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Broadway Fast 5: October

As the leaves begin to change, so does the landscape of Broadway with new openings and announcements of a new year’s schedule. Check it out in this month’s Fast 5!

2_1745911. On Your Feet, the Gloria Estefan musical, begins previews.
The bio musical about the rise of music-making duo Gloria and Emilio Estefan began performances at the Marquis Theater this month. The show officially opens on the Great White Way Nov. 5.

 

 

1_1746812. You have to see this School of Rock sneak peek
YES! The performances we’ve been waiting to see stopped by the Today show this month, showing off a School of Rock better than we could have imagined. You have to see it for yourself!

 

 

1_2147963. Les Miserables turns 30 in style
It’s Les Miserables 30th Anniversary on stage in the West End. To celebrate the moment, several original stars celebrated in London (the pictures are great!) and original Eponine (who won a Tony for her role when it transferred to Broadway) Frances Ruffelle even re-recorded her famous number.

 

 

 

1_1745594. Broadway dates announced for Waitress transfer
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical star Jessie Mueller will reprise her performance from the American Repertory Theater tryout as the leading character in Waitress, the new Broadway musical based on the 2007 film with music by pop singer Sara Bareilles. The show will begin previews at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater and will officially open April 24.

 

 

1_1745875 .Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz sets premiere at Goodspeed
A new musical about Judy Garland is set to premiere at Goodspeed in East Haddam Connecticut. The musical will feature the superstar’s complicated childhood and showcase many of Judy Garland’s famous standards including “Over the Rainbow” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Could the musical ever make it to Broadway? We’ll have to wait and see.

Pretty your Pumpkins with Broadway this Halloween

Everybody loves a great creative pumpkin design. Here are a few ideas you can use, inspired by this season’s Broadway hits.

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This Cinderella design was done by our very own Administrative Assistant, Kelly Rutten. She chose to bedazzle it a little more as a centerpiece but you can do this with orange pumpkins, after all Cinderella will turn it into a carriage anyway! 🙂

Halloween Newsies

No carving required! Just a sharpie and a little wordsmithing and you can have the best Broadway pumpkin on the block!

Halloween Kinky

Print this out and put the pumps on your pumpkin! Especially if you loved the recent visit by Kinky Boots, this might just be your pumpkin!

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Mash-up the holidays with this holiday mash-up! Pick your favorite Grinch face as a nod to the Broadway show and the beloved cartoon. If stores put out Halloween and holiday decorations at the same time, can’t you?

What will your pumpkin look like this Halloween?

Artist Q&A: 12th Annual Fox Cities Choral Music Festival

As we gear up for the 12th Annual Fox Cities Choral Music Festival we are excited to share a wonderful evening of music with you. Kathy Alan, director for Waupaca High School, answered a few of our questions about what students get out of participating in the festival and what the audience can expect to see this year.

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A photo from rehearsal for the 2012 Choral Music Festival, when Kathy Alan led Winnecone High School in participating.

Have you been involved in the Choral Music Festival before?
I was involved in this festival four other times with the Winneconne High School Concert Choir, including the inaugural year 2004.

What made you want to be a part of this year’s festival?
I have had the experience of bringing a choir to the Fox Cities Choral Festival in years past, and now that I am in a new district, I wanted to share this experience with the Waupaca students

What value do you think the festival gives students?
I think this festival gives the students from Fox Valley area schools a chance to sing and share music in a world class venue, under the direction of a nationally known choral conductor.  That is an experience that will be a part of their high school memories, and may even persuade some singers to pursue a career in music.

What makes this a unique experience for your students?
The venue alone makes this a unique experience for the students.  Having the chance to sing on a stage where performers such as Tony Bennett, the casts of Wicked, The Lion King, or other famous musicians have performed is a chance that many young people can only dream of.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the evening?
I hope that the audience finds the concert to be a showcase of the wonderful young talent that is in the Fox Valley region.  These singers are the future of our region, whether they choose to continue on with music or not.  Their performance will connect the communities and schools that they represent through music, and the audience will hopefully feel that connection in the hall, during the concert performance.

Amazon makes us smile

Do you want a free, convenient way to support the Fox Cities P.A.C.? Try smiling.

AmazonSmile, a program specially designed to support charitable organizations, is now set up for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center so when you shop smile.amazon.com Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products directly to us.

It’s like donating—while you shop!

Smile.amazon.com works just like Amazon but when you first log-in to the site select the Center as your favorite nonprofit. Find your deals, fill your cart and check-out, Amazon will take care of the rest! It’s just that simple.

Every time you log-in you can choose to support the Fox Cities P.A.C.!

So as you prepare for your holiday shopping remember to SMILE and update your bookmarks to smile.amazon.com and help support our Center.

Thank you and happy shopping!

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Inc
AmazonSmile is a trademark of Amazon.com, Inc.

Premium Season Ticket Holders kick-up their heels at annual party

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Each season, our Premium Season Ticket Holders get welcomed to a new year of Broadway with a themed party. This year, the fabulous, sparkly Kinky Boots, set it Northampton England, created an amazing theme full of delicious British themed food and drinks. All week Premium Season Ticket Holders will get the star treatment before their selected performance; what a way to kick-off our 2015-16 Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America Season!

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Canteen Catering getting ready for the doors to open.

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Thanks to our Premium Season Ticket Holders!

 

 

 

 

Boots for the Board

Our board members got an opportunity to try on the sky-high-stilettos that trademark Kinky Boots!

See what they had to say about the show rolling into town:

Becky T

Becky Tuchscherer

Why are you excited to see the show?
Darwin Copeman: I’m intrigued by the story line of Kinky Boots. A young man trying to save the family business through traditional methods finds the answer to his dilemma by embracing a friendship with someone that maintains a non-traditional life-style. Yet, the business owner sees an opportunity to provide a product that helps the business and in doing so, also removes the negative perception his staff has of the individual who doesn’t “fit in”.

Mame Heaney: I am excited to see Kinky Boots because I have seen the movie and it was delightful. (It) will be fun to see how Broadway follows or changes the script.

Lee Allinger: Kinky Boots provides the example of how the arts can indeed expand and change our perspective. As the superintendent of a public school system serving 16,000+ students I am reminded daily of the richness that diversity brings to our classrooms. As educators when we take the time to understand our students and families with the goal of a positive and welcoming learning environment for all – it is then that the richness of diversity improves the educational experience for all students. As we continue our journey to become an inclusive-welcoming community the arts becomes the catalyst for ongoing community dialogue. Kinky Boots will provide all of us with an often not heard perspective – one that can  indeed open our minds and hearts.

Kinky Boots marks the 26th time a touring Broadway performance has had its first Wisconsin stop in Appleton. Why are  Broadway Wisconsin Premiere important for our community?

Darwin Copeman

Darwin Copeman

Darwin Copeman: The Broadway premieres that appear at the Fox Cities PAC are incredibly valuable both economically and culturally. Our community businesses are rewarded with opportunities to showcase their quality and service as thousands of people stay in local hotels, enjoy dinner and even a nightcap after each performance. Witnessing a professional Broadway performance within minutes of your home rather than traveling to NYC is a cultural gift that offers a unique experience to many that they will cherish for a lifetime.

Becky Tuchscherer: Beyond the fact that having a Broadway premiere in our community draws people in from across the state for the show, it also shows off our community. Show goers are able to experience a wonderful evening at the theatre with all its fanfare, and at the same time experience the unique mixture of urban style and small town warmth that the Fox Cities has to offer. Top that off with the economic impact that is generated for our local businesses and it is no wonder that people love our Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

Lee Allinger: Kinky Boots marks the 26th Broadway premiere for our Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. What an incredible opportunity for all of us across the Fox Cities and beyond to experience a live performance at the highest level. There is nothing like a live performance to ignite our spirits, open our minds, and get us positively interacting with others.

Tell us the truth…did you love the boots?

Mame

Mame Heaney

Darwin Copeman: I have to admit some initial trepidation when asked to slip on the Kinky Boots. However, that concern quickly disappeared when I realized that standing 6’1″ instead of my natural 5’7″ had it’s advantages!

Becky Tuchscherer: Who wouldn’t love a pair of boots made just for you?

Mame Heaney: Short of breaking my neck in those heels, I love the boots…I love red shiny boots…would have been wonderful with a mini red  rain coat that I had … would have matched them perfectly!

 

October is National Arts and Humanities Month

logo color printout_6.14By way of presidential proclamation, October has been named National Arts and Humanities Month. A title that grew from National Arts Week into it’s own month by 1993. NAHM, as it’s often referred to, paints a broad stroke on the importance all art forms have in the daily lives of everyone and the contributions the arts make to the community.

Here at the Center our mission works to reflect that same sentiment, to show the impact of the arts doesn’t stop at the stage, in fact that’s often just its start.

Through projects like it gets better and P.A.R.T.Y. @ the P.A.C. we get to witness the art’s unique ability to facilitate important conversations. The arts have the ability to reach people visually, emotionally and cognitively at the same time. This gives everyone a chance to relate to something in the art, creating commonalities or highlighting differences that can open a dialogue that may have never happened between patrons. Patrons then take that conversation or their new view on a topic into the community.

They share, discuss or act with a new lens; contributing unique, different angles to problems and issues that encourage additional dialogue and problem solving.

All of these perspectives come together to create a vibrant, open community.

DSC_0187This is especially prevalent in our Bemis Company Education Series, designed to take conversations had in the classroom and bring them to life on stage. Teachers are equipped with study guides that help shape discussions before and after the performance, giving students new ways to explore a subject. According to Americans for the Arts, low-income students who have the arts integrated into their education are twice as likely to graduate from college. All students involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 72% of business leaders site creativity as the number one skill in job seekers.

“The arts provide experiences as unique and exceptional as the individuals enjoying them,” said President Maria VanLaanen. “The incredible power the arts have to create shared experiences for people of diverse backgrounds and open a dialogue is a valuable gift. The arts provide a rich texture to our community that we at the Center are happy to celebrate by cultivating a space where the community can gather and enjoy different live performing art forms.”

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We celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month, because you never know which experience will change someone’s life and their community.

 

6 reasons to see Kinky Boots

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Kinky Boots - Boots photo Matthew Murphy

 

1. The shoes
With a name like “Kinky Boots” you might have high expectations for the shoes. Good thing you won’t be disappointed because this production is full of fabulous footwear!

 

 

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2. A Cyndi Lauper score
An award-winning score by a pop icon? Check. Performed by phenomenal musicians and actors? Double check. You’ll be tapping your toes and humming along.

 

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3. The choreography
There’s dancing in sky-high stilettos and across moving conveyor belts. What more could you ask for?

 

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4. It’s based on a true story…and movie.
The show is actually based on a British film released in 2006. The film was based on a real story and a real company.

 

 

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5. It reveals the secrets to life
Spoiler alert. The characters in the show tell you their six secrets to success, which apply to business and to life. We won’t tell you what they are, but we will tell you they will change your mind!

 

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6. It will “Raise You Up!”
There’s no secret that Kinky Boots is an all around feel-good show. We dare you to leave without feeling raised up!

Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra brings literal meaning to starting their season

The Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, our resident partner, is getting ready to begin another season of inspiring music featuring special performers and the simple theme of season concerts.

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Photo courtesy of Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra

The season begins at the Oct. 3 concert, aptly titled “Opening Night” which will feature Neenah native Austin Larson, a 24 year-old who has made a name for himself as a horn player both at the collegiate and professional competitions. Larson, who played with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra for five years, told the Post-Crescent the homecoming is a dream come true.

The Autumn Concert, which takes place Nov. 14 features Marcia Henry Liebenow, the concert master of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and professor of violin and viola. Zach Harmon, a Wisconsin native, will be joining for a piece playing tabla, an instrument he has been studying under Abhiman Kushal.

The Winter Concert on Jan. 23 features guest artist Masha Lakisova, a 13 year-old violinist  who has played with many orchestras and in places such as Carnegie Hall in her short career. Masha plays a 1676 Francesco Ruggieri violin and will join the symphony in a piece by Tchaikovsky.

The Spring Concert on March 19 will feature Raffi Besalyan, playing piano for a Beethoven piece. Besalyan won the Artists International Competition and in recent years has dazzled audiences in North and South America, Europe, Russia and Asia.  He is a former faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Photo By: Clay Patrick McBride

Photo By: Clay Patrick McBride

The Grand Finale is a collaboration with our Boldt Arts Alive! series presentation of Rosanne Cash along with guitarist John Leventhan and Cash’s band. Taking place May 7, this collaboration brings the legendary singer-songwriter presenting her newest works along with the stunning orchestral performance of the symphony.

 

 

Don’t miss these amazing opportunities to hear beautiful music featuring interesting, talented musicians from across the country. For more information visit the Fox Valley Symphony website.