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Broadway Fast 5: June

In the post-Tony Award buzz and throughout Broadway’s Pride Month, there sure were a lot of headlines coming out of the Great White Way. Get caught up in this month’s fast five!


3_1737981. Taye Diggs shines in first look as Hedwig

Taye Diggs, best known for his multiple TV appearances and stellar performance in Rent (the original Broadway cast and the film), has been named the newest Hedwig. Besides looking absolutely stunning in the new photos, Diggs will be the first African-American to portray the  transgender east-German Rock Goddess on Broadway.





2. Full House The Musical makes first casting news

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton will headline the previously reported Full House! The Musical! off-Broadway. The show follows patriarch Danny (Hilton) after he loses his super power of solving problems with “sensible Dad Speeches.” Performances will begin September 7 at Theater 80.



1_1737923. Broadway faces get stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame

It was announced earlier this month that some Great White Way favorites will also receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Newsies), and 2015 Tony nominee Bradley Cooper are amoung the group that includes Cyndi Lauper, Gargy Sinise, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates, Debra Messing and Ashley Judd who all have Broadway credits and now, their own star!


4. Bombshell officially in the works

After a more than successful one night only performance of Bombshell, the fake musical created throughout the television show Smash, producers have officially decided there is enough interest to pursue bringing the Marilyn-Monroe themed musical to the stage.


2_1737535. Keeping it in the family: Abby Mueller will play leading role in Carole King Musical

Abby Mueller has been announced as the new Carole King for the touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. If the name sounds familiar, you may be on the right track. Abby’s sister Jessie Mueller won the Tony Award (and a Grammy for the soundtrack) for originating the role on Broadway.

It takes a community: The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center as a nonprofit

The old adage is that it takes a village to raise a child and truly, we here at the Center can relate.

It took an entire community to raise the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center from a dream to the reality that is a thriving, state-of-the-art arts and cultural education organization.

As a nonprofit, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is challenged on a regular basis to seek financial support from the community to supplement the expense of bringing the best acts from all over the world, community outreach and a valuable education series that serves an average of 23,000 students each year.

Thanks to a dedicated community, we are able to support these wonderful programs through two major campaigns.


Each year our Annual Partners donate over $1.5 million to help to support the Boldt Arts Alive! Series and the Bemis Company Education Series including daytime performances, special classes and workshops for at-risk youth. This campaign also helps to subsidize the use of our facility for other groups and nonprofits, allowing the Center to be a gathering place for performances, meetings, receptions, celebrations and educational events. Annual Partners also help to support and develop community relationships and activities that utilize the arts to strengthen family units and support creative learning through specialized programs.



Photo by Ken Cobb

Our other source of support is the Keystone Campaign, a fund that exists to ensure the long term sustainability of the Center in the community. The Keystone Campaign is designed to provide sufficient cash reserves, working capital and the security to weather economic downturns or other unforeseen challenges.

The Keystone Campaign recently reached the major milestone of raising $25 million, thanks to a dedicated community and the strong leadership of visionaries Oscar and Pat Boldt, Barb and Chuck Merry and former Center President Susan Stockton. This amount reflects 208% of the Center’s operating budget, which falls into the 200-500% amount stated as a best practice by the National Arts Strategies Fund. While still on the low end of that recommendation, reaching this milestone means we as a Center are on the right track to assure that high quality live theatrical experiences are available in Northeast Wisconsin for generations to come. The Center will continue to seek support for this fund to meet ongoing needs and supplement growth and innovation for years to come.

Some Annual Partners also donate to the Keystone Campaign and vice versa noting that supporting the arts adds an immeasurable value to Northeast Wisconsin in terms of economic impact, adding to a vibrant community, building relationships and attracting families and employees to the region in addition to transforming the area through exceptional live performances.

We, as a nonprofit, would like to thank our donors who continue to support the arts and believe in our mission of being a gathering place for the community! To learn more how you can make a tax deductible gift to the Center, please visit or call the Advancement team at (930) 730-3782.

Jean Valjean? Mufasa? Mr. Wormwood? Ranks the Dads of Broadway From Best to Worst

Jean Valjean? Mufasa? Mr. Wormwood? We Rank the Dads of Broadway From Best to Worst

We rank the dads of Broadway, from Jean Valjean to Mr. Wormwood.

It’s almost Father’s Day, and you know what that means—it’s time to pull out all the stops to show your dad you’re his biggest fan. But Father’s Day isn’t just an opportunity to make a giant replica of your dad out of beef jerky. It’s also time to pay homage to our honorary fathers: The dads of Broadway! From the loyal and protective Jean Valjean in Les Miz to the uh, totally preoccupied Mr. Wormwood, some of Broadway’s current dads deserve Father of the Year trophies, while others should be tarred and feathered. We’re ranking them all below! How does your favorite Broadway dad measure up?

1. Jean Valjean from Les Miserables
Even though JVJ isn’t Cosette’s biological dad, he’ll go to the ends of the earth for her. He confines her to her house and she’s not allowed to talk to anyone or go outside, but at least she’s safe, right?

2. Mufasa from The Lion King
This kind and majestic ruler is a model father for Simba. It’s a shame that pesky stampede had to go and ruin everything.

3. Father from Violet
Violet’s dad tries his best to be a good father, and hey, that axe thing was an accident. But we’re subtracting a few points, because the whole ordeal does make his daughter’s life pretty complicated.

4. Josh from If/Then
Without giving away too many spoilers, Josh is a great guy and seems like a great father, but he just isn’t around that much. Give us more evidence and we’ll move you higher up on the list, Josh.

5. The Three Dads from Mamma Mia!
Just like the guys in Full House, potential dads Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin and Harry Bright are a package deal. Sure, they weren’t around for Sophie’s formative years, but that wasn’t their fault, now was it?

6. Mr. Price from Kinky Boots
He’s done everything he possibly can to provide for Charlie, but he shouldn’t have automatically assumed his son would want to take over the family business. What if he’d wanted to become a softball player, or a drag queen?

7. Sultan from Aladdin
The Sultan seems like a nice enough guy, but he’s got some seriously outdated opinions about a woman’s place in the kingdom. Don’t worry—his daughter Jasmine is more than happy to set him straight.

8. Hertz from Rock of Ages
Sure, he’s planning to tear down the Sunset Strip and his mustache is pretty annoying, but as far as his parenting is concerned, he’s not the worst dad on the list.

9. Walter from A Raisin in the Sun
Walter has big dreams for his family, but he’s not the most rational guy when it comes to spending his money. Good thing you’ve got your mom around to bail you out, Walter.

10. Charles from Pippin
He might be good at riding a unicycle, but King Charles is constantly dismissive of his son Pippin. If there’s one thing we know about kids, it’s that they need constant attention! Get it together, Charles.

11. Mr. Wormwood from Matilda
This telly-watching, swindling used-car salesman is the worst father on Broadway, hands down. If you were Matilda, you’d dye his hair green, too.

Original post courtesy of

2015 Tony Awards favor Fun Home, Curious Incident…

There were some shoe-ins and some surprises but no matter which way you look at it, it was another great year for the Tony Awards!

Spoiler alert! The complete list of winners, courtesy of, is below:

Fun home

Fun Home-Winner: Best Musical Production photos by Joan Marcus and Jenny Anderson

Best Musical
Fun Home

Best Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens

Best Revival of a Play




The King & I- Winner: Best Revival of a Musical Production images by Paul Kolnik

Best Revival of a Musical
The King and I

Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home

Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I

Best Leading Actress in a Play
Helen Mirren, The Audience



Alex Sharp- Winner: Leading Actor in a Play production images by Joan Marcus

Best Leading Actor in a Play
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten! 

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Richard McCabe, The Audience

Best Director of a Musical
Sam Gold, Fun Home


An American In Paris – Winner: Best Choreography, Orchestrations Production images by Angela Sterling

Best Director of a Play
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Score
Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron

Best Book of a Musical
Fun Home by Lisa Kron

Best Choreography
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris


Wolf Hall Parts 1&2 – Winner: Best Costume Design of a Play Production shots by Johan Persson

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris

Best Costume Design of a Play
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber, The King and I


Shows with multiple wins:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 5
Fun Home – 5
An American in Paris – 4
The King and I – 4
The Audience – 2

Wisconsin native stars as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing


Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and the company of the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

When patrons see the iconic smooth moves of Johnny Castle steal hearts throughout Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage they can feel a little extra twinge of pride knowing he’s from Wisconsin.


DD12 Samuel Pergande (Johnny) in the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Samuel Pergande, who plays the leading role originally grew up in Wisconsin and started his dance training here.

Pergande said he and his twin sister started out as singers with the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee at age 8 and he continued his love for performing when he graduated from Milwaukee High School of the Arts as a theater major. He began his training at the Milwaukee Ballet School before continuing at the San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi in Vail and the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. He continued to the American Ballet Theater before touring with national and international dance companies and joining the Joffrey Ballet. Pergande has also toured with Billy Elliot and was in the London cast of Dirty Dancing playing the role of Robbie and covering Johnny.

Help us welcome Mr. Pergande back to Wisconsin this week when Dirty Dancing-The Classic Story On Stage performs at the Center! Tickets are still available!