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Posts from the ‘Artist Q&A’ Category

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.

Artist Q&A Johnny Mathis

Celebrating his 59th year in the music industry, Johnny Mathis is Columbia Records longest-running artist…he’s also quite the chef. What does this famous singer love to make? Find out that and more in this artist Q&A!

Mathis_#PurpleTie1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?
When I was 7 years old my father played the piano for me, and I was hooked.

2. Your bio says you enjoy cooking…what is your favorite meal to make?
I’ve just made it: Shrimp in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, shrimp broth (and a lot of other stuff)!

3. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…
My lunch!

4. What is your favorite song to perform?

5. What can people expect when they see your show this month?
(He laughs) Lots of beautiful & gooey love songs.


Thank you, Mr. Mathis! We look forward to seeing you on May 30!

Artist Q&A: Ralphie May

Ralphie May brings his unique and entertaining brand of comedy when he visits the Center on May 15. He took a moment to answer a few of our questions in his own humorous tone:

Ralphie Standing1. When did you first realize you had a knack for comedy?
Nine years old. Granny let me watch Johnny Carson on Friday nights. Johnny would build in jokes designed to bomb. I would make my own jokes, funnier than his, and was funnier than Johnny Carson at nine years old.

2. If you weren’t a comedian your career would be…
Aerobics instructor

3. Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…
My car?

4. What are you looking forward to in Appleton?
I’ve been (to Appleton) before. Happy to be back. (Looking forward to) getting some apples.

5. What can people expect when they see your show this month?
Dirty, filthy comedy that’s really funny.


Laugh along with Ralphie this month! Tickets are still available here.


Artist Q&A: Lorie Line


We’re excited to welcome back artist Lorie Line. Ms. Line has become a Fox Cities favorite, visiting the Center annually. We had the opportunity to have an artist Q&A as a preview to her 25th Anniversary Special which will stop by the Center Dec. 22.

When did you first know you wanted to be a performer?

When I was 5 years old. There was a piano in the kindergarten classroom and I would pass on recess and play the piano, trying to figure out songs by ear.

You’re on your 25th Anniversary Tour; what has been the biggest change in performing over the past 25 years?LorieLine

The music business in general has changed so much. When I started there were music stores and I recorded cassette tapes. Now there are no music stores and the only way you can purchase music is in the clouds.

What is your favorite Christmas song to play?

It changes every year for every show. Right now I am enjoying Winter Wonderland and I Wonder As I Wander.

Your website says you’ve played (and cooked) for many people in your life. What’s your signature holiday dish?

Filet Au Poivre.

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

Cosmetic bag.

You’ve been to Appleton several times over the past couple of years; why do you like visiting here?

It’s all about the fans to me. But it doesn’t hurt that the Fox Cities P.A.C. is one of the most amazing theatres in the country.

What can people expect when they see your show Dec. 22?

Music centered around a beautiful concert grand piano served on a silver platter, kind of like my Filet Au Poivre.



Thanks, Lorie Line! We are so excited to see you here on Dec. 22! What Christmas song are you most excited to hear Ms. Line play?

Artist Q&A: Cheyenne Jackson


Whether you know him from appearances on “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and as Vocal Adrenaline’s coach on “Glee,” or from Broadway credits that include Finian’s Rainbow, All Shook Up and Xanadu, or even from the big screen in films like “United 93,” Cheyenne Jackson is a familiar face with an outstanding voice.

The 39 year-old has recently released an album “I’m Blue, Skies” and we’re excited to have him here for two intimate cabaret performances Nov. 13-14. But before he does, we caught up with him on the road for the latest Artist Q&A.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.cheyenne_posterart

I was 9 lbs when I was born, I have blue eyes, pop culture junkie, and I can not cook.

2. When did you first know you wanted to be a performer?

7 years old.  Heard the Annie cast album.  Decided then and there to become the first boy to ever play Annie.

3. Movies, TV, Broadway and music, you’ve done it all. Which medium is your favorite and why?

I love them all equally.  They all have their challenges, but there is no way I could choose.

4. What has been your favorite project to work on so far in your career?

Again, no way to choose.  Too many favorites.

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

MacBook, big headphones, and tons of water.

6. What can people expect when they see your show Nov. 13 or 14?

Me opening my heart up to the audience and sharing myself through my art and my experiences. Oh, and I’m gonna sing really purdy. 😉


Thanks, Cheyenne! We look forward to having you at the Fox Cities P.A.C. later this month!


Because we love our blog readers!
Receive a complimentary drink and valet parking
by mentioning this blog post at time of purchase ($18 value)! 

Limit 4 tickets, offer valid on the $75 and $55 tickets. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. While supplies last.
Offer only available at the ticket office or by calling (920) 730-3760.


Artist Q&A: Julie Fowlis



Julie Fowlis, a singer from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, will bring her traditional and cultural music to the Fox Cities P.A.C. on Oct. 25. Fowlis took a few moments to talk Disney, her connection to Danú and what to expect at her upcoming show.

What made you interested in becoming a musician?Julie Promo 2014 Michelle Fowlis -Ashton-Lights7MB
I have always had a connection with music, traditional music in particular, as it was very much part of my upbringing. I feel lucky to have been brought up in a community where music was part of everyday life.

What is it about traditional Scottish Gaelic music that especially appeals to you?

It is an ancient and culturally significant tradition. Singing these songs gives us a sense of connectedness to place and people. And it’s full of life and great fun!

Why is that tradition important for you to share?

It was shared with me, and I love sharing it with others.



Julie at the “Brave” premiere with husband and Danú musician Éamon Dooley. How cute is the matching plaid? Photo from

You sang for the Disney Pixar film “Brave,” how did that come about?

A phone call out of the blue! And we enjoyed our experience of working with Disney Pixar very much. It was inspiring to work with such a great team.
(Check out a clip here)

Your husband, Éamon Doorley, will also be visiting the Fox Cities as a member of the Irish Band Danú. What is it like being married to another musician?

Great! It can be tricky sometimes syncing diaries but we both understand what the other does which makes everything loads easier. A musician’s life can be difficult to make sense of, if you don’t know what it involves.


What can patrons expect when you visit the Center Oct. 25?

Songs, stories, lively music and a little mystery and emotion.


Thank you, Julie! We are excited to have you here on Oct. 25!

Because we love the music of this great couple and because we love you, we want to offer a special ticket price! One $50 ticket  will get you in to both the Julie Fowlis performance on Oct. 25 and the Danú 20th Anniversary Tour on March 12 (a $24 savings!). For more information call our Ticket Office at (920) 730-3760. 


Check out other artist Q&As here and here.

Artist Q&A: Ramsey Lewis


With more than 80 albums, seven gold records and three Grammy® awards, Ramsey Lewis has been entertaining audiences for more than 50 years.The jazz icon is set to make his Fox Cities P.A.C. debut Oct. 23 with his Electric Band and featuring special guest Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. Just as he is known for his unforgettable sound, Lewis is also known for an outgoing personality, so we asked him a few questions about his craft in this Artist Q&A.

Tell us about yourself and your background.


Ramsey Lewis makes his Fox Cities debut Oct. 23

“I come from a musical family. Of the three children in my family, only my younger sister Gloria and I studied piano formally, but everyone liked to sing or play. I started playing for our church choir when I was 9 years old and really fell in love with the piano when I was 12. When I began, I had no aspirations to become a professional musician, I just loved the sound and feel of the piano. I wanted to get to know everything about the instrument and spend as much time with it as possible. When I was 15, I got my first job in jazz and studied with a local Chicago bandleader turned mentor, Wallace Burton. The more I learned, the more I loved the music and saw that Jazz opened into a lesson in life itself. There is always something more to learn about both, and the fact is, I’m still learning!”

If you could pick any other genre of music to be an expert in, what would it be and why?

There’s no genre of music outside of jazz that I’d love to be experienced in, although I do love European classical music and practice and study it at home. But knowing that you can’t serve more than one master, I wouldn’t think to attempt both genres at the same time.

Who is someone you would love to perform with?

Before Nancy Wilson retired, I really enjoyed performing with her and I’ve had the opportunity to perform with some wonderful singers in my day. Most recently I’ve had the pleasure to perform with Cecile McLorin Salvant, she’s terrific! Currently however, I look forward to performing with Philip Bailey. He’s very creative and a joy to perform with.

What can audiences expect when you come to the Fox Cities P.A.C. Oct. 23?

I always like my audiences to get to know the other gentlemen in my band so they will be featured throughout the night while we perform a mix of new originals and old greatest hits.

Thanks, Ramsey! We look forward to seeing you and your Electronic Band at the Fox Cities P.A.C. Oct. 23!

Artist Q&A: Carol Maillard of Sweet Honey in the Rock

qanda   Fabulous voices. Brilliant harmonies. Powerful songs. For 40 years, Sweet Honey and the Rock has been on a mission to educate, entertain, and empower people all over the world. We were so honored to have the opportunity to speak with founder Carol Maillard about the group’s upcoming show. Here’s what she had to say about forty years of memories, learning to sing a cappella and what you can expect at the concert on October 14. Tell us a little bit about yourself?


Carol Maillard

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I attended Catholic University of America on a violin performance scholarship but switched majors to theater in my junior year. I joined the DC Black Repertory Theater Company my senior year. I was a member of that theater company for about 5 years until I moved to New York and worked as an actress on and off-Broadway, in commercials, industrials, film and TV. How do you become an a cappella singer? What is required in my estimation to be a good a cappella singer is one must have an excellent sense of rhythm, pitch, harmony, the ability and humility to blend one’s voice into the whole. Tell us about the 40th Anniversary tour, what can audiences expect on October 14? For several years the group has wanted to incorporate other elements into our performances. So looking ahead we decided for our 40th anniversary we would present Sweet Honey in the Rock in a new and different way. We would incorporate visual elements, slides slideshows video, also storytelling instrumentalists and staging. The show would have an arc that would give audiences a sense of how we began, were we have been, issues we have addressed, things that are deeply personal to us, and artists who have influenced some of the writing of some of the songs we have composed. Have you been to Wisconsin before? We have been to Wisconsin many, many times. It is really great that Appleton has decided to celebrate our big 40th anniversary show with us. It is the last time that we will do the show and for us it is a big deal. November 17 marks the end of our 40th and the beginning of number 41. Thank you Carol, we look forward to seeing you and the rest of the group in a few weeks at the Fox Cities P.A.C.!