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Broadway Fast 5: June

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Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

1.Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton!
Hamilton is always making the news for something, and this month was no exception. In addition to 11 Tony wins the show has officially announced the departure of at least 3 major stars when the one-year contracts expire July 9. Lin-Manuel Miranda will move on to work on Disney’s Moana and the new Mary Poppins film and a bunch of other projects in addition to not ruling out returning to the show on occasion. He will be replaced by current Hamilton alternate, Javier Munoz. Mrs. Hamilton, Phillipa Soo, will depart only to return to Broadway in Amelie in 2017. And Aaron Burr Sir, Leslie Odom Jr. announced one week after his big Tony win that he will depart the show. He did not announce a specific project but has been promoting his self-titled album that also released this month.

Hamilton also confirmed it will hop across the pond for a  West End production in Fall 2017 and tickets are officially on sale for the Chicago production, for which a cast has yet to be announced.

Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser

 

2.A Beautiful milestone
They can certainly feel the earth move! Beautiful: The Carole King Musical celebrated 1,000 performances on June 15, 2016, and Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed it Carole King day! The Broadway-hit musical will visit the Fox Cities next summer.

 

Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

3.Hairspray Live
After a live casting call, NBC’s Hairspray Live! has found it’s Tracy Turnblad! Maddie Baillio, a Texas native and current NYC college student, will take on the role in the production when it airs December 7. Also recently signed on, Kristin Chenoweth will play former Miss Baltimore Crabs herself, Velma Von Tussle.
As previously announced, the cast will also include Harvey Fierstein, who reprises his Tony-winning performance as Edna Turnblad, Oscar winner and recent The Color Purple star Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Tony and Emmy winner Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad and Emmy winner Derek Hough in a self-prophesized turn as Corny Collins.

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4. Broadway for Orlando records single, ends up #1 on iTunes

After the tragedy in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12, the Broadway community made a point to show love and support, dedicating the 70th Annual Tony Awards to the victims with a beautiful opening to the ceremony and ribbons on the red carpet. They went one step further in the week after the tragedy when dozens of the biggest past and present Broadway stars gathered together to record a benefit single of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and then performed live on NBC’s variety show Maya & Marty. The song rose to the top of the iTunes chart upon its release June 21.

 

82611-75.Tony Award Wrap-Up, Post-Tony Show Closings

There were so many great lessons from this year’s Tony Awards show and many gif-able moments and fantastic performances. Hamilton took 11 awards home, the show made history with all of its musical acting awards presented to African American performers and the broadcast brought in the highest viewership since 2001 when The Producers brought as much buzz as Hamilton.

Since the awards were announced Bright Star has announced a closing and the 2015 Tony-winning Best Musical Fun Home has also announced a closing date for this September. 10-time Tony-nominee Shuffle Along also, surprisingly, announced an early closing date for July, coinciding with Audra McDonald’s maternity leave. You can get a full recap of the Tonys and more over at Broadway.com.

Staff Spotlight: Trisha Witt

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You see the social media posts, the posters and the e-mails but that’s truly only part of the Center’s marketing efforts, led by director of marketing and communications Trisha Witt. Overall, Trisha works to make sure the community knows not only about the great shows coming up at the Center, but also the special programming and events that support the Center’s mission of being a gathering place for the community.

1.Which shows are you most looking forward to in the 2016-17 Season?
Wicked and Finding Neverland. Both shows have such a good message that can speak to anyone and take stories you already know, twisting them to share something new, which is exciting.

2. What do you wish more people knew about the Center?
I love that everyone can come and share an exceptional arts experience together, but the Center offers so much more than that. I wish everyone knew about the amazing programs the Center offers in the community from unique show-related engagement activities to special programming tailored to serve underserved populations such as our P.A.T.H.S. program or Broadway League’s Family First Nights.

3. What is your favorite part of your job?
I love sharing the stories of the difference the Center’s programming makes in the community. And of course, seeing the smile on a kids face the first time they get to experience theater is just priceless.

Next time you see Trisha, be sure to say hello!

13 things you might not know about the Fox Cities P.A.C.

Every year we provide facts and figures about the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in our Annual Report, but as we wrap up our 13th Season we thought it might be fun to give you 13 things you may not already know!

1. Approximately 850 partners contribute to support the Center’s mission through the Annual Partner campaign. As a nonprofit, the contributions of these donors along with granting organizations allow us to provide vital, enriching programs such as the education series, Frank C. Shattuck P.A.T.H.S. program, community engagement opportunities and much more, that help the arts reach so many in our community.

A recent Community Engagement Master Class at the YMCA

A recent Community Engagement Master Class at the YMCA

2. The Fox Cities P.A.C. has become a touring Broadway destination. To date, 27 touring Broadway productions have held their Wisconsin premieres in the building. The 2016-17 Season will add The Bodyguard, Finding Neverland and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical to that list for an even 30.

3. The Center hosted more than 50 Community First Community Engagement Series activities this season. In total, the Center teamed up with more than 25 community partners and had more than 7,000 people participate in the fun!

 

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Photo by Bill Garvin

4. The Center’s square footage is equivalent to approximately 3 football fields.

5. There’s truly not a bad seat in the house, with the furthest seat being a mere 108 feet away from the stage.

6. Local musicians are occasionally hired to fill out the sound of a touring orchestra during a Broadway run. The most we had this season was when 12 musicians played 15 different instruments for Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

 

kids

Photo by Image Studios

7. Groups of 10 or more should call the Group Sales department to find out how to be among the first to get tickets to a show, inquire if a discount may be available and what accommodations can be made for their group. Did you know more than 600 groups attended various shows in the 2015-16 Season, with an average of 25 group members?

8. Last year nearly 400 school buses brought school children to Bemis Company Education Series performances!

9. More than 150,000 tickets are purchased for events each year, and nearly 20,000 people will attend an event at the Center for the first time.

10. 16,239 bottles of water were sold last season.

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11. That tower on the side of the Center is 9 stories high and provides access to the Center’s highest points. This year it was lit green for the Grinch’s visit.

12. This season more than 5,000 photos were taken in Broadway photo booths and posted to the Center’s Facebook page.

13. More than 450 volunteers believe so much in the Center’s mission and providing world class service that they provide their talents and more than 26,000 hours to the Center each year.

 

We can’t wait to see what next season has in store!

2016 Chairman’s Gala was a night to remember

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Photo by Bill Garvin

The Fox Cities P.A.C. rolled out the red carpet for a night under the big city lights at the 2016 Chairman’s Gala! This special evening, designed to celebrate and support the Center’s mission of being a gathering place for the community,  each year brings supporters together to socialize, enjoy a fantastic dinner and bid on unique auction items and experiences.

This year attendees were treated to a big city experience when they drove up to motor city Detroit, complete with Motown sounds and valet parking. From there, they walked straight into the windy city of Chicago for cocktail hour. With a unique view of the iconic skyline and live student jazz combo from Notre Dame Academy, guests were entertained while enjoying signature drinks, socializing and taking a true vacation to Chicago without leaving the Kimberly-Clark Theater.

In true theater fashion, the final stop for the group was the streets of New York City (a.k.a. the main stage in Thrivent Financial Hall) for dinner where street signs replaced table numbers and skylines lit up the scene. After enjoying a three-course meal together in the home of Broadway, attendees enjoyed a live auction and celebrated the importance of the arts.

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The start of the cocktail hour painting by artist Julie Jilek Photo by Bill Garvin

In keeping with this year’s theme, silent auction items included a Detroit Getaway travel package, a painting by artist Julie Jilek created during cocktail hour at the event, an exclusive cooking demonstration and private dinner with actor, author and chef Mitchell Anderson, and a surprise opportunity to be a stage manager for a day at the Fox Cities P.A.C.

Money raised from the event and live auction benefit the Center’s mission and goes to support programs such as the Education Series, Frank C. Shattuck P.A.T.H.S. program, residencies like our recent Week of Autism Programming and so much more that bring people together to experience the arts in a deep and meaningful way.

In addition to celebrating the arts, the Annual Chairman’s Gala is our opportunity to honor an individual or organization that has contributed to the mission of the Center by presenting the Distinguished Service Award. This year, the Board of Directors selected Thrivent Financial.

Terry Timm accepts the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of Thrivent Financial Photo by Bill Garvin

Terry Timm accepts the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of Thrivent Financial
Photo by Bill Garvin

Thrivent Financial is committed to the communities where its members and employees live, work and worship and as such, they contributed the lead gift for the performing arts center as part of their centennial celebration in 1999. As a dedicated community partner, Thrivent’s leadership and generosity have played a significant role in helping the Center reach its $25 million Keystone Fund milestone.

“Their continued financial support and advocacy for the Center in the community demonstrates the corporation’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life through the arts in the Fox Cities and beyond. We are honored to partner with this impactful team.” said Board of Directors Chair Beth Flaherty.

We thank all of those in attendance for their continued support of the arts and look forward to celebrating again next spring! Will you be joining us?

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