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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Area’s theater scene ranges from tomfoolery to potent drama

Critic At Large

Vince Gill among widely varied music offerings

Can Louisa (Ora Jones) be holding the famed dentures of our first president? History lovers Hester (Carmen Roman) center, and Edie (Penny Slusher) are quite smitten in a scene from “George Washington’s Teeth” presented by Peninsula Players Theatre. (Len Villano)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Below is more information on “Sylvia” in Oshkosh, “Mary Jane” in Green Bay, “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery” in Oconto, “Every Little Crook and Nanny” in Wittenberg, “Hamilton: An American Musical” in Appleton, “George Washington’s Teeth” in Fish Creek, “Tomfoolery” in Sturgeon Bay, “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” in Manitowoc, “Frozen Jr.” in Marinette, “Dad’s Season Tickets” in Fish Creek, “Rabbit Hole” in Tisch Mills… performances involving Randal Harrison Hoecherl, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, (C.H.I.M.E.) Concert, St. Norbert Choral Concert, The Ides of March, UWGB Concert Choir and University Singers, Dueling Pianos, Robert McDonald, Christopher Cramer, “A Cavalcade of Big Bands,” Vince Gill, Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, Chris Kroeze, Lawrence Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, Ben Folds, UW-Oshkosh bands, Lakeshore Chorale & Youth Chorale, Charlie Berens, Allouez Village Band,  Roger McVey, Cameron Crozman, John Hiatt, Eli Kalman, Jo Koy, Postmodern Jukebox… news of a sculpture installation in De Pere, Artigrass, Make Music Wisconsin information meetings.

ARRIVING

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Community Players will present A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at The Grand Oshkosh. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org. According to a press release: The troupe is partnering with the Oshkosh Area Humane Society to support pet adoption and animal welfare during this production. “Sylvia” follows Greg and Kate, an older couple who moved to Manhattan after years of child-raising in the suburbs. Complications arise when Greg brings home a dog named Sylvia he found in the park. While the dog provides Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age, Kate views her as a rival for affection. Directing is Michael J. Laskowski. The troupe gives the play the equivalent of a PG-13 rating for strong language and adult themes.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present Amy Herzog’s “Mary Jane” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and 23-26 in Jean Weidner Theatre of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-caregiving-a-theme-in-dramatic-play-mary-jane-in-green-bay/.

– In Oconto, The Machickanee Players will present the British comedy “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery” Oct. 18-20 and 25-27 in the troupe’s Park Avenue Playhouse. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-machickanee-players-of-oconto-taking-on-a-british-comedy/.

– In Wittenberg, Crossroads Community Theatre will present the Pat Cook comedy “Every Little Crook and Nanny” at 7 p.m. October 18-19 and 25-26 at the WOWSPACE, 114 Vinal St. Info: wallsofwittenberg.com. Snapshot: Lillie Scones is a sweet retired nanny who runs a boarding house with one resident and “a cat the size of the Louisiana Purchase.” Her two friends, Jocelyn and Carmella, help to pass the time by listening to music and gossiping. Then Stuart, an old charge of hers, rents a room. Lillie is tickled to have him around again, not knowing he is planning on robbing the bank on the corner. Stuart’s mind may not be totally on the bank job, however, when he meets Betty. However, when Stuart finds out that Betty is about to graduate from an academy on the very night they plan to rob the bank, the perfect alibi presents itself – why not go to the graduation, be seen there, sneak out and rob the bank. Perfect, thinks Little Pat, Stuart’s wise-cracking sidekick. Unfortunately for the two would-be crooks, the graduation is at a police academy. Throw in a chief of police, a suspicious fiancé and a half-pint brat with an “Al Capone do-it-yourself tool kit,” and nobody knows what will happen next.

ENDING

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the final performances of a touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sensational “Hamilton: An American Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20. A local feature story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-extra-fun-with-hamilton-the-musical-of-an-american-generation/.

– In Fish Creek, Peninsula Players Theatre will present its final performances of the Midwest premiere of the Mark St. Germain comedy “George Washington’s Teeth” in the company’s Theatre in a Garden. Performances 7 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and 3 p.m. Oct. 20. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-george-washingtons-teeth-played-for-grins-in-door-county/.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse is presenting its final performances of “Tomfoolery,” the words and music of Tom Lehrer, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and 2 p.m. Oct. 20. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-dead-on-satire-lives-and-breathes-in-tomfoolery-in-sturgeon-bay/

– In Manitowoc, Let Me Be Frank Productions show troupe of Green Bay will present its final performance of “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Capitol Civic Centre in Manitowoc. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-hits-roll-in-splashy-frank-fontaines-bandstand-usa-in-green-bay/.

– In Marinette, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Children’s Theatre will present its final performances of the musical “Frozen Jr.” in Herbert L. Williams Theatre on campus at 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 1 p.m. Oct. 20. Info: www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/marinette/childrens-theatre/. The show is based on the 2018 Broadway musical. It is the story of sisters Elsa and Anna and their emotional relationship over a dangerous power. Saturday matinees include a sing-along. Featured are all of the songs from the animated film with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production.

ONGOING

– In Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theater is presenting the world premiere of the Matt Zembrowski musical comedy “Dad’s Season Tickets” Mondays-Saturdays to Oct. 26 in the new Barbara and Spencer Gould Theater. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-dads-season-tickets-is-a-winner-plus-in-fish-creek/. An additional performance is at 10 a.m. Oct. 25, and the public may join Door County high school students if seats remain. A short talk back will follow with author Matt Zembrowski or the company’s artistic directors.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Cooperative will present David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18-19 and 24-26. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-rabbit-hole-powerful-poignant-in-tisch-mills/.

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

– In Appleton, Trout Museum of Art will continue its 10th season of Jazz at the Trout Thursday, Oct. 17, with Randal Harrison Hoecherl. 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 Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Sheboygan, members of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty will step out of their classroom and directorial roles and onto the stage for the seventh annual Concert Hour Involving Music Educators (C.H.I.M.E.) Concert in UWGB, Sheboygan Campus’s Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Anticipated performances will come from music faculty – Luis Fernandez, Michael Rector, Adam Gaines, Bill Salak and Paul Sucherman.

– In De Pere, the St. Norbert College music department will present its Autumn Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at St. Norbert Abbey, 1016 N. Broadway, De Pere. The concert will feature the college’s Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. Admission is free, with donations accepted.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “The Ides of March Featuring Jim Peterik” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present its Concert Choir and University Singers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in Cofrin Family Hall of Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Info: weidnercenter.com. Conducted by Randall Meder of the faculty, the Concert Choir is the premier choral ensemble of the university. The University Singers, conducted by Sarah Meredith Livingston of the faculty, includes quality singers from all over campus. Both choirs perform repertoire drawn from a variety of periods and styles, from Johann Sebastian Bach to traditional folk tunes.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Deuces Wild!” Dueling Pianos!” with David Charles Eichhotz and Ted Manderfield at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host a guest recital with Robert McDonald, piano, at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in Memorial Chapel.

– In De Pere, the St. Norbert College music department will present a faculty guitar recital at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. The concert will feature Christopher Cramer, adjunct assistant professor of music at St. Norbert College. Admission is free and open to the public. As a soloist and chamber musician, Cramer has performed in the United States, Canada and Asia. Recent concert engagements have taken him to such major cities as Boston, Montréal, Singapore and Taipei. Cramer’s repertoire includes masterworks and newly composed works.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host “A Cavalcade of Big Bands” featuring the Dick Strauss Many Happy Returns Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Info: ashwaubenonpas.org. According to a press release: The concert features 18 veteran musicians celebrating the swingin’ sounds and top bands of the ‘30s and ’40s – Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Les Brown, Xavier Cugat, Guy Lombardo, Harry James and Stan Kenton. The concert will also showcase the Radio Rosies performing Andrews Sisters and McGuire Sisters hits and Valery Sarno performing the best of Ella Fitzgerald. The performance is a Schneider Foundation Limelight Fundraising Event, offering canapés in the lobby and opportunities to support the performing arts, including naming a seat in the theater.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “A Very Special Evening with Vince Gill” with special guest Jedd Hughes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Info: weidnercenter.com.

– In Manitowoc, Lakeshore Wind Ensemble will present “Music of the Masters” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in Capitol Civic Centre. Info: cccshows.org. Featured is the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and other masters of music of the mid-century. Marty Erickson, Lawrence University professor of tuba, will join the ensemble to perform Vaughan Willams’ “Concerto for Tuba,” in addition to “English Folk Song Suite” and “Flourish for Wind Band.” Also on the program are works by Bela Bartok, Vincent Persichetti and Paul Hindemith.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host Chris Kroeze with Sister Winchester as opening act at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “Ben Folds and a Piano: Solo Tour 2019” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present its bands at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Sheboygan, Lakeshore Chorale & Youth Chorale will present “Requiem” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, in First United Lutheran Church. Info: lakeshorechorale.org.

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host “Manitowoc Minutes’ Charlie Berens: Oh My Gosh!?” with Special Consensus at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. Info: dcauditorium.org.

– In Green Bay, the 80-member Allouez Village Band will present “Thrilled and Enchanted” as its theme for its monthly concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in Meyer Theatre. Admission is free, with donations accepted. Info: allouezband.org. According to a press release: The concert features music from such honored and prolific composers in movie music history as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Bruce Broughton and brothers Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman. “We have some Halloween favorites as well as selections that you might not necessarily have associated with the season that have enchanted you for decades,” said director Mike Ajango. Also conducting will be associate director Paul Oleksy. John Williams is a five-time Academy Award-winning composer and has been nominated 51 times, the second-most nominated person, just behind Walt Disney. The band will feature his work in three selections. “Young Person’s Guide to John Williams” includes music from the films “Hook,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Williams’ work is featured again in selections from “Jurassic Park” and in “Chillers and Thrillers” themes of suspense include music from “Star Wars,” “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Jaws” and “Dracula.” Danny Elfman has been nominated for four Academy Awards. In “Music for a Darkened Theatre,” the band performs selections from “Edward Scissorhands,” “Beetlejuice,” “Spiderman” and Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” best-known for its song “This is Halloween.” The band will feature music from two favorite films of Walt Disney Pictures. Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman won two Academy Awards for “Mary Poppins.” While at Disney, the Sherman brothers wrote more motion picture musical scores than any other songwriters in film history. Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer’s powerful and familiar music from “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is an important part of the success of the film that featured Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Selections from the 1985 film “Silverado” will also be performed. Bruce Broughton was nominated for an Academy Award for his score for the film that featured Kevin Kostner, Kevin Kline and Danny Glover as misfit cowboys. Some of the world’s most familiar classical composers – Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles Gounod, Modest Mussorgsky and Frederic Chopin – are featured in a medley of spooky favorites called “House of Horrors.” This is the band’s second concert of the season. “Our first concert of our 38th season was our most well-attended September concert ever,” Ajango said. “All of that is thanks to our loyal audience who spread the word to their friends and family about the evenings of music they enjoy with us.”  

– In De Pere, the St. Norbert College music department will present a guest piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. The performance will feature Roger McVey, associate professor of piano at the University of Idaho. Admission is free and open to the public. McVey has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist in Europe, Asia, Mexico, New Zealand and throughout the United States. He was a top prize winner in the International Beethoven Competition and was a semi-finalist at the International Franz Liszt Competition in Poland. McVey frequently gives master classes and presentations at universities, at music schools and for music-teacher associations.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host a guest recital with Cameron Crozman,cello, at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in Harper Hall.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “An Acoustic Evening with John Hiatt: The Eclipse Sessions Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a faculty recital with Eli Kalman, piano, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “Jo Koy: Just Kidding World Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Info: weidnercenter.com.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Postmodern Jukebox at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Info: meyertheatre.org.

ETCETERA

– In De Pere, Definitely De Pere installed a public art sculpture at 301 Main Avenue. downtown. According to a press release: “Nebulous” is a site-specific sculpture that is intended to blend and showcase De Pere’s diverse charisma. Artist statement: “Nebula is one of the most spectacular light shows in the universe. When a star reaches the end of its life, it explodes into an omnipotent cloud of interstellar dust and gas. The edges and form of which are irregular and obscure. One thing that is certain about a nebula is that they are vastly beautiful. Much like the form of a nebula, beauty is subjective. In fact, there are as many understandings of beauty as there are shapes in a nebula – infinite.” The sculpture was designed and fabricated through the combined effort of three local artists. Kent Hutchison, Casey Early-Kreuger and Samantha Toonen. The artists, having differing specializations, each strengthened the overall impact of “Nebulous” through many hours of collaborative work.

– In Green Bay, the artist application for Artigras 2020 is open to 100 fine artists. Application deadline is Nov. 22. Info: entrythingy.com. The 30th annual event of Mosaic Arts, Inc. will be held at the KI Convention Center downtown Feb. 29 and March 1. The event presents a display of fine arts, artist demonstrations, cultural exhibits, food, live music and hands-on children’s activities.

– In Sheboygan and Green Bay, Make Music Wisconsin information meetings will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, and at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Neville Public Museum, Green Bay. According to a press release: Local hosts are, respectively, John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the City of Sheboygan and Mosaic Arts, Inc. and Neville Public Museum. Arts Wisconsin is teaming with Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of music, to get people, organizations, businesses and communities throughout Wisconsin interested and involved in music and community, and to promote Make Music Day in Wisconsin as an annual event. 

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