A New & Exciting Theatre Year Ahead

oshkosh-theaterBy Joseph Ferlo

Happy New Year! It’s going to be an amazing year for local theatre, with upcoming productions of THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, CHILDREN OF EDEN, not one, but two productions of Disney’s TARZAN, and the epic LES MISÉRABLES all coming soon. Schools and production companies are setting the bar high—and we all benefit! And let’s not forget the big return of the national tour of WICKED.

In the meantime, the Grand Lounge Cabaret brings a little of the New York Theatre scene to Oshkosh in January, with visiting artist and Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) award winning composer, pianist and musical director, Bill Zeffiro. Bill will hold court in the Grand Lounge as his popular New York cabaret show goes live in Oshkosh on Friday evening, January 10. Admission includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Audiences can while away some pleasant hours being entertained in true Midtown Manhattan fashion. Zeffiro is a true bon vivant and an encyclopedia of songs ranging from pop and American Songbook to musical theater. Interacting with patrons, he’ll answer questions about performed numbers, sing a little, play a lot, and accept requests. Vocalist friends of The Grand may also appear unannounced. In addition to his public show, Zeffiro will perform for The Grand’s Producer’s Circle, and teach master-classes with area high-school students and the cast of LES MISÉRABLES during a three-day residency. Tickets are available through the Grand Opera House website.

One area production makes its debut performance in January. Freely based on the story of Genesis, CHILDREN OF EDEN is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. The performance by Oshkosh West High School runs January 31- February 2 at Oshkosh’s Alberta Kimball Auditorium.

There are a couple of opportunities for those of you looking to find your way onstage. Oshkosh Playin’ Round will hold auditions for its next production, TROUBLE WITH CATS, on January 21 and 23, 6-8 p.m. at the Oshkosh Masonic Center. It’s a pretty crazy farcical comedy, and show dates are April 25-27.

For the youth, JuBriCoSa has announced that registration has started for the 2014 JuBriCoSa Winter Academy. The first day of class will be Tuesday, January 21. Auditions for the Musical Production SERVING SONDHEIM AND COMPANY will be held on Saturday, January 25 from 9:00-noon. Contact the website for details and cost.

And keep an eye out for The Grand’s TOP 100 SURVEY as it kicks off on January 4 and runs through the course of the month. It’s a chance to weigh in on some of the events including music, theatre and comedy, that are under consideration for 2013-14.

In the meantime…..check out that first paragraph again. And get your tickets soon!

See you at the theatre!

Joseph Ferlo is Director of The Grand Opera House in Downtown Oshkosh, and a 30-year theatre veteran as director and performer. He will portray Jean Valjean in Hysterical Productions’ LES MISÉRABLES in March 2014. Send your theatre “tips” and show information directly to Joe at

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