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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Variety-plus populates Northeastern Wisconsin stages

Critic At Large

Plays from 1500s to today

Production poster.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Below is more information on “The Nerd” in Oshkosh, “And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears” in Green Bay, “Brent the Musical” in Green Bay, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” in Menasha, “The Ghost in the Meadow” in Green Bay, “Crime!” in De Pere, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in De Pere, “Reckless” in Marinette, “Contra-Tiempo with Las Cafeteras” in Sheboygan, ComedyCity in Algoma, Cirque Dreams Holidaze in Green Bay, “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” in Green Bay, “The Comedy of Errors” in Oshkosh, “White Guy on the Bus” in Sheboygan, “The Decades” in Green Bay, “Old Love” in Tisch Mills, “Three Days of Rain” in Sturgeon Bay… performances involving The Honeygoats, “Terry Lee Goffee: A Tribute to Johnny Cash,” Civic Symphony of Green Bay, Lawrence Choirs, John McGivern, Manitowoc Symphony, Tom Papa, Lawrence Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, “The Friends of the Bob & Tom Show Comedy Tour,” Lawrence Symphony, Youth Orchestra Program of St. Norbert, Lawrence Percussion Ensemble, Allouez Village Band, St. Norbert Bell Choir and String Ensemble, “The River: Ethel with special guest  Robert Mirabal,” UW-Oshkosh Jazz, Theresa Caputo, Presidio Brass, UW-Oshkosh Symphony, May Erlewine, Jack and Jill Jazz, The Outlaws… news about UWGB and Lakeland University art exhibits and Artigras 2020.

ARRIVING

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Playin’ Round will present the Larry Shue comedy “The Nerd” at 7 p.m. Nov. 14-16 and 2 p.m. Nov. 17 in First English Lutheran Church. Info: oshkoshplayinround.com. Jonwayne Stricker directs the story that ranges from farce to serious moments of selflessness between Vietnam War buddies. In the cast are Valeria Basler, Booras, Mark Geldmeyer, Tim Harrie, Benjamin Mackey, Breanna Paulson and Jesse Tubeszewski.

– In Green Bay, Word Festival is starting at Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. According to a press release: Each title included in the festival offers a different take on how we tell stories and who is telling those stories. The festival is for the culturally curious and adventurous, with productions of decidedly American forms of theater told by decidedly American voices. Kicking off the festival series in Fort Howard Hall of the center is “And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears” at 7:30 p.m. Nov 14-15 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov 16. Nov. 14 is sold out. Info: weidnercenter.com. DeLanna Studi, Cherokee performance artist, activist and winner of the 2016 Butcher Scholar Award from The Autry Museum of the American West, wrote the work about a contemporary Cherokee woman and her father who embark on an incredible 900-mile journey along the “Trail of Tears”to understand her identity and the conflicts of her nation. The play recounts the six-week journey that retraced the path her great-great grandparents took in the 1830s during the forced relocation of 17,000 Cherokee from their homelands. The multi-faceted dramatic memoir draws on interviews, historical research and the artist’s experience to convey the complexities and conflicts with which the Cherokee wrestle. Ahead are other programs. UWGB Theatre and Music faculty will present “Think Theatre: A Program of Monologues” Feb. 11. Remixing a Shakespeare classic to a hip-hop performance, The Q Brothers present “Othello: The Remix” Feb. 14. An immersive experience of poems and complex musical compositions with (M)iyamoto is “Black Enough” Feb. 20. Although many are familiar with the traditional American musical theater, fewer are acquainted with the emerging and alternative forms of storytelling in American theater. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest and UntitledTown: Book and Author Festival, the Weidner Center is curating a festival celebrating those many forms and voices. Word is a festival dedicated to hip hop theater, spoken word and storytelling.

– In Green Bay, Backstage at the Meyer will present Let Me Be Frank Productions’ “Brent the Musical” as a dinner theater presentation (dinner at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.) Nov. 14-17. Info: meyertheatre.org. According to a press release: As part of the Green Bay show troupe’s 20th season, it is giving a nod to its origins as Frank’s Dinner Theatre. “Brent the Musical” premiered at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in 2010 and also played in La Crosse, Eau Claire and the troupe’s home stage, the Meyer Theatre, in 2011. In addition to writing the show, namesake Frank Hermans wrote five original songs for the production. The setup: Have you ever had to make up your mind? Meet Brett… err, we meant Brent. He’s been playing bar league softball on The Bar’s team for years and can’t decide if it’s time to turn in his jersey or keep playing for another season. Teammates Chunky, Frankie and girlfriend Amy Green know that with talent like his, it would be crazy to give up the game. However, he is getting older and he’s not sure how long he can carry the team his on back. And gasp! Rumors are flying he might join another team in the league. Lisa Purple from Stadium View might be negotiating a trade deal. Would he really turn in his jersey and wear the colors of the enemy? The cast includes all original performers of the production: Frank Hermans as Brent, Pat Hibbard as Chunky, Paul Evansen as Frankie Bag-a-Long-Johns, Amy Riemer as Amy Green and Lisa Borley as Lisa Purple. In the band are Dennis Panneck on guitars, Adam Cain on drums, Tony Pilz on keyboards and original “Brent the Musical” bassist, Eric Snyder, from The Cougars. Among the songs are “With or Without You,” “Torn Between Two Lovers,” “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” “Backfield in Motion” and such Frank Hermans songs as “Say What’s on Your Mind,” “Never Fall in Love” and “Baby I Can.”

– In Menasha, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Theatre will present “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at 7 p.m. Nov. 14-16, 21-22 and 1 p.m. Nov. 23 in Lucia Baehman Theatre. Talkback Nov. 16. Directing is Susan Rabideau. Info: https://uwosh.universitytickets.com/w/default.aspx?cid=169. According to the website: Based on the novel by Mark Haddon, the Simon Stephens play tells of Christopher Boone, who sets out to investigate the bizarre death of a neighbor’s dog. The path leads to a series of events that expose far greater mysteries of a community of disparate characters, a family with secrets and a gifted mind in a complicated relationship with the world.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present Joseph Simonelli’s “The Ghost in the Meadow” in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-15; 4 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-22; 4 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23; and 2 p.m. Nov. 24. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-the-ghost-in-the-meadow-opening-10-performance-run-in-green-bay/.

– In De Pere, Cardboard Theatre will present the original Mike Eserkaln/Matt Worzala play “Crime!” at 9:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23 in The Green Room Lounge. Info: thegreenroomonline.com. According to the troupe: “Crime!” follows big-city private detective Max Patterson through the seedy underworld of killer showgirls, desperate gamblers, crooked cops and dangerous suit salesmen. Will Max solve the mysterious death of Ben Vergiften? Was it the recently widowed Victoria Vergiften? Perhaps it was Mr. Big himself? Or the mysterious Mr. Styles and his giant artificial hand? Cardboard Theatre’s second production is an original play in the style of a film noir – fist fights, lounge singers, car chases, educational films, piano fights, singing cops, dancing devils and giant bullets. With their first production, “SubAverage Explorers,” Eserkaln and Worzala took turns writing a page a day. For “Crime!” the two worked together to brainstorm scene ideas, worked on the first drafts separately, then collaborated to refine the scenes.

– In De Pere, Evergreen Productions will present Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 and 4 and 7 p.m. Nov. 16-17 in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Info: evergreentheater.org or snc.edu/tickets. A local tradition, the production is in its 32nd year. The story centers around the Herdmans, who are “the worst kids in the whole history of the world.” Grace Bradley has just received the challenge of a lifetime, to direct the church Christmas pageant with the Herdmans in the starring roles. Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie and Gladys Herdman wreak havoc on the pageant. With Mrs. Bradley’s guidance, the Herdmans learn the true meaning of Christmas. Directed by Gretchen Mattingly, the production is part of the 50th anniversary season of Young Actors.

– In Marinette, Theatre on the Bay will present the Craig Lucas comedy “Reckless” in Herbert L. Williams Theatre on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-16; 2 p.m. Nov. 17; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22-23; and 2 p.m. Nov. 24. Preview story: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-comedy-reckless-scheduled-for-six-performances-in-marinette/.

SOLD OUT – In Sheboygan, John Michael Kohler Arts Center will host “Contra-Tiempo with Las Cafeteras” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Info: jmkac.org. Urban Latin dancers of Contra-Tiempo and musicians of Las Cafetera create a physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that mixes salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and contemporary dance with theater and original music to bring a new experience to the stage.

– In Algoma, Algoma Performing Arts Center will host ComedyCity improvisational theater troupe of De Pere at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. Info: algomapac.com.

– In Green Bay, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts will host Cirque Dreams Holidaze at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. Info: weidnercenter.com. According to the website: The show lights up the holiday season with a two-hour stage spectacular. Included are more than 300 imaginative costumes, 20 acts, singers, original music and seasonal favorites that celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” in University Theatre of Theatre Hall at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 7:30 and 11 p.m. Nov. 22 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Info: weidnercenter.com. Rated R for adult content. Snapshot: Brad and Janet have a flat tire in a thunderstorm and see a light on at the castle up the road. They just want to use the phone but find themselves guests of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia will dance “The Time Warp” in the camp rock ‘n’ roll sci-fi gothic musical drawn from the cult classic movie. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation, a muscular man named Rocky. Directing is John Mariano, with music direction by Courtney Sherman and choreography by Denise Carlson-Gardner.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” in Fredric March Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23 and 2 p.m. Nov. 24. Info: uwosh.edu/theatre/comedy-errors. Snapshot: The “slapstick farce of his youth” is swept into the premise that a set of identical twins unknown to each other find themselves in the same city after a lifetime spent apart – but there are TWO sets of identical twins! This sets up over-the-top pandemonium and comical complications of mistaken identity every which way the twins turn.

ENDING

– In Sheboygan, the final performances of the Bruce Graham drama “White Guy on the Bus” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-16 in the Fine Arts Building of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus. Info: sa1.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlet/EventSearch?presenter=SHEBOYGAN&tck=true. Snapshot: A man rides the bus each week to a Philadelphia prison with far more sinister intentions than what is seen on the surface. Directing is Dan Burkey.

– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions show troupe of Green Bay will present its final performance of “The Decades” Nov. 15 (6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show) at the Riverside Ballroom. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/community/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-the-decades-all-quite-entertaining-in-green-bay/.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present its final performances of the Norm Foster romantic comedy “Old Love” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-16. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-old-love-thrives-on-humor-personalities-in-tisch-mills/.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Isadoora Theatre Company will present its final performances of Richard Greenberg’s “Three Days of Rain” in Inside/Out Theatre of Margaret Lockwood Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16. My review: https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-feats-of-acting-drive-three-days-of-rain-in-sturgeon-bay/.

ON THE CONCERT SCENE

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host The Honeygoats as a Backstage Pass event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host “Terry Lee Goffee: A Tribute to Johnny Cash” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Info: cccshows.org.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Civic Symphony of Green Bay in “A French Musical Playground” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15. Preview story: https://www.we.aregreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-orchestra-offering-a-french-musical-playground-in-green-bay/.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Choirs at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Even More Holiday Tales with John McGivern” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Info: weillcenter.com.

– In Manitowoc, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra will present “Destination Mozart” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in Capitol Civic Centre. Info: cccshows.org. Conducting is Dylan Chumura-Moore. To be performed are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Overture to The Impresario,” “Violin Concerto No. 5 (Turkish)” featuring Andrew Dunlap and “Symphony No. 41 in C Major.” C. Andrew Dunlap returns to Manitowoc to share his maturing artistry. A past finalist in the Bolz Young Artist Competition, Dunlap has performed as a soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he returned to the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra as a featured artist to perform the world premiere of Emmy-Award winning composer Garth Neustadter’s “Double Violin Concerto.” A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Dunlap has served as concertmaster for the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Collegium Musicum Festival Orchestra in Germany. He was recently selected to join the 2018-19 Madeleine Island String Quartet in Residence, which entailed giving performances, presentations and master classes. In addition to classical music, Dunlap has performed with such contemporary artists as Clay Walker, Michael W. Smith and the band Disturbed. Dunlap currently studies at Rice University.

– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host Tom Papa at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “The Friends of the Bob & Tom Show Comedy Tour” with Josh Arnold, Dave Dyer, Al Jackson and Pat Godwin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Info: meyertheatre.org

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, the Youth Orchestra Program of St. Norbert College will present its fall concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, in Cofrin Family Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Info: snc.edu/tickets. Musicians ages 8-22 are auditioned and led by professional music educators, Audrey Nowak, James Thaldorf and Mike Ross. 

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Percussion Ensemble at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, Allouez Village Band will present “Pride and Passion” for its monthly concert at Meyer Theatre at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18. Admission is free with donations accepted following the concert. According to a press release: The veterans tribute “is one of our most popular concerts of the year, and most moving as we salute our area’s veterans,” said Mike Ajango, director of the 80-member all-volunteer band. “This is also the 15th year we’ve partnered with American Legion Post 11 for a Christmas collection of items for gift boxes to support our troops overseas, as well as for local veterans. We thank our audience for their donations. We are also honored to have a very special vocalist for the evening, Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Vanderlin, U.S. Army Retired.” Vanderlin entered military service in January 1990. His military career spanned almost 21 years in the veterinary sciences. He has received many military awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal. Throughout his military career, Vanderlin performed all over the world for soldiers and their families. In 1991, he performed with the All Army Soldier Show and in 2003 was the Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year. In 2009, he performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” for a Green Bay Packers Monday night game at Lambeau Field. This past summer, he was a cast member for the St. Norbert College Music Theatre musical “Singin’ in the Rain.” Paul Oleksy serves as associate director of the Allouez Village Band. The evening begins with posting of the colors by American Legion Post 11 and Vanderlin leading the audience in “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Next is “An American Fanfare” followed by the classical favorite with music from “Carmina Burana.” Vanderlin then swings with the band in his rendition of “New York, New York.” The first half of the concert concludes with “For the Fallen: A Quiet Music” and “Star Spangled Spectacular,” featuring the music of George M. Cohan. The second half includes the spirited “Rhythm Dance” by Richard Saucedo and “Danse Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delilah.” Those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, will be remembered in Eric Ewazen’s “Hymn for the Lost and the Living.” Vanderlin and director Ajango will then join vocal forces to sing patriotic favorites in “United We Stand (An American Medley).” That will be followed by the band’s musical salute recognizing audience members who have served in the military. The evening concludes with Vanderlin leading the audience in “God Bless America.”

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music will present its Bell Choir and String Ensemble Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in Dudley Birder Hall. Free. Info: snc.edu/tickets.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “The River: Ethel with special guest Robert Mirabal” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. Info: foxcitiespac.com. Prior to the presentation, “Deborah Morningstar Oneida Storyteller Presents Touch the Earth” is offered at 6:40 p.m. in Kimberly-Clark Theater.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present its Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Jazz Ensembles at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Theresa Caputo Live!: The Experience” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Concert Association will host “Presidio Brass – And All That Brass”at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Fond du Lac Performing Arts Center in Fond du Lac High School: Info: concertassociation.net/fonddulacwi/concerts1920.cfm.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will present its Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Music Hall in the Arts & Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar/.

– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will host singer songwriter May Erlewine to open the 36th season of the inn’s winter folk concerts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20. Info: whitegullinn.com. According to a press release: Raised in a home full of art and music, Erlewine began writing songs at a very young age. As a teenager, she hitchhiked across the country, honing her skills as a performer and absorbing the kind of stories and landscapes that would inform her music. In the following years, Erlewine would perform in venues from street corners to festival stages to the live airwaves of “A Prairie Home Companion.” Her work has been spotlighted by Rolling Stone and NBC’s “The Voice.” National acts have covered her songs. Ahead, The Special Consensus, a twice Grammy nominated bluegrass group, returns to the White Gull Inn for two concerts Dec. 3-4. The White Gull Inn series started in 1984, with monthly concerts November through April. Other scheduled concerts: Joshua Davis, Jan. 8; Mile Twelve, Jan. 30; the April Verch Band, Feb. 26; Jeff Black, April 1; and Kyshona, April 29. Many concerts sell out, so advance ticket purchase and reservations for the pre-concert dinners are recommended.

– In Appleton, Trout Museum of Art will continue its 10th season of Jazz at the Trout Thursday, Nov. 21, with Jack and Jill Jazz (guitarist Jack Grassel and singer Jill Jensen).Info: troutmuseum.org. Opening at 6:30 p.m. will be a Lawrence University jazz trio. The series is curated by pianist/composer John Harmon and hosted by Chris Kuborn of Wisconsin Public Radio.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host The Outlaws at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21. Info: meyertheatre.org

ETCETERA

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Lawton Gallery will present the “47th Annual Juried Student Exhibition” Nov. 14-Dec. 12. An opening reception is 4:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 14. Info: uwgb.edu/Lawton-gallery/.

– In Plymouth, Lakeland University Bradley Art Gallery will present the solo art exhibition of works by Kimberly Nysse, “True Colors,” Nov. 15 to Dec. 18. According to a press release: The exhibition contains works from a new series and examples of work in different media. “Kimberly was chosen (for this exhibit) for being one of the most significant artists associated with Sheboygan Visual Artists,” said William Weidner, associate professor of art and director of the gallery. Descriptions: Nysse’s background and education are in costume design for theater. The connection from stage to canvas is apparent. Her art is bold, saturated in intense color, and larger than life. Working mainly with acrylic on hand-stretched canvas, Nysse’s style ranges from realism to the abstract, with carefully measured geometry forming the backgrounds and patterns seen throughout her pieces. Although her self-portraits are intensely personal, they also reveal universal emotion as they concretize the fundamental, yet ever-changing, views of herself and her existence. Nysse’s question with every creation is: Is this worthy of being called “the truth of it?” She is a student at Holy Family College and lives and works in Sheboygan.

– In Green Bay, the application deadline is Nov. 22 for Artigras 2020. Space is limited to 100 fine artists. A project of Mosaic Arts, Inc., the 30th annual event will be held Feb. 29 and March 1 in KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. Info: entrythingy.com.

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