Week ahead: Popular titles dot region’s play scene

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Canceled or postponed performances due to COVID-19 affected some recent performances. COVID-19 cases also caused the replacement of players in some companies. Companies remain on alert. Support members of some companies wear masks.

Some facilities recommend masks for audience members.


Since the performance cancellations and postponements started March 12, 2020, in northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 2,526 public productions and at least 7,158 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.


– In De Pere, Birder Players will present “Shrek The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. July 14-16; 2 p.m. July 17; 7:30 p.m. July 19-23; and 2 p.m. July 24 in Broadway Theatre. Info: birderonbroadway.org. Snapshot: Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek The Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and a comical book by David Lindsay-Abaire. “Shrek” brings all the film characters to the stage “and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears – Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek….” It’s the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Add a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. “Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek.”

– In Shawano, Box in the Wood Theatre Guild will present “Legally Blonde” in Mielke Arts Center at 7 p.m. July 14-16; 2 p.m. July 17; 7 p.m. July 21-23; and 2 p.m. July 24. Info: shawanoarts.com. Music and lyrics are by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin and book by Heather Hach. Snapshot: Elle Woods has a lot going for her and against her at the same time. She has run up a 4.0 grade-point average at UCLA, has supportive and well-off parents and is admired by a sea of friends. Elle also is in love. The 4.0 is in fashion design, and clothes horse Elle is more interested in the latest in her color, pink (only). Keen on the girls just wanna have fun façade of Malibu, Elle is no Jackie Kennedy. And the love of Elle’s life wants a Jackie Kennedy, so he dumps her and heads off to Harvard Law to begin carving out a career he thinks can lead him to places, like Mount Rushmore. The musical that starts out with Elle as the ultimate blonde joke and winds up with Elle as the embodiment of empowerment for women.

– In Marinette, Theatre on the Bay will present “9 to 5 The Musical” at 7 p.m. July 15-16; 2 p.m. July 17; 7 p.m. July 22-23; and 2 p.m. July 24. Info: uwgb.edu/marinette-theatre. Performances are in Herbert L. Williams Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. According to a press release: “9 to 5 The Musical” is the comical story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era, based on the book by Patricia Resnick and seminal 1980 hit movie, featuring music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. “Set in the late 1970s, the show is outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic.” Some material may be inappropriate for children younger than 13. Directing is John Thornberry, with Brittany Welch as musical director and Heather Olson as choreographer. The cast includes a variety of new, returning and veteran actors. Included are Lisa Atkinson-LeBoeuf, Keaton Bartz, Buddy Beyer, Chase Grabowski, Cerina Grawey, Lauren Halfmann, Jacilyn Knight, Ali Linstad, AnnaLisa Mines, Jacqueline Nutter, Jennifer Rickaby, Lori Patzke, Justin Pilz, James Porras II, Gary L. Scholtz, Sr., Kate Schwaba, Sarah Severson-Roehm, Sam Wargula, Brittany Welch and Connor Whisler. Theatre on the Bay is sponsored by UW-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement, offering adults and youth opportunities to participate in theatrical productions. Since 1966, Theatre on the Bay has been a community treasure in Marinette with its home stage on the Marinette Campus.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will present the William Shakespeare comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7:30 p.m. July 15-16, 22-23, 28-30; and 2 p.m. July 31. Info: forstinn.org. Snapshot: Shakespeare’s intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start. Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia’s father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). ​In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon’s head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of laborers preparing a play for the Duke’s wedding (one of whom is given a donkey’s head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny. Directing is Michael Sheeks. The characters and cast: Hermia – Aubrey Duncan; Demetrius – Ian Wisneski; Helena – Isabella Dippel; Lysander – Sean Stalvey; Titania /Hippolyta – Rachel Ziolkowski; Theseus/Oberon – Ross Dippel; Egeus – Zach Lulloff; Philostrate – Brittney Simmer; Puck – Elizabeth Szyman; Peter Quince – Corey McElroy; Robin Starveling – Teresa Iannitello; Tom Snout – Shannon Paige; Snug – Jessica Iannitello; Nick Bottom – Kevin J Sievert; Cobweb – Tammy Leiterman; Mustardseed – Em Schaller; Peasebottom – Jacquelyn Welsh; and Moth – Megan Schauer.

– In Fish Creek, Peninsula State Park will host the touring Summit Players Theatre in a presentation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at 2:30 p.m. July 17. Info: summitplayerstheatre.com. The 75-minute, six-actor adaptation of the play is accompanied by a pre-show workshop.

– In Green Bay, The Weidner will host “Murray and Peter Present: War on the Catwalk” at 7:30 p.m. July 17. Info: weidnercenter.com. The show features drag queens from America and elsewhere. Hosting are Brooke Lynn Hytes and Miz Cracker. Performers may include The Vivienne, Krystal Versace, Kita Mean, Kornbread, Priyanka, Icesis Couture, Jimbo, Kylie Sonique Love, Denali, Crystal Methyd, Heidi N Closet and Olivia Lux.

– In Neenah, Zephyr Community Players will present “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” at 7 p.m. July 21-24 in Jane Bergstrom Fine Arts Education Center, 1050 Zephyr Drive. Info: showtix4u.com. Directing is Eric Connor of St. Mary Catholic Schools. Snapshot: Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. The musical is based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. Music is by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and book by Doug Wright. Songs include “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.”

– In Neenah, Riverside Players will present the offbeat “The Addams Family The Musical” in Riverside Pavilion in Riverside Park at 8 p.m. July 21, 22, 23; 7 p.m. July 24; 8 p.m. July 27, 28, 29, 30; and 7 p.m. July 31. Info: here. The show is based on characters created by Charles Addams, with the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and music and lyrics and Andrew Lippa. Directing the Riverside Players production is Erick James Gyrion. The show is satirical, dark, sassy, clever and camp. Charles Addams was the creator of what essentially is a genre of whistling-past-the-graveyard humor. The joke is what is black to the rest of the world is white with the Addams family. When mom Addams, Morticia, sings warmly that “Death is just around the corner,” she adds for one verse, “coroner… get it?” That’s Addams Family humor. The story is about love being blind. A father is caught between a rock and a hard place – his wife and their daughter. The daughter, Wednesday, has fallen in love and wants to marry a guy she met while crossbow hunting pigeons in a park. Wednesday wants to unload her secret after a dinner with the two families. But mum’s the word for her father (Gomez), lest her mother (Morticia) put the kibosh on her marrying out of the faith, so to speak. Wednesday makes her father promise not to tell. Gomez has never lied to his desired, adored, desired, beloved, desired, admired and desired (he’s got it bad) Morticia. Gomez is caught between a gravestone and a hard place.


– In Menasha, Attic Chamber Theatre will present its final performances of the Frederick Knott thriller “Wait Until Dark” (my review) at 7 p.m. July 14-16 in Lucia Baehman Theater at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Fox Cities Campus. Info: attictheatre.com. Snapshot: A sinister con man named Roat and two ex-convicts, Mike and Carlino, are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll, which they are much interested in, to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his blind wife, Susy. The con man and his ex-convicts, through a cleverly constructed deception, convince Susy that the police have implicated her husband Sam in a murder, and the doll, which she believes is the key to his innocence, is evidence. She refuses to reveal its location, and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between Roat and Susy. Michael J. Laskowski directs a cast consisting of Emma Foley, Gabriel Hyatt Johns, Carlton Johnson, Johnathon Krautkrammer, Casey Nash, Kevin Riddle and Genevieve Steffel.

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will conclude its run of Stephen Dietz’s “Yankee Tavern” at 2 p.m. July 17. Info: forstinn.org. From the website: ​Just when you thought you’d heard every crazy 9/11 conspiracy theory, into the Yankee Tavern walks a stranger who believes everything is a conspiracy theory. Inside the walls of the crumbling New York tavern, a young couple finds themselves caught up in what might be the biggest conspiracy of all. “Yankee Tavern” is “a fierce, funny and ultimately mind-bending work of theatrical power.” Performing are Bill Fricke, Grace Sergott, Sean Stalvey and Ian Wisneski.


– In Fish Creek, the professional Peninsula Players Theatre will present Frederick Knott’s “Write Me a Murder” (my review) in the company’s Theatre in a Garden at 8 p.m. July 14-16; 7:30 p.m. July 17; 8 p.m. July 19-23; and 2 p.m. July 24. Info: peninsulaplayers.com. Snapshot: Two estranged brothers are reunited at Rodingham Manor, the family estate, by the family doctor who informs them of their father’s imminent death. The elder Clive, who is a bit of a playboy, and David, a successful author, soon meet an opportunistic businessman, Sturrock. David wants to move back onto the estate and has no interest in selling, however, Clive’s wandering eye for an heiress from Texas gives him other ideas. Sturrock has his eyes set on acquiring the estate and encourages David to help his wife, Julie, an aspiring writer, co-author a murder mystery. Together, the two writers create the “perfect crime.” The plot thickens when Clive sells the estate to Sturrock and leaves for America. Sturrock then implores David to introduce Julie to the villagers and help her acclimate to village life. In the process, David falls in love with her. Will the “perfect murder” be implemented? And if so, on whom? Directing is Greg Vinkler. The cast includes Sean Fortunato, Xavier Edward King, Ryan Hallahan, Kai A. Ealy, Eva Nimmer and Charlotte Booker.

– In Sturgeon Bay, the professional Third Avenue PlayWorks will present Karen Zacarías’ comical “The Book Club Play” (my review) to July 24 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Info: thirdavenueplayworks.org. Snapshot: When a world-famous documentarian makes a book club the subject of his next film, the wine starts to flow and it’s not just the books that get discussed. When the conversation strays from the literary to the personal, six young professionals learn it is best not to judge a book, or a person, by its cover. The cast includes Saran Bakari, Cassandra Bissell, Neil Brookshire, Katherine Duffy, Matthew Martinez Hannon and Nick Vidal. Directing is Nicole Ricciardi, who has directed from coast to coast and is on the theater faculty of DePaul University in Chicago. Karen Zacarías is a widely produced American playwright who resides in Washington, D.C.

– In Baileys Harbor, the professional Door Shakespeare will present “The Three Musketeers: An Adventure, with Music” (my review) to Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 5 p.m. Saturday at Bjorklunden. Info: doorshakespeare.org. Written by Joe Pine, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, with music and lyrics by Scott McKenna Campbell, the production is directed by Marcella Kearns. Told is the story of a young man coming of age in a turbulent time – swordsman d’Artagnan. In his transformation from a headstrong youth to a noble musketeer, d’Artagnan befriends Porthos, Aramis and Athos: three celebrated musketeers renowned for their boldness, discretion and honor. D’Artagnan navigates political intrigue and crosses blades with mysterious foes, all the while learning what it means to be a true friend.

– In Baileys Harbor, the professional Door Shakespeare will present William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (my review) at Bjorklunden to Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Info: doorshakespeare.com. Directed by Todd Denning. The story: During a violent storm, a ship is torn asunder. Its passengers, separated from one another, land on a mysterious and otherworldly island. As the passengers search for their fellow shipmates, they encounter nymphs, creatures and fantastical beings, as well as the magical Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, who oversees the island and its inhabitants. Over the course of the play, audiences are treated to singing, dancing, magic, high comedy, intrigue, romance, betrayal and a reunion of all that brings the play to its happy end. The first recorded performance of “The Tempest” was in 1611.

– In Fish Creek the professional Northern Sky Theater will present its world premiere production of “Love Stings” to Aug. 26 in in Peninsula State Park Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Info: northernskytheater.com. 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 Fish Creek the professional, Northern Sky Theater will present its historic musical “Fishing for the Moon” (my review) in Peninsula State Park Amphitheater to Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. Info: northernskytheater.com. 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 Fish Creek, the professional Northern Sky Theater will present the Matt Zembrowski musical “Dad’s Season Tickets” in Gould Theater to Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Info: northernskytheater.com. From my review of a previous season: “Dad’s Season Tickets” celebrates Green Bay Packers fandom. The show is certainly Go Pack Go, but it is much more as a full-bodied story about family and feuding and frustrations. The show revels in the stuff that the outside world considers corny about Packers fans but people here who live the aura know it is warmly real and ours. What’s more, the show delves the difficulties of one family that is like most families. Everybody’s different, you know? Right away, there’s tenderness. Frank, the father, speaks to a photograph on the living room wall. The photo is of his wife, gone three years now. Frank is just climbing out of mourning. Action starts as Frank’s family gathers – three daughters and two sons-in-law – to enjoy watching a Packers game as the team heads for the playoffs in late 1996 behind Brett Favre and Reggie White. It’s a festive day, with Packers do-dads all over the living room and Christmas tree. The family holds ritual good-luck ceremony that includes a unison rhymed chant with a bobble-head doll, Little Bart (an homage to Bart Starr). Frank – Dad – drops a shoe when he tells the kids he has scheduled an appointment to set up his will. That means someone will inherit his Packers season tickets, which can only be held by one person. Immediately, one daughter claims the tickets. Thus – the setup.

CONCERT SCENE (ticketed or donation events)

– In Tisch Mills, The Forst Inn Arts Collective will continue its Open Mic Night series at 5 p.m. July 14. There is no charge. Another is Aug. 4. Info: forstinn.org.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Botanical Garden will host Patchouli & Terra Guitarra (folk) at 6 p.m. July 14. Info: gbbg.org.

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present a Symphony series concert “A Romantic Evening: Puccini & Rachmaninov” at 7 p.m. July 14 in Dutton Concert Barn. Info: birchcreek.org.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Botanical Garden will host The Mowtowners at 7 p.m. July 15. Info: gbbg.org.

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present a Symphony series concert “Legends and Titans: Wagner & Mahler” at 7 p.m. July 15 in Dutton Concert Barn. Info: birchcreek.org.

– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Trio Magic” at 7 p.m. July 15 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Program: “Serenade Opus 50” (1895) by Laura Netzel, “Circulo, Opus 91” by Joachim Turina, “Trio in E-flat, Opus 100, D. 929” by Franz Schubert.

– In Plymouth, Plymouth Arts Center will continue its Mill Street Live Music Series 2022 at 7:30 p.m. July 15 in the center. Info: plymoutharts.org. Local performers are featured in the seven-week series.

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present a Symphony series concert “Symphony Show and Tell: Tchaikovsky & Mahler” at 7 p.m. July 16 in Dutton Concert Barn. Info: birchcreek.org.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Trio Magic” at 7 p.m. July 16 at Hope United Church of Christ. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Program: “Serenade Opus 50” (1895) by Laura Netzel, “Circulo, Opus 91” by Joachim Turina, “Trio in E-flat, Opus 100, D. 929” by Franz Schubert.

– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Trio Magic” at 3 p.m. July 17 at Trenchard Residence. Salon Concert. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Program: “Serenade Opus 50” (1895) by Laura Netzel, “Circulo, Opus 91” by Joachim Turina, “Trio in E-flat, Opus 100, D. 929” by Franz Schubert.

– In Antigo, Antigo High School Volm Theater will host Kids from Wisconsin in “Big Bang Boom” at 6:30 p.m. July 20. Info: antigo.k12.wi.us.

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present a Big Band Jazz series concert “Swing and the Great American Big Band” at 7 p.m. July 20 in Dutton Concert Barn. Info: birchcreek.org.

– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music will present “Lush & Thrilling Romantic Poetry” at 7 p.m. July 20 at Sister Bay Moravian Church. Salon Concert. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Program: “Quartettsatz in C Minor, D703” by Franz Schubert, “Divertimento in E Major, Opus 53” by Friedrich Gernsheim, “Grand Quintetto in B-flat Major, Opus 34” by Carl Maria von Weber.

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Botanical Garden will host Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns (funk/blues/soul) at 6 p.m. July 21. Info: gbbg.org.

– In Egg Harbor, Birch Creek Music Performance Center will present a Big Band Jazz series concert “Legendary Ellington, Miller & Basie, Vol 1.” at 7 p.m. July 21 in Dutton Concert Barn. Info: birchcreek.org.

– In Egg Harbor, Midsummer’s Music will present “Trio Magic” at 7 p.m. July 21 at Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion. Salon Concert. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Program: “Serenade Opus 50” (1895) by Laura Netzel, “Circulo, Opus 91” by Joachim Turina, “Trio in E-flat, Opus 100, D. 929” by Franz Schubert.


– In Sheboygan, Midsummer Festival of the Artswill be held around John Michael Kohler Arts Center 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 17. Info: jmkac.org. Included are 100 juried artist booths, music, food and more. Four concerts will take place on the City Green stage across the street from the center.

– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra named Sam Handley as executive director. According to a press release: Handley has performed internationally as an opera singer and taught music at the university level before becoming executive and artistic director of the Green Lake Festival of Music in 2020. He will join the organization in September at the end of his Green Lake contract.


Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, which performed June 26 in Green Bay, was in the deadly July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The band traditionally performs in the parade on a flatbed trailer. Lori Lippitz, director, has exchanged messages with Brown County Civic Music Association, for whom the band performed at Riverside Ballroom. Lippitz said the band’s trailer “had just begun to roll down the streets of Highland Park playing klezmer music when an individual began shooting into the crowd several blocks ahead of us. As parade-watchers began to flee past the band in the opposite direction, we quickly realized something was terribly wrong and found a way to get out of the parade lineup quickly.” Seven people were killed and 30 others wounded by the shooter. Christopher Sampson, president of the association, says “our audience on June 26 loved the performance and the people… (who) quickly became friends we just hadn’t met before.”