GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Performances arriving or no longer in calendar, part 91

Critic At Large

Coronavirus COVID-19 impact

Cast for Evergreen Productions’ ongoing production of “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” (Jean Shonkwiler) Note: A item at the end of this column tells about a key person who was present at the birth of the troupe 38 years ago.

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.

TOTALS TO DATE

Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in Northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 1,727 public productions and at least 5,452 performances, not counting club, casino or other engagements. The tallies are mere shadows of performances influenced by the coronavirus.

ARRIVING ON THE THEATRICAL SCENE

– In Ashwaubenon, Daddy D Productions show troupe will present “Daddy D’s Christmas” Dec 9-11 (6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show, with Dec. 9-10 SOLD OUT) at Stadium View Bar & Grill. Info: daddydproductions.com. Featured in songs and comedy are Shelly Johnson, Darren Johnson, Michael Blair, Angela Thielke-Zuidmulder, Steve Seitz, Ryan Sette, Nate Kinzel, Alicia Michelle and Kevin Van Ess.

– In Weyauwega, Waupaca Community Theatre will present “Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical” at 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in Gerold Opera House. Info: fineartsfestival.org. According to a press release: The show by Dan Goggin has this premise: It’s the first “TV Special” taped by the sisters in their convent basement studio for cable access. It stars the nuns from previous shows in the series plus Father Virgil and some of Mount Saint Helen’s most talented students. New songs include “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.” The show is filled with “Nunsense” humor, some popular favorite carols, a “Secret Santa” and a take on Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet.”

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host MantyDance in “Snowed In” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Info: cccshows.org. According to the website: “(T)he show takes you through what it’s like to be snowed in, in a cute holiday production, involving the acting of Shelley Bernhardt and Sam Gretz.”

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “The Price is Right Live” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. The interactive stage show gives eligible individuals the chance to “come on down” and play games made famous by the iconic CBS-TV show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations and a brand-new car by playing favorites like “Plinko.” “Cliffhangers,” “The Big Wheel” and the “Showcase.”

– In Marinette, Theatre on the Bay of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus, is bringing back the seasonal favorite “Christmas by the Bay.” Performances in Herbert L. Williams Theatre on campus are at 7 p.m. Dec. 10-11 and 2 p.m. Dec.12. Info: uwgb.edu/marinette-theatre. Socially distanced seating options will be available. According to a press release: The production features music and lyrics that explore holidays past, present and future – from older traditional songs like “Little Drummer Boy,” “What Child is This” and “Peace on Earth,” to modern holiday songs like “Where Are You Christmas,” “Like It’s Christmas” and “A Winter’s Tale.” The audience is invited to sing along to a celebratory “Joy to the World” and tap their toes to “Cool Yule in D Major.” Directing is Brittany Welch with choreography by Heather Olsen in partnership with the First Street Academy of Dance. Area singers are Wendy Baron, Hannah Behrendt, Buddy Beyer, Wes Beyer, Zoey Brown, Brian Dey, Maggie Fernandez, Marin  Fernandez, Kaitlyn Foote, Cerina Graway, Lauren Halfmann, Olsen Heather, Lydia LeBeouf, Annalisa Mines, Leah Mines, Alissa Mullins, Jackie Nutter, Justin Pilz, James Porras, Hailee Rastall, Heidi Bunch, Gary Scholtz, Kate Schwaba, Dana Sulk, Trent VanDeWalle, Sam Wargula, Bethany Welch, Brittany Welch and Connor Whisler. Area dancers are Keaton Bartz, Isabelle Bentley, Cortney Buscher, Cece Campbell, Lily Clark, Trinity Cummings, Madeline Drees, Elisa Dura, Madelynn Fernstrum, Farrah Gromala, Cylee Hansen, Sophi Hornick, Carly Komp, Kyla Kotecki, Hannah Lindsay, Emma Linsmeier, Bella Miller, Zaida Mireau, Destiny Sky Peffers, Elysa Reidell, Serena Sellen, Abigail Sievert, McKenna Smith, Ali Wesolowski and Olivia Wroblewski.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Centre will host Barb’s Centre for Dance and Ballet 360 Academy in the 22nd annual “Spirit of the Holidays: A Celebration of Dance” at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org. Featured are the center’s holiday dance ensembles, competition dance troupes, lines and teams. Performed will be original tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet works to traditional and contemporary holiday music. The second half of the performance will feature a section from “The Nutcracker” presented by the center’s Ballet 360 Academy.

In Baileys Harbor, Door Shakespeare will present selected essays from David Sedaris’ “Holidays on Ice” at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at Bjorklunden Lodge. Info: doorshakespeare.com. Admission is free, with donations accepted. Michael Stebbins, producing artistic director of Door Shakespeare, will read three essays. According to a press release: “The Cow and the Turkey” is a tender (no pun intended) story of barnyard animals who decide to share holiday presents by way of “Secret Santa.” The tenderness is also doused with Sedaris’ brand of holiday hot sauce, adding a special kick. “Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol” brings the preeminent theater critic, Thaddeus Bristol, to Door County. Bristol reviews the latest in holiday theater fare playing at local private and public elementary schools. His reviews do take into account that he is reviewing performances by children, but that doesn’t hold him back from being candidly honest. “Dinah, the Christmas Whore” introduces the audience to angry holiday shoppers, bustling mall cafeterias, the wildly eccentric Sedaris family, Christmas lights, a lit cigarette falling onto a carpeted floor of a moving automobile, thugs and robbers, and Dinah, a prostitute with a story to tell. “At once raucous and thrilling, it is also a story that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.”

In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the touring production of the musical “Hadestown” in Thrivent Hall at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-17; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Info: foxcitiespac.com. The story is drawn on two mythic tales, that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone.

– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions show troupe will present “Daddy D’s Christmas” Dec 15-18 (limited ticket available for 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show, with Dec. 15, with all the rest SOLD OUT) at Riverside Ballroom. Info: daddydproductions.com. Featured in songs and comedy are Shelly Johnson, Darren Johnson, Michael Blair, Angela Thielke-Zuidmulder, Steve Seitz, Ryan Sette, Nate Kinzel, Alicia Michelle and Kevin Van Ess.

– In De Pere, Knights on Broadway of St. Norbert College will present its annual “Christmas with the Knights” show with in-person and livestreamed, plus with an additional off-campus performance. According to a press release: In-person and livestream performances will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts on campus. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The other performance is at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center, 2391 S. Ridge Road. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org. This year’s theme is “Someday at Christmas,” with “new and upbeat versions of holiday favorites, along with tender moments.” This year’s troupe consists of Logan Enger (Little Chute), Sarah Gregory (Green Bay), Marki Hietpas (Combined Locks), Emma Hutter (Fond du Lac), Megan Jasen (West Bend), Daphne Johnson (Green Bay) Briah Larson (Green Bay), Evan Larson (Green Bay), Trent Larson (Greenville), Anton Maslowski (Madison), Seth Mayrer (Mosinee), Daniel Scaife (Madison), Sam Skiff (Fond du Lac) and Annie Yamamoto (Hoffman Estates, Ill.). The troupe is led by director Kent Paulsen and assistant director Linda Feldman.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “Christmas with the Four Phantoms” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16-18. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org. According to the website: The show includes holiday selections and iconic music of Broadway, including “The Phantom of the Opera.” Singing are Brent Barrett, John Cudia, Franc D’Ambrosio and Ciarán Sheehan, under the music supervision of two-time Grammy Award-winner David Caddick and music direction of Ryan Shirar. The Four Phantoms will be joined by returning special guest Kaley Ann Voorhees, the youngest actress to play the role of Christine Daaé in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.

ENDING

– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will present its final performances of the Cameron Kent musical “Welcome to Virginia” in Wolf River Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11. Info: wrtt.org. Margie Brown directs the cast of Mark Grossman, Jim Ehrhardt, Parker Eland, Dorea Lauer, Katiee Schneider and Caled Lauer. Snapshot from the publisher: It’s Christmas Eve, and a snowstorm has closed the interstate in Virginia. Frank, a brash billionaire businessman, and his secretary, Kristine – who’s not the “sharpest bulb on the tree” – are forced to seek shelter in a highway rest area. They are joined by Tom, a hitchhiking wannabe country music singer, and Mary Beth, a young, very pregnant widow. Charlie, the rest area janitor, is stuck there even though he just wants to get home to dinner. Along the way, Frank describes himself in the song “Money-Making Machine,” Mary Beth mourns her late husband in “My Precious Earl” and Tom displays his musical talents in “Redneck Christmas.” And then Frank reconnects with his younger, enthusiastic self and helps the other travelers find earthly solutions to their problems, while their shared feelings about the true meaning of Christmas help Frank connect to his spiritual self. Even Kristine shows her true grit by helping Mary Beth have her baby, named Virginia.

– In Abrams, Abrams Spotlight Productions will present its final performances of the musical “Guys and Dolls” (my review) in the troupe’s Nancy Byng Community Theater at 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11; and 1 p.m. Dec. 12. Info: abramsspotlightproductions.com.

– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Theatre Company will present its final performances of “Elf: The Musical” (my review) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, in person and livestreamed in Leslie W. Johnson Theatre of Horace Mann Middle School. Info: stcshows.org.

ONGOING

– In De Pere, Birder Players will present “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 10; 2 p.m. Dec. 12; 7 p.m. Dec. 14-17; and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: birderonbroadway.org. The annual production consists of music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens – based on the story about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles Dickens.

– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present Andrew J. Fenady’s “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” (my review) at 7 p.m. Dec. 10-11; 2 p.m. Dec. 12; 7 p.m. Dec. 16-18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19 in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Info: snc.edu/tickets

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present “Mistletoe Musings” at 7:30 p.m. Dec.10-11; 2 p.m. Dec. 12; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17-18; and 1 p.m. Dec. 19. Info: forstinn.org. The holiday musical cabaret returns with new songs and readings. Included are “amazing a cappella harmonies, rousing carols and quirky and poignant poetry.” 

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will present “A Frank’s Christmas” (my review) at Meyer Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17-23. Info: meyertheatre.org.

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

Special note: In Green Bay, “Fiddlin’ Andy: The Cyclone Kid,” a new documentary that visits the local performance scene from the past through the life of Andy Sanders (Shandor), will be screened at 1 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Neville Public Museum theater. Free with regular admission to the museum. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-fiddlin-andy-the-cyclone-kid-captures-personalities/.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will present its Jazz Lab Bandat 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will present The Special Consensus at 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9 as the inn’s Winter Concert Series returns. Info: (920) 868-3517.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host “A Carpenters Christmas starring Lisa Rock” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will present its Handbell Choir at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “For Kids from 1 to 92” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org. Steve March-Tormé, Vic Ferrari’s Michael Bailey and Emmy Award-winning composer and electric violinist Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) join musical forces a holiday show.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Sunshine Resources will host “Griffon String Quartet: Community Concert for Sunshine Resources” at 1 p.m. Dec. 10. Info: midsummersmusic.com.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host “Holiday Pops,” the long-standing tradition as “Green Bay’s biggest holiday musical celebration,” at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in Cofrin Family Hall of the center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Info: TicketStar or https://snc.edu/birderchorale. The performance conducted by Kent Paulsen will also feature the Holiday Pops Orchestra, Birder Studio of Performing Arts youth choir and members of Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization.

– In Egg Harbor, Door Community Auditorium will host “The Glenn Miller Orchestra at Christmas” at 7 p.m. Dec. 11. Info: dcauditorium.org.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Boogie and the YoYoz Christmas with You” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will present its Choirsat 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra will present “Sounds of the Season” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Weill Center for the Performing Arts. Info: weillcenter.com. Conducted by Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle, director of the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus, the orchestra and chorus will be joined by choral ensembles from Lakeland University and Sheboygan Lutheran High School. Included are nostalgic classics, a singalong and new works.

– In De Pere, the Youth Orchestra Program of St. Norbert College will present its fall concert Dec. 12 at Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center, 2391 S. Ridge Road, Ashwaubenon. According to a press release: In lieu of tickets, donations may be made online at snc.edu/youthorchestra/ and at the door. The three ensembles of the Youth Orchestra will perform throughout the day Dec. 12. The string orchestra, directed by Audrey Nowak, will perform at 12:30 p.m. The philharmonic, co-directed by Audrey Nowak and Michael Ross, will perform at 1:30 p.m. The youth symphony, directed by Michael Ross, will perform at 3 p.m. The program fosters music appreciation through professional instruction in rehearsals that culminates in public performances. The program is open to students from fourth grade to age 21. More information on the program: snc.edu/youthorchestra/ or email Audrey Nowak at audrey.nowak@snc.edu.

– In Kohler, Lakeshore Chorale and Lakeshore Youth Chorale will present “A Thrill of Hope” at 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at Kohler Memorial Theatre. Info: lakeshorechorale.org.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will present its Bands Choirat 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in Music Hall of the Arts & Communications Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present its Chamber Ensembles at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Botanical Garden will host “Griffon String Quartet: Memory Café—B Double Sharp Program” at 1 p.m. Dec. 14. Info: midsummersmusic.com.

– In Green Bay, “Gather with the Griffon” performance and chat will be presented for seniors and caregivers by The Griffon String Quartet at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 15     at First Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Ashland Ave. Info: https://www.midsummersmusic.com/event/griffon-string-quartet-wellness-2/.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will present “Swing for the Holidays” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in Cofrin Family Hall of the center. Info: weidnercenter.com. According to a press release: “We are amping up the cheer with pre-show holiday crafts, an interactive photo booth, a photo op with Santa and plenty of surprise moments throughout the evening,” says Kelli Strickland, Weidner Center executive and artistic director. The Green Bay Jazz Orchestra with guest vocalist Courtney Sherman will perform swinging renditions of popular holiday tunes on the main stage. Lobby doors for pre-show festivities open at 5 p.m. with the concert following at 6:30 p.m. Bar service including special holiday themed – adult and kiddie – cocktails will be available for purchase.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host John Kelley & The Fusion Xpress Orchestra (FXO) in “A Not So Silent Night” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org.

ETCETERA

– In Sturgeon Bay, Miller Art Museum will to host a lecture by Nancy Aten and Dan Collins of Landscapes of Place at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 11 in the museum. Titled “Re-Meandering,” their talk will focus on the ecological restoration work at Crossroads at Big Creek and how it has influenced their artwork currently on display in the museum’s “Wildlife Biennial XX” on display to Dec. 30. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Nancy Aten says, “Our monotypes are inevitably about natural places we know or wild places we hope to restore. In between printing episodes, we are collecting ideas, experiences and stories we want to convey in our monotypes, and a leaf or image or grains of soil from these wild places to use or inspire us.” The presentation also will be streamed live on Facebook @millerartmuseum. 

A PASSING

In Green Bay, Max Frost, who was instrumental on the Green Bay performing arts scene, died Dec. 2. He was 83. Thirty-eight years ago, Max Frost helped start became Evergreen Productions that continues today as multi-faceted theater group. A production of “A Christmas Carol” sparked the idea to continue as a company, with the play being an annual, popular attraction. Max Frost for many years played Bob Cratchit – among multiple roles he played in local productions. He was busy behind the scenes as well, along with operating a business with his wife and business partner, Susan Creviere Frost. In the late 1980s, he was active with Center Arts Inc., a group dedicated to bringing a performing arts center to Green Bay, with the eye on downtown. The Weidner Center opened in 1993 at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Max Frost served as president of Pamiro Opera Company, which presented full operas in Green Bay. “It is a very costly operation because we bring in professionals from San Francisco, New York and Chicago,” he said in 1988. “There’s a very, very high-level approach to this because opera has to be done well.” Max Frost was a quick wit, which he could apply to the stage. Here’s a sample from my review of a Music Theatre production of “The Music Man” in 1990: “Max Frost warms the place playing goofy, English-slaughtering Mayor Shinn.” A memorial service is planned in spring.

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