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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Phantoms and a ghost in outlook for Northeastern Wisconsin

Critic At Large

A conductor opens his tenure in Appleton

“The Four Phantoms in Concert” on a previous tour stop. (Publicity photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Below is more information on “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” in Green Bay, “Collected Stories, Donald Margulies” in Appleton, “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” in Tisch Mills, “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” in Green Bay, “Crime!” in De Pere, “The Four Phantoms in Concert” in Oshkosh, “Little Women” in De Pere, “Legally Blonde The Musical JR.” in De Pere, “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” in Abrams, “George Washington’s Teeth” in Fish Creek, “Dad’s Season Tickets” in Fish Creek, “Love Letters” (canceled) in Appleton… performances involving “Absolutely Country Definitely Gospel!” “Ralph Alessi’s This Against That,” Gobsmack with Halestorm and Monster Truck, “Barracuda – Ultimate Tribute to Heart,” St. Norbert concert, Shemekia Copeland, Sheboygan Comedy Night, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, “Dance of Bali,” Annie Moses Band (two appearances), Nora Lewis, Garnet Ungar, “The Forst Inn Sings Fleetwood Mac”… news of American Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition, SNC Day.

ARRIVING

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present the Michael Brady drama “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19-20, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25-27, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and 4 p.m. Sept. 29. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-drama-to-gillian-on-her-37th-birthday-opening-in-green-bay/.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University Arts @ Large Performance Collective will present “Collected Stories, Donald Margulies” at 8 p.m. Sept. 20. According to the website: The production reunites artist educators Jacque Troy and Ashley Jordan in a comedic drama that explores the complicated relationship between an aging writer and her aspirational protege. “Collected Stories, Donald Margulies” premiered at South Coast Repertory in 1996 and received a revival on Broadway in 2010. The play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1997. Featuring actors Jacque Troy and Ashley Jordan. Directed by Timothy X. Troy. The event enhances spiritual and religious life.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will bring back “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” in eight performances starting Sept. 20. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20-21, 27-28, 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3-5. Info: forstinn.org. Here is my review of the 2018 production (realizing some things have changed): https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-do-black-patent-leather-shoes-inventive-in-tisch-mills/

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions show troupe of Green Bay will open its run of “Frank Fontaine’s Bandstand USA” as its 20th anniversary show Sept. 20 at the Meyer Theatre. Performances continue to Oct. 23 in Green Bay in Manitowoc. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-frank-fontaines-bandstand-usa-will-mark-a-milestone-in-green-bay/.

In De Pere, The Green Room will host a staged reading of “Crime!” presented by Cardboard Theatre at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. Info: thegreenroomonline.com. According to a press release: “The play opens Nov. 15, but for the low low cost of free you can hear the script as it currently exists. It’s quite possible that the show it ends up being will be quite different. Such is the nature of original scripted material. “Crime!” is a Staged Film Noir Montage Pastiche. Not sure what that means? You should totally swing by for the reading. Meet the cast. Meet the writers. Meet the director. Give your input. Who knows? We might actually listen to your input, chum. The show is rated PG, but if you’re super sensitive there may be some themes that might be troubling to your tender little heart, but you’ll probably be fine, kid.”

– 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: thegrandoshkosh.org. 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 talk-back with music students 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.

 ENDING

– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present its final performances of the Peter Clapham adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” at 7 p.m. Sept. 19-21 in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Pre-show talk Sept. 19. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-classic-little-women-radiates-a-look-and-feel-in-de-pere/.

– In De Pere, Birder Studio will present its final performances of a student production the musical “Legally Blonde The Musical JR.” in Broadway Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and 3 and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Info: birderonbroadway.org.

– In Abrams, Abrams Spotlight Productions/After Dark Productions will present its final performances of the Jeff Daniels comedy “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” at 7 p.m. Sept. 19-21 and 1 p.m. Sept. 22 in Nancy Byng Community Theatre. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-escanaba-in-da-moonlight-shines-dont-cha-know-in-abrams/.

ONGOING

– 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: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-george-washingtons-teeth-played-for-grins-in-door-county/.

– 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/.

ANNOUNCEMENT

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center announced that due to a scheduling conflict, the Oct. 25 performance of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” starring Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross has been canceled. 

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

– In Cecil, Daddy D Productions of Green Bay will host the “Absolutely Country Definitely Gospel!” dinner show from Branson, Missouri, at The Main Event at noon (sold out) and 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. Info: daddydproductions.com.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a guest recital, trumpeter “Ralph Alessi’s This Against That” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in Harper Hall.

In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host Gobsmack with Halestorm and Monster Truck at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20. Info: reschcenter.com.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Barracuda – Ultimate Tribute to Heart” with guests The Docksiders at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In De Pere, as part of SNC Day (see ETCETRA), the St. Norbert College music department will present an SNC Day Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts. Info: snc.edu/tickets. Free and open to the public, the concert will feature the college’s wind ensemble, instrumental jazz ensemble, chamber singers and the men’s and women’s choirs.

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host Shemekia Copeland & Ranky Tanky as part of the Blues, Roots and American Stories Fest at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Info: dcauditorium.org.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host Sheboygan Food Bank Community Comedy Night at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Appleton, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Opening Night” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Info: foxcitiespac.com and foxvalleysymphony.com. The concert will introduce Kevin Sutterlin as music director and conductor. The program: Carter Pann, “Slalom;” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Concerto for Flute and Harp, K. 299” with soloists Linda Nielsen Korducki, flute, and Alison Attar, harp; Florence Price, arranged by Grant Still, “Dances in the Canebrakes;” and William Grant Still, “Symphony No. 1 (‘Afro-American’).” Sutterlin is director of orchestral activities and assistant professor of instrumental conducting at Concordia College in Moorehad, Minnesota. He also is music director and conductor of the Concordia Orchestra and Concordia Opera. He is a native of Radolfzell, Germany. Sutterlin replaces Brian Groner, who retired from the organizations after 23 years. Linda Nielesen Korducki became principal flutist with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in 1999. Alison Attar is from the Chicago area, where she performs in new music groups. She holds a doctorate from Northwestern University.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a World Music Series concert, “Cudamani: Gamelan and Dance of Bali” at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in Stansbury Theatre. From the website: Nurtured and trained in the village of Pengosekan, group members are considered among Bali’s most respected and accomplished musicians and dancers. While in great demand, nevertheless, Çudamani does not perform for tourists in Bali; rather the group performs as a spiritual offering for temples and the village communities. Under the musical direction of Dewa Putu Berata and dance direction of Bapak Nyoman Cerita and Emiko Saraswati Susilo, this is the 20th anniversary tour for Çudamani.  The 18-member ensemble weave layers of intricate sound from the deep great bronze gongs to the delicate sounds of the flute.

– In Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Concert Association will host Annie Moses Band in “Copland to Cash” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in Fond du Lac Performing Arts Center in Fond du Lac High School: Info: concertassociation.net/fonddulacwi/concerts1920.cfm.

– In Menominee, Mich., River City Concert Association will host Annie Moses Band in “Copland to Cash” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Blesch Auditorium. Info: rrcconcerts.com/category/current-concert-season-series/.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a faculty recital with Nora Lewis, oboe, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Harper Hall.

– 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. Info: forstinn.com.

ETCETERA

– In Green Bay, the American International Czech and Slovak The American Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition returns to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Oct. 11-13. Each day’s performances begin at 10 a.m. in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free and open to the public. This is the only voice competition featuring Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire in North America.

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College is opening its doors to the community Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the 11th annual SNC Day. Admission is free. According to a press release:  SNC Day provides an opportunity for area residents to visit campus and learn more about what the college has to offer. The event will feature three stages of musical entertainment, boat rides on the Fox River provided by River Tyme, Segway tours, horse-drawn wagon rides through campus, many children’s activities and many different food options, including several local food-truck favorites, and refreshments provided by Titletown Brewing Co. Highlights include beautifully restored vintage cars on display from The Automobile Gallery. The seven volumes of the Saint John’s Bible can be viewed at locations throughout campus, and tours of St. Norbert Abbey are scheduled. The Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center will host wellness-education activities for all ages, with smoothie samples, yoga and self-defense classes. The Webb Theatre in Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts will feature a free performance of Evergreen Productions’ “Little Women.” The Walter Theatre will host a slide show by the De Pere Historical Society featuring photos from yesteryear. The college’s F. K. Bemis International Center will host global-themed activities; 30-minute language lessons will also be offered in Cofrin Hall. Gehl-Mulva Science Center will host biology and physics demonstrations, and find out more about the Medical College of Wisconsin’s home at St. Norbert. MCW will offer opportunities to view human organs and try out dissection skills on the Anatomage table. Medical students will be on hand to talk about careers in medicine and their lives as medical students. They will also present their community health-related research projects and posters. The Cassandra Voss Center is hosting Benjamin Grignon, a traditional Menominee arts teacher, who will demonstrate and guide indigenous art projects. Elsewhere on campus, visitors can get new haircuts at the HanCan mobile barbershop, take ballroom dance lessons, participate in a campus-wide scavenger hunt and view a crew demonstration. The Carol & Robert Bush Art Center will feature two exhibitions, “Why We Collect” and “In Collateral Light Must I Be Comforted,” and as screen-printing activities for kids and adults. St. Norbert College faculty will present lectures on a wide variety of topics. A few: “A Critical Analysis of Contemporary Country Music,” “Economic Strategies Megachurches Have Employed to Achieve Rapid Growth,” “American Conspiracy Theories,” “The Science of a Happy Marriage,” “Meaningfulness in Life,” “Classical Music Composition and the Creative Process,” “ Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’,” “Fun with Physics” and “This is Your Brain on Stress.”  An art market will feature local and regional artists. Specific events and times for SNC Day include:

Gazebo Stage on the Fox River:

10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Big Mouth

12:30-2:30 p.m. – Copper Box

3-4:30 p.m. – RPM

International Stage:

10-11:30 a.m. – Sawdust Symphony

12-2 p.m. – Ants Marching

2:30-4 p.m. – Panic Station

Dudley Birder Hall:

2-4 p.m. – St. Norbert College’s Knights on Broadway

Info: snc.edu/sncday.

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