Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Performances arriving or no longer in calendar, part 88

Critic At Large

Coronavirus COVID-19 impact

The playwright poses. The world premiere run of Richard Kalinoski’s “A Bear in Winter” continues to Sunday at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he teaches. (Warren Gerds)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Along with performances that are happening live with in-person audiences, below is an overview of performances that were to take place for the public in Northeastern Wisconsin in the coming week. Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, some events in the region are not taking place this year, and many are presented with limited audiences. Masks are recommended or required, depending on protocols at the facilities. A few facilities require proof of vaccination. Some productions have livestream options. Lawrence University continues to present performances, but they are closed to the public.


Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in Northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 1,679 public productions and at least 5,259 performances, not counting club, casino or other engagements. The tallies are mere shadows of performances influenced by the coronavirus.


– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host “Charlie Berens: The Midwest Survival Guide Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info: The “Manitowoc Minute” guy in Manitowoc… how good is that? Featured guest will be Adam Greuel, founder of the Bluegrass band Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Fall Opera Scenes at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 livestreamed from Memorial Chapel on campus, which is closed to the public. Info:

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre, Dance and Music will present the musical “Fun Home” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20 in University Theatre of Theatre Hall on campus. Info: Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, music is by Jeanine Tesori with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. According to a press release: In 2015, “Fun Home” was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning five, including best musical. An autobiographical story, “Fun Home” is a coming out story and a coming-of-age story. In her mid-40s, Alison tells the story of her life through memories of growing up at the Bechdel Funeral Home or “fun home.” Alison explores her relationship with her father, his repressed desires and the damage and pain caused by family secrets. At the heart of the story is Alison’s sexual development and coming out and the connection with her father’s repression of his own sexuality and his subsequent suicide. Due to the mature themes and language, this production is recommended for ages 14 and older. The production is directed by John Mariano with choreography by Denise Carlson Gardner. The pit band is under the direction of Courtney Sherman. Fun Home is the second production of UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance’ 2021-2022 season. Saturday’s performance will be preceded by a panel discussion on social justice, psychology and LQBTQ+ rights and issues, featuring UWGB faculty and community professionals. All audience members attending will be required to wear a mask or face covering during the performance and at all times while inside campus buildings, in accordance with UWGB campus policy. One section of the theater will be reserved for those who wish to practice social distancing.

– In Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Community Theatre will present the Reginald Rose drama “12 Angry Jurors” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20 and 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in Goodrich Little Theatre. Info: Snapshot: “On a hot summer day after a long trial, a jury must decide whether a 19-year-old man is guilty of murdering his father. Needing a unanimous vote to pass judgment, tempers flare as 11of the jurors try their best to convince the one dissenter to come around to their side. As the evidence is re-examined, however, new uncertainties come to light, forcing everyone to truly question if there is in fact some measure of ‘reasonable doubt.’ Originally written for 12 men, this updated version proves that the conversation about what it means to live in a democracy is far from over.” Directing is Matthew Rodenkirch.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Back to an Up Close Christmas with John McGivern” at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: McGivern serves holiday stories from his childhood on Milwaukee’s east side. The stories recall an age of innocence bounded by Thanksgiving dinner traditions, Santa’s handcrafted Christmas toys, Midnight Mass expectations and New Year’s Eve adult-only parties in the Bartlett Avenue finished basement.

– In De Pere, The Green Room will present two ComedyCity Theatre theme shows this weekend. Info: At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19, “ComedyCity Throwback Night” will feature ComedyCity troupe members from the past 30ish. “Join us for a night of family friendly comedy featuring some of your favorite improvisors from the ’90s and ’00s,” the theater says. At 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Nov. 20, “Widow’s Weekend Ladies Night” features ComedyCity women in action as they follow the normal format of the theater’s “Grown-Up Shows, which means that anything can happen.”

– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host “Jurassic Quest” 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 19-20 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 21. Info: The “family edutainment” dinosaur exhibit features more than 100 photorealistic dinosaurs, dinosaur-themed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratots” soft play area for “our littlest explorers,” bounce houses and inflatable attractions (socks required), photo opportunities and more. Walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed – a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host the touring production of “Friends! The Musical Parody” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Info: It’s a flashback to the 10 years of TV’s “Friends” as an “uncensored, fast-paced musical romp,” featuring adventures of such core characters as Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe. Recommended for ages 13 and older.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “Whitney Cummings: Touch Me Tour” at 8 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: The stand-up comedy show features Cummings’ signature take on the current culture and the return to touring after the COVID-19 pandemic. “Touch Me” is a play on Cummings most recent Netflix special, “Can I Touch It,” and will destigmatize and celebrate the importance of being together again after over 14 months of isolation. The phrase has multiple meanings beyond physical touch – being touched emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Cummings will cover it all. Cummings also was co-creator and co-writer of the Emmy-nominated CBS-TV comedy series “2 Broke Girls.”


– In Menasha, Attic Chamber Theatre will present its final performances of the Paul Slade Smith comedy “The Outsider” (my review) at 7 p.m. Nov. 18-20 in Lucia Baehman Theatre in Communication Arts Center of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus. Info:

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will present the final world premiere performances of UW-Oshkosh prof. Richard Kalinoski’s drama “A Bear in Winter” (my review) at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19-20 and 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Theatre Arts Center. Info:

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present the final performances of the Michele Lowe play “The Smell of the Kill” (my review) at 8 p.m. Nov. 19-20 and 3 p.m. Nov. 21. Info:


– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host humorist “Chris Young Famous Friends Tour 2021” with special guests Mitchell Tenpenny and Callista Clark at 7 p.m. Nov. 18. Info:

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “A Motown Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info:

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host The Honeygoats at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info:

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present “Open Mic” at 8 p.m. Nov. 18. Info:

– In Plymouth, the local Celtic Folk music group will present “Celtic Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27; and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at Plymouth Arts Center. Info:

– In Green Bay, The Art Garage will host “Open Mic Night” at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. Info:

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music will present its Opera Workshop Concert at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. Info:

– In Egg Harbor, Griffon String Quartet will present “Music for Food” to support the Door County Food Pantry Coalition at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Kress Pavilion. Info:

– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Puddle of Mudd with The Outfit & Sir Real at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. Info:

– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will host Mark Croft Trio at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. Info:

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present a “Chamber Arts Series” concert 7 p.m. Nov. 20 with Anita Graef, cello, and Julian Graef, violin, in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info:

– In Appleton, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Opening Night” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Thrivent Financial Hall of Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Info: The program: Theresa Martin’s “City of Ambition” (world premiere); Florence Price’s “Symphony No. 3;” and Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” with guest artists Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano. Conducting: Kevin F.E. Sütterlin. Program notes of Theresa Martin about her work: “In ‘City of Ambition,’ I explore the connection between sound and image, drawing my inspiration from historic photographs of New York City from the early 1900s. Movement one is inspired by the 1910 photograph by Alfred Stieglitz, ‘City of Ambition,’ which captures a spectacular view of the New York City skyline along the oceanfront. Inherent in the photograph’s title is the idea of a city bustling with energy, variety and constant activity. In this movement, I seek to portray these qualities of motion through persistent rhythmic drive, metric displacement and abrupt shifts in orchestration. The beginning of the movement mimics the shimmering quality of the ocean and the hazy or blurry quality of the photograph. Movement two, titled ‘Night View (From Above), is based on Berenice Abbott’s photograph ‘Night View,’ taken in 1932 atop the Empire State Building. The music conveys the feelings of being on that rooftop looking down at the city. The soft dynamic markings, light orchestration and the use of the harp and piano convey a quiet, cold and lonely space. At the opening of the movement, the percussion, harp and piano suggest the glittering lights of the city through ‘beat interference’ occurring between dissonant intervals, and the frequent fermatas allow listeners to take in the peacefulness. A sense of suspension is created through the use of unresolved harmonies, fermatas and ringing percussion. A brief middle section with louder dynamics and full ensemble provides a nightmarish interruption which gradually blurs back into the dreamlike state of the opening. Movement three, ‘Steeling the Sky,’ is based on a collection of Lewis Hine photographs of steelworkers constructing the Empire State Building in 1930-31. The music attempts to convey man’s complicated relationship with machine. Several passages symbolize the strength, courage and toil of men as well as the fear and imminent danger posed by ‘the machine.’ Brass instruments, which typically represent masculinity, play a prominent role throughout. The ‘Pesante’ – in a heavy manner –a section represents heavy lifting, while the pizzicato – plucked strings – section in the strings depicts the steelworkers’ agility while maneuvering on the steel beams. ‘The machine’ is represented by a ratchet and metal percussion instruments, as well as a repeated, angular gesture in the low instruments. The danger of falling is depicted by the main motive of a falling interval of a third, as well as several other descending gestures. The overall form of this piece is similar to a skyscraper in its design. The three movements are arranged symmetrically in terms of tempo, with a slow second movement between fast first and third movements. All three movements have sections which climb stepwise through key areas, as if reaching toward the sky. The overall harmonic gesture of the piece is ascending as well, beginning in C-sharp minor and ending in D major. If ambition is defined as the desire to achieve a particular goal, then this piece achieves that goal, harmonically, in the end, with its half-step resolution.”

– In Manitowoc, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra will present “We All Sing in the Season” with local and Broadway star Daniel LeClaire at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Capitol Civic Centre. Info: Program: Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3;” Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas;” Arnold Schoenberg’s “Christmas Music” arranged by Dylan Thomas Chmura-Moore; Ray Evans and Jay Livingston’s “Silver Bells;” Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from “The Four Seasons;” and Mannheim Steamroller arrangements (Chip Davis and Dylan Thomas Chmura-Moore) of “Deck the Halls,” “O Holy Night,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella,” “The First Noel,” “Joy to the World,” “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Silent Night.” Daniel LeClaire is a jazz/pop/soul singer songwriter currently residing in Los Angeles. After opening the “Book of Mormon” first national tour with more than 1,200 performances, he set off to St. Louis and helped open a jazz speakeasy. Soon after, he recorded his first pop album, “High,” in Los Angeles. Since then, he has sung for Betty White’s 90th birthday special televised on NBC, performed at the Hollywood Bowl and most recently sold out Birdland jazz club in New York City, with his concert, “Jazz. Soul. Original.”

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Boy Band Review”at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Info:

– In Menasha, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Orchestras will perform at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21 in James Perry Hall of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus. Info, including program:

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music will present its Fall String Ensemble and Bell Choir Concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. Info:

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will its Titan Steel at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info:


– In Green Bay, Neville Public Museum will present “Holiday Memories of Downtown Green Bay”Nov. 23 to Jan. 9, 2022. Info: The animated figures that once adorned the H.C. Prange’s department store windows are featured along with the Enchanted Forest, the Snow Babies and forest animal collections. Bruce the Spruce, the talking Christmas tree who once chatted with holiday shoppers at Prange’s, is awake at select times (check website for hours) to talk with guests. 


+ CANCELED: Femmes of Rock, Nov. 18, at Meyer Theatre, Green Bay.

+ CANCELED: “One Funny Mother,” Nov. 20, at Meyer Theatre, Green Bay.

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