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Broadway Fast 5: April


1. Last-minute openings before Tony Award cutoff date!
This month had some great opening performances including Tuck Everlasting, Waitress, American Psycho, Fully Committed, The Father, Shuffle Along and Long Days Journey Into the Night. Phew! Get caught up on all of the latest shows on and stay tuned for our follow-up on how these shows do when the Tony Awards announce nominations Tuesday morning, May 3.



Photo: Bruce Glikas

2. Hairspray Live! begins taking shape
Over 1,000 potential Tracy Turnblad’s showed up for an open call in New York and some big developments have been announced for NBC’s next live musical, Hairspray!
The production is set to be shot in Los Angeles and will include some outdoor scenes and, as happened with Grease Live!, a live audience is part of the plan. Cast updates have also included original Broadway cast member Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Derek Hough as Corny Collins and Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad. We’re getting excited.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

3. Is there a prize Hamilton can’t win? Well…yes, actually.
We’re sure you’ve heard about Hamilton‘s 2016 Pulitzer Prize. And while we’re sure that’s not the end of the awards for the historical hip hop hit, there’s one award it won’t be winning.
When the Outer Critics Circle Awards were announced April 19, there were a lot of amazing shows listed for outstanding new Broadway musical but Hamilton was not one of them. Wondering how that could possibly be? Hamilton won Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical last year, making it ineligible.

Photo Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

Photo Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images


4. Is Britney Spears going to be in a musical? What about Cher?
Speaking of Hamilton, one of its producers is reportedly backing Cher: The Musical. Cher announced her intention to take her life story to Broadway in a bio-musical. In October she said she’d tapped Jersey Boys Book writer Rick Elice to pen the script.
Speaking of divas, pop princess Britney Spears may be heading to the West End! The star is in talks to lead the London Palladium’s previously reported production of Cinderella this Christmas. According to the Daily Mirror, Spears could earn up to £500,000 ($725,000) for her work in the pantomime, which is scheduled to run December 9 through January 15, 2017.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus


5.Hey…they look pretty familiar.
Motown The Musical announced the cast that will transfer to Broadway and hey, they look familiar. Many of the actors headed to the Great White Way are coming direct from tour…so, you saw them here first!

Announcing the 2016-17 Bemis Company Education Series

Last night a group of educators were among the first to hear about the 2016-17 Bemis Company Education Series. The series of daytime performances is comprised of titles that connect with PreK-12 grade curriculum and annually draws 23,000 students from throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

“This season we are celebrating the voices of community and culture,” said Fox Cities P.A.C. Director of Programming and Community Engagement Amy Gosz. “We will explore the many voices that make up our community and the impact various cultures have on shaping the world we live in today. These stories are shared through unique arts experiences and imaginative performances that tie directly back into lessons being learned in classrooms throughout Northeast Wisconsin.”

In addition to a full schedule of performances, area educators also learned about continuing education opportunities and resources available to help integrate arts into the classroom. Area educators can get more information on all of the opportunities available at

The 2016-17 Bemis Company Education Series will feature:

Fox Valley Youth Symphony for Artistic AdventuresArtistic Adventures Presented in partnership with the Fox Cities Building for the Arts and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Part 1: Fox Cities Building for the Arts; Sept.- Oct., 2016 Part 2: Fox Cities P.A.C.; Monday, March 20, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars: The Asere Friendship Tour Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Theatreworks USA production of Click, Clack, Moo Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A Christmas Carol Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Theatreworks USA production of Pete the Cat Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Spectrum Dance Theater Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

Photo by CW Hewson

Photo by CW Hewson

Mad River Theater Works’ Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Vienna Boys Choir: Smile Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

Shaolin Warriors: The Legend Continues Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

The Intergalactic Nemesis
, A Live-Action Graphic Novel
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of John Steptoe’s Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – An African Tale Adapted for the Stage by Karen Abbott; Music & Lyrics by S-Ankh Rasa Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Anne of Green GablesYoung Audiences New York’s Literature to Life® Stage Presentation of Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Kennedy Center Theater For Young Audiences on Tour Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! Friday, April 7, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

ArtPower’s Production of Anne of Green Gables Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

Bill Blagg’s The Science of Magic Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.



You can find out more about each show at

Bemis Company, Inc., is proud to serve as the title sponsor of the Bemis Company Education Series. Additional community support for the series is provided by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Miller Electric and ITW and We Energies Foundation. Bemis Company Education Series’ performances are also supported by Associated Bank, Bergstrom Automotive, O.C. & Pat Boldt, Robert & Patricia Endries Family Foundation, Ltd., Grant Thornton LLP, Great Northern Corporation, Thomas & Linda Grow/JETA Corporation, Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin,  Johnson Bank/Johnson Insurance, Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy S.C., Menasha Corporation Foundation, Chuck & Barb Merry, Michiels Fox Banquets and Rivertyme Catering, Dave, Kim & Max Ritzow, Schneider Foundation, Seifert Family, Mary A. Strange, United Paper Corporation, Willis Towers Watson and Woodward Radio Group.

We’re so excited for another great year!

5 Reasons you’ll be dazzled by Chicago

Chicago_IMG_2874_JohnOHurley Credit Jeremy Daniel

1.John O’Hurley
Whether you know him as J. Peterman of “Seinfeld”, host of “Family Feud” or from his stint on “Dancing with the Stars,” you’ll recognize his face and remember his performance when he takes the stage in Chicago for the Fox Cities engagement.


Roz Ryan stars as Matron “Mama” Morton in the Tony Award-winning hit musical CHICAGO. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

2.This Mama knows best
Roz Ryan, who plays Matron Mamma Morton, holds a unique Broadway record, having play more performances of Chicago than any other leading actress in the show’s history. She began touring with Chicago in 1997 and in the 17 years has played the role on Broadway and in international engagements in Abu Dhabi and Portugal. This will be her second trip to Fox Cities with Chicago.



Chicago3.A thoughtful score
The loveable music from Kander and Ebb is highlighted by satirical, often humorous lyrics that were designed as commentary on the criminal justice system of the 1920s.


Chicago Tour 3/17/06 Credit Photo: ©Paul Kolnik NYC

4.And it will get stuck in your head.
Finish this lyric: When you’re good to mama….; All that…..; Pop, six, squish…; We both reached for….; Mr. Cellophane…; Razzle, Dazzle…
You’ll be tapping your toes, bobbing your head and singing the songs for days.


Terra C MacLeod as Velma Kelly and Ensemble Credit Paul Kolnik


5.Fosse style choreography
Bob Fosse wrote the book for Chicago but he was also the first choreographer and therefore his legendary dance style, jazz hands and all, helps to punctuate the story in clever, beautiful ways.


Chicago takes the stage at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center May 17-22. Tickets are still available.

Thank you, volunteers!


Each year we like to take advantage of National Volunteer Week to celebrate the outstanding dedication of more than 490 volunteers who contribute more than 26,000 hours to the Center each season, supporting the arts with their time and talents!

Thank you, volunteers, for all you do to provide world class experiences to everyone who walks through the doors!

Last week, we asked them why they choose to donate their time at the Center and here’s what they had to say.

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How many people does it take to host a touring Broadway production?

A lot of very big pieces need to come together to bring a Broadway show to the Fox Cities. No two shows are the same. Each has a different number of trucks delivering set pieces, costumes that need care, traveling actors or stagehands and of course, a different number of people needed to coordinate the whole thing.

So, how many people does it take to make one seamless experience for our patrons?

Great question.

TOTo be honest, it took us a while to answer and we’re probably forgetting someone but the number comes in around 217 per performance.

During an 8-show week, more than 1,150 shifts need to be filled.

We used the recent visit of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella to consciously track how many people are involved in mounting a world-class production. The full breakdown is as follows:

For starters, there’s a lot of people involved in booking the show, coordinating contracts, marketing the show, selling the tickets, planning our Community Engagement Series activities and preparing the theater before the show even gets to town.

barAt the Center, we have 30 full-time staff members who work year round to make these types of tasks happen.

To load the set and costumes into the building, the Center works with local theatrical union I.A.T.S.E. #470. For Cinderella, the Center locally hired 20 carpenters, 16 electricians, 6 sound technicians, 6 prop masters, 5 wardrobe assistants, 2 hair designers and 4 additional hands to get the show ready. (The show travels with an additional 14 skilled professionals in these areas)

Once the show was in 8 carpenters, 4 electricians, 2 sound techs, 3 prop masters, 9 wardrobe and 3 hair artists stayed to ensure the entire run went smoothly and at least one manager from our back of house team was present during each performance to answer questions and handle issues that may arise.

12 local musicians were contracted by the show to perform as part of the orchestra of Cinderella. While some shows travel with their entire orchestra, many hire local musicians in each city.  (This show only travels with three key musicians) How cool is that?

For every performance the Center hasd9 facilities services members here to make sure the Center stays in tip-top shape for every show.

DSC_009720 bartenders and valet attendants helped enhance our patrons experiences while they are here while security personnel helped keep both patrons and actors safe.

70 volunteer shifts, 8 floor managers and 1 house manager were assigned for each performance.

Up to 4 tickets agents and 1 ticket office manager assisted patrons in purchasing and claiming tickets one hour prior to every performance

At least one staff member also enjoyed spending time chatting with Annual Partners about the performance in the Partners Lounge.

And then, the curtain went up with dozens of brilliant actors giving an exceptional live performance that you were able to enjoy with hundreds of other patrons.

Thanks for being a part of it all.




Artist Q&A: Rosanne Cash


Grammy winner Rosanne Cash will perform at the Center May 7 with John Leventhal and her band and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra for an evening of unforgettable music. Cash recently provided some insight into her performance, what she enjoys most and why performing with an orchestra is unique in this Artist Q&A.

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
 Wife, mom, singer, songwriter.

2. What inspired you to become a performer?
 It was a natural step from songwriting.

3. I can’t travel without my…Tea and honey.

4. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is…Stay away from airports.

5. When someone asks me for career advice I like to tell them…If you just want to become famous, don’t do it. If you can’t live without making music, then I wish you all the luck in the world.

6. My favorite part about performing is…When I get out of my own way and am in service of the song.

7. We are excited to see your performance along with your band and our symphony. Why do you chose to perform with local symphonies? What does it add to your music?
I love the added dimension of full orchestra, and I just like playing with great musicians. 

8. What’s the biggest challenge of performing with local symphonies?
The same challenge when you play with any new musician – you have to work towards each other, to find your mutual best expression of the song.

9. What can people expect when they see your show May 7?
That I’ll be fully present, honored and excited. 


6 reasons to become a Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holder

1.Four (or more) built in nights out
Becoming a Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holder is easy. You just select at least four shows from a stellar lineup that includes the Boldt Arts Alive! Series and the Spotlight Series and you’re there! This means guaranteed nights out with a friend, significant other, or even just treating yourself!

2. Completely personalized season
By being able to pick your own shows, you get a completely personalized experience. Whether you love dance, swoon over singers or need a good laugh, there’s something for everyone and always something new to try!

3. And have you seen that lineup?
Not to mention, you have a lot of great things to choose from. With big names like Itzhak Perlman and Darlene Love, classic favorites like A Christmas Carol and Driving Miss Daisy and new experiences like Intergalactic Nemesis: A Live Action Graphic Novel, the 2016-17 Season is packed with fun, creativity and talent from around the world.

4. Savings
By packaging a minimum of four titles, you can save up to 20%! And why stop there? You can purchase additional tickets to any Boldt Arts Alive! or Spotlight Series show throughout the season and save up to 20%!

5. Exclusive events
Season Ticket Holders are invited to exclusive events including a reception in conjunction with Art of Time Ensemble’s performance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the 2017-18 Season Announcement event.

6. Information at your finger tips
Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holders get a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming shows with your own newsletter. You also get access to special offers, priority purchases and a team of knowledgeable ticket agents to assist with questions and needs all season long!

For more information on becoming a Fox Cities P.A.C. Presents Season Ticket Holder visit our website.


Artist Q&A: Jane Lynch


It was no April Fools prank when “Jane Lynch” popped up on our caller ID recently. The funny-woman was calling to give us a preview of her upcoming cabaret. Now only a little over a month away, Lynch offered up her point of view on how she got to be who she is today, what she can’t travel without and what you can plan to see during her performance on May 5!

JANE (1)1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Los Angeles and I’m actress.

2. Did you always know you wanted to perform?
Yes, actually I think it’s in my nature. It’s not something I came up with I was 12, I just knew it all along. I knew it for sure. I wanted to be on stage and ultimately, later on, on camera and then I ended up back on stage again.

3.Movies, TV, Broadway and now your own cabaret, you’ve done it all. Which medium is your favorite and why?
I don’t have a favorite, I love it all. I’ve been very lucky in my career, it unfolds itself to me in a great variety every day. I love it and I get to do all sorts of things. The invitation to do this show that you’re going to see in May, kind of came about as an accident but it was probably kind of destined in some way. I was asked if I had a cabaret show by 54 Below. I said I don’t but I can get one and I did.
I got my friends Kate Flanery from The Office, Tim Davis, and a band together and we had a show. Kate is a good friend and I’ve known her since we were actors in Chicago and we’ve been singing on and off for decades now.

4. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…iPad.

5. Finish this sentence: When I’m not working my favorite thing to do is…

Hang out with my dogs and have coffee with friends. (Lynch went on to say she has a belgian shepherd named Benjamin who she has had in her family for about a year, though he is older, and a lhasa apso named Olivia who is 16 and was keeping her company during the interview)

6.Finish this sentence: I am recognized most often for my role as/in…
I don’t have one. Well, maybe Sue Slyvester. 6 times out of 10 it’s Sue Sylvester.

7. Have you ever been to Wisconsin? Is there anything you’re excited to do/see while you’re here?

Yeah, we used to go to the Dells. I’m from Chicago, I’ve been to Milwaukee. My dad went to school at Madison and he was doing summer school when we were kids so we’d go up there. Probably not far north but the parts that are near to Illinois I’ve seen.

We’re not going to be able to do a heck of a lot in the time we have there.

seejanesing8. But is there anything you’d like to eat?
I’d imagine cheese. That’s kind of a wide net, but cheese, brats and beer.

9. What can people expect when they see your show May 5?
It’s about an hour long packed with music and comedy and we do a variety of musical styles from Irving Berlin to Nicki Minaj, a 1920s ragtime song. My friend Tim Davis, who was the vocal arranger on Glee, sing some great three part harmonies and do a song acapella. We do a melody dedicated to the songs that made us cry as kids. Just a bunch of great pieces. The show is for all ages, there’s no f-bombs. Kate is a little inappropriate sometimes but she’s the best sidekick a girl could ask for.