LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

NORTHWOODS REGIONAL NEWS: Florence County, Forest County, Langlade County, Marinette County, Menominee County, Menomonie County, Oconto County,  Shawano County


WEST OF WINNEBAGO REGIONAL NEWS: Green Lake County, Marquette County, Waupaca County, Waushara County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: ‘Hamilton’ tip of iceberg in theater action in region

Critic At Large

Phantoms, Poe and the Pack, too

Joseph Morales is featured as Alexander Hamilton in the production of “Hamilton” that arrives next week at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton. (Company photo)


Below is more information on “The Four Phantoms in Concert” in Oshkosh, “The Velveteen Rabbit” in De Pere, “Oh Boy! Buddy Holly” in Green Bay, “Hamilton” in Appleton, “Nat Turner in Jerusalem” in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, “A Night with Edgar Allan Poe” in New London, “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” in Green Bay, “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” in Tisch Mills, “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” in Green Bay, “George Washington’s Teeth” in Fish Creek, “Dad’s Season Tickets” in Fish Creek… an announcement on Knights on Broadway… performances involving Garnet Ungar, “The Forst Inn Sings Fleetwood Mac,” Frankie Valli, Derrell Acon, Wade Fernandez and Bill Miller, Weidner Philharmonic, Lewis Black, John Daniel, Jessie Martin Wright… news of “Really Big Prints,” two St. Norbert College art exhibits, “Twin Cities Gallery Hop,” 100th anniversaries display at UWGB.


– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh announced casting updates for “The Four Phantoms in Concert” including a new special guest and Oshkosh area choir. According to a press release: Seating is becoming limited. Info: Franc D’Ambrosio, Ciarán Sheehan, Brent Barrett and John Cudia will return to The Grand Oshkosh Sept. 26-28 for their only 2019 appearance in Wisconsin. The four former Phantoms from the Tony Award-winning “The Phan­tom of the Opera” have, combined, performed the iconic role for more than 6,000 performances in New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Las Vegas. Kaley Ann Voorhees, originally scheduled as a special guest, prepares to take her final bow as Christine Daaé on Broadway next month. She will remain in New York to finish out her performance run in “The Phantom of the Opera.” Katie Travis will perform as special guest at The Grand Oshkosh. Travis has performed the role of Christine Daaé throughout North America for more than 700 shows, including the most recent national tour. In select numbers, The Four Phantoms will be backed by a choir of local musicians led by Oshkosh musician and conductor Herb Berendsen. The entire ensemble will perform under the musical direction of Ryan Shirar. “The Four Phantoms in Concert” was created under the musical supervision of David Caddick, the Emmy Award-winning music director and music supervisor of “The Phantom of the Opera” worldwide. This year’s visit includes a talkback with students in an assembly in the commons at Lourdes Academy High School. Michelle Sorenson, a teacher at Lourdes Academy, contacted Joe Ferlo, director of The Grand Oshkosh, with the request. Sorenson has programmed music from “The Phantom of the Opera” into her fall curriculum, in part because of the visibility of “The Four Phantoms in Concert” production. The producer of the show, Lee Tofanelli, agreed to the outreach request. Ciarán Sheehan, who holds the distinction of playing both The Phantom and Raoul in the Broadway production, will join Tofanelli and Ferlo in visiting with the students Thursday, Sept. 26.

– In De Pere, marking 50 years of productions, Evergreen Productions Young Actors will present “The Velveteen Rabbit” at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 and 1 and 4 p.m. Sept. 28-29 in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Info: Adapted by Philip Grecian from the book by Margery Williams, the play is suitable for children age 4 and older. The cast ranges in age from 8 to 17. Snapshot: “There are two ways to be real,” the Skin Horse says. “The first is when you are real to one special child, and the second is when you are real to the world.” More than anything the bunny wants to be a real rabbit. The Toy Fairy offers him his chance, but he must leave with her immediately. The bunny is torn because the boy, ill with scarlet fever, will die without him. This family-friendly adventure leads us to learn that love makes all things real.

– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions will present “Oh Boy! Buddy Holly” Sept. 27 and Oct. 2-3 (dinner 6 p.m., show 7 p.m.) at Riverside Ballroom. Preview story:

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host a touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” in 24 performances Oct. 1-20. Info: Watch for my preview at 6:20 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, on WFRV-TV along with feature stories during the course of the run.

– In Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre will present the Nathan Alan Davis drama “Nat Turner in Jerusalem” at 7:30 Oct. 3-5 and 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at Fredric March Theatre at UW-Oshkosh and at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12 at Prairie Theatre, UW-Oshkosh, Fond du Lac Campus. Directing is Merlaine Angwall. Snapshot: In August 1831, Nat Turner led a slave uprising that shook the conscience of the nation. His attorney, Thomas R. Gray, recorded Turner’s startling account of his prophecy and the insurrection. Nathan Alan Davis’s play imagines Turner’s final night in a jail cell in Jerusalem, Virginia, as he is revisited by Gray and they reckon with what has passed and what the dawn will bring. “Woven with vivid imagery and indelible lyricism, ‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem’ examines the power of an individual’s resolute convictions and their seismic reverberations through time.”

– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will present “A Night with Edgar Allan Poe” at 7 p.m. Oct. 3-4, 2 p.m. Oct. 5 and 7 p.m. Oct. 10-12. Preview story:


– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present its final performances of the Michael Brady drama “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26-27, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and 4 p.m. Sept. 29. My review:


– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will continue its performances of “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27-28, 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3-5. Info: Here is my review of the 2018 production (realizing some things have changed):

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions show troupe of Green Bay is continuing its run of “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” as its 20th anniversary show at the Meyer Theatre. Performances continue to Oct. 23 in Green Bay in Manitowoc. My review:

– In Fish Creek, Peninsula Players Theatre is presenting the Midwest premiere of the Mark St. Germain comedy “George Washington’s Teeth” in the company’s Theatre in a Garden. Performances to Oct. 20 are at 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays except 3 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oct. 20. My review:

PERFORMANCES, TOURS ADDED: 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: UPDATE: Three additional performances are 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 1 p.m. Oct. 16 and 10 a.m. Oct. 25. The public may join Door County high school students at the 10 a.m. performances if seats remain. Each 10 a.m. performance will be followed by a short talk back with the author, Matt Zembrowski, or the company’s artistic directors.  Additionally, the company scheduled open house opportunities following performances Sept. 26 and Oct. 14.


– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Knights on Broadway performances will be by reserved seating, starting with “Christmas with the Knights” Dec. 12-15 and 17. Info:


– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host a guest recital with Garnet Ungar, piano, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Harper Hall.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present “The Forst Inn Sings Fleetwood Mac” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. Info:

– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host a guest recital with Derrell Acon, baritone, at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Harper Hall. On the theme of “Blacktivism,” Acon draws from literature, advocacy, story and song.

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host Wade Fernandez and Bill Miller as part of the Blues, Roots and American Stories Fest at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Info:

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “The New World Symphony for the New World” as the inaugural concert of the Weidner Philharmonic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Info: The program: Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Samuel Barber’s “Overture to ‘The School for Scandal’,” Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise,” Arturo Marquez’s “Danzon No. 2” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 1 in E minor (‘From the New World’).” My feature column associated with the event:

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host: “Lewis Black: The Joke’s on Us Tour” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a faculty recital with John Daniel, trumpet, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will host a guest recital with Jessie Martin Wright, mezzo soprano, with John O’Brian, piano, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info:


– In Green Bay, in conjunction with a showcase selection of “Really Big Prints” on display at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is a street roller demonstration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. According to a press release: The demonstration will take place at the Weidner Center’s rear canopy entrance to Jean Weidner Theatre (across from Theatre Hall and Studio Arts, Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive). “Really Big Prints” is a unique event that started at UWGB, Manitowoc Campus (then UW-Manitowoc) in 2014. The event  involves artists from across the country joining to create limited edition relief prints so large they require a street roller to transfer ink to the paper. UWGB facilities will be donating the street roller for the Friday demonstration, which is open to the public. Relief printing is the process of rolling ink onto a block where recessed areas have been created and are ink free. The inked surface is brought into firm contact with the paper to create the print. A showcase of the prints from the 2014 and 2016 “Really Big Prints” events are on display in the balcony lobby (third floor of the Weidner Center) through the end of October. The display can be viewed before all public Weidner Center performances and on Friday, Sept. 27 during the street roller public demonstration times, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Simultaneously, a “Really Big Prints” exhibit from 2018 is on display in Menasha at the Aylward Gallery at UW-Oshkosh, Fox Valley, with a closing reception Friday, Oct. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. The public is welcome to attend all of these events. “Really Big Prints” is a collaboration between art professors at three colleges and universities. It is planned and organized by Prof. Berel Lutsky (Art, UWGB, Manitowoc Campus), assistant Prof. Katie Ries (Art, St. Norbert College) and associate Prof. Benjamin D. Rinehart (Art, Lawrence University, Wriston Art Center). The “Really Big Prints” team received the UW Colleges Chancellor’s Friends and Advocates Award in 2017. “Really Big Prints” will be returning to the Manitowoc campus, July 8-11, 2020. Applications open at the start of October 2019. There will also be a summer course offered on the Manitowoc campus, “Art 470-Oversize Relief Printing.” Info:

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Bush Art Center will host two exhibits Sept. 30-Oct. 31: “Material Worlds: Craig Clifford and Cassie Marie Edwards” (ceramic work and paintings) in Baer Gallery and “Plywood by Post” (collaborative mail art paintings on wood) in Godshalx Gallery. Info:

– In Marinette, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campuses in Marinette are working together to host an inaugural event – the “Twin Cities Gallery Hop” – from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1. According to a press release: Lydia Dildilian, a new art faculty member at the UWGB, Marinette Campus, and Mike Erhart, a new NWTC-Marinette photography faculty member, along with local artists, are hosting this event to promote local art and culture in the community. During the “Twin Cities Gallery Hop,” visitors will be able to view the art on display by Dildilian at the Marinette campus. While at NWTC-Marinette, visitors will explore the new photography space and learn about its new photography program. The M&M Photography Club will be displaying work at each campus. While at NWTC, visitors are welcome to view the art that graces the walls of the campus from regional artists such as Rusty Wolfe, Eduin Perez Fraga and Kathleen Eaton. Additional locations throughout the community visitors are encouraged to stop by are, in Marinette, Rusty Wolfe Studio B and Sno-Haven Pottery, and, in Menominee, Spies Public Library, By the Bay Gallery and Gifts and First Street Art Gallery.

– In Green Bay, 100th anniversary archive items of local and national import are on display in University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Library. Hannah Hacker, UWGB Archives and Area Research Center assistant, created a display from the archival collections. Highlighted are the founding of the Green Bay Packers and Fort Howard Paper Company and passage of constitutional acts approving prohibition and women’s suffrage. Items include product samples, photos from Fort Howard Paper Company, court cases pertaining to moonshine stills in Shawano County, letters from Door County resident Elizabeth Dreutzer regarding suffrage and publications regarding the Green Bay Packers. The display is located in Cofrin Library, Room 705, and can be viewed during the department’s open hours: Tuesdays from 12:30 to 8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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