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Broadway Fast 5: May

fastfive1While May is a month largely focused on preparation for the upcoming Tony Awards, there’s still plenty to talk about and everything you need to know is in this month’s Broadway Fast Five!

Fun home1. National tours galore

‘Tis the season to announce future tours. Tony-nominated Fun Home and revival The King and I announced they will tour in 2016. On The Town not only announced a 2016 tour, but announced that Tony Yazbeck, who currently headlines the Broadway production will lead it. The national tour of If/Then, scheduled for the 2015/16 Season also announced that headliner Idina Menzel will join selected performances. A 2017-18 Tour of Phantom of the Opera Sequel Love Never Dies has also been announced, though few details are available.  The Bodyguard also announced a 2016 National Tour featuring Grammy nominee Deborah Cox.

2. The next Hedwigtayediggs

Hedwig and The Angry Inch continues to select show-stoppers to fill the  shoes of the biggest diva on Broadway. Currently, Glee-alum Darren Criss is putting on the fishnets and glitter each week but at the end of his engagement this summer, Rent-alum and familiar television and movie actor Taye Diggs will be the first African American to play the role. Personally, we can’t wait.


devilwears3. The Devil Wears Prada to hit the stage

There’s no word yet on the theater, timing, or casting, but it looks like a stage adaptation of the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada is now in the works!  According to the AP, mega-producer Kevin McCollum, whose Broadway credits include the current Tony nominees Something Rotten! and Hand to God, is looking to make a musical of the film in partnership with 20th Century Fox.


stephanie4. NBC will bring back original Dorothy for The Wiz, cast newcomer

Stephanie Mills, who originated the role of Dorothy in The Wiz has been cast as Aunt Em for the NBC live telecast scheduled for December 3! The Grammy winner was originally unknown, and the network has done an open call for Dorothy to achieve the same affect. After the live telecast there is talks to bring the production to Broadway for the 2016-17 Season.


shosh5. Casting news for Broadway-bound Beaches

We told you a while ago that Beaches was coming to Broadway but now there is casting news! Shoshana Bean (Wicked) and Whitney Bashor will headline the previously reported stage adaptation of Beaches in Chicago. Bean will play Cee Cee with Bashor playing Bertie White. They will be joined by Presley Ryan (The Sound of Music Live!) as Little Cee Cee, with Brooklyn Schuck (Matilda) as Little Bertie, Travis Taylor as John Perry, Nancy Voigts as Leona Bloom, Kelly Anne Clark as Rose White, Jim DeSelm as Michael Barron, Michael Accardo as Nathan Bloom, Andrew Varela as Arthur, Samantha Pauly as Teen Cee Cee and Olivia Renteria as Teen Bertie. William Carlos Angulo, Heather Brorsen, Josh Kohane, Christine Mild and Holly Strauder round out the cast.


Get caught up on Broadway news with Fast Fives from AprilMarch, and February.

Annual Chairman’s Gala raises money for Center’s Mission


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Photo by Bill Garvin

Each year the Annual Chairman’s Gala is held to celebrate and support the mission of the Center to be the gathering place for the community. It’s at this special event that supporters get to socialize, enjoy a fantastic meal and bid on some unique prizes.

Artist XXXX paints the Kimberly-Clark Theater during Cocktail Hour of the Chairman's Gala on May 21

Artist Julie Jilek paints during Cocktail Hour in the Kimberly-Clark Theater  at the Chairman’s Gala on May 21. Photo by Bill Garvin



This year silent auction items included an exclusive New York Experience Package, a painting by Artist Julie Jilek that was done during cocktail hour that evening, and a special opportunity for a walk-on role in Dirty Dancing- the Classic Story On Stage.




In addition to celebrating the arts, the Annual Chairman’s Gala is also our opportunity to celebrate someone who has contributed to the mission of the Center by recognizing the Distinguished Service Award recipient. This year, the Board of Directors selected John J. Hogerty, II.

John Hogerty accepts the 2014 Distinguished Service Award

John Hogerty accepts the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. Photo by Bill Garvin.

Hogerty has served as Chairman of the Board of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center since January of 2012. During that time he has guided the Board and the organization through its 10th Anniversary Celebration, the Keystone Campaign and the leadership transition in the office of the President. Mr. Hogerty was actively involved in the early formation of the Center and has served on its Board of Directors since 2008. Mr. Hogerty is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary & Treasurer of Bergstrom Corporation. Mr. Hogerty and his wife, Morgan, are active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in the Fox Cities.

We thank all of those in attendance for their continued support of the arts and look forward to celebrating again next spring!

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Patrons enjoy time with other arts enthusiasts during cocktail hour prior to the Annual Chairman’s Gala on May 2. Photo by Bill Garvin.

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Supporters enjoy conversation over dinner on the stage during the Annual Chairman’s Gala. Photo by Bill Garvin.


Artist Q&A Johnny Mathis

Celebrating his 59th year in the music industry, Johnny Mathis is Columbia Records longest-running artist…he’s also quite the chef. What does this famous singer love to make? Find out that and more in this artist Q&A!

Mathis_#PurpleTie1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?
When I was 7 years old my father played the piano for me, and I was hooked.

2. Your bio says you enjoy cooking…what is your favorite meal to make?
I’ve just made it: Shrimp in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, shrimp broth (and a lot of other stuff)!

3. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…
My lunch!

4. What is your favorite song to perform?

5. What can people expect when they see your show this month?
(He laughs) Lots of beautiful & gooey love songs.


Thank you, Mr. Mathis! We look forward to seeing you on May 30!

Students get first-hand lessons from Broadway pros


Participants included Daniel Bomier, Ben Bomier, Analiese Bradshaw and Vivienne Johnson. Cast members included Marlana Dunn (Mary Delgado), Thomas Fiscella (Gyp DeCarlo), Barry Anderson (Bob Crewe) and Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito)

While Broadway shows are in town you might see your favorite actors and actresses walking about downtown Appleton, getting necessities at the mall, visiting local friends and family or even doing the Lambeau Leap. However, occasionally cast members also help to enhance the community they are visiting by offering special opportunities through our Community First Community Engagement Activities.

When the Jersey Boys took over Appleton last week, members of the community were given the opportunity to participate in a Mock Audition Master Class at Heid Music. Singing in front of the stars, participants got one-on-one tips, suggestions and lessons from the pros. Afterwards, everyone present was welcome to ask the cast questions about life on the road, how they made it big and their favorite part of being in a Broadway production.

It was very inspiring to watch each participant come out of their shell and learn from the cast members’ expertise.

We thank each of the participants for putting themselves out there and thank the cast of Jersey Boys for their willingness to teach a class. We look forward to a similar opportunity with the cast of Dirty Dancing this June!

5 Reasons You Have to See Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage


5reasons to see dirty dancing

Tickets for Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage are still available. There are also Community First Community Engagement Activities in conjunction with this event.

Mama Rose? Fantine? Readers Rank the Best Musical Moms of All Time

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and to celebrate, is spending the day sitting on the couch drinking wine and watching Netflix honoring our favorite mom characters in Broadway musicals! We asked readers to rank a selection of good, bad and downright crazy moms on Culturalist. The results are in—check out the top 10 Broadway moms who came out on top!

FANTINE (Les Miserables)

MARGARET (The Light in the Piazza)


DIANA (Next to Normal)

THE WITCH (Into the Woods)

ANNA (The King and I)

GOLDE (Fiddler on the Roof)

MOTHER (Ragtime)

CAROLINE (Caroline, or Change)

ROSE (Gypsy)

Original blog posted at

Frankie Valli’s Secret Recipe for Meatballs

Did you catch the Jersey Boys cast making meatballs on Living with Amy? The Jersey Boys had fun teaching Frankie Valli’s Secret Meatball recipe! Check out the clip at the link above and see below for the full recipe!

Frankie Valli’s Secret Recipe for Meatballs

jbA “whole-lotta” fresh breadcrumbs (about 1½ cups)

About 1 cup milk (warm)

1 lb. ground beef

½ lb. ground pork or veal

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

About 2 cloves of minced garlic

1 extra-large egg, beaten

Step (1) Remove all jewelry, especially rings — wash hands

Step (2) Soak breadcrumbs in warm milk for a few minutes

Step (3) Add the remaining ingredients and combine with jewelry-free, clean hands

Step (4) Roll mixture into sizeable balls (about 2 inches in diameter)

Step (5) Brown meatballs well in frying pan with olive oil finish cooking in a simmering pan of Italian gravy (i.e. tomato sauce)

Step (6) Serve meatballs (garnish with parsley, freshly grated parmesan) over pasta with a piece of crusty bread on the side


Thank you for having us, Living with Amy! And thanks for the awesome recipe, Jersey Boys! IMG_1110

Artist Q&A: Ralphie May

Ralphie May brings his unique and entertaining brand of comedy when he visits the Center on May 15. He took a moment to answer a few of our questions in his own humorous tone:

Ralphie Standing1. When did you first realize you had a knack for comedy?
Nine years old. Granny let me watch Johnny Carson on Friday nights. Johnny would build in jokes designed to bomb. I would make my own jokes, funnier than his, and was funnier than Johnny Carson at nine years old.

2. If you weren’t a comedian your career would be…
Aerobics instructor

3. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…
My car?

4. What are you looking forward to in Appleton?
I’ve been (to Appleton) before. Happy to be back. (Looking forward to) getting some apples.

5. What can people expect when they see your show this month?
Dirty, filthy comedy that’s really funny.


Laugh along with Ralphie this month! Tickets are still available here.