GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported, performance companies remain on alert. Two area productions recently were postponed a week due to illness in the company. Facilities often recommend masks, and some may require masking due to local conditions. Some people attending performances continue to wear masks.

TOTALS TO DATE

Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in Northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 2,949 public productions and at least 8,148 performances, not counting club, casino or other engagements. The tallies are mere shadows of performances influenced by COVID-19, which continues to have new cases reported.

ARRIVING ON THE THEATRICAL SCENE

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Fall Opera Scenes at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in Memorial Chapel.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin Theatre and Dance and Sharon Resch Institute of Music will present the musical “If/Then” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17-19 in University Theatre of Theatre Hall on campus. Info: ticketstaronline.com. According to publicity: From the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning creators of “Next to Normal,” the story follows Elizabeth (Jasmine Christyne), a city planner, who moves back to New York to restart her life. When her carefully designed plans collide with the whims of fate, Elizabeth’s life splits into two parallel paths – two stories told simultaneously, with Liz going in one direction and Beth in the other. Also in the cast are Mason Amidon, Chase Grabowski, Blake Larson, Audrey Soberg, Mickey Wirtz, Jenny Witt and Olivia Zwerlein. In the ensemble are Nox Brewer, Ben Hansen, Sam Lownik, Alyssa Mocadlo, Alexandra Smith, Olivia Smith, Aubrey Stein and Ty Witthuhn. Music is by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Directing is Thomas Campbell, with musical direction by Ben Olejniczak and choreography by Denise Carlson-Gardner.

POSTPONED: Fond du Lac Community Theatre production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” to start Nov. 17 to a time to be determined.

– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Caroline Rhea at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info: epicgreenbay.com. A stand-up comedian and actress, Rhea is best known for her role as Hilda on the TV series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity Grownup Show” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 and 8:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: comedycity.net.

– 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, Nov. 18-Jan. 8, 2023. Info: thepaine.org. 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.

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music will present an SNC Opera Workshop Concert: “The Boy Who Grew Too Fast” at 2 p.m. Nov. 19 in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The performance also will be livestreamed. The music and libretto are by Gian-Carlo Menotti. From the website: A 9-year-old boy who has just moved to town is mocked by his classmates because of his immense size and his name, Poponel Skosvodomonit. Miss Hope, his new teacher, tells the boy of Dr. Shrink, who has invented a shrinking machine. The mother takes the boy to the doctor, who says he will be able to help Poponel reach a normal size but at a price – the boy must conform to everyone else’s actions. When Mad Dog, a terrorist, comes to the school and demands a hostage, only Poponel volunteers. His act makes him grow until he overwhelms the terrorist. St. Norbert College students perform significant operatic works after conducting a semester-long study of various genres of musical drama and vocal-performance styles.

– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “ComedyCity Family Fun Show” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: comedycity.net.

– In Green Bay, The Weidner will host “John Mulaney: From Scratch” at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: weidnercenter.com. A writer, actor and comedian, Mulaney has been invited to host “Saturday Night Live” five times, among his credits.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale? Starring Kelly Swanson”at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: weillcenter.com. Recommended for ages 21 and older. Swanson is a storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker and cast member of TV’s “The Fashion Hero.” In short: A comical motivational speaker using the art of story in the business of persuasion.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Josh Gates Live! An Evening of Legends, Mysteries and Tales of Adventure” at 6 p.m. Nov. 20. Info: foxcitiespac.com. From the website: The talk show host, and author from TV’s “Expedition Unknown” will take patrons take viewers around the world with stories from his expeditions, including misadventures and moments of discovery.

– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host “Sleeping Beauty – Presented by the State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25. Info: weillcenter.com. According to the website: The company will present the full-length ballet in three acts featuring 55 ballet dancers. The music is by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky performed live by the Dnipro Philharmonic Orchestra. The story: The evil fairy Carabosse curses Princess Aurora for 100 years of sleep with a single-finger prick on her 16th birthday. Doomed by fate, only a sweet kiss from the prince can break the spell and wake up the sleeping beauty.

– In De Pere, The Dance Company will present “The Nutcracker” in Webb Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts of St. Norbert College at 7 p.m. Nov. 25; 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 26; and 2 p.m. Nov. 27. Info: gbdanceco.org or snc.edu/tickets. This is the 44th presentation of the ballet created by artistic director Shirley Van. Featured are dances from the Milwaukee Ballet. A unique element is the production includes a narrative and storytelling as part of the large-scale scene-making. According to the website: Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffman, with music from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” a young German girl discovers an enchanted kingdom ruled by a wooden Nutcracker Prince. The Nutcracker must fight a fierce battle against the wicked Mouse King. Highlights include “The Waltz of the Flowers” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

– In Green Bay, The Weidner and Sharon Resch Institute of Music will present Weidner Philharmonic and Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization’s “The Nutcracker at the Weidner” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and 2 p.m. Nov. 26 and 27. Info: weidnercenter.com. To dances designed by NEWDO’s Timothy Josephs and performed with a live orchestra, this is presented, according to the website: “It’s Christmas Eve and unable to sleep, 15-year-old Clara creeps downstairs looking for the Nutcracker. As the clock strikes midnight, strange things begin to happen. Beautiful Arabian Princesses, Russian Cossacks, French ballet dancers, exotic flowers and of course the Sugar Plum Fairy with her Cavalier dance in her honor. Can it have all been just a dream?”

– In Green Bay and Manitowoc, Let Me Be Frank Productions show troupe of Green Bay will present its 23rd annual “A Frank’s Christmas.” In Green Bay, performances at the Meyer Theatre are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 2, 3, 7; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 22, 23. Info: meyertheatre.org. In Manitowoc, a performance is at Capitol Civic Centre at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. Info: cccshows.org. 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).

ENDING

– In Menasha, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Theatre will present its final performances of Paul Slade Smith’s Fox Valley-born comedy “Unnecessary Farce” (my review) at 7 p.m. Nov. 17, 18 in James W. Perry Hall of Communication Arts Center. Reservations: https://bit.ly/3eZKncm. Snapshot from the website: “Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go. In a hotel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next-door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.” The show has been popular since its arrival in 2007. In 2022 alone, Paul Slade Smith’s “Unnecessary Farce” and “The Outsider” have had more than 50 productions. Both of the comedies have Wisconsin roots from performances at Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County. Along with being a playwright, Smith is an actor. He’s performed on Broadway and many theaters across the country. For a time, he was in the company of Peninsula Players Theatre. “Unnecessary Farce” has close roots to the Fox Valley, too. Smith started writing it in Appleton when he was a company member of a national tour of “The Phantom of the Opera,” which played at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. When “Unnecessary Farce” made its Wisconsin premiere in July 2007 at Peninsula Players Theatre, Smith was on tour with the hot “Wicked.” Meantime, his wife, Erin Noel Grennan, was performing at Peninsula Players Theatre in “Unnecessary Farce,” which he wrote to show off her comic talent.

– In Fond du Lac, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fond du Lac Campus will present  its final performances of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in Prairie Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 17, 18, 19; and 2 p.m. Nov. 20. Info: uwosh.edu/fdl/community/theatre/. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber re-create the Bible story of “Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.” Joseph’s journey from callow youth in Canaan to Pharaoh’s right-hand man in Egypt is told all in song. The production consists of students from UWO-Fond du Lac, children and adults from the community, and Fond du Lac favorite Eva Thelen-Dunphy as The Narrator.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will present its final performances of Melanie Marnich’s “These Shining Lives” (my review) in the troupe’s Robert Lee Brault Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 18; and 4 p.m. Nov. 19, 20. Info: gbcommunitytheater.com. Based on real events, the story follows Catherine throughout her career at the Westclox Radium Dial Company near Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s. The job is everything she could dream of until time changes everything for Catherine and her work colleagues. The cast: Connor Heimerman, Bob Pekol, Katie Schroeder, Falon Scott, Lydia Skarivoda and Raechal Wozniak-Sanford. In an email interview director Sandy Zochert offers this perspective: What did you learn from studying this script? I learned more about this real-life situation as the script presented it in a very creative, personal way. The script is very multi-dimensional and suggests strategies, both audio and visual, to create an historical tale capturing the essence of a specific time and event. Action and physical spaces would need to be fluid and seamless. These are aided by projection clarifications, which help define and identify. This is essential since five of the six actors in the show represent a total of 16 characters. It was important to create an easy-to-follow format that enables the viewer to become absorbed with the characters and their lives. What kind of player wants to be involved in this story; what are the motivations? I think we all have felt moved by this historical story and how it’s influenced and improved present-day situations. Playing naive characters against a backdrop of a story whose tragedy we ourselves understand needs a deft hand to contrast the youth and hope of the times with their loss as they clash with realizations of life, business and greed. Illuminating the past is a challenge and privilege. The setting will be unusual for a CT play; tell me about the production preparations for the set. It was important for the set and the environments it represents, to be simple and easily understood. The projector that Kit Honkanen, our light and sound manager, had procured, was essential, as were the slides written into the script. These new tech items were fun and interesting to integrate into our show, and I am eager to see how our audiences react to them. The immersive qualities of the sounds and flavors of the time were important to capture in music and costume. What does Melanie Marnich have going that you really like? She personalizes the events by involving us with her likeable and recognizable characters and giving us the hopes and dreams of love interests Catherine and Tom. The structure of the story was the harsh reality of history, jarring us with its truth and headlines. It was a pleasure to tell this story while still today, situations like Camp Legiun and others, encourage us to uncover harmful situations and seek reparations for those wronged. It is always good to be aware of history and learn from it. We sometimes need reminders, also, that sometimes we love and continue behaviors that, legal or not, may be our undoing.

REVISED SCHEDULE: In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present its final performances of the Neil Simon comedy “Barefoot in the Park” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 18; 4 p.m. Nov. 19; and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Info: forstinn.org. The schedule is revised due to a cancellation of a performance last weekend due to illness. According to a press release: Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong does. Neil Simon’s classic from 1963 Broadway features Grace Sergott and Blaine Rezach as newlyweds, Paul and Corie Brattler. Carrie Todd Counihan portrays the loving and attentive mother. Martin Schaller explores the eccentric and charming upstairs neighbor, Mr. Velasco. Corey McElroy wanders in and out as the bemused Telephone Repairman, and a small but sturdy ensemble moves the furniture. Directing is Michael Sheeks, executive director of the company.

ONGOING

– In Kimberly, Monty’s Secret Theater will present “Monty’s Christmas Magic Show” at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and every weekend through Dec. 17. Info: montysmagic.com. Featured among magicians is Monty Witt, a Guinness record holder. The theater seats 25 people, with magic being up close and personal. Witt has produced a Christmas magic show almost every year for more than 20 years. Recommended for ages 5 and older, the show starts with a simple set and an undecorated Christmas tree on stage. Magicians use magic to produced decorations for audience members to decorate the tree.

CONCERT SCENE (ticketed or donation events)

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience” in Kimberly-Clark Theater at 3:30 and 8 p.m. Nov. 17. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will host an Open Mic at 5 p.m. Nov. 17. Info: forstinn.org.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present Fall Opera Scenes at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in Memorial Chapel.

– In Plymouth, Plymouth Arts Center will host the local Celtic Folk in “Celtic Christmas Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 18, 19; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 20; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26; and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 27. Info: plymoutharts.org.

– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host “Tapestry: Tribute to Carole King” with a live band and multi-media imagesat 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info: cccshows.org.

– In Green Bay, Civic Symphony of Green Bay will present “Gridiron Gala with the Symphony” as a multi-faceted day Nov. 19 at Lambeau Field Atrium, 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Info: gbcivic.org. Starting at 2 p.m. are dance lessons, a stadium tour and dinner (sales closed) and a concert at 7 p.m. Artistic director and conductor Seong-Kyung Graham will lead the orchestra in “Danzón No. 2” by Arturo Márquez, “Jump Swing Fever” arranged by John Wasson, “Habanera/Seguidilla” from “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, “Moondust (American Sketches No. 6)” arranged by Mike Lewis, “Hoe-Down” from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland, “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson and a variety of waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss II. Host is Michele McCormack of WFRV-TV.

– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Mostly Hits and the Mrs. Tour” featuring Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black with special guest Lily Pearl Black at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Info: foxcitiespac.com.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present its Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 in Memorial Chapel. The concert will be livestreamed. Info: livestream.com/lawrenceuniversity. The orchestra will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena will host “Punk in the Pub”featuring Scary Canaries, Excuse Me, Who are You and Tiny Voices at 8 p.m. Nov. 18. Info: oshkosharena.com.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena will host “Rock the Arena” tribute band showfeaturing Thunderstruck (AC/DC), The Four Horsemen (Metallica), Jump (Van Halen) and Sabbath (Black Sabbath) at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: oshkosharena.com.

– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host “Ladies Night Out with Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Info: epicgreenbay.com.

– In Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Concert Association will host Cherish The Ladies at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at Fond du Lac Performing Arts Center. Info: concertassociation.net/fonddulacwi/concerts2223.cfm.

– In Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Music will host a Guest Recital by Debra Richtmeyer, saxophone, at 4 p.m. Nov. 20 as part of the Wisconsin Saxophone Summit in Music Hall in the Arts and Communication Center. Info: uwosh.edu/music/community/calendar.

– In Appleton, Lawrence University will present a Faculty Recital at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 with pianists Catherin Walby and Justin Krueger. The concert will be livestreamed. Info: livestream.com/lawrenceuniversity.

– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena will host Daniel O’Donnell at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. Info: oshkosharena.com.

– In De Pere, St. Norbert College Music will present its Autumn String Ensemble and Handbell Choir Concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 in Dudley Birder Hall on campus. Info: snc.edu/tickets. The performance also will be livestreamed. The Handbell Choir is comprised of students in varied majors and performs sacred and secular music. The String Ensemble is made up of students, faculty and local community members and performs traditional orchestral repertoire and newer works.

ETCETERA

– In Green Bay, KI Convention Center will host “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” Nov. 18 to Jan. 8. Info: chapelsistine.com/exhibits/green-bay/. According to a press release: The exhibition is a collection of the artist’s renowned ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, reproduced in a format that allows viewers to get face-to-face with the masterpieces. Through 34 displayed reproductions, the presentation includes such world-renowned pieces as “The Creation of Adam” and “The Last Judgement” a few feet away from the audience. The exhibit is presented by the SEE© Global Entertainment family. Audio guides are available in multiple languages to include Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and German.