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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Six theatrical productions opening in Northeastern Wisconsin

Critic At Large

Twelve others are running

The ensemble rehearses a production number for Theatre on the Bay’s “Mama Mia!” (UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus photo)


Below is more information on “She Loves Me” in Menasha, “Mama Mia!” in Marinette, “The Hodag & the Scooby Dude” in Green Bay, “A Girl of the Limberfoot” in Baileys Harbor, “La La Lucille” in Sturgeon Bay, “Clue The Musical” in Neenah, “Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding” in Tisch Mills, “The Dig” in Sturgeon Bay, “Mama Mia!” in Chilton, “Singin’ in the Rain” in De Pere, “Marvelous Wonderettes” in Port Washington, “Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka”in Shawano, “A Murder is Announced” in Fish Creek, We Like It Where?” “Dairy Heirs” and “Windjammers” in Fish Creek, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Henry V” in Baileys Harbor… performances involving Green Bay City Band, Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Peter Mulvey, Phillip Phillips, Mary Bridget Davies, Pulaski Polka Days, Lyle Lovett, The Righteous Brothers, The Cougars, Appleton City Band, Tom Segura, De Pere City Band, Emily Wolfe, “The Forst Inn Sings Panic at the Disco”… news of Midsummer Festival of the Arts.


– In Menasha, Attic Chamber Theatre, Inc. will present the musical “She Loves Me” July 17-26 in Lucia Baehman Theatre of UWFox Valley. Performances are at 7 p.m. July 17-20; 2 p.m. July 21; and 7 p.m. July 23-26. According to the website: In a 1930s European perfumery, shop clerks Amalia and Georg more often than not don’t see eye to eye. After both respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement” in the newspaper, they now live for the love letters that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. Amalia and Georg discover the identity of their true loves and of all the twists and turns along the way. The show blends music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and book by Joe Masteroff (“Cabaret”) as it showcases a small ensemble cast playing a range of characters of many ages.

– In Marinette Theatre on the Bay will present the musical “Mamma Mia!” in six performances starting Friday, July 19, in Herbert L. Williams at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 19-20; 2 p.m. July 21; 7:30 p.m. July 26-27; and 2 p.m. July 28. Info: According to press releases: The production kicks off Theatre on the Bay’s 53rd season. UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus students and community members have been busy rehearsing for the jukebox musical based on the music of the Swedish pop super-group ABBA. “It might very well be the fastest-selling show we’ve ever had, said Rebecca Stone Thornberry, Theatre on the Bay artistic director. “Certainly, it’s the fastest selling show in the eight years that I’ve been here.” In the story, Sophie Sheridan (Jacqueline Nutter, Menominee, Mich.) is getting married to Sky (Noah Steffen, Marinette), but she doesn’t know who is walking her down the aisle. Sophie has no idea who her father is, and her mother, Donna Sheridan (Jennifer Rickaby, Marinette) is no help. According to Donna’s diary, three different men could be Sophie’s dad. Sophie secretly invites all three to the wedding, hoping to answer her question by bringing them all together at her home on the sunny Greek island of Kalokairi. Is it Sam Carmichael (Dave Rickaby, Marinette), who left Donna years ago? Maybe it’s world traveler Bill Austin (Glenn Sellen, Sobieski)? Could it be headbanger-turned-London banker Harry Bright (James Porras II, Menominee, Mich.)? Donna’s Summer Nights taverna bustles with preparations: Sophie’s bridesmaids, Ali (McKenna Carvenough, Amberg) and Lisa (Michaela Kaiser, Oconto Falls), Sky’s best friends Pepper and Eddie (Bailey Boutin, Marinette, and Ben Everson, Marinette) and Rosie and Tanya (Kari Moody, Oconto, and Brittany Welch, Marinette) – once part of Donna’s musical trio, The Dynamos – are all on hand to help, along with Father Alexandrios (Tristan Schuh, Menominee, Mich.) to officiate at the wedding. The ensemble cast includes Lisa Atkinson-LeBoeuf, Marinette; Alyssa Carviou, Marinette; Tyrus Cretens, Marinette; Hannah Fields, Marinette; Emily Rose Halfmann, Marinette; Tammela Kirk, Menominee, Mich.; Kendra Krouth, Marinette; Lydia LeBoeuf, Marinette; Michele Lemire, Menominee, Mich.; Cassidy MacArthur, Marinette; Travis Meyer, Menominee, Mich.; Annalisa Mines, Peshtigo; Karah Nelson, Marinette; Colin Nygren, Marinette; Lori Patzke, Menominee, Mich.; Kenan Pulver, Menominee, Mich.; and Olivia Smith, Peshtigo. The production staff includes director John Thornberry, Marinette; Brittany Welch and James Porras II, musical directors, Marinette and Menominee, Mich.; Heather Olsen, choreography, Menominee, Mich.; Joshua LaLonde, scenic design, Marinette; Chris Weber, lighting design, Crivitz; Annalisa Mines, costume design, Peshtigo; and Jared Thomson, stage management, Oconto. Rebecca Stone Thornberry is producer.

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will present the original “The Hodag & the Scooby Dude” July 19-Aug. 20 at the Meyer Theatre. Preview story:

– In Baileys Harbor, Rogue Theater will present Marie Kohler’s “A Girl of the Limberfoot” at 7:30 p.m. July 19-20; 2 p.m. July 21; 7:30 p.m. July 26-27; and 2 p.m. July 28 in Baileys Harbor Town Hall. Info (920) 818-0816. According to a press release: Adapted from a 1909 novel by Gene Stratton-Porter, the play tells of Elnora, a 14-year-old girl with a passion for butterflies and moths. She loves the Indiana’s vast Limberlost Swamp but longs to attend high school in the city despite her widowed mother’s resistance. With the help of her loving aunt and uncle, along with a naturalist who shares Elnora’s enthusiasm for winged creatures, Elnora works to find her footing first at school and then at home. The production introduces three new actors to Door County theater. Mary Caroline Wilkerson, portraying Elnora, is the Milwaukee area. Wilkerson recently graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon and is looking to continue her education in theater. Kent Moraga is a horn musician for Sunrise Winds and formerly of Hendricks Symphony Orchestra. Moraga is involved with the Door County Folk Alliance and Sugar on the Floor Dance Band. Moraga portrays Elnora’s kind-hearted uncle, Wesley. Leann Johnson portrays Maggie, Wesley’s wife. Originally from Colorado, Johnson moved to Door County five years ago. She has assisted local theaters as a costumer, make-up artist and set-designer. She will be making her Door County acting debut. Also new to Rogue Theater are Timothy Wesley-Bee as Billy and Kiarra Rux as a student. Cast members returning to the Rogue stage include Pamela Johnson as Kate, Carol Jensen-Olson as the Bird Woman, Kalei Klaubauf as Robin, Isabel Vreeke as Contemporary Girl and Teacher, Kekoa Bicoy as Principal and Pale Man and Laney Delwiche as a student. Co-directing are Stuart Champeau and Lola DeVillers.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse will present “La La Lucille” starting with a pay-what-you-can preview at 7:30 p.m. July 24 in Studio Theatre of the playhouse. Regular performances run July 25-Sept. 1. Info: This is George Gershwin’s first musical, which has not been staged since its Broadway premiere in 1919. The adaptation and restoration are by James Valcq, co-artistic director of Third Avenue Playhouse.

– In Neenah, Riverside Players will present nine performances of “Clue The Musical” July 25-Aug. 5 in Riverside Park. Performances are at 8 p.m. July 25-27; 7 p.m. July 28; 8 p.m. July 31-Aug. 4; and 7 p.m. Aug. 5. Info: Based on the popular card game, the plot concerns a murder at a mansion occupied by suspects that is solved by a detective. The piece has an interactive feature in which audience members randomly select cards that determine which suspect committed the murder, which weapon was used and in what room the murder took place. Based on the cards drawn, the show has 216 possible endings, with some interchangeable dialogue between characters that is delivered as the story unfolds.


– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present another round of performances in a long series of the interactive comedy “Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding” July 19-Aug. 10. Info: The setup, according to the website: The Forst Inn is hosting the nuptial celebration of Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in all its tacky and hilarious glory. The performance includes a wedding service followed by a reception at which the wedding party and their bickering family entertain their guests along with a pasta dinner, wedding cake and dancing. It is all for the sake of comedy. You start your experience by arriving at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Norman for the service. The service will start promptly at 6:45 p.m. (2 p.m. for matinees). It is recommended you arrive about 15 minutes before the service. The couple will be hitched by about 7:15 p.m., and you can work your way through the receiving line and get back to The Forst Inn for the reception by around 7:30. The reception takes place at The Forst Inn in Tisch Mills. It features music by a live wedding band, The Fusions, and an Italian meal, wedding cake and an evening of frolicking.


– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse will present its final performances of Marie Kohler’s “The Dig” at 7:30 p.m. July 17, 18, 19 and 20 and 2 p.m. July 21. My review:

– In Chilton, Calumet County Community Theatre will present its final performances of the musical “Mama Mia!” at 7 p.m. July 18, 19 and 20 in The Engler Center for the Performing Arts. My review:

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music Theatre – Summer Stage will present its final performances of the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” at 7:30 p.m. July 17, 18 and 19; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. July 20; and 1 p.m. July 21 in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts on campus. My review:

– In Port Washington, Memories Ballroom will present the Roger Bean musical “Marvelous Wonderettes” July 17-18 and 23-25. Info: From the website: The show features hits of the 1950s and ’60s. It’s the 1958 Springfield High School prom, and Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy are girls with hopes and dreams. They sing such songs as “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” In Act II, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and perform at their 10-year reunion, revealing the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade.

In Shawano, Box in the Wood Theatre Guild will present its final performances of the musical “Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka” at 7 p.m. July 18-20 and 2 p.m. July 21 in Mielke Arts Center. Info: (715) 526-2525. The stage musical is a blend of the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Jonathon Kent and Cheryl Ritter are co-directors. They cast of 55 rages from elementary school students to grandparents. In the story, Willie Wonka tells the audience he plans to retire and must find a successor. Wonka hides five golden tickets in his candy bars distributed all over the world, creating a mad rush on candy shops by eager chocolate lovers to enjoy the rare experience of seeing Wonka’s chocolate factory. Among the five lucky winners is Charlie Bucket, whose family is impoverished with a father laid off from his job and four bedridden grandparents. The Bucket family is too poor to buy Wonka bars at the feverish rate of other parents, but the family comes together to buy Charlie a candy bar for a birthday present – and Grandpa Joe sneaks him another one later – but neither provide a flash of gold. It’s only when Charlie finds a silver dollar in the street and decides to chance buying a Wonka bar that he hits the jackpot. The other four golden ticket-holders are spoiled, insolent and rude, each meeting their just desserts in poetic fashion – always followed by a sing-song morality tale from the beloved Oompa-Loompas. Before long, the only one who remains is Charlie, who also gave in to temptation but had the proper upbringing to admit he’d disobeyed the rules, leading to one last song from the Oompa-Loompas and the journey in the Great Glass Elevator.


– In Fish Creek, Peninsula Players Theatre will present “A Murder is Announced” to July 28 in the company’s Theatre in a Garden. My review:

– In Fish Creek, the Northern Sky Theater outdoor season to Aug. 24 in Peninsula State Park includes the new “We Like It Where?” and the returning “Dairy Heirs” and “Windjammers.” Info: My review of “We Like it Where?” is at My review of  “Dairy Heirs” is at

– In Baileys Harbor, Door Shakespeare is continuing its season in Bjorklunden garden, offering William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in rotation with “Henry V.” Performances by the professional company continue to Aug. 24. Info: My review of “The Merry Wives of Windsor”: My review of “Henry V” is at


– In Green Bay, the Green Bay City Band continues its summer series with “The ’50s” in St. James Park at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17. Director Greg Sauve conducts. Everything ’50s, from “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Oklahoma” to rock classics. Special guest Bobby Rivers sings the “Elvis Trilogy.”

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center presents the first concerts of its Big Band Jazz series July 17-20 and 24-27 in its Dutton Concert Barn. Info:

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will host Peter Mulvey at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18. Info:

– In Oshkosh, Waterfest34 will host Phillip Phillips Thursday, July 18, in Leach Amphitheater. Info:

– In De Pere and Sturgeon Bay, Birder on Broadway will host “Summer Soiree: Journey to the Tonys with Mary Bridget Davies” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Broadway Theatre (De Pere) and 8 p.m. Saturday, July 20 at Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Info:

– In Pulaski, the 41st annual Pulaski Polka Days is July 18-21 with multiple bands and events. Info:

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at 8 p.m. Friday, July 19. Info:

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host The Righteous Brothers at 8 p.m. Monday, July 22. Info:

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Knights on the Fox will host The Cougars Tuesday, July 23. Info:

– In Appleton, the Appleton City Band will present its weekly summer concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 in Pierce Park.

– In Green Bay, the Green Bay City Band continues its summer series with “That’s Entertainment” in St. James Park at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24. Director Greg Sauve conducts. The program includes “Lord of the Dance,” “NBC News Theme” to hits of Frank Sinatra. The Wilda family is featured on vocals. Trumpeter Shawn Postell plays tunes made popular by Al Hirt.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Tom Segura: Take It Down Tour”at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24. Info:

– In De Pere, De Pere City Band will present “Screen and Stage Hits” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25, in Voyageur Park. Admission is free. Director Ken Petersen will lead the band.

– In Sheboygan, John Michael Kohler Arts Center will present Emily Wolfe as part of the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, July 25, on the Sheboygan City Green. Opening at 6 p.m. is Jackie Venson. Info:

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present “The Forst Inn Sings Panic at the Disco” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25. Info:


– In Sheboygan, John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts will present the 49th Midsummer Festival of the Arts July 19-20 on the art center grounds, 608 New York Ave. According to a press release: Featured in the juried event are 135 visual artists from across the nation. Media include paintings, photographs, jewelry, leather, sculpture, ceramics, art glass, and wearable art. Live performances will be presented on City Green by four bands. Saturday’s concerts begin at 11:30 a.m. with Copper Box’s Cajun swamp-rock, followed by La Misa Negra’s Latin alternative sounds from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, bluegrass takes center stage with Chicken Wire Empire at 11 a.m. Bella’s Bartok continues the show at 2 p.m. with its blend of klezmer, punk and pop. The free concerts are part of the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series. Art making for all ages will include designing a planter to take home, trying your hand at the potter’s wheel, creating an imaginary creature to display in a specimen jar and other hands-on activities. A nominal fee applies to some projects. The arts center’s galleries will be open, and admission is free. Included are works of art in the “Mise en Scène” exhibition series, four exhibitions that present works of contemporary art by artists who approach the world as a stage. A silent auction of art donated by the festival artists will benefit center programming. Food is available in the center or at food trucks. Admission to the festival, including the concerts and exhibitions, is free. Info:

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