GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Canceled or postponed performances due to the coronavirus pandemic have all but disappeared in northeastern Wisconsin. Depending on protocols at some facilities, masks are recommended or required. A few facilities may require proof of vaccination. The wearing of a mask has become optional in more and more venues. Some productions have Livestream options.
TOTALS TO DATE
Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 2,387 public productions and at least 6,769 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 the local “Wet Hot Dad Bod Summer: A Comedy Show” at 8 p.m. June 9. Info. Hosted by Ross Huff, the show features these area stand-up comedians: Hayden Fredriksen, Jim Berry, Logan Dunsmore and Jack Haessly.
– In Sheboygan, Weill Center for the Performing Arts will host The American Company of Irish Dance in “Aisling” at 8 p.m. June 9. Info. From the website: Artistic directors and choreographers Shane McAvinchey and Paula Goulding – “Riverdance” alumni – created the theatrical production with newly composed music by Benedict Morris, Cormac Crummey and Pierre O’Reilly. The production of “Aisling” (Irish word for dream or vision) tells a story through Irish dance choreography, Irish music and poetry of William Butler Yeats. The term aisling also refers to a genre of late 17th century poetry in which a woman appears to the poet in the form of a dream or a vision to deliver a warning. Additionally, characters are inspired by Irish mythology drawing from influences like the Tuath De Dannan tribe, druids and Celtic gods and goddesses.
– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present “Comedy City Family Fun Show” at 7:30 p.m. June 10. Info. The show is for all ages and suitable for the entire family.
– In Green Bay, Let Me Be Frank Productions will present “Baxters – Where Everybody Knows Your Name” at Meyer Theatre at 7:30 p.m. June 10, 11, 17, 18; 1 and 7:30 p.m. June 23; 7:30 p.m. June 24; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. June 25. Info. The show is a takeoff on a real place that operated in the 1970s and ’80s at the corner of Dousman Street and Broadway in Green Bay. According to a press release: “Mr. Broberg manages the establishment with the assistance of the cooks, Pat and Tom. Waitresses Amy, Lisa and Sarah keep customers happy with their innovative “team serving” strategy. With this crew of characters, Baxters is definitely the place to be in the 1980s. The restaurant features new dishes never seen in Wisconsin, like cheese and bacon skins, zucchini sticks and even margaritas. Are they original recipes or rip-offs of another establishment… perhaps TGI Fridays? Like everything else in the world, the best ideas are the ones that are stolen. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? It may only be a matter of time until Baxters is called out for corporate espionage. One fateful evening, Paul and Kasey Friday enter the doors of Baxters. The couple snoops in undercover, posing as customers, to research Baxters. Where are they from, what do they want, and when will their cover be blown? In the cast are Frank Hermans, Pat Hibbard, Tom Verbrick, Paul Evansen, Amy Riemer, Lisa Borley, Sarah Hibbard and Kasey Schumacher. The band consists of Dennis Panneck (guitar), Pat Hibbard (bass) and Tony Pilz (keyboards). Songs “Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Cheers Theme),” “No Time,” “You Really Got Me,” “Call Me,” “It’s a Heartache,” “Jack & Diane” and a “Lady” medley.
– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present the comedy-drama “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at 7:30 p.m. June 10-11; 2 p.m. June 12; and 7:30 p.m. June 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25. Info. Written by Christopher Durang, the play takes crazy elements from Anton Chekhov, pours them into a blender and mixes them up for a comic and occasionally touching result. Durang covers a landscape of themes that include family, fame, sexuality, parental caregiving, technology, the environment, values and mythology. Everything turns around a household in Bucks County (an artsy place), Pennsylvania. Three siblings were named for characters created by Chekhov by scholarly parents who were into community theater. Vanya and Sonia cared for their parents to the end, including their father being embattled by Alzheimer’s. Masha was off being “a world-class actress and movie star” to others and a highly embossed, oversexed, selfish egotist to her siblings. In the mix are a soothsayer, an innocent neighbor and Spike, Masha’s latest amore, an earthy personality. Directed by Cathy Delaine, the production features Dan Sallinen as Vanya, Vicki Svacina as Masha, Blane Rezach as Spike, Deb Oettinger as Sonia, Katie Baumgartner as Nina and Stephanie Miller as Cassandra. Music is provided in the pub during the hour before the performance by the duo Meet the Seavers.
– In Sherwood, High Cliff State Park will host the touring Summit Players Theatre in a presentation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at 7 p.m. June 11. Info. The 75-minute, six-actor adaptation of the play is accompanied by a pre-show workshop.
– In Kewaunee, Winter Park/Dana Farm will present “Times of Future Past” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11-12. Info. According to press release, the cosplay event (dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game) invites patrons to “step into the past, step into the future.” Meet such historic figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt and Suffragettes. From fantasy, meet superheroes, arch villains and characters from mythology. Also, Go Roman, steampunk, buckskinner, Roaring ’20s, sci-fi and or anime are all in one location, along with Green Bay Aerial Dance, music of JD & Cutter, demonstrations of cosplay make-up and SFX, tintype photography and cylinder recordings. Daily costume contest. Food and drinks available, along with an artisan marketplace.
– In De Pere, ComedyCity Theatre will present the local “ComedyCity Grown-Up Show” at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. June 11. Info.
– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue PlayWorks is adding a feature to its programming this summer, a series titled “TAP Cabaret.” First is “An Evening of Stephen Sondheim.” Info. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. June 11 and 18 at the SWY Gallery, 231 N. 3rd Ave, next door to the theater. According to the website: The production is a celebration of the brilliant work of composer/lyricist Sondheim, who died in November. Sondheim is often credited with “reinventing the American musical.” Sharing songs from musicals such as “West Side Story,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunday in the Park with George” are be vocalists Claire Morkin, Kay Stiefel, Joseph Lustig and Ryan Cappleman, who doubles as vocalist and musical director. Ahead in the series is “A Tribute to Broadway” at 7:30 p.m. July 30 and Aug. 6 with another set of performers.
– In Allouez, Heritage Hill State Historical Park will host Hysterical (Historical) Players in “The Wake of Johnny Blood” at 1 p.m. June 12 in the Moravian Church. Info. Performers of Let Me Be Frank Productions based in Green Bay present local history with musical parodies of the times and family comedy. A little history and a lot of fiction make up the all-original show by Frank Hermans. According to a press release: “Johnny Blood was a polarizing figure of Green Bay Packers lore. The show takes patrons back to a train ride to Los Angeles in 1929. When one of his gal-pals parked on the railroad track so Blood wouldn’t miss the train, is Johnny dead or just dead drunk? Curly does a quickie funeral to get back on the track.” Music is from the 1950s.
– In Green Bay, Daddy D Productions music-and-comedy show troupe of Green Bay will present “Stuck in the 60s” June 12, 15, 16 and 17 (6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show) at Riverside Ballroom. Info. According to a press release: The 1960s were a time of social, political and cultural change in America, and music provided a constant soundtrack. It was the dawn of a new age – filled with amazing entertainers. In the company are Shelly Johnson, Angela Thielke-Zuidmulder, Michael Blair, Darren Johnson, Steve Seitz (drums), Ryan Sette (guitar), Emily Sculliuffo (keyboards), Kevin Van Ess (saxophone), Alicia Michelle (violin) and Jeff Engelbrecht (bass). Among the songs are “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “They Say It’s Your Birthday,” “This Magic Moment,” “My Girl,” “In My Room,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Mustang Sally,” “Downtown,” “California Dreaming,” “Pretty Woman” and “Proud Mary.” Included is a tribute to The Four Seasons.
– In Fish Creek, Peninsula Players Theatre will present N. Richard Nash’s “The Rainmaker” in the company’s Theatre in a Garden June 14 to July 3 – Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; except for Sunday, July 3, at 2 p.m. Info. According to a news release: A road trip Nash took through the American west and a real-life rainmaker inspired him to write the story. During the hard years of a drought, the Curry family finds its cattle ranch on the verge of failure. Hardworking and plain, Lizzie is the only woman in a family of men who are trying to find her husband. New horizons open up for Lizzie when a charismatic traveler, Starbuck, promises to save the drought-stricken farm by summoning rain from the skies. The smooth-talking Starbuck turns his magic onto the clouds, Lizzie and the entire Curry family. Peninsula Players Theatre veteran Sean Fortunato returns to the theater as the passionate and self-confident dreamer, Starbuck, while newcomer Ayanna Bria Bakari portrays the strong, yet insecure, Lizzie. Also making Peninsula Players Theatre debuts are Sean Blake as H.C., Lizzie’s wise and loving father; Kai A. Ealy and Xavier Edward King, who portray her two very contrasting brothers, Noah and Jim. Ryan Hallahan, another newcomer, is File, the local deputy who is secretly smitten with Lizzie. The theater’s veteran performer, Greg Vinkler, rounds out the cast as the introspective sheriff. The cast is under the direction of Linda Fortunato, Peninsula Players Theatre’s artistic director.
– In Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theater will present its historic musical “Fishing for the Moon” in Peninsula State Park Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays from June 15 to Aug. 27. Info. The history is twofold: One. The story is set in rural Wisconsin after the Civil War. Two. The musical was the first collaboration of company co-founder Fred Alley and composer James Kaplan, who would create such popular shows as “Lumberjacks in Love” and “Guys on Ice.” The lighthearted romantic comedy features a harebrained cast of characters. Confusing calamities ensue when a Southern gentleman rides north, seeking a crazy Union officer who thinks his cows are soldiers. Shirlene, the officer’s weary wife, has made his life forever miserable by selling his prize bull while he was off at war. Meanwhile, the local school teacher rebuffs the smooth talk of a persistent raconteur while an earnest young woman tries to awaken her true love from amnesia with the smell of Parisian soap. “Fishing for the Moon” was produced in 1992, 1999 and 2008 when the company was American Folklore Theatre. Involved from the original production are James Kaplan, Jeff Herbst and Karen Mal. The cast includes Corrie Beula Kovacs, Lachrisa Grandberry, Alex Campea, Hayden Hoffman, Hannah Kato and Jeff Herbst, who also directs.
– In Green Bay, Epic Event Center will host stand-up comedian Rob Schneider at 8 p.m. June 16. Info. The “Saturday Night Live” alum also is known for such movies as “Grown Ups” and “Deuce Bigalow.”
– In New London, Wolf River Theatrical Troupe will present Ted Swindley’s “Always… Patsy Cline” at 7 p.m. June 16-18 and 23-24. Info. The excellent local production is returning for a fifth run. Featured are Molly Brown as Patsy Cline, Debbie Martin as Patsy Cline’s No. 1 fan and local musicians as the Bodacious Bobcats Band. Directing is Maggie Brown. From my review of the 2021 production: The story is from real life: Louise Seger has been following Patsy Cline and her hits through the mid-1950s to now, May 29, 1961. Louise is telling the story. Patsy has come to Houston by herself on tour. At the venue, Louise strikes up a friendship with Patsy. Patsy ends up at Louise’s house for late-night bacon and eggs and sharing of secrets. The friendship lasts beyond the night. The show is a showcase of 27 songs of Patsy that are built around that story. A plus is the music of varied county styles is live, provided onstage by six musicians and three background vocalists. Louise’s kitchen is important. Patsy is seen appearing at the Grand Ole Opry, on TV and the Esquire Ballroom in Houston, plus other places. Importantly, the show has Patsy as a clothes horse. Molly Brown comes out in a series of gowns and dress wear and flashy outfits (and a robe at Louise’s house) as Patsy would wear in a concert. The production is something of a ’50s-’60s fashion show. Molly Brown moves comfortably in the Patsy Cline vocal range. There’s a fullness, the lilt, the timbre, the technique, the tricks. Patsy Cline didn’t sing in a straight line. Extremely important in this production, Debbie Martin SOARS as fantastic fan Louise. Debbie Martin is a live wire as she kids in character – and with the audience, ad libbing some bits. She has a Southern accent from having lived in West Virginia, which is perfect for her character. She’s energetic, limber, radiantly expressive, spontaneous and eager. Her Louise Seger is as good as you could ask for in a production of “Always… Patsy Cline.”
– In Abrams, Abrams Spotlight Productions will present the Larry Shue comedy “The Foreigner” in The Nancy Byng Community Theater at 7 p.m. June 16-18; 1 p.m. June 19; 7 p.m. June 23-25; and 1 p.m. June 26. Info. According to the website: The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia, where two Englishmen arrive as guests. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent and claims to not understand English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge, along with a few other hilarious escapades. Larry Shue’s play premiere at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and went on to wide popularity, as did his “The Nerd.” Directing is Comedy/City improv actor/director/writer Mike Eserkaln, assisted by Maggie Dernehl. The cast: Bobby Buffington, Will Knaapen, Tyler Otto, Kael Pierquet, Travis Rysewyk, Allison Schoel and Carolyn Silverberg.
– In Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theater will present its world premiere production of “Love Stings” in Peninsula State Park Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from June 16 to Aug. 26. Info. From the website: Richard Castle (book and lyrics) and Matthew Levine (music) adapt a plot from a P.G. Wodehouse story. The plot is adapted from a P.G. Wodehouse story. While planning a lavish wedding on a 1960s Door County bee farm, the idealistic Bill Zapper begins to wonder if he and his reluctant fiancée are truly right for each other. “Will the outrageous wedding go off without a hitch? Or is this the calm before the swarm?” Castle and Levine previously collaborated for the Northern Sky Theatre production of “Oklahoma in Wisconsin.” Director and choreographer is Pam Kriger. In the cast are Corrie Beula Kovacs, Alex Campea, Doug Clemons, Lachrisa Grandberry, Molly Rhode and Zach Woods.
– In De Pere, Birder Players will present its final performances of the musical “Forever Plaid” (my review) in Broadway Theatre at 7:30 p.m. June 9-10 and 2 p.m. June 11. Info. The musical by Stuart Ross is the fictional story of a close-harmony male vocal quartet’s brush with fame in the 1950s. Songs include “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Moments to Remember,” “Perfidia,” “Heart and Soul,” “Lady of Spain” and a bunch more from the likes of The Four Freshman, The Hi-Lo’s and The Crew Cuts.
ON THE CONCERT SCENE
– In Green Bay, Riverside Ballroom will host Paul Thorn Band with Rockin’ Jimmy Crimmins & Friends opening at 7 p.m. June 9. Info.
– In Egg Harbor, Midsummer’s Music will present its Opening Night Gala at 7 p.m. June 9 in Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion. Info. Program: “Best of the Unknown Greats: Friedrich Kiel & Joachim Raff at 200” with “Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Opus 50” by Friedrich Kiel and “Quartet No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 202” by Joachim Raff.
– In Manitowoc, Capitol Civic Centre will host Capitol Community Chorale in “I Dream a World” at 7:30 p.m. June 9. Info. Selections include “God Bless America,” “American Anthem,” “Zion’s Walls,” “Bless the Lord My Soul,” “Sing Gently,” “White Cliffs of Dover,” “The Eyes of the World,” “I Dream a World,” “Wade in the Water,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” “I’ll be Seeing You” and “Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal.”
– In Baileys Harbor, Midsummer’s Music will present “Best of the Unknown Greats: Friedrich Kiel & Joachim Raff at 200” at 7 p.m. June 11 at Bjorklunden. Info. Program: “Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Opus 50” by Friedrich Kiel and “Quartet No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 202” by Joachim Raff.
– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will present “Play It Forward” at 3 p.m. June 12. Info. The center’s annual benefit concert (this year for an 8-year-old leukemia patient) includes performances by Doc Heide, Paul Taylor, Julian Hagen, Thor Thoreson, Rian Hill, Terry Murphy, John Lewis, Cathy Grier, Solomon Lindenberg, Katie Dahl, Pete Thelen and Jeanne Kuhns.
– In Sturgeon Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Best of the Unknown Greats: Friedrich Kiel & Joachim Raff at 200” at 3 p.m. June 12 at Hope United Church of Christ. Info. Program: “Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Opus 50” by Friedrich Kiel and “Quartet No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 202” by Joachim Raff.
– In Appleton, Fox Valley Sinfonia will present “String Cheese: Sinfonia Goes Classical” at 7:30 p.m. June 12 in Kimberly-Clark Theater of Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Info. From the website: People in the Fox Cities get together for a unique musical experience. The entrance requirement? Learn an instrument they had never played before. Five lessons with a professional instructor and four full-orchestra rehearsals later, they stage concert. The event raises funds for the real Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and its youth programs.
– In Wittenberg, “Second Tuesday Concert” will feature Sloppy Joey at 6 p.m. June 14 in WOW Art Park. Info.
– In Appleton, Appleton City Band will start its season at 7 p.m. June 14 at Pierce Park Pavilion.
– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Best of the Unknown Greats: Friedrich Kiel & Joachim Raff at 200” at 7 p.m. June 14 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Info. Program: “Quartet No. 3 in G Major, Opus 50” by Friedrich Kiel and “Quartet No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 202” by Joachim Raff.
– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “An Evening with Gordon Lightfoot” at 8 p.m. June. 14. Info.
– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “Celebrating Paul McCartney’s 80th Birthday with American English” at 7 p.m. June. 15. Info.
– In Green Bay, Green Bay City Band will open its season at 7:30 p.m. June 15 at St. James Park.
– In Green Bay, Green Bay Botanical Garden will host Trapper Schoepp (rock/Americana” as part of the garden’s Concert Series at 6 p.m. June 16. Info.
– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “English Connections” at 7 p.m. June 16 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Info. Program: “Quartet No. 1, (‘Calvary’)” (1956) – Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, “Phantasy Quintet (1912)” – Ralph Vaughn Williams and “Quintet in C Minor, Opus 86” – Charles Villiers Stanford.
– In Fish Creek, Door Community Auditorium will host Patty Griffin at 8 p.m. June 16. Info.