GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Performances arriving or no longer in calendar, part 92

Critic At Large

Coronavirus COVID-19 impact

Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance will present its 45th year of “The Nutcracker” at Capitol Civic Center in Manitowoc. (Production poster)

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 1,742 public productions and at least 5,473 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 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.

– In De Pere, The Green Room will host “The Jon Bruinoose Christmas Special” at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Info: greenroomonline.com.  Bruinooge of the local ComedyCity hosts an improvised homage to classic Christmas specials (like Bing Crosby’s). The show features him and a cast with music, stories, games and a visit from Santa.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Door Shakespeare will present its “The Happy Prince: A Radio Play” twice this weekend at Third Avenue PlayWorks. Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. According to a press release: Admission is free, with donations welcome. Masks and proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours) are required. Adapted by Andrew J. Fenady and Duke Fenady, the play based on the story by Oscar Wilde. Amy Ensign directs the production that features an experienced cast of Southern Door High School senior Dalena Pakalske, and Southern Door High School freshman Molly Hall and Sturgeon Bay High School senior Scout Feldman. Building on the strong foundation of Camp Will, the company’s summer theater program, Door Shakespeare is expanding to create year-round opportunities for Door County students. “The Happy Prince: A Radio Play” follows 2019’s “Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark” and joins their education program Shakespeare in the Schools, which is designed to help students understand the process of bringing Shakespeare’s words from the page to the stage. Initially published in a collection of children’s stories by Oscar Wilde in 1944, “The Happy Prince” saw its first radio dramatization in 1936, by the Columbia Workshop. Second and third radio versions followed. The first featured Orson Welles for The Mercury Theatre in 1941 and the second was a Philco Radio Hall of Fame program with Welles and Bing Crosby reading “The Happy Prince” on Dec. 24, 1944. The story revolves around a statue of a prince that looks over the once shining city that he ruled. The struggling residents no longer remember the prince or believe in each other or themselves. When a migrating swallow perches on the statue, the prince comes alive. The bird and the prince talk about the weather, the world and the town below. They soon see how they can help and together hatch a plan to improve the lives of the townspeople. The two give everything to help others. Their altruistic story has led to additional references over the years, including the Bee Gees song, “When Swallows Fly,” the rock opera by the New Zealand rock band the La De Das and the Oscar Wilde biopic that featured Rupert Everett (who also wrote and directed the film). This production of returns to the early roots of the story and presents the tale through a staged radio play. The father-son writing team of A.J. and Duke Fenady construct the backstage happenings of a radio broadcast. Actors arrive on set, welcome each other and do sound checks before they launch into the broadcast. Live sound effects punctuate the story throughout. Amy Ensign began her career with Door Shakespeare 14 years ago as part of the acting company (Elmire in “Tartuffe,” Ceres in “The Tempest”). Last seen as Mistress Page in 2019’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” other Door Shakespeare credits include Portia in “The Merchant of Venice,” Julia in “The Rivals,” Jane in “Pride and Prejudice” and Rosalind in “As You Like It.” A Door County-based-actor, director and theater educator, Ensign has performed with Third Avenue PlayWorks, Northern Sky Theater, Teatro Caravaggio and Peninsula Players Theatre; and directed youth theater programs for Third Avenue PlayWorks, Sevastopol School and Door Shakespeare. Door Shakespeare was founded in 1995 under the umbrella of the then-named American Folklore Theatre. Since becoming its own nonprofit in 1999, the organization has produced 44 productions in the Garden of Björklunden’s 405-acre estate near Baileys Harbor.

In Sturgeon Bay, Rogue Theater will present “Rogue Theater’s Community Christmas Show” at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 1 p.m. Dec. 18 in Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Admission is free with donations welcome. Info: roguetheater.org. According to a press release: For its ninth Christmas, Rogue Theater is presenting “Nobody Knows My Name,” a comedy by Valerie Lynch. Snapshot: The man labeled Innkeeper in books and plays all over the world finds out his name was not included over the centuries in the retelling of Christ’s birth story. The story begins when the Innkeeper turns Joseph and Mary away and tells them he has no room. The Innkeeper is then visited by the Angles of Christmas Past, Present and Future. He gets to see how his actions have affected others and why his name is not important. The script offers a host of well-known Christmas carols and a chance for the audience to sing along. Directing is Lola DeVillers. Performing is a cast of 20 children, teens and adults from throughout Door County. The Innkeeper will be played by Deacon Haus. The Past Innkeeper is played by Atticus Haus. The Angles of Christmas are played by Natalie Schink, Lily Leiberg and Madison Allen. Other actors are Timothy Bee, Briana Barganz, Hayden Ahlswede, Nicole Allen, Rylie  Black, Ivana Boll, Vaughn Leiberg, Connor Woodman, Logan Woodman, Lisa Woodman, Charlie Schink, Barrett Haus, Allison Haus, and Oliver Erickson. Stage work is by Mason Black. Music accompanist is Heidi Hintz. As families gather for the holiday production, Rogue Theater is donating food items for local families in need. Audience members are encouraged to bring dry or canned food items to help double the donation. All food collected will be donated to Lakeshore CAP of Door County.

– In Manitowoc, Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance will present “The Nutcracker” in Capitol Civic Centre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18-19. Info: cccshows.org. In the fully choreographed and costumed production set to the music of Tchaikovsky, it is Christmas Eve in a small European town. As the curtain rises, the hallway of a wealthy bourgeois home is revealed. This is the home of Dr. Stahlbaum and his wife. Their children, Clara and Fritz, are anxiously peeking through the keyhole of the door leading to the parlor. Inside the parlor, the parents are putting finishing touches to the tree and arranging the presents underneath. There is to be a party and soon their cousins and friends begin to arrive with their parents. All rejoice in the large, lighted tree. During the evening’s festivities, the children open presents, play games and dance. The last to arrive is Herr Drosselmeyer, an eccentric but kindly old man who is also Clara’s godfather. Accompanying him is his handsome nephew and protege. Herr Drosselmeyer is a mysterious man, a magician and a marvelous inventor of moving toys. He brings with him life-size mechanical dolls to entertain the children. Then, Drosselmeyer produces still another gift “for you,” he said to Clara. “He is a Nutcracker.” Adventures ensue.

– In De Pere, The Green Room will host “Christmas Calamity: An Improvised Holiday Romance” at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: greenroomonline.com. The premise: It’s that time of year where you can’t flip through the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Netflix without stumbling across one of countless romantic holiday movies. The ComedyCity players as they present to you an improvised holiday romance story. Will someone from the big city get stuck in a small town? Will there be a meet-cute? Is the tree farm going to get sold back to the bank? Is there a magical old fella with a big white beard? The players will explore the classic tropes of these stories while the audience will help create the plot with their suggestions.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host Knights on Broadway of St. Norbert College in “Christmas with the Knights: Someday at Christmas…” at 7 p.m. Dec. 20. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org. The production includes “new and upbeat versions of holiday favorites, along with tender moments.” The 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 Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host Daddy D Productions in “Daddy D’s Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Info: ashwaubenonpac.org. 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.

ENDING

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host final performances of the touring production of the Anaïs Mitchell musical “Hadestown” (my review) in Thrivent Financial Hall at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16-17; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions show troupe will present its final performances “Daddy D’s Christmas” (my review) Dec. 16-18 (SOLD OUT) at Riverside Ballroom. Info: daddydproductions.com.

– In De Pere, Birder Players will present its final performances of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” (my review) in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: birderonbroadway.org.

– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present the final performances of Andrew J. Fenady’s “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” (my review) at 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 its final performances of “Mistletoe Musings” (my review) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. Dec. 17-18 and 1 p.m. Dec. 19. Info: forstinn.org.

ONGOING

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will present “A Frank’s Christmas” (my review) at Meyer Theatre at 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 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 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.

– In Sturgeon Bay, SWY231 will host Griffon String Quartet in a holiday concert at 5 p.m. Dec. 17. Reserve free tickets at midsummersmusic.com. The program includes works by Astor Piazzola and Wolfgang van Beethoven along with holiday favorites.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena and Fieldhouse will host “NELLY Live in Concert”at 7 p.m. Dec. 17. Info: oshkosharena.com.

– In Green Bay, newVoices choir of Northeastern Wisconsin will present “Christmas at the Cathedral” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Performed are familiar carols and sacred songs. Online ticket sales only: newvoiceschoir.org.

– In Egg Harbor, Kress Pavilion will host Griffon String Quartet in a holiday concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Reserve free tickets at midsummersmusic.com. The program includes works by Astor Piazzola and Wolfgang van Beethoven along with holiday favorites.

– In Neenah, newVoices choir of Northeastern Wisconsin will present “Christmas with newVoices” at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Calvary Bible Church. Performed are familiar carols and songs from around the world. Online ticket sales only: newvoiceschoir.org.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Chamber Singers will present “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Trinity Episcopal Church. Conducting is Herb Berendsen, with Jared Stellmacher guest organist. Info: oshkoshchambersingers.org.

In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will host “Elvis and Friends: A Holiday Celebration” with Jesse Aron and special guest Molly Brown at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 in Wolf River Theatre. Info: wrtt.org.

– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host “Luminare-Christmas Show” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: epicgreenbay.com.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena and Fieldhouse will host “An Evening With: 98 Degrees”at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: oshkosharena.com.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Dean Z’s Rockin’ Christmas Show” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Green Bay, Brown County Central Library will host Griffon String Quartet in a holiday concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Reserve free tickets at midsummersmusic.com. The program includes works by Astor Piazzola and Wolfgang van Beethoven along with holiday favorites.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host AVB Community Band in “Christmas with Our Friends: A Weidner Wonderland” (preview story) with guest vocalists Ben Cahall and Corrie Beula Kovacs at 7 p.m. Dec. 20. Info: weidnercenter.com.

– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host “Smith & Meyers of Shinedown” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Info: epicgreenbay.com.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Christmas on the Avenue” featuring Sam Burchfield & Pip the Pansy, Adriel Denae and Hillary Reynolds at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “For Kids from One to Ninety-Two” featuring Michael Bailey, Steve March-Tormé and Mark Wood at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “The Night Before the Night Before” with Sundae + Mr. Goessl (vocalist Kate Voss and guitarist Jason Goessl) along with guests Erin Boehme and Mike Kubicki, Hannah Rose and Elle McBelle and Danny Jerabek in person and livestreamed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.

WAS STARTING

+ CANCELED: Open Mic Night, Dec. 17, at The Art Garage, Green Bay.

+ CANCELED: “The Story of the Nutcracker,” Dec. 17-19, at Plymouth Arts Center.

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