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Broadway Fast 5: September






Sad news, musical triumphs and the scoop on a new musical film….it’s all in this months Broadway Fast 5!

1_1742501. Death of young history-making actor rocks Broadway community

Twenty-one year old Kyle Jean-Baptiste made history in July when he was both the first African American and youngest ever Jean Valjean on Broadway, filling in for the role as an understudy. He regularly played Constable and Courfeyrac in the production, his first on Broadway after recently graduating from Baldwin Wallace in the spring. Tragically, on Aug. 29 he accidentally fell from a fire escape and passed away. The theater community spent much of early Sept. honoring his memory including dimming the lights on the Imperial Theater, where Les Miserables is held.


1_1745082.P!nk to workshop Broadway musical

Alecia Moore, more popularly known as pop/rock music legend P!nk, is working on a musical inspired by her life and featuring her music. Previously called MEAN (The Musical), the title has been changed to True Love and the show is set for a second developmental workshop this October.


1_1739953. Hamilton takes Broadway by storm

Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about the founding father, has taken the Broadway world by storm, bringing in huge numbers each week and houses full of famous faces. The musical also released a cast recording in Sept. that was previewed with NPR and available widely for download. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator and star even offered up the possibility of hearing the music on the radio in the future. Miranda was recently recognized with a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant for his creativity.


Photo by Bruce Glikas, Rob Marshall4. Mary Poppins film revival confirmed

Director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) will helm a new live-action musical film of Marry Poppins. The Disney movie is said to be set in London approximately 20 years after the original. Finding Neverland screen writer is set to pen the film and songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Smash, Hairspray) will compose a new score and original songs.


7_2142945. Elsie Fest

Glee favorite, Broadway alum and Youtube hit Darren Criss organized the very first Elsie Fest in New York, an event that was said to be the Coachella for Broadway. The line-up for the event read like a whos-who of Broadway and added a little flair to the end of summer season.

Learn How Kinky Boots’ Hopeful Message Can Make the World a Little Better on Broadway Balances America

You’ll get a kick out of this! Broadway Balances America, the special six-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, returned on September 22 with a behind-the-scenes look at the tour of the Tony-winning Kinky Boots. Correspondent Amber Milt traveled to New York and talked to the show’s Tony and Grammy-winning composer Cyndi Lauper and producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig about how the musical’s uplifting message is inspiring fellows from Lauper’s True Colors Fund for LGBT youths. Milt also speaks with star (and Milwaukee native!) Kyle Taylor Parker about how Kinky Boots has touched his life. Click play!

The Center will be hosting a version of the Raise You Up program discussed in the video when Kinky Boots is in town Oct. 12-18 for selected students from Appleton Central High School. Stay tuned for more on that!

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Foreigner: By the numbers

Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a musical repertoire that keeps them producing albums, touring and playing on multiple radio stations.

We break down Foreigner’s popularity by the numbers:ForeignerMickKelly6921024

1 song has been a worldwide #1 hit, I Want To Know What Love Is

9 Top 10 hits

10 multiplatinum albums

16 hits made the Top 30 including Cold as Ice, Feels like the First Time, Hot Blooded and Waiting for a Girl Like You

40, the spot Foreigner occupys on Billboard’s Hot 100 All Time Top Artists Chart

75 million albums soldForeigner750x500

100+ million Youtube views of Foreigner’s hit songs.

400% the amount of downloads for Foreigner music after it was featured in “Anchorman 2”, “Magic Mike”, “Pitch Perfect” and even “Grand Theft Auto V”


One night of the biggest hits! Do you have your tickets for their show at the Fox Cities P.A.C. Oct. 23?

Artist Q&A: Cirque Alfonse: Timber!

As we prepare to start off a highflying season full of culture, passion and adventure, we couldn’t be more excited to see Cirque Alfonse in their amazing show Timber! Acrobat and co-founder Antoine Carabinier Lepine and musician Josianne Laporte gave us a look at what it’s like to do dangerous students and play awesome traditional music in this Artist Q&A!

Photograph © Jane Hobson.

Photograph © Jane Hobson.

What is your favorite part of performing? 

Antoine: The teeterboard since it’s my specialty and it’s at the end of the show. But I really enjoy doing all the part of the show cause when you start it’s just like one big act non-stop!

Josianne: Being on stage, sharing what we do with the audience. It’s a thrill!



What stunt or skill took you the longest to learn?

Antoine: It was to change from normal circus skills like club juggling, Russian bar, cyr wheel and find a way to use lumberjack tools or wood to transform it into circus apparatus. So instead of juggling clubs we juggled with axes, instead of fiberglass bar for Russian bar it’s a real three, instead of a cyr wheel it’s a carriage wheel…

Josianne: Axe juggling took me longer than the guys to learn. The axes are much heavier than juggling clubs.


Credit Nicolas Descôteaux

Credit Nicolas Descôteaux

I can’t travel without my…

Antoine: Axes , chopping wood everywhere I go!

Josianne: Laptop. Staying in touch with family and friends is so important when touring for a long period.


On tour, I’m most excited to…

Antoine: Meet new people, see different cultures, different music type.

Josianne: Meet new people, discover new cultures.



What can people expect when they come to the show?

Antoine: Something new about circus, that it’s more raw, not just doing acrobatic to do acrobatic but a story line and a lot of emotions. It’s a real family, real sharp tools and real BEARDS! Everything you see is real, we don’t cheat!

Josianne: A riotous, rugged, fun-filled experience backed up by an awesome traditional Quebec music band.


You can see Cirque Alfonse: Timber! in action on Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.! Tickets are still available.

Classroom Connections helps teach the teachers

The 2015-16 school year marks the fourth year the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Appleton Area School District (AASD) are participating in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This partnership allows the Center and AASD to create professional development opportunities to help teachers use the arts as a catalyst for creative energy in every curricular area. The Classroom Connections Teacher Workshops are open to all Wisconsin educators on a first-come, first serve basis.


Last year’s Math Dance workshop meant a fun evening for all

Classroom Connections Teacher Workshops prepare educators to integrate the arts into their classroom, resulting in more effective and engaging lessons. Even for educators who have never been trained in the arts, these hands-on workshops are presented in a way that makes educators confident and comfortable to use the arts to teach core curriculum.

This year’s roster of professional teaching artists will encourage educators to get creative. Topics include songwriting, movement, language arts and engaging students with autism through the arts.


This year’s workshops include:

Sing to Freedom: Music of the Underground Railroad
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 4-7 p.m.
In this participatory workshop, educators will learn to decode and sing “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and other traditional songs of the Freedom Train. Led by musicians Kim and Reggie Harris, teachers will learn songwriting strategies to update period songs and compose new songs on freedom themes to bring history to life for students.

Reaching Students with Autism Through The Arts: Implications for Inclusive Arts Classroom
Monday, January 11, 2016, 4-7 p.m.
In this session, participants explore questions about what autism is, how it affects people, and how some strategies are utilized to help students with autism learn and experience the arts. Ryan Hourigan, Associate Director of the School of Music at Ball State University, addresses communication, emotional, socialization, cognitive and sensory challenges faced when working with students with autism in music, art, theater and dance classrooms and offers practical suggestions for teachers to use.

kennedy-headerDanceTalk: Creative Movement and Language Development
Thursday, March 3, 2016, 4-7 p.m.

In this workshop, participants discover ways to teach essential reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through creative movement. Throughout this dynamic workshop, participants will build language and dance vocabulary and learn practical strategies for space, time and behavior management. Creative dance educator Kate Kuper, will also model several activities from her popular CD, AlphaBeat, which participants take home at the end of the workshop.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies Through Visual Arts
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 4-7 p.m.
How can students gain skills in questioning and making inferences from a text? In this workshop, the “text” is a work of visual art. In this workshop, led by Sandi Hammonds, teachers examine techniques for helping students develop their questioning strategies—posing relevant questions to gather information and progressing to more in-depth inquiry about the artwork.

For more information on these workshops including fees and how to register, visit our website.

Wish Granted! Learn What It’s Like to Be Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Princess on Broadway Balances America

Impossible things are happening every day! Broadway Balances America, the special six-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, returned for its second season on August 25 with a behind-the-scenes look at the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Correspondent Amber Milt goes backstage to meet Paige Faure and Andy Huntington Jones, who play Ella and Prince Topher, respectively, in the magic musical. Milt also speaks with book writer Douglas Carter Beane, who talks about how he re-imagined the classic tale for a new generation. Click play!

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