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Broadway Fast 5: April



April was another big month on Broadway with many new shows opening in time for award season recognition! Catch up on everything you need to know in this month’s Broadway Fast Five!

CDrgbDFWAAAYVed1) Awards, awards, awards

In addition to the Tony nominations announced earlier this week, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk all selected their nominees this month. While each list honors slightly different productions clear front runners appear to be Something Rotten!, An American in Paris and Fun Home.


1_1719062) National tours of new musicals announced

Both An American in Paris and Finding Neverland have announced that they will launch a US Tour for the 2016-17 Season, though casting, dates and theaters have yet to be announced.


1_1732513) Cartoon to stage

The stage version of 1997 cartoon musical Anastasia has received a theater, dates for initial opening. The musical will be under the artistic direction of Tony winner Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder) at Hartland Stage.  Meanwhile, we also got a sneak peek of the new stage adaptation of James and the Giant Peach from Megan Hilty and Christian Borle that you have to check out.


41_172984) Big names head to the big stage

Lengendary R&B singer Brandy Norwood made her Broadway debut this month as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s Chicago. Actress and notable Les Miserables-movie-Fantine also opened Grounded, an off-Broadway play addressing the complicated consequences of waging war without leaving home.


MM!USTourCast2013_015) To close or not to close?

While we told you last month that long-running off-Broadway favorite, The Fantasticks was to close, it seems two anonymous donors have stepped up to continue to fund the show. However, everyone has their time and it appears after becoming the 8th longest running show in Broadway history, and the longest running juke-box musical in history, Mamma Mia! has announced its closing date this September. Thanks for the music!


Get caught up on Broadway news with Fast Fives from MarchFebruary and January.

The 2015 Tony Award nominees are announced!

Here is the complete list of 2015 Tony Award nominees:
Best Play
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
Hand to God by Robert Askins
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two by Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton

Best Musical
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten! 
The Visit

Best Revival of a Play
The Elephant Man
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You

Best Revival of a Musical
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
The King and I

Best Director of a Play
Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Director of a Musical
Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten! 
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten! 
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Leading Actor in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Leading Actress in a Play
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten! 
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, Something Rotten! 
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten! 
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Victoria Clark, Gigi 
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best Book of a Musical
Fun Home by Lisa Kron
An American in Paris by Craig Lucas,
Something Rotten! by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell,
The Visit by Terrence McNally

Best Score
Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron
The Last Ship by Sting
Something Rotten! by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit by John Kander and Fred Ebb

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It With You

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home

Best Costume Design of a Play
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It With You
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Zinn, Airline Highway

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten! 
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
Catherine Zuber, The King and I

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Natasha Katz, Skylight
Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Donald Holder, The King and I
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Ben Stanton, Fun Home
Japhy Weideman, The Visit

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten! 
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

Tony Nominations by Production
An American in Paris – 12
Fun Home – 12
Something Rotten! – 10
The King and I – 9
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two – 8
Skylight – 7
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 6
Hand to God – 5
On the Twentieth Century – 5
The Visit – 5
You Can’t Take It with You – 5
Airline Highway – 4
The Elephant Man – 4
On the Town – 4
The Audience – 3
The Last Ship – 2
Constellations – 1
Disgraced – 1
Gigi – 1
The Heidi Chronicles – 1
It’s Only a Play – 1
This Is Our Youth – 1

Full list courtesy of

Pilobolus means what?!…and other fun facts

With the upcoming performance of Pilobolus we’ve had several people ask us how to pronounce the name of the award-winning modern dance group. Pill-ob-o-lus.

But it was an investigation into the meaning of their name, their extensive history (dating back to 1971) and their stunning performance that made us want to share these 8 fun facts:

Pilobolus_posterart1. Pilobolus is actually the name of a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength. The group picked it because, at the time, the group of Dartmouth College students included Jonahtan Wolken whose father was studying the fungus in a lab.

2. Pilobolus has performed more than 100 choreographic works in 64 countries.

3. The group has performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Sesame Street and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

4. After performing on the 79th Annual Academy Awards using shadowplay, the group went on to produce an evening-length movement-theater piece which utilized head-writer for the hit Nickelodeon show “SpongeBob Squarepants” Steven Banks, and David Poe who wrote the score.AllIsNotLost_Nadirah Zakariya-1-2

5. Pilobolus is made up of three branches. In addition to the touring company, they also have an education program and a creative services program.

6. Pilobolus filmed “All Is Not Lost” with band OK GO. The video was released as a Google Chrome Experiment made with Google and was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.

7. Pilobolus holds the 2011 Guinness World Record for fitting the most people into a Mini Cooper (26).

8. When it visits the Center, Pilobolus will perform [esc] a piece created by Penn & Teller.

Don’t miss Pilobolus when it comes to the Fox Cities next week!

2015-16 Education Series Announced

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center announced to educators last night a season designed exclusively for their students. Our Bemis Company Education Series aligns the arts and the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards to help teachers infuse the arts with other subject areas such as history, science or language arts in their classrooms.

Each year more than 23,000 students come to the Center to participate in an education show and learning experience. The shows explore an array of diverse topics from key historical moments to exciting cultural adventures while teaching important life lessons for PreK-12th grade students.


Junie B. Jones

Next season local students have some great performances to look forward to:

  • Artistic Adventures Presented in partnership with the Fox Cities Building for the Arts and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Part 1: September-October, 2015 Part 2: Mon., March 21, 2016 12:30 p.m.
  • Cirque Alfonse: Timber! Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Theaterworks USA production of Junie B. Jones’ Essential Survival Guide to School Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Theater Latté Da’s All is Calm — The Christmas Truce of 1914 Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Chicago Children’s Theater’s Red Kite, Brown Box Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.  This performance is designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum.
  • I Have A Dream Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Frindle-14


    Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey Starring Jasmine Guy and The Avery Sharpe Trio Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.

  • Theatreworks USA production of  The Untold Stories of Aesop’s Fables Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Lightwire Theater’s  Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Blaze The International Dance Spectacular Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Live! Friday, March 4, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Dallas Children’s Theater’s The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.


    Ballet Folklorico

  • Griffin Theatre Company’s Frindle Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli dè Veracruz Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • The Improvised Shakespeare Company Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.


You can find out more about each show at


Bemis Company, Inc., is proud to serve as the title sponsor of the Bemis Company Education Series. Additional community support for the series is provided by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Miller Electric and ITW and We Energies Foundation. Bemis Company Education Series’ performances are also supported by Associated Bank/Associated Wealth Management, Bergstrom Automotive, O.C. and Pat Boldt, Bruce and Nancy Chudacoff, Grant Thornton LLP, Great Northern Corporation, Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin, Johnson Bank/Johnson Insurance, Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy S.C., Menasha Corporation Foundation, Chuck and Barb Merry, Michiels Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering, David, Kim and Max Ritzow, Schneider Foundation, Mary A. Strange, Willis and Woodward Radio Group.

We’re so excited for another great year!


April 12-18 brings an exciting week here at the Center — National Volunteer Week! What a great way to recognize and celebrate our dedicated team of volunteers who help us to further our mission and advocate for the arts!

Here are some fun facts you may not know about our volunteers:

DSC_00971. We have more than 473 volunteers that regularly work at the Center. That’s enough to fill every seat in the front orchestra section of Thrivent Financial Hall.

2. Our youngest volunteer is 16. Our oldest is 93.

3. This season volunteers logged more than 26,552 hours. That’s more than three years of 24-hour service.

4. Our volunteers come from all over—the furthest away drives from Fond du Lac!

5. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on the amount of time our volunteers log, we’d have to spend more than $450,000 to get the same amount of service (but our volunteers definitely provide the best quality around!)

6. Our volunteer program is proudly supported by Thrivent Financial.

7. YOU can become  a volunteer too! Get more information here.


A big thank you to all of our volunteers for the time and talents they share with us each season to provide a fabulous experience for everyone who comes through our doors! We appreciate YOU!

A Season You Won’t Want To Miss!


How in the world could you commit to a full year of fabulous performances? You’re busy! You’re life is unpredictable!

These are the things we hear all the time at the Center, and for good reason. We’re busier than ever these days and our calendars fill quickly with appointments, practices, work obligations. However, just as often as we hear that it would be impossible to commit to a show next March, we hear how wonderful it is to have built in date-nights, to prioritize seeing that great show you heard about so you don’t miss it in the hustle and bustle and how worth while it becomes to take a night for yourself.

Season Ticket Packages are more flexible than they sound!

For Broadway there are several options to make sure you are seeing your top shows when it fits into your calendar.

1516season_homeSeason Ticket Holders have the option of easy-exchange tickets. Get a Season Ticket Package for Saturday night only to find out you have another commitment during your favorite show of the season? Enjoy a hassle-free switch to any other day of the run.*

Season Ticket Holders can also Swap-A-Show meaning if you know you are going to be out of town or if you’ve already seen a show you can trade your tickets** for another show within our fabulous season!

Also as a Season Ticket Holder these benefits will transfer to any of the 40 Broadway Across America markets meaning you can exchange your tickets here to see the same production in another city if something comes up!

Oh, and did we mention you get to reserve your seats before the general public? This saves you time and prevents you from missing out on those great seats you wanted!

Find out more about becoming a Season Ticket Holder on our website.



*Subject to availability. Ticket exchanges and seat upgrades may include addition charges if you exchange/upgrade into a higher priced performance or seating location. Some restriction may apply.
**Swapping into another show may include additional charges if you exchange into a hihger priced performance or seating location. Only one show per season, per account may be swapped. Due to limited availability, some titles may not be swapped into at Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America- Fox Cities’ discretion. Not available online. Deadline for Swap-a-Show is August 31,2015.

Throwback Thursday: 1963

Whether it’s “the summer of…” or “late December back in…” the year 1963 takes center stage for the remainder of our Broadway Season as Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys arrive in the Fox Cities.

We decided what better way to celebrate Throwback Thursday than to take you back to that year more than five decades ago.

You all know that 1963 was when Baby carried a watermelon and fell in love with Johnny. It was also the year Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons addressed in their 1975 single, which referred to longtime group member Bob Gaudio’s courtship with his wife.


Jillian Mueller (Baby) and Doug Carpenter (Billy) in the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

But also in 1963…
– Travel, financial and commercial transactions by US citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.
– The Beatles recorded and released their debut album, Please Please Me, at Abbey Road Recording Studio.
– Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay closes
– The film The Birds is released
– General Hospital debuts on ABC.
– Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested for parading without a permit and later issues “Letter form Birmingham Jail.” The same year would include major civil rights milestones including the “I Have a Dream” speech.
Mar14 - a Finale2– Coca-Cola Company introduces its first diet drink, Tab.
– The first James Bond Film is shown in U.S. Theaters.
– Zip codes were first introduced by the United States Postal Service.
– The first push-button telephone is made available to AT&T customers.
– John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
– The first episode of Doctor who is broadcast in the United Kingdom.
– These people were born: Larry the Cable Guy, Charles Barkley, Bret Michaels, Kathy Ireland, Quentin Tarantino, Conan O’Brien, Mike Meyers, Johnny Depp, Helen Hunt, Lisa Kudrow, Whitney Houston, John Stamos,


Are you ready to go back to 1963?