GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported – more than 1,200 a day in the last week in Wisconsin – performance companies remain on alert. Facilities often recommend masks, and some may require masking due to local conditions. Some people attending performances continue to wear masks.


Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in Northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 3076 public productions and at least 8,419 performances, not counting club, casino or other engagements. The tallies are mere shadows of performances influenced by COVID-19.


POSTPONED to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27 – In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “The Comedy Roast of Santa” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Info: A cast of Christmas characters including Tiny Tim, Yukon Cornelius, The Grinch and Cousin Eddie give a traditional comedy roast to Jolly Old Saint Nick.  Like any comedy roast, this show is going to contain adult language.

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity Grown-Up Show” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Info:

– In Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theater will present Home for the Holidays” at 4 p.m. Dec. 27-31 in the company’s Gould Theater. Info: Performing are Jeff Herbst and Katie Dahl along with special guests Claudia Russell and Colin Welford. Singer/songwriter/playwright Katie Dahl and Northern Sky Theater artistic director Jeff Herbst will reprise their popular offering, “The Jeff & Katie Show.” They will be “singing and slinging their signature blend of music, banter, bakery and delightful holiday humor. They will welcome California folk singer Claudia Russell and pianist/composer Colin Welford. Actor, singer and director Herbsthas worked with Northern Sky Theater since 1991. He became artistic director in 1993. He began his collaboration with Heritage Ensemble, Northern Sky’s predecessor, in 1985.

Herbst has worked on more than 60 original productions with Northern Sky Theater, including “Guys on Ice,” “Lumberjacks in Love” and “Bone Dance.” Herbst also has performed on and off Broadway and at regional theaters throughout the United States. Dahl is an internationally touring singer-songwriter who lives year-round in Door County. She has written or co-written two musicals produced at Northern Sky: “Victory Farm” and “The Fisherman’s Daughters.” Russell is known to Door County audiences from her frequent appearances on the peninsula, including in such Northern Sky Theater shows as “Goodnight, Irene!” “Fish and Whistle” and “Old Friends.” A composer, music director and showman, Welford is a year-round Door County resident whose credits include “Billy Elliot” (Broadway), “The Lion King” (worldwide music supervision), “Hamilton (Chicago) and many years with Northern Sky Theater. Welford hails from England, where he studied at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, before landing at University of Miami. Welford composed the music for Northern Sky Theater’s “Strings Attached.”

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity Grown-Up Show” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30. Info:

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity New Year’s Eve Family Fun Show” at 5 p.m. Dec. 31. Info:

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity New Year’s Eve Grown-Up Show” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Info:


– In Green Bay and De Pere, Daddy D Productions will present its final performance of “Daddy D’s Christmas” (my review) Dec. 22 at St. Mark Ministries, De Pere. Info: The Green Bay-based show troupe celebrates its 16th Christmas variety show. Featured are leader Darren Johnson, Shelley Johnson, Angela Thielke-Zuidmulder, Michael Blair, Kevin Van Ess and Alicia Michelle. Included are comedy bits, a patriotic tribute and such songs as “Christmas in the Air,” “Joy to the World,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Mary Did You Know,” “Merry Christmas Darling,” “O Holy Night,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Baby Please Come Home,” “O Come, O Come, Emanuel, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Silent Night,” “Christmas Shoes,” “Breath of Heaven” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions show troupe of Green Bay will present the final performances of its 23rd annual “A Frank’s Christmas” (my review) at Meyer Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22-23. Info: According to Kasey Schumacher of Let Me Be Frank Productions, this story is told: “You may have heard of the Elf on the Shelf, and you may have heard the story of the elves and the shoemaker. But have you ever heard the two tales combined? Probably not, so let us explain. There was once a shoemaker and his wife. They owned Don’s Shoes on University Avenue. They worked very hard but still could not earn enough to stay afloat. One evening, the shoemaker cuts leather to make one final pair of shoes, wishing aloud that his Elf on the Shelf could help him out. That night, the Elf on the Shelf is wildly surprised when he discovers more elves pop into the workshop. Franky Fruitcake, Patty Cakes, Amy Angel Food and Pauly Pockets come together with the Elf on the Shelf to assist the shoemaker. When the shoemaker arrives in his shop the next morning, he finds a miracle of miracles! A pair of shoes have been made with high-quality craftsmanship. The miracle happens again and again, bringing the shoemaker more financial success than he could have imagined. But the magic can’t last forever, right? And the Elf on the Shelf begins to wonder if he belongs next to his fellow shoemaking elves, or in the home he’s had forever with his shoemaker family. You’ll laugh out loud and sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes as you watch this story of friendship, family, and miracles of the season.” In the cast are Frank Hermans as Franky Fruitcake, Pat Hibbard as Patty Cakes, Amy Riemer as Amy Angel Food, Tom Verbrick as The Shoemaker, Lisa Borley as The Shoemaker’s wife, Blake Hermans as the Elf on the Shelf and Paul Evansen as Pauly Pockets. The band consists of Dennis Panneck (guitars), Pat Hibbard (bass), Tony Pilz (keyboards) and Andrew Klaus (drums), with lights by Ross Loining and sound by Kelly Klaus. Some of the songs are “Christmas Eve” (Kelly Clarkson), “Unwrap You at Christmas” (The Monkees), “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (Neil Diamond), “Jingle Bells?” (Barbra Streisand), “I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight” (Keith Urban) and “Xmas Time of the Year” (Green Day).


– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue PlayWorks will present “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” (my review) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Info: The play is another take on Charles Dickens’ classic about Ebenezer Scrooge and ghosts and greed and realization. According to the website: “The five WFBR Radio Players bring to life scores of characters, live sound effects and musical underscoring to create an authentic 1940s radio experience all in front of a live studio audience.” The script is by Joe Landry, who is something of a specialist in the radio play concept. His other titles include “The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play,” “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play,” “The Great Gatsby: A Live Radio Play,” “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play” and “War of the Worlds: The Panic Broadcast.” Some of these plays have been produced in the region by other companies. In the concept, the players – professional in this cast – more than read from scripts. The illusion is the audience is part of the live radio studio audience and sees interactions among the players. Directing is Mikael Burke, who is based in Chicago and has numerous credits there. Quote from Mikael Burke’s website: “I’m a fan of visual storytelling.” Everyone in the cast has been seen on the professional stages in Door County and elsewhere. Capsules with their area appearances: Cassandra Bissell: Third Avenue PlayWorks (“The Book Club Play” this season), Peninsula Players Theatre in nine seasons (selected: “Silent Sky,” “Proof”). Neil Brookshire: Area: The Weidner (“Bent Compass” (co-writer and performer), Peninsula Players Theatre (“Romance in D,” “Silent Sky,” “Miss Holmes”), Door Shakespeare: (“Twelfth Night,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”). Elyse Edelman: Door Shakespeare: (“Comedy of Errors,” “King Lear,” “Twelfth Night,” “Heart of Robin Hood,” “Much Ado About Nothing,’ “Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Henry V”). Ray Jivoff: Northern Sky Theater (“Dad’s Season Tickets”) prominently in Door County and Milwaukee. Dan Klarer: Door Shakespeare (“Three Musketeers: An Adventure With Music,” “The Tempest,” Henry V,” “Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Door Shakespeare);” Northern Sky Theater: (“Tongue ‘N Cheek,” “Victory Farm”); Third Avenue Playhouse “Isaac’s Eye,” “Greater Tuna,” “Santaland Diaries”); and Peninsula Players Theatre (“Miss Holmes,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Bridges of Madison County”).

– In Oshkosh, Paine Art Center and Gardens will host the guided tour element of “Nutcracker in the Castle” 5-8 p.m. Saturdays and noon-3 p.m. Sundays to Jan. 8, 2023. Info: According to the website: The tour starts with a party in the “Ballroom” with live performances by a string quartet. Godfather Drosselmeyer tells the story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. Then he leads guests through decorated rooms of the mansion. The story culminates in the “Lands from Afar” where youthful dancers from Valley Academy for the Arts perform selections from “The Nutcracker Ballet.” Guests then tour second-floor rooms that are decorated as Clara’s family home and Drosselmeyer’s workshop.

CONCERT SCENE (ticketed or donation events)

– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns” and special guest Janet Planet at 7 p.m. Dec. 22. Info:

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “For Kids from 1 to 92! The Spirit of Christmas, Past and Present” (review from Oshkosh performance) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Info: Performing are singer Steve March-Tormé, bassist-singer Michael Bailey, the band STEEM and violinist Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Billy Joel), accompanied Touch of Class strings of Neenah High School.

– In Wrightstown, Turner Street Music Hall will host “Cornerstone Jazz Orchestra: Cool Yule” at 6:30 p.m. to midnight Dec. 23. Info: The group plays Christmas favorites with a dash of swing.

POSTPONED to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29 – In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “The Night Before the Night Before” (review of last year’s show via Internet) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Info: Hosted by Sundae & Mr. Goessl the second annual variety show will include guest artists Erin Krebs, Jeff Johnson Duo, Stuck on Blue and Julio Reyes.

In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Sevendust with Nonpoint, Ill Nino and Another Day Dawns at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Info:

SOLD OUT – In Green Bay, Rock Garden will host Daddy D Productions in “New Year’s Eve (Small Group) Rock Garden from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Info: The show features singers Darren Johnson, Shelly Johnson and Michael Blair with violinist Alicia Michele and keyboardist Nate Kinzel.– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host Frank’s Tribute and All-Star Band from 8-10 p.m. Dec. 31. Info: According to a press release: This is a special New Year’s Eve edition. Featured artists include Elvis Presley (portrayed by Frank Hermans), Reba McEntire (Amy Riemer), Barbra Streisand (Lisa Borley), Karen Carpenter (Kasey Schumacher), Neil Diamond (Paul Evansen) and George Jones (Mike Hermans). Performing in the All-Star Band are Andrew Klaus (drums), Pat Hibbard (bass), Tony Pilz (keyboards) and Dennis Panneck (guitar).

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present the costume ball “The Forst Inn Masquerades: A Celebration in Style” from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31. Info:


– In Fish Creek, Peninsula Music Festival appointed its next music director, Rune Bergmann, currently music director of Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic, artistic director and chief conductor of Poland’s Szczecin Philharmonic and chief conductor of Switzerland’s Argovia Philharmonic. 

Bergmann will lead the Festival Orchestra’s three-week Symphony Series every August. Bergmann first appeared in two Peninsula Music Festival concerts as a guest conductor last August. He has begun to work on programming for the coming nine-concert 2023 season.