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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: ‘Tuck,’ an ‘Office,’ a ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Guys,’ ‘Chicago’ and more

Critic At Large

Brantley Gilbert on concert scene

The popular sitcom is spoofed in “The Office! A Musical Parody.” (Publicity photo)


Below is more information on “Tuck Everlasting” in De Pere, “The Office! A Musical Parody” in Green Bay, “Hamilton, Ltd. The Musical” in Green Bay, “Birds of a Feather” in Clintonville, “Guys on Ice” in Manitowoc, “Chicago” in De Pere, Winter Play Reading Festival: “Marjorie Prime,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune” and “Heroes” in Sturgeon Bay, “Popcorn Falls” in Baileys Harbor, of “Shadowland: The New Adventure” in Kohler… performances involving Mile Twelve, Jeff Allen (twice), Lawrence Symphony, Leo Kottke, Community Strong Concert Series, “Guthrie Brothers: A Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel,” Nathan Wysock, Lawrence Jazz Faculty, Brantley Gilbert… news about De Pere Picture Show, St. Norbert College Music Theatre – Next Stage.


– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Knight Theatre will present the musical “Tuck Everlasting” in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 30 and 31; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1; and 2 p.m. Feb. 2. My review (from the dress rehearsal):

– In Green Bay, Weidner for the Performing Arts will host a touring production of “The Office! A Musical Parody” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Info: The show is by Bob and Tobly McSmith (book and lyrics) and Assaf Gleizner (music).  Snapshot: It’s a typical day at Scranton’s third largest paper company, Dunder Mifflin. For no logical reason, a documentary crew begins filming the lives of the employees in an immersive parody experience in which the audience members “work” with all their favorite officemates. It’s a lampoon of the TV show, “The Office.”

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will open its run of “Hamilton, Ltd. The Musical” Jan. 31, in Meyer Theatre. Preview story:

– In Clintonville, Phoenix Players Ltd. Will present “Birds of a Feather” in 1918 Auditorium in Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, at 7 p.m. Jan. 31-Feb. 1; 2 p.m. Feb. 2; 7 p.m. Feb. 7-8; and 2 p.m. Feb. 9. Preview story:

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host the musical comedy “Guys on Ice” at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1. Info: This is from my review of a 2016 production starring Doug Mancheski and Steve Koehler, who will perform in Manitowoc: Love, marriage, friendship, jokes, ice fishing, beer, whiffs of fame and the Green Bay Packers. What could be better?

In a nutshell, that’s “Guys on Ice,” the especially fun and funny Wisconsin musical by Fred Alley and James Kaplan. This beauty has been around since 1998, performed by professional and amateur casts at many spots on the nation’s map. Together, Koehler and Mancheski create the story of two guys who spend a full day on the ice with plenty of time to explore what’s in their heads and hearts. The head stuff is comical (A one-arm guy caught a fish this long). The heart stuff is about jobs and women. While trying to fend off a sticky-fingered, mooching “pal,” they’re waiting for a shot at glory on a TV ice fishing show and eventually learn a great big lesson. And it’s all done in kind tones. Koehler and Mancheski have done this show so many times they know all the details and nuances of the show’s lines and situations. Watching Mancheski is like watching a countenance and body of rubber, ready to twist and turn whatever micro-millimeter and in whatever time it takes to get to the exact point and moment to trigger the release for laughter to explode. Seeing this done live is one of the pleasures of playgoing and experiencing “Guys on Ice.” Koehler plays Lloyd, who is going through a rough patch in his marriage. Seems his wife doesn’t think spending their wedding anniversary at the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field is romantic. Mancheski plays Marvin, who envisions himself as the king of ice fishermen. Second to his love of fishing is the checkout girl at the Pick N Save, who he admires in part for her tattoo of a Packers helmet. The set is simple – an ice fishing shanty that folds out. The audience sees the interior filled with guy stuff – photos, old signs, a Packers “G,” ice fishing paraphernalia, food/beer coolers, a fish net and a little stove.

– In De Pere, Birder Players will present the musical “Chicago” in Broadway Theatre at 7 p.m. Jan. 31; 2 p.m. Feb. 1; 7 p.m. Feb. 6, 7, 8; 2 p.m. Feb. 9; 7 p.m. Feb. 14; 1 p.m. Feb. 15. Preview story:

– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse will present its fifth annual Winter Play Reading Festival with these offerings: “Marjorie Prime” by Jordan Harrison, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31; “Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune” by Terrance McNally, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1; “Heroes,” by Gérald Sibleyras, translation by Tom Stoppard, 2 p.m. Feb. 2. Preview story:

– In Baileys Harbor, Peninsula Players Theatre will present a reading of the James Hindman comedy “Popcorn Falls” at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 in Björklunden. Info: Two actors play all the characters in the tale of Popcorn Falls, which must produce a play within a week to survive bankruptcy. One problem: no playhouse. Another problem: no play. Led by Mr. Trundle the mayor and Joe the local handyman, the enterprising and caring townsfolk try to rise to the challenge, bring the town back to life and prove that art can save the world.


– In Kohler, Kohler Distinguished Artist Series will host Pilobolus dance company in the presentation of “Shadowland: The New Adventure” Jan. 30. Preview story


– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will host Mile Twelve as part of the inn’s ongoing winter folk music series at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Info: The Boston-based bluegrass band played to a sold-out crowd at the inn last May. Featured are David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals) and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals). The group won the International Bluegrass Musician Association 2017 Momentum award.

– In Ashwaubenon, Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center will host “Jeff Allen’s The America I Grew Up In Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will host its Lawrence Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host Leo Kottke at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Info:

– In Oshkosh, Menominee Nation Arena will host Nicholas Raymond with FBI and the Untouchable Horns as part of the Community Strong Concert Series at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Info:

– In Brussels, Southern Door Community Auditorium will host “Guthrie Brothers: A Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Info:

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “Jeff Allen’s The America I Grew Up In Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Info:

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a faculty recital with Nathan Wysock, guitar,at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Harper Hall.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Jazz Faculty Concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in Harper Hall.

– In Ashwaubenon, Resch Center will host “Brantley Gilbert: Fire’t Up Tour 2020” with Dylan Scott and Brandon Lay at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. Info:


– In De Pere, De Pere Historical Society will present “Picture Show: The ’60s Turn 60!”  at 7 p.m. Feb. 5, in West De Pere High School. Hosted by McKim Boyd and Joe Seroogy, the program will turn back the clock “to the age of Woodstock, Hippies, Beatles, Flower Power, Peace, Love and Eternal Cosmic Wisdom.”


– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music Theatre – Next Stage youth program will present “The Who’s Tommy” Aug. 13-16 in Walter Theatre of St. Norbert College.

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