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Broadway Fast 5: March



Disaster! Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Disaster! Photo by Jeremy Daniel

1. Springing into new shows

March and April bring a flurry of activity on Broadway in order to make the consideration deadline for the Tony nominations (remember our very own Maria Van Laanen gets a vote!).
She Loves Me, Disaster! and Bright Star (featuring a score by funny-man Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; and former Lawrence Student Martha McDonnell as concertmaster) opened this month with Shuffle Along showing promise during previews and Waitress giving the media a sneak peek at the excitement.

Photo by: Walter McBride/WireImage

Photo by: Walter McBride/WireImage


2. Backstreet’s Back…alright!

While visiting his son’s Broadway debut in Disaster! Brian Littrell and fellow Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean announced they’d like to do a Broadway musical. They are describing it as “Jersey Boys meets Cirque Du Soleil.” Um…we’re in.


3. Now THAT’s What We Call Broadway

The series that made a name for itself by combining hit singles onto one disc in the late 90s is releasing a brand new take—Now That’s What I Call Broadway! to be released this April. The lineup is stellar, and of course, takes some of the biggest Broadway hits and puts them on one disc, although something tells us downloads are now more popular…


Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

4. Wicked joins the Billionaires Club.

Wicked has a reason to rejoicify! The blockbuster officially became the fastest Broadway musical to enter into ten figures when it reached the $1 Billion mark. Congrats, Ozians! We can’t wait to see the tour return here next summer!


81136-75. Beat boxing Emma Watson and sorting Hamilton characters into houses

Emma Watson and Lin-Manuel Miranda get in a room and you won’t expect what comes next. The two busy bees managed to sit down together during HeForShe Arts Week, discussing everything from compelling “him to include women in the sequel” to sorting the characters of Hamilton into Hogwarts Houses. (“Aaron Burr is obviously a Slytherin,” said Watson.)
Watch the videos for a fantastic discussion about gender equality, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Daniel Radcliffe impression and Emma Watson’s beatboxing skills (#werk).


Bonus: A bonus fast fact for you this month! In March, the revival of Fiddler on the Roof released a new cast album. The album includes a bonus “Excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof” instrumental medley track, arranged by composer John Williams, that features violinist Itzhak Perlman, who you can see here Sept. 28!

5 Reasons Motown The Musical will have you dancing in the street

MTM-TourCountdown-1-v2You know the music

From “ABC” to “Dancing in the Street”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and dozens of others classics, it will be hard not to sing along to these familiar tunes you grew up loving.

MTM-TourCountdown-2-v2 ….and there sure is a lot of it.

More than 40 songs are jam packed into just over two hours in Hitsville U.S.A. It’s non-stop, toe-tapping, dancing-in-your-seats fun.


MTM-TourCountdown-3-v2You already know the characters

The story revolves around Berry Gordy, the famous music producer who made Motown take off. Other characters are definitely names you’ll also recognize including Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. Famous groups like The Temptations, The Contours and The Supremes make up ensembles that will bring back fond memories.

MTM-TourCountdown-4-v2 …but you’ve never seen them like this.

Another character you’ll see is young Michael Jackson, shown as part of The Jackson 5,  just at the beginning of a long, successful career. It’s only fitting that review after review calls out the young  actors who portray him as a high-point you’ll be talking about long after the show is over.

MTM-TourCountdown-5-v3It’s so good, it’s headed back to Broadway

Motown The Musical debuted  on Broadway in April 2013. It received four Tony Award® nominations and ran until January 2015. It proceeded to go on tour in the US and open in the West End and now, back by popular demand, will have an additional limited engagement on Broadway beginning in July 2016.


See it here before it reopens on Broadway when Motown The Musical performs April 5-10!


St. Patrick’s Day outfit inspiration direct from Broadway

In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, we thought it would be fun to solve your celebration outfit conundrums with Broadway inspiration of some of the most fierce costumes in the popular emerald hue.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus


1.The great people of Oz

This looks like one heck of a St. Patrick’s Day Party! You can’t look anywhere without seeing something fabulous, and green, to wear.





2. The Grinch

For those of you who were able to join us this past November to see it in person, you know that the full body suit that defines the character, complete with long, hairy, and green, fingers is a show stopper. Imagine showing up to your St. Pat’s party in that.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus


3. Shrek and Fiona

You don’t have to go all-out green make-up, it’s not easy being green. But this greeny-couple pulls off the emerald shade perfectly, creating a “who-wore-it-better” type of conversation.


It may have been Ariel who pulled off green scales on her fin in the classic Disney film, but in the Broadway show Ursula wears the scene-steeling color in a fantastic creation.



5. Buddy the Elf

What’s your favorite color? Green of course! This awesome elf get-up just needs a few tweaks to go full-out leprechaun which is perfect for our purposes.



Reach Out with this year’s P.A.T.H.S. program

The Frank C. Shattuck Performing Arts Touch the Hearts of Students (P.A.T.H.S.) program entered its tenth year this season with a new twist.

reach outReach Out, this year’s program title, began on Monday, Feb. 8. Students from The Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, YouthGo and Appleton Central High School will, for the first time, team up with local professionals as mentors to explore themes discussed in TIME® Magazine’s 6 Keys to Success through hip-hop dance and spoken word. The participants will attend Motown The Musical together and relate the show themes to hands-on workshops and their personal life stories.

One of the things I enjoy most about this program is watching how it evolves over the weeks. As each session passes, you see more and more students come out of their shells and really delve into expressing themselves through the arts, said Cassie Schroeder, education coordinator at the Center. This year it is also my goal that [the mentors] will be able to also witness this first-hand and maybe even experience it themselves!”

The six keys to success include energy and stamina, focus, sensitivity to others, flexibility, tolerating conflict and getting along well with others. Six 90-minute workshops take on each of these characteristics and puts them in the spotlight while learning the fundamentals of hip-hop dance from Tricia Bayer of Richard’s School of the Dance and spoken word from teaching artist Karl Iglesias of First Wave.

The goal of this program is to encourage students to positively express their feelings through arts, develop a drive for success and impact others around them by embracing character traits that make them outstanding individuals. For mentors, this is an opportunity to volunteer, impact local youth and encourage community partnerships.

I saw the P.A.T.H.S. program as a great opportunity to give back to the community and enrich myself at the same time,” said mentor Heather Thenell of Thrivent Financial. The opportunity to learn more about the arts of dance and spoken word and enjoy a performance alongside these students is very rewarding.  Making a positive impact on youth can be life changing for both of you.”

The P.A.T.H.S. program ends with a culminating experience, inviting mentors and students to perform a short dance and spoken word piece together for family and friends. The Center looks forward to once again bringing this program to the Fox Cities and seeing the difference it will make in the lives of all who participate.

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Introducing the new Spotlight Series


Have you ever attended a show in our beautiful Kimberly-Clark Theater? Maybe you’ve attended a preshow Community First Community Engagement Series activity before your scheduled performance. Either way, this beautiful space will be home this season to a brand new series.

The Spotlight Series brings acts that are enhanced by having an intimate atmosphere that can be immersive and interactive when need be. These shows are diverse in content and origin. From comedy to cabaret, there will be many acts that are put into the spotlight by this new series.

This year the Spotlight Series and Boldt Arts Alive! Series come together into one Season Ticket Package. By becoming a Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holder you can guarantee your seats for these exciting performances now by selecting four or more shows from either the Spotlight Series or the Boldt Arts Alive! Series.

Onsale dates for single tickets to these performances will be announced later this summer.

Sonny Knight & the Lakers
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Devoted to classic R&B and soul, this powerhouse band delivers an evening of musicianship from an era long gone in an energetic live show that will have you grooving along.

Cabaret with Janis Siegel
Thursday and Friday, February 16-17, 2017, 8 p.m.
A nine-time Grammy® winner and member of The Manhattan Transfer, Siegel brings an evening full of jazz, R&B, pop and doo wop in this intimate, entertaining performance.

The Irish Comedy Tour
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
They’re Irish, they’re American and they’re not holding back. The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and combines it with a boisterous, belly-laugh band of hooligans.

The Slocan Ramblers
Friday, March 31, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
These young Canadians’ sound has been described as fearlessly creative, bold and dynamic. You won’t want to miss this energetic night of impeccable musicianship and unbelievable bluegrass beats.

Which performance are you most excited to see in the spotlight?

5 Reasons to see Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella


Photo by Carol Rosegg


1.Kids Night on Broadway
Bring everyone in the family to this amazing evening at the theater, made even easier with The Broadway League’s Kids Night On Broadway event March 8. Buy one adult ticket and get a child’s ticket free, then come early to get ready for the ball with children’s activities in the Kimberly-Clark Theater.


Photo by Carol Rosegg



2.A Timeless Tale
While the essential story will be familiar to all, there has been some adjustment to the script, giving it a timeliness that will resonate with today’s audiences



Photo by Carol Rosegg

3.Costumes designed for royalty
William Ivey Long brings his award-winning talents and creative genius to Cinderella’s incredible transformations. The costumes throughout the production will set the scene and then leave you in awe


Photo by Carol Rosegg


4.Music that will move you
Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible and “Ten Minutes Ago.”




Photo by Carol Rosegg


5.It’s an evening full of magic
The pumpkin, the glass slipper and the masked ball, it’s all a part of this incredible production that adds jaw-dropping transformations and beautiful music for a magical evening at the theater.

Announcing our 2016-17 Season

On Wednesday, March 2 nearly 1,000 Season Ticket Holders, Annual Partners, group leaders and special guests were invited to hear first-hand the announcement of the Center’s thrilling 2016-17 Season.

These enthusiastic attendees were treated to a live preview of four different performances that will entertain audiences throughout the Season. In total, 16 performances were announced as part of the Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Package and eight shows were announced as part of the Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America Series.

Maria Van Laanen poses with Sarah Brockel (Beautiful), Trista Moldovan (Finding Neverland), Daniella Dalli (The Sound of Music) and fellow emcee Bob Bucci

Fox Cities P.A.C. President Maria Van Laanen poses with performers Sarah Brockel (Beautiful), Trista Moldovan (Finding Neverland), and Daniella Dalli (The Sound of Music) and fellow emcee Bob Bucci, President of The Marketing Division

Dancers from Spectrum Dance Theater

Dancers from Spectrum Dance Theater

The excitement in the lobby after the announcement

The excitement in the lobby after the announcement

Groups of patrons had the opportunity to check out various spaces at the Center after the announcement

Groups of patrons had the opportunity to check out various spaces at the Center after the announcement while enjoying light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments

Season Ticket Holders could pick up all of the information they needed to renew their package

Season Ticket Holders could pick up all of the information they needed to renew their package

Want to attend The Reveal next Season? Find out about that perk and all the other benefits you can receive when you become a Season Ticket Holder or Annual Partner!

11 Reasons the 2016-17 Season is going to be beautiful

Broadway1.Wisconsin premieres
The Center is so excited to have The Bodyguard, direct from the West End, and Broadway’s Finding Neverland, both in their first year of national touring, have their first Wisconsin stops at the Fox Cities P.A.C.

2. Riveting revivals
Revivals are a great way to enjoy and share the magic of classic, beautiful and thrilling musical theater. The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Cabaret and the new national tour of The Sound of Music will delight audiences at the Center this season.

3.Songs you’ll be singing for days
When you see Beautiful – The Carole King Musical in 2017, you will be tapping your feet and clapping your hands for a stunning array of beloved songs from songwriting duos Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” and of course, “Beautiful.”

4.Returning favorites
You loved them the first time and you’ll love them again! The Book of Mormon returns by popular demand, Wicked entertains audiences for 12 days in 2017 and Mamma Mia! brings its Farewell Tour for three days only next May.

5.Recognizable faces
You’ll love seeing people you recognize on the Fox Cities P.A.C. stage. From seeing stars like Clarence Gilyard (“Walker Texas Ranger”, “Matlock”) and Charlene Tilton (“Dallas”) in Neil Simon Festival’s Driving Miss Daisy to seeing your very own local stars in the 13th Annual Fox Cities Choral Music Festival, there’s plenty of chances to say “Hey, I know them!”

6.Music that will move you
The stunning voice of Darlene Love (“Christmas Baby Please Come Home,” “He’s a Rebel,” “The Boy I’m Gonna Marry”), the amazing music from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as performed by Art of Time Ensemble and beautiful movement choreographed to the sounds of African-American composers T.J. Anderson, Wynton Marsalis and Pamela Z from Spectrum Dance Theater; something is bound to move you in an amazing evening of live performance.

7.A special performance with the Fox Valley SymphonyAA season
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra will co-present an unforgettable evening of music with violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, a classical musician beloved for his charm and humanity.

8.Acts from around (and out of) this world
The Boldt Arts Alive! Series is known for bringing acts from around the world right to your backyard. This year the Havana Cuba All-Stars bring Cuban culture alive in the theater, Vienna Boys Choir shares the celestial sounds of the historic youth choir direct from Austria and Shaolin Warriors demonstrate the remarkable skill of Chinese martial arts. The Intergalactic Nemesis, A Live-Action Graphic Novel will take you out of this world for a one-of-a-kind adventure that mixes comic book and radio-play.

9. Moments you’ll want to share with the whole family
What better place than the theater to share valuable experiences with the whole family? Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A Christmas Carol returns to the Fox Cities’ just in time for the holidays. Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play! takes Mo Willem’s beloved characters and has them tell their tale in a musical, live on stage. These familiar stories are perfect to share with your whole family.

10. A brand new series
The Center introduces its new Spotlight Series, a set of shows that take place in the intimate Kimberly-Clark Theater. Sonny Knight & The Lakers will get the place grooving, Janis Siegel will bring the house down with two nights of unbelievable cabaret, The Irish Comedy Tour will create a hilarious St. Patrick’s Day celebration and The Slocan Ramblers will fill the room with their unique, incredible sound.

11. Two great Season Ticket Packages
Whether you want to fill up your calendar with Broadway or make a night of it with new, exciting acts there’s a Season Ticket Package for you! Broadway Season Ticket Holders and Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holders get exciting benefits, exclusive offers and the ability to secure their seats now for this thrilling lineup! Find more information on how you can become a Season Ticket Holder on the Center’s website.

View our season brochure today!