BY Patrick Mares
The Weidner Center is blazing into its 2015-16 season. This fine-culture hotspot is taking the next couple months at full throttle with everything from the always funny team of Whose Live Anyway; to the mad creations and unhinged tumbling of Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk; and the enchanting Irish lilt of Celtic Woman. But anyone can give you a schedule. Here’s the insider knowledge that will give you a leg up the next time someone asks you what makes the Green Bay theater scene worth a look.
Fan favorite Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a constant request for a comeback tour. And the Weidner is thrilled to bring Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, Andy Blankenbuehler-directed classic back to the area.
That’s not the only returning favorite. Keep an eye out for Celtic Woman, The Midtown Men and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis if you want to see the acts that wowed the Weidner crowds the first time through.
Love comedy? Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis and Joel Murray of Whose Line is it Anyway fame are back together with a brand new show: Whose Live Anyway? 90 minutes of the crowd-fueled improv that brought them to our notice in the first place. Don’t wait to buy tickets to this event as it is selling out in other markets across the country.
Want something different? Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk is a whole new acrobatic, Steampunk experience. The off-kilter cog peddlers bring an experience wild enough for adrenalin junkies without scaring the children. And a cappella music is hot. How hot? Go to Madison and ask any kid on the street to rattle off the best groups in town. They’ll name four or five. But that’s old news. Bringing the vocals-only sound to the Bay Area in a whole new way. Home Free is a country a cappella band that was crowned champion of Season 4 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Home Free wows with their high-energy show and quick-witted humor; meshing Nashville standards with pop hits, all with a dip in country flavor.
Want to get in on the deal of the season? 6:30 Thursdays is an innovative performance series designed to connect the campus and local communities with music in more meaningful ways.
All events are between 60 and 90 minutes in length, come with a quick hit of background, and take place in Fort Howard Hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. Best of all, they are free and open to the public.
And finally: it’s subscription season at the Weidner. All you need to do to subscribe is order tickets to three or more shows. You’ll get first pick for seats and save up to ten percent on the package. For anyone interested in individual tickets, the box office opens August 14 at 11 a.m. But while not all the good seats will be taken, you better bring your theater peepers, because subscribers will all be wearing stovepipe hats. It’s traditional.
The fall 2015 Performing Arts Season is as follows:
1 Thu 6:30 Thursdays: Dmitri Matheny
9-11 Fri-Sun Czech and Slovak Voice Competition
9 Fri Whose Live Anyway?
10 Sat Home Free
14 Wed Celtic Woman
15-17 Thu-Sat Theophilus North
15 Thu 6:30 Thursdays: The MusicTrance: Pianists Sylvia Hong and Michael Rector
17 Sat 50th Anniversary Alumni Choir
20 Tue Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
21-24 Wed-Sat Theophilus North
23 Fri Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band
25 Sun Ronnie Milsap
27 Tue The Midtown Men
5 Thu 6:30 Thursdays: Transient Canvas (Clarinet and Marimba Duo)
6 Fri Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk
11 Wed Jazz Ensembles
12 Thu 6:30 Thursdays: Piano Per Diem: 30 Piano Pieces in 30 Days
19-20 Thu-Fri It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
24 Tue Music of the 1960s
28 Sat Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
2 Wed High School Honors Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble
3 Thu 6:30 Thursdays: David Colson: Chamber Music
8 Tue Chorale and Concert Choir
11 Fri Chamber Ensembles*
11-12 Fri-Sat Holiday Pops