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 2,967 public productions and at least 8,193 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 De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “Comedic Neutral: An Improvised Dungeons and Dragons Campaign” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25. Info: comedycity.net.
– 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 on a tour of the United States and Canada 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 dancers Davit Hovhiannisyan and Marize Fumero 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?” Guest artists from the Carolina Ballet are McKenzie Van Oss as Elder Clara, Taylor Ayotte as Sugar Plum Fairy, Kiefer Curtis as The Cavelier and Yevgeny Shlapko as The Prince.
– 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).
– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “Snowy Mittens: An Improvised Holiday Romance” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 26. Info: comedycity.net.
– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “Tipsy History” at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 26. Info: comedycity.net.
– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host the touring musical “All Is Calm” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27. Info: foxcitiespac.com. Theater Latté Da of Minneapolis presents the work written by Peter Rothstein with vocal arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. Prior to the performance, a World War I artifact display may be viewed in the center. The display, including uniforms and tools, is curated by the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center in Oshkosh. Members from the museum will be available to answer questions. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the display available until the performance starts at 6:30 p.m. Following the performance will be a Q and A with the cast. About the play, from the website: “The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing ‘Stille Nacht.’ Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.”
– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will present Pat Cook’s “PS: Merry Christmas” at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Info: wrtt.org. According to the website: Karen Brookshire loves writing Christmas letter – telling folks more than they want to know. With a boy-crazy daughter, a smarty-pants son and a klutzy husband, Karen has her hands full. So she has to write their Christmas letter by herself recalling such events as their daughter’s first date, which unfortunately occurred at the same time as two overly-adoring aunts were visiting, and their son’s high school graduation where he not only won the embarrassing “Perfect Attendance Award” but also found out that he would still be living at home. The more Karen writes, the more her imagination soars. She even pictures the rest of her family pulling a “Mission: Impossible” to get rid of the letter.
– In Green Bay, Play-by-Play Theatre of Green Bay will present “The Gift of the Magi” at Robert Lee Brault Playhouse of Green Bay Community Theater at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-2 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Info: playbyplaytheatre.org. The story by O. Henry is adapted by James DeVita and Josh Schmidt. According to the website: As Christmas approaches, Jim and Della want to buy something special for each other but have trouble not only figuring out what to buy but most importantly how to buy it with their incredibly limited funds. The musical’s story is “told with love, passion, intrigue and, in true O. Henry fashion, dramatic irony.” Performing are Lyle Becker, Ben Olejniczak and Kaara McHugh, with Wendy Scattergood on cello and Mary Ehlinger on piano. Directing is Mary Ehlinger. The musical was originally produced at American Players Theatre of Spring Green.
– In De Pere, Evergreen Theater Young Actors of greater Green Bay will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 and 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4. Info: evergreentheater.org or snc.edu/tickets. The production marks a return of the story to the Young Actors offerings. The show is based on the play by Barbara Robinson. The book and lyrics are by Jahnna Beecham, with music and lyrics by Malcolm Hillgartner. The Young Actors production is directed by Ruth Novak, with musical direction by April Strom-Johnson. “Many families make this an annual tradition, and after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, we are so happy to be bringing this family-friendly classic back to the Webb Theatre at St. Norbert College,” says Sherrill Revolinski of the company. The story: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world, so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. Fighting and cigar-smoking don’t belong in Bethlehem, and the Herdmans have never even heard the Christmas story. Soon everyone is calling for first-time director Grace to fire the Herdmans. But Grace isn’t ready to give up on the Herdmans and their view of the Christmas Story. “This is a buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Silent night? Not a chance. But sometimes a little joyful noise is just right for Christmas.” This is the 33rd year the Green Bay area’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” For many years, it was presented independently. “Evergreen took over ‘Best’ from Bette Hayes, Sarah Ramayker and a group of other talented individuals in 2007 after they had produced it for 20 years,” Revolinski says. “This year, Bette’s granddaughter and great granddaughter are in the cast.”
– In Manitowoc, Treehouse Theater will present “Disney’s Moana J.R.” in University Theatre of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus at 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3; and 2 p.m. Dec. 4. Info: treehousetheater.com. From the website: The story follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her Oceania heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on a journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as they learn to harness the power that lies within. With messages of bravery and selflessness. The show is based on the 2016 Disney film. With music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, book adapted by Susan Soon He Stanton, and music and orchestrations adapted and arranged by Ian Weinberger. Karen Rohrer is executive director of the company, and Lisa Heili is director.
– In Abrams, Abrams Spotlight Productions will present the musical “White Christmas” in The Nancy Byng Community Theater at (check availability because tickets sold rapidly) 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 3; 1 p.m. Dec. 4; 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 8, 9, 10; and 1 p.m. Dec. 11. Info: abramsspotlightproductions.com. The show is based on the 1954 movie of the same name. The book is by David Ives and Paul Blake, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, who wrote scores to 13 Broadway musicals, contributed to seven revues, wrote songs for 12 classic Hollywood movie musicals and created many of the most well-known popular songs of the 20th century, including “White Christmas.” The story is about a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process.
Veterans Bob Wallace (played by Bobby Buffington) and Phil Davis (Preston Pelegrin) have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters (Ali Carlson and Elizabeth Jolly) en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former Army commander (Bob Maloney). Along with “White Christmas,” the score features such standards as “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano” and “How Deep Is the Ocean.” Directing is Debra Jolly, with Heather Cox and Bill Koehne as assistant directors. Also in the cast are Kari Moody (Martha Watson), Elyse Finger (Susan Waverly), Tyler Otto (Ralph Sheldrake), Betsy Finger (Rita), Allison Schoel (Rhonda), Allen Steeno (Ezekiel Foster) and Brady Cox (Mike), with an ensemble of Hailey Marquart, Presley Ellison, Hayden Beekman, TJ Hock, Julie Johannes-Frohliger, Brigit Pettit, Kelsey Steeno, Sydney Surber and Abby Frank.
– In De Pere, Birder Players will present the musical “Elf: The Musical” in the company’s Broadway Theatre at (check availability because tickets sold rapidly) 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2; 4 p.m. Dec. 3, 4; 7 p.m. Dec. 7; 12 and 4 p.m. Dec. 11; 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 14, 15, 16; and 2 p.m. Dec. 17. Info: birderonbroadway.org. The show is based on the movie “Elf,” with book by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin. From the website; Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will host “Alton Brown Live: Beyond The Eats – The Holiday Variant” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: foxcitiespac.com. The TV personality puts on a show that he says in publicity material includes “more cooking, more comedy, more music, and more potentially dangerous science stuff with a sprinkle of seasonal spices. Plus, you’ll see things I’ve never been allowed to do on TV.” For some parts, he will call on volunteers.
– In Green Bay, The Weidner will host “The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays” at 8 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: weidnercenter.com. The touring magic production features a rotating cast of five to eight musicians who specialize in specific branches of magic from stage illusions to mind reading to escape to comedy.
– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Theatre Company will present the musical “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in Leslie W. Johnson Theatre of Horace Mann Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 3; 2 p.m. Dec. 4; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 9; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Info: stcshows.org. From the website: In the Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history as they collide with the Christmas story head on. The comedy is adapted from the best-selling young adult book by Barbara Robinson. Directing is Lorenz “Larry” Marcus. The players: Father/Bob Bradley, Nick LaPoint; Mother/Grace Bradley, Laura Klitzke; Beth Bradley, Molly Rankin; Charlie Bradley, Lucas Schermetzier; Ralph Herdman, Mitchell VanderPutten; Imogene Herdman, Emily Wallner; Leroy Herdman, Corey Kirschner; Claude Herdman, Noah Johhson; Ollie Herdman; Brooklyn Payton; Alice Wendeleken, Abigail Meulbroek; Mrs. Armstrong, Tracie Wessels; Mrs. Slocum, Lacey Lefeber; Mrs. Clark, Laney Delwiche; Mrs. Clausing, Lindsay Rick; Mrs. McCarthy, Angela Landgraf; Maxine, Esperanza Casdenas; Elmer Hopkins, Andre Allen; Hobie, Montgomery Martin; David, Jonathan Koenig; Beverly, Lili Nagle; Fireman, Mick Rick; Shirley, Cora Rautmann; Juanita, Elaina Rick; Doris, Elizabeth Rank; Annette, Ariah Hansen; Reverend Hopkins, Eric Rautmann; Choir Director, Emily Milski; Ensemble members: Alliauna Kue, Elizabeth Johnsrud, Gwendelyn Harder, Marlee Siebert, Khloe McKnight; Angels: Lillian Rick, Frieda Rautmann, Gracia Flores, Chelsey Schwark, Ava Yurk, Siena Felerer.
– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present “A Musing’s Christmas Carol” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2; 4 p.m. Dec. 3; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9; 4 p.m. Dec. 10; 2 p.m. Dec. 11; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16; 4 p.m. Dec. 17; and 1 p.m. Dec. 18. A pub show prior to performances is by Meet The Seavers. Info: forstinn.org. The annual holiday Mistletoe Musings musical cabaret returns with a new twist – “A Christmas Carol.” The classic Charles Dickens story filled with ghosts and, eventually, holiday cheer will be laced with the Mistletoes singing group. The Mistletoes 2022 are Phillip Jindra, Tessa Komorowski Jindra, Erin LaFond, Shannon Paige and Sean Stalvey. The Christmas Carol Ensemble consists of Carrie Todd Counihan and Ash Stokes as Narrators, Claran LaViolette as Scrooge, Roger Bennin as Bob Cratchit, Patrick Schamburek and Scott Retzack as Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Present, Alyssabeth Wodack as Ghost of Christmas Past and Ghost of Christmas Future, Melissa Schamburek and Cathy DeLain as Mrs. Cratchet and Archie and Jasper LaFond as Tiny Tim. Directing is Michael Sheeks, the theater’s executive director.
– In Kimberly, Monty’s Secret Theater will present “Monty’s Christmas Magic Show” at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 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.
– 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: 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.
CONCERT SCENE (ticketed or donation events)
– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Big (Dude) Boogie at 9 p.m. Nov. 25. Info: epicgreenbay.com.
– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host “Juke Box Saturday Night: Music of Mancini” at 7 p.m. Nov. 26. Info: dcauditorium.org.
– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Jackyl at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26. Info: epicgreenbay.com.
– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Arts will host “So Dang Thankful: An Evening with Rucksack Revolution & Friends” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26. Info: weillcenter.com.
– In Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Concert Association will host “Decades of Love with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at Fond du Lac Performing Arts Center. Info: concertassociation.net/fonddulacwi/concerts2223.cfm.
– In Ashwaubeon, Resch Center will host “Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular” with special guest Girl Named Tom at 7 p.m. Nov. 29. Info: reschcomplex.com.
– In Fish Creek, White Gull Inn will open its 38th season of its Winter Concert Series by hosting the bluegrass group Branchline at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 with an optional dinner at 6 p.m. Info: whitegullinn.com. Ahead are Third Coast Bluegrass (Jan. 11) and Johnsmith and Dan Sebranek (Feb. 22), with other concerts pending.
– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host Luminare at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Info: epicgreenbay.com.
– In Oshkosh, Oshkosh Arena will host “Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas” at 7 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: oshkosharena.com.
– In Brillion, Endries Performing Arts Center will host “Christmas Wizards – A Tribute to Trans-Siberian Orchestra” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: endriespac.com.
– In De Pere, St. Norbert College will present its annual “Festival of Christmas Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Walter Theatre of Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts. Info: snc.edu/tickets. Performing are all the college’s music ensembles, including choirs, bands, brass, flutes, piano, organ and handbells.
– In Oshkosh, The Grand Oshkosh will host “Christmas with John Berry” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: thegrandoshkosh.org.
– In Ashwaubenon, Epic Event Center will host “Taylor Swift Dance Party”at 9 p.m. Dec. 2. Info: epicgreenbay.com.
– In Green Bay, Neville Public Museum of Brown County is presenting “Holiday Memories of Downtown Green Bay to Jan. 8, 2023. Info: nevillepublicmuseum.org. Animated figures that adorned H.C. Prange’s department store windows are featured in the exhibit along with the Enchanted Forest, the Snow Babies and forest animal collections. Bruce the Spruce, the talking Christmas tree who chatted with holiday shoppers at Prange’s, is on hand at select times to talk with guests. The Children Only Shop, a whimsical re-creation of the Prange’s holiday experience, is back for its 12th year.
– In Appleton, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center received a $1 million contribution from longtime supporters Barb and Chuck Merry to enhance the center’s accessibility services. According to a press release: Current services include mobility access, open captioning, GalaPro (an app for real-time captioning), American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, assisted listening devices, a T-coil hearing loop system for the ticket office and all seats in Thrivent Hall and Kimberly-Clark Theater, programs in large print or Braille and a social story that provides a learning tool for patrons on the autism spectrum. Also, a parent suite provides, a private space supported by women’s health specialists for nursing mothers, parents, guardians and individuals who may need a safe, quiet space to attend to their children. In addition to other efforts, the Merrys serve on the center’s board of trustees.
– In Sheboygan, John Michael Kohler Arts Center received a $1 million grant from the Ruth Foundation for the Arts (Ruth Arts). According to a press release: The grant will support illustrious center’s general operations such as exhibition and programming development, artist commissions and digital-asset management systems. The award comes from Ruth Arts’ newly formed RDK Legacy Fund, which honors and continues Ruth DeYoung Kohler II’s (1941–2020) steadfast support of regional and craft-based organizations and artist-built environments. Kohler dedicated five decades of her remarkable life to leading and nurturing the growth of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.