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Posts tagged ‘Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’

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 Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products directly to us.

It’s like donating—while you shop! 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 and help support our Center.

Thank you and happy shopping!

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

It takes a community: The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center as a nonprofit

The old adage is that it takes a village to raise a child and truly, we here at the Center can relate.

It took an entire community to raise the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center from a dream to the reality that is a thriving, state-of-the-art arts and cultural education organization.

As a nonprofit, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is challenged on a regular basis to seek financial support from the community to supplement the expense of bringing the best acts from all over the world, community outreach and a valuable education series that serves an average of 23,000 students each year.

Thanks to a dedicated community, we are able to support these wonderful programs through two major campaigns.


Each year our Annual Partners donate over $1.5 million to help to support the Boldt Arts Alive! Series and the Bemis Company Education Series including daytime performances, special classes and workshops for at-risk youth. This campaign also helps to subsidize the use of our facility for other groups and nonprofits, allowing the Center to be a gathering place for performances, meetings, receptions, celebrations and educational events. Annual Partners also help to support and develop community relationships and activities that utilize the arts to strengthen family units and support creative learning through specialized programs.



Photo by Ken Cobb

Our other source of support is the Keystone Campaign, a fund that exists to ensure the long term sustainability of the Center in the community. The Keystone Campaign is designed to provide sufficient cash reserves, working capital and the security to weather economic downturns or other unforeseen challenges.

The Keystone Campaign recently reached the major milestone of raising $25 million, thanks to a dedicated community and the strong leadership of visionaries Oscar and Pat Boldt, Barb and Chuck Merry and former Center President Susan Stockton. This amount reflects 208% of the Center’s operating budget, which falls into the 200-500% amount stated as a best practice by the National Arts Strategies Fund. While still on the low end of that recommendation, reaching this milestone means we as a Center are on the right track to assure that high quality live theatrical experiences are available in Northeast Wisconsin for generations to come. The Center will continue to seek support for this fund to meet ongoing needs and supplement growth and innovation for years to come.

Some Annual Partners also donate to the Keystone Campaign and vice versa noting that supporting the arts adds an immeasurable value to Northeast Wisconsin in terms of economic impact, adding to a vibrant community, building relationships and attracting families and employees to the region in addition to transforming the area through exceptional live performances.

We, as a nonprofit, would like to thank our donors who continue to support the arts and believe in our mission of being a gathering place for the community! To learn more how you can make a tax deductible gift to the Center, please visit or call the Advancement team at (930) 730-3782.

Broadway Fast 5: April



April was another big month on Broadway with many new shows opening in time for award season recognition! Catch up on everything you need to know in this month’s Broadway Fast Five!

CDrgbDFWAAAYVed1) Awards, awards, awards

In addition to the Tony nominations announced earlier this week, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk all selected their nominees this month. While each list honors slightly different productions clear front runners appear to be Something Rotten!, An American in Paris and Fun Home.


1_1719062) National tours of new musicals announced

Both An American in Paris and Finding Neverland have announced that they will launch a US Tour for the 2016-17 Season, though casting, dates and theaters have yet to be announced.


1_1732513) Cartoon to stage

The stage version of 1997 cartoon musical Anastasia has received a theater, dates for initial opening. The musical will be under the artistic direction of Tony winner Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder) at Hartland Stage.  Meanwhile, we also got a sneak peek of the new stage adaptation of James and the Giant Peach from Megan Hilty and Christian Borle that you have to check out.


41_172984) Big names head to the big stage

Lengendary R&B singer Brandy Norwood made her Broadway debut this month as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s Chicago. Actress and notable Les Miserables-movie-Fantine also opened Grounded, an off-Broadway play addressing the complicated consequences of waging war without leaving home.


MM!USTourCast2013_015) To close or not to close?

While we told you last month that long-running off-Broadway favorite, The Fantasticks was to close, it seems two anonymous donors have stepped up to continue to fund the show. However, everyone has their time and it appears after becoming the 8th longest running show in Broadway history, and the longest running juke-box musical in history, Mamma Mia! has announced its closing date this September. Thanks for the music!


Get caught up on Broadway news with Fast Fives from MarchFebruary and January.

A Season You Won’t Want To Miss!


How in the world could you commit to a full year of fabulous performances? You’re busy! You’re life is unpredictable!

These are the things we hear all the time at the Center, and for good reason. We’re busier than ever these days and our calendars fill quickly with appointments, practices, work obligations. However, just as often as we hear that it would be impossible to commit to a show next March, we hear how wonderful it is to have built in date-nights, to prioritize seeing that great show you heard about so you don’t miss it in the hustle and bustle and how worth while it becomes to take a night for yourself.

Season Ticket Packages are more flexible than they sound!

For Broadway there are several options to make sure you are seeing your top shows when it fits into your calendar.

1516season_homeSeason Ticket Holders have the option of easy-exchange tickets. Get a Season Ticket Package for Saturday night only to find out you have another commitment during your favorite show of the season? Enjoy a hassle-free switch to any other day of the run.*

Season Ticket Holders can also Swap-A-Show meaning if you know you are going to be out of town or if you’ve already seen a show you can trade your tickets** for another show within our fabulous season!

Also as a Season Ticket Holder these benefits will transfer to any of the 40 Broadway Across America markets meaning you can exchange your tickets here to see the same production in another city if something comes up!

Oh, and did we mention you get to reserve your seats before the general public? This saves you time and prevents you from missing out on those great seats you wanted!

Find out more about becoming a Season Ticket Holder on our website.



*Subject to availability. Ticket exchanges and seat upgrades may include addition charges if you exchange/upgrade into a higher priced performance or seating location. Some restriction may apply.
**Swapping into another show may include additional charges if you exchange into a hihger priced performance or seating location. Only one show per season, per account may be swapped. Due to limited availability, some titles may not be swapped into at Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America- Fox Cities’ discretion. Not available online. Deadline for Swap-a-Show is August 31,2015.

Throwback Thursday: 1963

Whether it’s “the summer of…” or “late December back in…” the year 1963 takes center stage for the remainder of our Broadway Season as Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys arrive in the Fox Cities.

We decided what better way to celebrate Throwback Thursday than to take you back to that year more than five decades ago.

You all know that 1963 was when Baby carried a watermelon and fell in love with Johnny. It was also the year Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons addressed in their 1975 single, which referred to longtime group member Bob Gaudio’s courtship with his wife.


Jillian Mueller (Baby) and Doug Carpenter (Billy) in the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

But also in 1963…
– Travel, financial and commercial transactions by US citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.
– The Beatles recorded and released their debut album, Please Please Me, at Abbey Road Recording Studio.
– Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay closes
– The film The Birds is released
– General Hospital debuts on ABC.
– Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested for parading without a permit and later issues “Letter form Birmingham Jail.” The same year would include major civil rights milestones including the “I Have a Dream” speech.
Mar14 - a Finale2– Coca-Cola Company introduces its first diet drink, Tab.
– The first James Bond Film is shown in U.S. Theaters.
– Zip codes were first introduced by the United States Postal Service.
– The first push-button telephone is made available to AT&T customers.
– John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
– The first episode of Doctor who is broadcast in the United Kingdom.
– These people were born: Larry the Cable Guy, Charles Barkley, Bret Michaels, Kathy Ireland, Quentin Tarantino, Conan O’Brien, Mike Meyers, Johnny Depp, Helen Hunt, Lisa Kudrow, Whitney Houston, John Stamos,


Are you ready to go back to 1963?

Broadway Fast 5: March


It’s been a busy month on Broadway with new openings and brand new performances hitting the Great White Way but there’s also been other news and what you need to know is in your Broadway Fast 5.

Stomp1. Stomp affected by NYC apartment explosion

Last week’s apartment explosion and massive fire in New York’s East Village has shut-down performances of popular show Stomp, at least temporarily. The long-running show performs at the Orpheum Theatre, which sits across the street from the site of the collapse on 2nd Avenue.

20thcentury2. On The Twentieth Century opens after illness forces delay, will record cast album

After male-lead Peter Gallagher came down with a severe sinus infection, the opening of On The Twentieth Century, a revival currently co-starring Kristin Chenoweth, was slightly delayed. However, the show has since been playing to packed houses and recently announced it plans to record a cast album.

3. Ever After MusicalEverafter

Paper Mill Playhouse has announced it will close its 76th season with the world-premiere of Ever After, a new musical adapted from the 1998 film starring Drew Barrymore. The production will be directed and choreographed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. The Paper Mill Playhouse production will star If/Then’s James Snyder as Prince Henry and Margo Seibert as Danielle de Barbarac. Joining them are Tony winner Christine Ebersole as Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, Tony Sheldon as Leonardo da Vinci and Emmy winner Charles Shaugnessy as King Francis. Performances will begin at the New Jersey venue on May 21 and run through June 21. Christine Ebersole will be in the Fox Cities April 22-23.


Beautiful4. Beautiful will hit silver screen

After a successful start on Broadway and a recent opening in the West End, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has set its sights on the silver screen. The New York Times reports that Douglas McGrath, who wrote the book for the show, will pen the screenplay. Casting has not been announced.


5. The Fantasticks, longest running off-Broadway musical, to closefANTASTICS

After 55 years, off-Broadway’s longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, will shutter on May 3. At the time of its closing the production will have played a total of 20,672 performances in NYC: 17,162 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse and 3,510 performances at the Snapple Theater Center.




Get caught up on Broadway news with Fast Fives from February and January.


Broadway Fast 5: February


New shows, new casts and new things to look forward to all this month in your Fast Five!

2364-11. Spring brings new shows

Spring is coming and so is a whole new group of fabulous Broadway shows. The buzz around a new Broadway line-up has been mounting this month as Broadway fans everywhere take advantage of the cold weather to read up on each one and schedule visits to see their favorites. On The Twentieth Century, a revival featuring Peter Gallagher and Kristin Chenoweth began previews this month and will officially open in March. Other top shows that start previews in March include Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, The Visit starring Chita Rivera, An American in Paris based on the Academy Award winning film, It Shoulda Been You featuring Tyne Daly and David Burtka, and finally, Something Rotten starring Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, John Cariani and more. It will certainly be a busy season!



Emma Watson

Emma Watson

2. Live-action Beauty and the Beast announced

Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, has announced that she will play Belle in an upcoming live-action recreation of the beloved Disney film. The film will be helmed by Dreamgirls and Side Show’s Bill Condon and is set to begin production in 2015. No release date has yet been scheduled. reported British actress Emma Thompson is in talks to play Mrs. Potts.




John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig

3. Glee star fills big shoes on Broadway

After John Cameron Mitchell, who originated the character of Hedwig, injured his knee performing the role earlier this month, Michael C. Hall (Dexter) stepped back in for temporary relief. But Mitchell, who extended his run through April 26, returned this week knowing who will wear the wig next! Darren Criss (Glee) was announced as the next man to play the transgender rock goddess and we can hardly wait!




4. Frozen looks to 2017 for Broadway

It looks like Frozen may be settling into a 2017 goal for the Great White Way. Rumor has it new songs will be included in the production that will be directed by Alex Timbers. Disney Theatrical even released a statement confirming the project with Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez, the original song writers, returning along with Jennifer Lee, codirect and screenwriter for the film.




Jesse Mueller who plays Carole King in Beautiful.

Jessie Mueller who plays Carole King in Beautiful.

5. Some kind of wonderful! Beautiful wins 2015 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical took home the trophy for Best Musical Theater Album. The musical beat out the albums of Aladdin, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the San Francisco Symphony’s West Side Story. The Beautiful win is shared by the Tony-winning leading lady Jessie Mueller and producers Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell and Billy Jay Stein.



Get caught up with Broadway Fast 5’s for January and December.

Artist Q&A: Company Manager of Mamma Mia!

Wisconsin native William Ferry may not be someone you recognize on the Broadway stage, but he’s a huge part in making sure the show you’re seeing goes off without a hitch. Ferry is currently the company manager for Mamma Mia! on tour. In this role he coordinates travel arrangements, personnel details and other business aspects of the production.

We asked Bill a few questions about his role with the show and his life on tour. Here’s what he had to say:

MM!USTourCast2013_08We hear you’re from Wauwatosa! How does someone from Wisconsin become someone who tours around the world with Broadway shows?  Supportive parents who paid for me to go to school to study dance and then earn a Master’s Degree in arts administration.  I actually started working in the dance world before getting into theatre.

Is being a company manager always what you wanted to do?  No, my undergraduate degree is in dance performance and education from the University of Utah.  I sort of fell into the management area after moving to New York.

What’s your favorite part about touring? Going to all the different places we go, seeing the different theatres and experiencing local eateries.

Your least favorite part?  Selecting hotels.

Finish this sentence: I can’t travel without my…. cork screw or Swiss Army knife.

Is it hard to be away from Wisconsin family and friends?  One of the advantages of doing what I do is that it allows me to see family when I’m in town.  I’ve been able to see a lot of family over the years throughout the U.S. because of my travels.

You’ve been to the Fox Cities once before, touring with Billy Elliot. Is there something you are excited to see or do being back in Appleton?  Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse at the Radisson has the best roasted brussel sprouts.

Your personal favorite part of Mamma Mia! is…from “Take a Chance on Me” through the end of the show.

Thanks, Bill! We look forward to seeing you and the rest of the cast Feb. 27-March 1!

it gets better Residency takes the Fox Cities

The it gets better residency is in full swing here in the Fox Valley and for community members, students at several high schools and those who had the opportunity to meet at the Boys and Girls Club it has already proven to be a moving and educational week.


On Monday, several students worked with the it gets better cast to create an empowering music video. Here, students braved the cold to shoot some scenes outside.



IMG_6128Staying warm inside was our local community choir who has been working over the past several weeks to learn music as part of the it gets better Saturday night performance.  Whether they are straight allys, out themselves or using their love of music to simply support the cause, they each have an individual reason why they chose to participate in the choir. Katelyn Richards of Freedom said “I am a strong believer that it does get better.  Sexual orientation doesn’t define a person!”

Tuesday, the it gets better cast started their local high school visits throughout the Fox Valley. While students posed difficult but honest questions Tuesday, the cast opened up about their personal experiences about how life really does get better. Here, the cast took a moment to pose with students from Menasha High School after their program.


On Tuesday night members of the community came together for a piano bar fundraiser. After a number from the cast, community members gave it their all singing their favorite show-stopping tunes to help raise awareness, funds and support for what it gets better is doing in the community this week but also for future INCLUDE and Fox Cities P.A.C. projects.


You still have plenty of opportunities to get involved and hear the inspiring message of how it truly does get better. While Thursday brings more school visits, it also brings a unique opportunity for the public as the it gets better cast facilitates a World Café discussion where the community will have the opportunity to discuss, learn and work together to understand how to be a stronger more inclusive community. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. at UW-Fox Valley in the Union.

Friday, the public is invited to understand what the it gets better initiative truly is in the it gets better Journey program at UW-Fox Valley in Perry Hall. This program explores how the initiative has been making an impact in surrounding communities in a multimedia presentation. Can’t make it in person? The event will be live streamed by UW-Fox Valley and you can watch it by following this link.

The entire experience will culminate Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. when it gets better, a musical theater response to bullying, is presented at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. This performance explores what “better” means for LGBT youth through a funny and exciting story with moments of both pain and pathos, featuring poignant narratives of growing up gay. The performance includes music, multimedia and our wonderful community choir.

For more information on the it gets better residency activities or performance visit our website.

Broadway Couples that make us swoon

Love is in the air! Whether you are cuddling up next to your significant other, your pet or your favorite pillow, love is on the brain with visions of red hearts and chocolates dancing in our heads! What better way to mark the holiday than to take a look at our most inspiring Broadway couples who, whether it works out or not, always find a way to teach us something about love through a powerful story and usually, a great production number. Here are five of our favorite fantasy couples:


Paige Faure as Ella & Joe Carroll as Prince Topher in Cinderella. Production Images of Cinderella by Carol Rosegg

Paige Faure as Ella & Joe Carroll as Prince Topher in Cinderella. Production Images of Cinderella by Carol Rosegg.

1. Ella and Prince Charming

A fancy dress, a kiss at midnight and a long search for the one you love, it doesn’t get more quintessential than this fairy-tale-based favorite, Cinderella.






Courtney Reed as Jasmine & Adam Jacobs in Aladdin. Character portraits of Aladdin by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Courtney Reed as Jasmine & Adam Jacobs in Aladdin. Character portraits of Aladdin by Cylla von Tiedemann.


2. Aladdin and Jasmine

This childhood cartoon comes to life onstage but the love story is all the same. Boy meets girl, magic carpet ride, Genie and then happily ever after. A lot can happen when you are exposed to “A Whole New World.”






Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and Jillian Mueller (Baby) in the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and Jillian Mueller (Baby) in the North American tour of DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. (Photo by Matthew Murphy).


3. Johnny and Baby

This classic story of summer love has us swooning for warmer weather. And who doesn’t love a guy who can dance? We love that Johnny and Baby teach each other important lessons about life and love in Dirty Dancing.







4. Sophie and Sky

Supporting each other all the way through Mamma Mia, Sophie and Sky make an adorable engaged couple, don’t they?







Jeremy Hays as Raoul & Sierra Boggess as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Jeremy Hays as Raoul & Sierra Boggess as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Photo by Matthew Murphy.



5. Christine & Raoul

A love story wouldn’t be complete without a little tragedy and what better Broadway couple than Christine and Raoul to look to for going the extra mile for the one you love.






Who is your favorite Broadway couple?