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Broadway Fast 5: November


November is an exciting month for Broadway updates. From national tours to new films, here’s the five things you need to know this month.

1_1715101. Stay warm at the movies

In a month that’s busy and cold it’s a great time to warm up and watch a movie. This month you’ll have plenty of choices. Throughout November Broadway saw huge promotional pushes for Peter Pan Live! airing on NBC Dec. 4 but also for the revamped Annie, which is scheduled to come out Dec. 19. (You have to hear the preview snippets of the new soundtrack!) And of course, the highly anticipated and star-studded Into the Woods will make a Christmas Day debut (but the soundtrack is out in time for Christmas on Dec. 16!).


2. John Cameron Mitchell back as Hedwig1_160824

It’s the rumor that proved to be true. After Michael C. Hall (Dexter) wraps up his run as the transgender rockstar in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway the originator of the role on the Great White Way and in the film, and the man who wrote the music himself will step back up in the heels. Mitchell takes back the stage on January 21 for a limited 8 week engagement.



3. National tours kick-off with sneak peek videos

1_171241Cinderella began its National Tour and thanks to we have a sneak peek of the magical fun. also gave us a look at the Newsies tour that kicked off this fall. The tour will include a new song never before heard on Broadway.


4. Finding Neverland gets a cast, opening date

1_171617Finding Neverland, a musical based on the 2004 film that tells the story of how the film Peter Pan was inspired, is officially headed to Broadway. Previews will begin on March 15 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with an April 15 opening date. Perhaps most noteworthy is the cast. Glee star Matthew Morrison will return to his Broadway roots to play leading man J.M. Barrie and is joined by Kelsey Grammer, Laura Michelle Kelly and Carolee Carmello.



5. New animated musical sets Jan. 2015 release

1_171583Strange Magic, a 3D computer animated film by Lucasfilm, has announced that its leading characters will have vocal provided by Alan Cumming (currently starring in Cabaret) and Kristin Chenoweth (who just release a Broadway variety album). The film, directed by Gary Rydstrom, will be in theaters Jan. 23, 2015 and is said to be a fairy tale musical inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream told through popular songs of the past six decades and with a story by George Lucas.


Don’t forget to get caught up on what you need to know from September and October.

Macy’s Broadway memories


We are getting ready for a stellar Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Broadway line-up: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Finding Neverland, The Last Ship,On the Town and Side Show are all a part of this year’s schedule. There will also be a sneak peak of NBC’s Peter Pan Live!, performances by Broadway vets Idina Menzel and Nick Jonas and the return of the Radio City Rockettes.

Still, with more than 35 years of Broadway performances being a part of the show, we couldn’t help but flashback to some of the more memorable.

1. Legally Blonde (2007)

Legally Blonde the musical made a splash when they performed in make-shift costumes and Legally Blonde t-shirts. The union stagehands were on strike at the time so costumes and props had to be found or created specifically for the parade performance.

2. Newsies (2011)

As a preview to their Broadway run, Newsies performed “King of New York” for the famous parade. They tapped their way right into our hearts with their amazing choreography.

3. Cinderella (2012)

What’s not to love about a grand dance scene? Although TV didn’t translate the quick-changing, magical qualities of Cinderella, the beautiful costumes and classic score were on display during the 86th annual parade.

 What is your favorite performance from years past? Which are you most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving at the Theater

With only one week until Thanksgiving and A Christmas Story, The Musical getting us in the holiday mood we couldn’t think of a better time to talk about Thanksgiving traditions. Instead of asking everyone what they were thankful for this year, we chose to ask the Center staff and the cast and crew of A Christmas Story what their Thanksgiving table wasn’t complete without and we got some very unique answers that made us very thankful (and very hungry!). Check them out!







Your turn to answer: My Thanksgiving table isn’t complete without….




‘Tis the Season to head downtown

Downtown Appleton is the place to be for the holidays and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved! Here are a few ways you can get in the spirit with us as we count down the days!

Photo credit: Clinton Tuccio

Photo credit: Clinton Tuccio

A Christmas Story, The Musical
From Nov. 18-23 get in the holiday spirit with the classic film coming to life on stage. A Christmas Story The Musical has all of the same leg-lamp laughter and triple-dog-dare-flagpole-licking humor put to music. It’s a great family-friendly activity that will bring you in from the cold.

The 44th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade
Watch all of the lights march down College Ave. and maybe even catch a glimpse of Santa, the parade can be chilly but it’s a Christmas tradition! While some people have staked out their favorite seats for years, we’re partial to the ones right outside of our beautiful building, right in the middle of the action.

Small Business Saturday
Cookies and refreshments will be available in our lobby while you are out shopping the great deals downtown on Small Business Saturday Nov. 29. Don’t forget you can also pick up gift certificates for your friends, family members or colleagues from our ticket office! Or pick up a present for yourself and get tickets for your favorite upcoming performance at the Center!

Markoff Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker

Makaroff Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker

Makaroff Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Holiday favorite The Nutcracker returns to the Center this season! Makaroff Youth Ballet in partnership with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and Lawrence Academy Girl Choir will present the ballet Dec. 6 and 7.

Thrivent Financial’s Avenue of Ice
Thrivent Financial sponsors the Avenue of Ice with sculptors and pieces of art lining college avenue on Saturday Dec. 20. Make a point to walk the avenue and check out each one including in front of our building!

LorieLineLorie Line- The 25th Annual Christmas Special
Pianist Lorie Line is celebrating her 25th anniversary of touring by showing off her best holiday music. She will feature her Fab 5 and this year she is bringing a special vocalist to the stage. Don’t miss this special evening of music as Lorie celebrates a milestone year.

Don’t miss all of the other cool things happening downtown this holiday season! The full schedule can be found here.

What’s your favorite local holiday activity? 

Why Once is a must-see musical


ONCE Tour Company © Joan Marcus

Once is not your typical Broadway show. They aren’t traveling with an orchestra or even pre-recorded tracks. Instead, each musician plays their own instrument live on stage. They sing and complete choreography all while playing instruments and telling a beautiful love story. It received 8 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.

Based on the award-winning 2007 film of the same title, Once provides a unique Broadway experience that invites each patron to become a part of its community. Set in an interactive Irish pub, Once follows male lead “Guy” as he works to get over an old girlfriend who has moved to New York. A young Czech woman, “Girl”, overhears a song “Guy” has written and the two set out on a musical love story that doesn’t end the way you think it will.

Once is unique because cast members never exit the stage. Instead, each cast member simply steps to the side of the stage and becomes part of the orchestra. The story is focused largely on the award winning music, written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who played the original “Guy” and “Girl” in the film version.

We won’t ruin the story for you but we will promise you it’s one you don’t want to miss and performed in a way that makes it a truly unique musical to see on stage. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect when Once comes to the Center Jan. 27-Feb. 1.


What is #GivingTuesday?

We are thankful. We are grateful. We are appreciative.
We give back.



Around kitchen tables everywhere this Thanksgiving, people will remember all that they have to be thankful for this year and count their blessings of friends, family and all they have. Then on Black Friday and Cyber Monday let the holiday shopping commence! But not so fast, it doesn’t end there. A special day on the holiday calendar has taken off with popularity as a way to give back in recognition of all there is to be thankful for.

#GivingTuesday is a global campaign created to help foster the tradition of generosity. The first Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is meant to encourage charitable giving at a time when nonprofits can really benefit.

As a nonprofit arts and cultural education organization, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center relies on the financial support of individuals, businesses and foundations in order to present many of the diverse programs that enhance the arts experience in our community.

Whether it’s $1 or $100, every donation will assist in educating and entertaining people of all ages within the community.

Be a part of the giving movement this holiday season!

GT_Phone_2014Join in with thousands of others on this year’s #GivingTuesday now through Dec. 2 to support the mission of the Fox Cities P.A.C. You can donate online or by using our printable gift form. You can also contact (920) 730-3782 to learn more about how your charitable gift makes an impact.

Part of the #GivingTuesday campaign is to take an #unselfie. Print off our very own #unselfie sheet and snap a pic to share on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to let everyone know that you are celebrating #GivingTuesday with the Center.

Anyone who chooses to participate in #GivingTuesday will be entered to win exclusive Fox Cities Performing Arts Center merchandise.

All proceeds benefit the Center’s mission and are tax deductible. The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Five reasons Brian Setzer rocks even more than you thought!

We are so excited to welcome Brian Setzer and his orchestra that we came up with 5 things people may not know that make Brian Setzer Rock even more than you may originally have thought!

BSOX approved photo1. Including hits like “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut,” and “Jump, Jive and Wail,” Setzer’s discography includes 45 recordings including 2 albums with the Bloodless Pharaohs, 7 songs with the Tomcats, 11 albums with the Stray Cats, 15 albums with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, 9 albums as a solo artist and one album released at the Brian Setzer ’68 Comeback Special.

2. Brian’s evocative replica “Stay Cat” 1959 6120 Gretsch is the latest inductee to the guitars in the Smithsonian Museum.

3. Brian Setzer has appeared in “The Nanny” and “The Simpsons” as himself.

4. Setzer composed and performed the theme song for the Disney cartoon show “House of Mouse.”

5. Setzer has earned three Grammy Awards and has been nominated 7 different times.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra will bring their Christmas Rocks Extravaganza! to the Fox Cities P.A.C. on Nov. 15. Get in the holiday spirit with the 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra and special guest The Record Company.

What song are you most anticipating to hear at the show?

Community and Arts Partners come together to create

It’s one of our very favorite times of the year. The time where our mission of being a gathering place for the community leads to fantastic art being made on our stage!

live-in-concert-fantasiaOn Nov. 8 the Center will co-produce  Disney FANTASIA-Live In Concert with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Sponsorships and grants allow us not only to put on the piece, but also to keep ticket prices reasonable so that as many people as possible can come from the community to enjoy the art. Tickets for Disney FANTASIA-Live in Concert start at $29.

“It gives us a chance to really celebrate the great arts we have in the Fox Cities,” said Amy Gosz, the Director of Programming and Community Engagement at the Center. “We can’t do it without (community) support. That support allows us to make these events happen and makes them accessible.”

Jamie LaFreniere of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra said taking on this large of a project would not be possible without a great amount of support.

“We always look forward to partnering with other area arts organizations to see what we can accomplish together. There is no doubt it opens up possibilities that each organization, on its own, wouldn’t be able to consider,” LaFreniere said. “The Fantasia concert is a huge project and neither organization could have made this happen without a partnership. Together we are able to bring a tremendous experience to local audiences by sharing the responsibilities. We look forward to partnering again on other large projects and continuing to give our audience incredible concerts and family events.”

Markoff Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker

Markoff Youth Ballet in the Nutcracker

The Nutcracker, which hits the stage Dec. 6 and 7 is another example of the Center collaborating with local arts partners

in the community. The Makaroff Youth Ballet dancers team up with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir to put on the holiday classic.

For Senior Dancer Blake Bormes, the experience is an exciting one.

“Performing The Nutcracker as a Makaroff Youth Ballet company member at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is a thrill and a privilege. Growing up being in the audience at PAC shows has been an exciting opportunity,” Bormes said. “I am honored to once again be performing  on the P.A.C. stage and hope everyone will enjoy the spirit and excitement of The Nutcracker.”

Tickets for both performances are on sale now.

Artist Q&A: Cheyenne Jackson


Whether you know him from appearances on “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and as Vocal Adrenaline’s coach on “Glee,” or from Broadway credits that include Finian’s Rainbow, All Shook Up and Xanadu, or even from the big screen in films like “United 93,” Cheyenne Jackson is a familiar face with an outstanding voice.

The 39 year-old has recently released an album “I’m Blue, Skies” and we’re excited to have him here for two intimate cabaret performances Nov. 13-14. But before he does, we caught up with him on the road for the latest Artist Q&A.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.cheyenne_posterart

I was 9 lbs when I was born, I have blue eyes, pop culture junkie, and I can not cook.

2. When did you first know you wanted to be a performer?

7 years old.  Heard the Annie cast album.  Decided then and there to become the first boy to ever play Annie.

3. Movies, TV, Broadway and music, you’ve done it all. Which medium is your favorite and why?

I love them all equally.  They all have their challenges, but there is no way I could choose.

4. What has been your favorite project to work on so far in your career?

Again, no way to choose.  Too many favorites.

5. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my….

MacBook, big headphones, and tons of water.

6. What can people expect when they see your show Nov. 13 or 14?

Me opening my heart up to the audience and sharing myself through my art and my experiences. Oh, and I’m gonna sing really purdy. 😉


Thanks, Cheyenne! We look forward to having you at the Fox Cities P.A.C. later this month!


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