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Best musicals to get you in the Halloween spirit

Music is all part of setting the scene for any great party and here in the office we are getting in the Halloween mood by making the ultimate spooky playlist solely out of our favorite (somewhat) scary Broadway favorites!

1. The Addams Family

2. Little Shop of Horrors

3. Jekyll and Hyde

4. Sweeny Todd

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show


What are some of your spooky Broadway favorites that we might have missed?

Broadway Fast 5: October


October is a huge month for openings on Broadway. Tony®-eligible productions are creating a buzz around the Great White Way and we have the five things you need to know this month on Broadway.

1. New Musicals

Production images of The Last Ship by Joan Marcus

Production images of The Last Ship by Joan Marcus


The Last Ship opened on Broadway Oct. 26 with music written by Sting. The story, set in an English sea-faring town that depends heavily on its local shipyard, follows Gideon Fletcher who sets out to travel the world leaving his life and love behind but returning 14 years later.




2. New Plays

It's Only a Play production shots by Joan Marcus

It’s Only a Play production shots by Joan Marcus

Several new plays opened this month including The River featuring Hugh Jackman which opened on Oct. 16. Disgraced, a 2013 Pulitzer Prize

winner for Drama opened on Broadway Oct. 23.
The Country House featuring actress Blythe Danner opened on Oct. 2 and The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time, based on the 2003 novel by Mark Haddon, opened on Oct. 5.
Getting some of the most buzz is the star-studded It’s Only A Play which features Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing and Rupert Grint among many others. The production was only scheduled to run until Jan. 4, 2015 but is already eyeing an extension and grabbing impressive numbers at the box office.

3. Revivals are a hit!

Production images for On the Town by Joan Marcus

Production images for On the Town by Joan Marcus

While we await other great shows to open later this season, we can’t help but enjoy some old favorites that are making a splash as Broadway revivals!

Play The Real Thing, won an 1984 Tony Award® for Best Play and won a Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Play in 2000. The 2014 revival features Cynthia Nixon, Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Musical On The Town is celebrating being back in New York after opening Oct. 16. The tale of three sailors on leave in New York originally debuted in 1944 and revived in 1971 and 1998 but with classics like “New York, New York” the score is back on Broadway.

4. C’mon Get Happy

Aaron Tveit/

Aaron Tveit/

It may be a long way off, but C’mon Get Happy, a new show held an industry-only reading

on Oct. 10. The reading of the new show, written by Troy Britton Johnson, was directed by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) and featured Broadway favorites Aaron Tveit (Catch Me If You Can), Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You, Kinky Boots) and Christopher Sieber (Matilda). The show is a modern day story of a group of young people who are in search of themselves and end up following a cult leader who happens to worship all things Partridge Family.


Hand to God/

Hand to God/

5. Hand to God announced move to Broadway
After a production in 2011 and an off-Broadway debut in 2014, the new play Hand to God will make it’s debut on Broadway scheduled for April 7, just in time to be a Tony® contender the show announced this month. The dark comedy depicts a how a soft-spoke sock puppet takes on a dangerous personality when his owner deals with complicated relationships in a small, quiet Texas town.


Miss last month’s Fast Five? See it here.


Ask Me Anything! with the Board of Directors


Earlier this fall, the website Reddit announced it turned one of its most popular features, Ask Me Anything, into its own app. That got us thinking—what if we could ask anybody anything in real-life? So at a recent board meeting we had a little fun and passed out three questions to our Board Members.

What we got is the Fox Cities P.A.C. take on AMA: The Board of Directors:

What has been your favorite show at the Fox Cities P.A.C. and why?Josephlogo

“Tony Bennett. Opening night the excitement and enthusiasm of both the performer and the audience were palpable. South Pacific because I had forgotten how many important and controversial topics it covered.”- John J. Hogerty, Bergstrom Corporation

Joseph: my daughter was in the cast.”- Dr. Ray Georgen, Surgical Associates of Neenah, S.C.

“Harry Connick Jr.: I loved the energy and diversity of the performance.”- Terry Timm, Thrivent Financial

“First, Disney’s The Lion King for the puppetry, and costumes are fabulous. Second, The Book of Mormon– just plain fun! So South Park!”-Mame Heaney, Community Leader

War Horse

War Horse

Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys for feel good. War Horse and Disney’s The Lion King because of amazing staging.”- Barb Merry, Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group






Why are the arts important to you?

Meredith Hanafi Photography 2012

Step Afrika – Meredith Hanafi Photography 2012

“(The arts) stimulate the soul, demonstrates the greatness of human talent.”-Angelo Ninivaggi, Plexus Corp.

“It is a quality of life issue. The Fox Cities P.A.C. adds wonderful balance to life in the Fox Cities.” – Barb Merry, Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group

“Because they are so basic for maintaining the human spirit. I believe the arts are fundamental to our health as individuals and as a community.”- Karen Laws, Community Leader


If you could star in a Broadway show opposite any actor, who would you want to work with and why?

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

“Idina Menzel. Beautiful voice, beautiful person, great actress. I had the chance to meet her once and she was really funny and down to earth.”- John J.  Hogerty, Bergstrom Corporation

“Julie Andrews; endearing personality and voice.”-Angelo Ninivaggi, Plexus Corp.

“Alive: Hugh Jackman because of his versatility, energy and dancing abilities. Not so alive: Paul Newman because of his intensity and range and involvement in life.”- Karen Laws, Community Leader

Now it’s your turn! If you could star in a Broadway show opposite any actor, which actor would you want to work with and why?

What is the Boldt Arts Alive! Series?



Last week we opened our Boldt Arts Alive! Series with a stellar performance from SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK® and followed that with the 11th Annual Fox Cities Choral Music Festival. With such a great schedule still ahead, including tonight’s performance by Ramsey Lewis, we thought no time like the present to let you know exactly what the Boldt Arts Alive! Series is about!

Sponsored by The Boldt Company, the Arts Alive! series:

Markoff Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker

Markoff Youth Ballet in The Nutcracker


Brings uniquely talented acts that are cultural, fun and creative to the Center.
ust this season you can take a trip to China, through a café full of classic favorites, on a fantasy ride with Disney, on the ballroom dance floor, to Ireland and so much more all without leaving the comfort of your favorite seat in the house.




Cirque Peking

Cirque Peking

Has reasonable ticket prices.

One of the most attractive parts of our Arts Alive! series is that thanks to grants, sponsors and fundraising we are able to subsidize the ticket costs so these high-quality evenings of entertainment start at an average of $25.




Ballroom with a Twist

Ballroom with a Twist

Provides a unique educational opportunity to enhance the understanding and enjoyment of life.
Amazing dancers, inspiring singers, beautiful music and jaw-dropping acrobatics are just a sampling of what this series brings to the Fox Cities thanks largely to The Boldt Company and other community supporters and sponsors.


For a full list of upcoming events in the Boldt Arts Alive! Series visit our website. Become a Boldt Arts Alive! Season Ticket Holder to enjoy the magic all year-long and find out more about becoming a supporter of the series when you become an Annual Partner.

Which Arts Alive! show are you most excited about this season?


DIY Halloween costumes inspired by this season’s Broadway line-up

If you’re anything like us, you are currently scrambling for that last minute Halloween costume that is both well thought-out and creative. Look no further and be inspired by our 2014-15 Broadway season!

1. Mamma Mia!

Joan Marcus/

Joan Marcus/

Ok, so a spandex jumpsuit may not already be hanging in your closet but we know they’re out there! Track one down at your local resale shop or find a bright colored shirt and pants and have people use their imagination.

It also might just be the time to pull out an old wedding dress and be Sophie for a night!




Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the ONCE Tour Company © Joan Marcus

2. Once

With character names like “Guy” and “Girl” this one won’t take Broadway-level acting chops to pull off at a party, just some jeans and a plaid shirt or a white shirt with a fall-color paisley skirt and you could be a character from Once the musical.




3. AnnieAnnie1

If you have a red wig laying around or a tuxedo, it may be front of mind to think Annie or Daddy Warbucks, but don’t forget about those cute little orphans who are mis-matched and dirty or Miss Hanigan’s loud print dress as great second-hand store finds.


Joan Marcus/

Joan Marcus/

4. Jersey Boys

Group costume alert! Find three very close friends and four matching blazers and you are golden to go as the rockin’ Jersey Boys. Bonus points if you can master their four-part harmony.





6. Dirty Dancingdd08

Be a power couple this Halloween with things you probably already have in your closest. All black for him and a white-button up shirt with jeans and flat tennis shoes for her. Then impress everyone with your dance moves and whatever you do, don’t put Baby in the corner!





7. A Christmas Story, The Musical

Photo credit: Clinton Tuccio

Photo credit: Clinton Tuccio

Wisconsinites will rock this one. Heavy plaid coat? Winter hat? Mittens? Check check! Being Ralphie sounds perfect for a cold October night.

But just in case all of this DIY has you ready to shoot your eye out don’t worry, we won’t leave you stuck to a flag pole. These Halloween-store finds will do, and fit right in with our upcoming season!52156aaacc2d844f871dc1a39aba1cb3


What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? Do you have any Broadway-themed Halloween costume ideas you’d like to share?



Artist Q&A: Julie Fowlis



Julie Fowlis, a singer from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, will bring her traditional and cultural music to the Fox Cities P.A.C. on Oct. 25. Fowlis took a few moments to talk Disney, her connection to Danú and what to expect at her upcoming show.

What made you interested in becoming a musician?Julie Promo 2014 Michelle Fowlis -Ashton-Lights7MB
I have always had a connection with music, traditional music in particular, as it was very much part of my upbringing. I feel lucky to have been brought up in a community where music was part of everyday life.

What is it about traditional Scottish Gaelic music that especially appeals to you?

It is an ancient and culturally significant tradition. Singing these songs gives us a sense of connectedness to place and people. And it’s full of life and great fun!

Why is that tradition important for you to share?

It was shared with me, and I love sharing it with others.



Julie at the “Brave” premiere with husband and Danú musician Éamon Dooley. How cute is the matching plaid? Photo from

You sang for the Disney Pixar film “Brave,” how did that come about?

A phone call out of the blue! And we enjoyed our experience of working with Disney Pixar very much. It was inspiring to work with such a great team.
(Check out a clip here)

Your husband, Éamon Doorley, will also be visiting the Fox Cities as a member of the Irish Band Danú. What is it like being married to another musician?

Great! It can be tricky sometimes syncing diaries but we both understand what the other does which makes everything loads easier. A musician’s life can be difficult to make sense of, if you don’t know what it involves.


What can patrons expect when you visit the Center Oct. 25?

Songs, stories, lively music and a little mystery and emotion.


Thank you, Julie! We are excited to have you here on Oct. 25!

Because we love the music of this great couple and because we love you, we want to offer a special ticket price! One $50 ticket  will get you in to both the Julie Fowlis performance on Oct. 25 and the Danú 20th Anniversary Tour on March 12 (a $24 savings!). For more information call our Ticket Office at (920) 730-3760. 


Check out other artist Q&As here and here.

What does it mean to be a Tony voter?

Our President, Maria Van Laanen, has recently been named a Tony Award® voter! This means she is bringing the voice of the Fox Cities to New York, representing the Center in selecting the best of Broadway to receive this prestigious performing arts award.

Only 868 voters represent the public and vote for the Tony® winners. Voters like Maria represent groups and organizations that are seen as industry leaders, which is an honor for the Fox Cities P.A.C.

Maria sat down and explained what it means to be a Tony® voter and why it’s important for the Fox Cities.

How do you get to be a Tony® voter?

First you have to be a full member of the Broadway League, which is a national trade association for the Broadway industry, and fill certain requirements regarding your level of decision making authority for your business’ Broadway-related activities. Then once you have fulfilled the eligibility requirements, your application must be accepted and voted in by the executive committee of the Broadway League. Finally, in order to actually vote for the Tony Awards® , you must have attended that season’s Tony® nominated productions.

What are you looking for in each show that makes it Tony®-worthy?

There are several categories in which shows can be nominated so you must watch each production with an eye toward all categories. When watching a show you need to be sure you are observing very carefully each artistic element because you never know what category it could receive a nomination. For example a show may have incredible sets that leave you wondering “How did they do that?” or it may bring together sounds in a way you have never heard before making it a likely candidate for set or sound design awards.

How does your connection with the Tony Awards® apply to your role at the Fox Cities P.A.C.?

As a Tony® voter, I am able to see the new shows on Broadway. This helps me keep in touch with the latest trends in the industry. For example, for a while many of the new musicals on Broadway were “juke box” musicals based on the songs from a particular artist. Smokey Joe’s Café, Mamma Mia! and Movin’ Out, come to mind. More recently we have seen more new Broadway titles inspired from the film industry such as A Christmas Story and Dirty Dancing.

It is also important to have an opportunity to experience the audiences’ reactions. Although a New York audiences’ reactions can be different from ours here in the Fox Cities, after many years seeing which shows have strong reactions from our local audiences, it helps me anticipate how a show may transfer from Broadway to a tour. This all informs the process of determining what Broadway shows may be a good fit for the audiences in the Fox Cities.

We’re so excited to hear all about the shows Maria gets to see and we’ll make sure to keep you posted! What Broadway shows are you excited about this season?


They wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun and a chance to be on stage

Last week nearly 50 kids gathered at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center to share their love and passion for the performing arts during auditions for a walk-on role in A Christmas Story, The Musical.

The children learned a short song and dance to the number Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun from Associate Choreographer Jason Sparks and got the opportunity to audition as well as watch other children perform.

We were so proud of each and every one of the kids that came down to give it a try. These kids were talented, dedicated and full of energy and spirit. Their love of the arts was astounding. We were so happy to be able to give them a mini-Broadway audition experience right here in the Fox Cities.

Here are a few snapshots from the day:


Children’s Auditions took place in the Kimberly Clark Theater on Oct. 10

The kids learn the dance led by Associate Choreographer Jason Sparks.

The kids strike one final pose with Associate Choreographer Jason Sparks.

The kids strike one final pose with Associate Choreographer Jason Sparks.



While we loved every performer, but the show only had one costume for a walk-on role.


The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center would like to congratulate Claire Coggins from Appleton!

Claire, 10, was selected by Jason Sparks to appear in a walk-on role on opening night of A Christmas Story, The Musical.



If you could audition for a walk-on role in any musical what would it be?


Your chance to meet Peta Murgatroyd and other “DWTS” pros

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is excited to announce that Peta Murgatroyd is joining the Fox Cities engagement of Ballroom with a Twist!


Peta is locally well-known as the dancer who held up the Mirror Ball trophy with Donald Driver in Season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Peta has also been a part of the Red Cross’ Dancing with Our Stars in Green Bay where she will judge again this year.

Not only are we excited about Peta coming to the Fox Cities, we are also very pleased to announce there will be an opportunity for fans to meet their favorite dancing pros.

Peta, along with previously announced Sharna Burgess, Val Chmerkovwkiy, Tony Dovolani and Emma Slater, will be participating in a meet ‘n greet onstage after the performance for special VIP ticket holders.

You must first have a ticket to Ballroom with a Twist before being able to purchase the VIP meet ‘n greet. VIP passes are $200 per person and include a professional photographer who will capture your moment with the stars as well as the opportunity for autographs. Tickets for the event go on sale to the general public on Oct. 27 and can only be purchased by calling the Ticket Office at (920) 730-3760.

Which dancing pro would you be most excited to snap a selfie with?

PARTY takes on new meaning for 5,000 students this week

It only takes one moment to change a life. For 5,000 students this week, we’re hoping that moment happens in their seats instead of on the road.

For the 10th year, we are honored to serve as a gathering place to educate, empower and promote positive choices among students from 35 different high schools who will attend P.A.R.T.Y. @ the P.A.C. Wednesday and Thursday.

The program, sponsored by the ThedaCare Foundation and which ThedaCare has been running for 26 years, has educated approximately 50,000 students in its decade at the Center and has continued to keep the conversation going when it comes to safe behavior on the road.

P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth which the program works to do by creating a dramatic, realistic series of events that unfolds in front of the audience as police departments, fire departments, representatives from Theda Clark Medical Center and others play out a scene that happens far too often. The program isn’t meant to scare young drivers but instead to empower them to make positive choices every time they hit the road.

A program that started based in drinking and driving has adapted and becomes more relevant each year as it discusses texting and distracted driving in addition to not wearing a seatbelt as risky behaviors to avoid.

The conversations that start here are ones that will hopefully make the community safer for everyone and we, for one, are honored to be a part of it.

Here are a few photos from last year’s event and some facts students will learn throughout the day.*


Jeff Lendrum : Lendrum Photography LLC


One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.

Each year drunk driving fatalities cost Wisconsin Taxpayers about $1 billion

There were 44,000 convictions for drunken driving offenses in Wisconsin last year.



Party at The PAC 2013

Jeff Lendrum : Lendrum Photography LLC


In 2011, 60% of passengers (ages 16-20) killed in traffic crashes were not using seatbelts.

Seatbelts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to a front-seat passenger car occupant by 45%.



Party at The PAC 2013

Jeff Lendrum : Lendrum Photography LLC


About 104 men, women, and children are killed each year in inattentive driving crashes.

Approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phone or electronic devices while driving at any given moment.



In Wisconsin, 3 out of 4 drivers who had been drinking and were involved in a crash that resulted in one or more deaths or incapacitating injuries had no prior convictions.


Jeff Lendrum : Lendrum Photography LLC

Thank you, Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation for bringing your important, educational message to the Fox Cities P.A.C.

You can follow our conversation online at #PARTYfcpac and don’t forget to have your own talk with your loved ones about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.

*Facts provided by ThedaCare.