Instrumental selections by the big band include “Move,” “Bellavia,” “Angel Eyes,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Manteca,” “Shiny Stockings,” “Superstition” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

– In Appleton, Trout Museum of Art will continue its 10th season of Jazz at the Trout Thursday, Feb. 20, with trombonist Tim Albright. Info: troutmuseum.org. Opening at 6:30 p.m. will be a Lawrence University jazz trio. The series is curated by pianist/composer John Harmon and hosted by Chris Kuborn of Wisconsin Public Radio.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will host a faculty recital with Nathan Krueger and Kirsten Ihde at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

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