Tag: performance

Strong reviews for Theatre’s ‘Wonderful Life’

We thought it was an entertaining production (with a spectacular set, great 1940s costuming and strong student performances)… and so did WFRV critic-at-large Warren Gerds. In his review of Thursday night’s UW-Green Bay Theatre, Dance and Music production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Show,” Gerds summarized the evening as “something special at the Weidner.”  The second and final show is tonight (7:30, Nov. 20) in Cofrin Family Hall. See review. 

Brass, Hand Drumming ensembles share concert Nov. 24

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music program brings the fall semester to a close with an eclectic concert offering music from classical brass to African-inspired percussion as the Phoenix Brass Ensemble and Hand Drumming Ensemble share the bill at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 24) at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall on the UW-Green Bay campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The student brass ensemble performs under the direction of Associate Prof. Adam Gaines, the trumpet and jazz studies director for the UW-Green Bay Music program. Prof. Cheryl Grosso, a percussion and world music specialist, directs the student drum ensemble.

The Phoenix Brass Ensemble will open the program with Daniel Hodgson’s “Three Marches of the American Revolutionary Days” featuring the General Green March, Banks of the Swale, and Shellpott Hill. Next up is “Divertimento for Brass and Percussion” by Karel Husa. The group will also perform “Pange Lingua” by Anton Bruckner, “Fanfare & Chorus,” by Dietrich Buxtehude, “Introduction and Allegro” by Robert Beadell, “March of a Marionette” by Charles Gounod, and “Satin Doll,” by Duke Ellington.

After a brief intermission, the UW-Green Bay Hand Drumming Ensemble will begin with “Rock Etude 16,” by Bill Douglas, followed by selections from Prof. Grosso’s Rhythm Chant series. Compositions featured will by “Rhythm Chant C&Rm,” Rhythm Chant MM,” “Rhythm Chant 14,” and “Rhythm Chant GG,” along with the composition “Rhythm Chant Finito,” arranged by members of the student ensemble.

UW-Green Bay is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. For more information.


UW-Green Bay Theatre presents “It’s a Wonderful Life”

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Theatre and Dance and Music presents the beloved holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

The performances of It’s A Wonderful Life will take place Thursday and Friday, Nov. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cofrin Family Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Frank Capra’s classic holiday film was adapted for the stage by Joe Landry in 2006 and quickly became an anticipated annual event in cities across the country. Performed as a live radio broadcast set on Christmas Eve, 1946, audiences are transported to the days of Old Time Radio. An ensemble of 11 actors play dozens of characters, perform commercial jingles and create sound effects to tell the story of Bedford Falls’ George Bailey as he is given a great gift by Clarence Oddbody one fateful Christmas Eve.

Feature-Wonderful-LifeProduction Director and Professor of Theatre, Laura Riddle, is excited to bring It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play to the Weidner Center on the UW-Green Bay campus as a part of the University’s 50th Anniversary celebration. “I have always been a fan of Old Time Radio and tune in to Wisconsin Public Radio every Sunday night to hear rebroadcasts of old radio shows, stories told in a way that invite the listeners to imagine the action in great detail through enhanced underscoring and sound effects. Our production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play treats the audience to a look “behind-the scenes” for a live radio broadcast. The audience sees actors changing characters using only their voices and sound effects are created live at a Foley table using objects from corn flakes to water basins.”

All elements are performed live and include a live band playing popular music and holiday songs from the 1940’s. It’s a Wonderful Life is a collaboration of UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance and UW-Green Bay Music. The original score by Kevin Connors has been custom tailored for the UWGB production by Nick Schommer and Kelsie Holtzheimer, UW-Green Bay Music students who have composed new arrangements and original compositions.

It’s a Wonderful Life directorial/production team: Laura Riddle (Director), Courtney Sherman (Musical Director), Denise Carlson-Gardner (Choreographer), Nick Schommer and Kelsie Holtzheimer (original compositions and arrangements) Jeffrey Paul Entwistle (Scenic Designer), Kaoime E. Malloy (Costume/Make Up Designer), R. Michael Ingraham (Lighting Designer, Technical Designer), Dana Mehlhorn (Sound Designer), Jeff Chesebro and Paul Heim (Foley Designers), David Cook (Assistant Technical Director) Bri Wolfe (Stage Manager).

Wonderful-life2It’s a Wonderful Life cast: Emily Ahrens (Roscoe, IL), Selena Deer (New Berlin, WI), Max Frost (De Pere, WI), Ashley Gutting (Ashwaubenon, WI), Nick Schommer (Jackson, WI), Millie Haushalter (Brillion, WI), Adam Rosenow (Shawano, WI), Talor Sohr (Green Bay, WI), Kit Honkanen (Green Bay, WI), Daniel Taddy (Sturgeon Bay, WI), Tyler Wood (Pulaski, WI)

It’s a Wonderful Life orchestra: Courtney Sherman (Conductor), Laura Cortright, flute (Green Bay, WI), Keton Jennings, sax (Poynette, WI), Gatlin Grimm, trumpet (Green Bay, WI), Joe Russett, trombone (Green Bay, WI), Collin Catalano, upright bass; Bobby Magers, drums (Green Bay, WI), Kyle Sweeney, piano (Fox Point, WI), Ryan Dummer, piano (Green Bay, WI)

It’s a Wonderful Life crew: Matthew Beecher (Assistant Stage Manager) (Milwaukee, WI), Erin Pagenkopf (Assistant Stage Manager) (Sussex, WI), Jake Gerlikovski (Master Electrician) (Green Bay, WI), David Cook (Scene Shop Supervisor), Elizabeth Galba (Costume Shop Supervisor) (Cascade, WI), Cody Von Ruden (Wardrobe Head, Makeup Crew) (Cashton, WI), Katy Kluever (Menasha, WI) and Cody Galligan (Campbellsport, WI) (Wardrobe Crew), Zeb Burks (Sound Technician) (Ettrick, WI), Scene Shop Practicum Students (Carpenters and Costume Technicians), (Electricians and Paint Crew).

Tickets for It’s A Wonderful Life range from $25 to $35. Special pricing for UWGB students is $20. To purchase tickets.


Jazz ensembles celebrate UW-Green Bay’s 50th with ‘That ‘60s Show’

jazz-poster-webThe University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program pays tribute to the school’s 50th anniversary with instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles combining in concert to present “That ‘60s Show,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 14) in the University Theatre, located in Theatre Hall on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Performing will be three student ensembles:  Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Ensemble II, and the Vocal Jazz Ensembles, all under the direction of Associate Profs. of Music John Salerno and Adam Gaines.

Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for seniors and free for students of all ages. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the night of the performance.

Gaines’s Jazz Ensemble II will open the concert with a heavy dose of the Beatles — jazz arrangements of the classic Lennon and McCartney tunes “Michelle,” “And I Love Her” and “Norwegian Wood” — along with a swingin’ version of the Bobby Troup hit “Route 66” and a performance of the classic American blues tune “House of the Rising Sun,” made famous in the 1964 hit by the British rock group The Animals.

Following intermission, the 10-member Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Salerno, will perform vintage 1960s jazz-tinged selections, as announced from the stage. The vocal jazz set will be followed by Salerno’s top instrumental group, Jazz Ensemble I, who will close the concert with selections to be announced from stage.


Jazz concert, this Saturday

We’ll have more details in our next issue, but don’t forget the Jazz and Vocal Jazz concert this Saturday (Nov. 14) at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre, in Theatre Hall. Performing will be Jazz Ensemble II under the direction of Adam Gaines, and Jazz I and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by John Salerno, both professors of music.

Sousa and Zeppelin music, faculty solo, new instruments highlight band concert

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program will present a concert by the student Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, conducted by Prof. Kevin Collins, director of bands.

The evening will begin with the UW-Green Bay Symphonic Band performing “Encomium” by George Sweet, a piece known for its fresh harmonic palette and rhythmic energy. They will follow with “A Gaelic Ballad” by Frank Erickson, which begins with a sweet flute solo which is handed off to each section, in turn, allowing the opportunity for all to contribute to the soothing ballad. The Symphonic Band will conclude its concert with “Renaissance Suite” by Tielman Susato and “Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March,” by John Philip Sousa arranged by Dan Dorff, dedicated to the famous Minneapolis landmark and first Minnesota skyscraper.

Following intermission will be the UW-Green Bay’s Wind Ensemble. They will begin their portion of the program with the piece “Arabesque,” the well-known composition by Sam Hazo incorporating Middle Eastern themes in honor of Hazo’s ancestry. The next work features Prof. Eric Hansen on clarinet in “Black Dog,” a piece by contemporary composer and clarinetist Scott McAllistar inspired by the hard rock sounds of Led Zeppelin and other groups of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. The concert finale will be a second Sousa March, “Wisconsin Forward Forever March,” which Sousa dedicated to the students, faculty and alumni of the University.

Collins notes that Friday’s concert marks the first use of many new professional-quality wind instruments purchased through a generous grant from the 1923 Fund. Several of these will be featured in the concert, including a new Haynes flute, P. Mauirat saxophones, an Oleg bass saxophone, Getzen cornets, Bach trombones and Meinl Weston tubas.

“It has transformed our sound,” said Collins. “There is nothing like the timbre of true cornets in a concert band context, and the low brass and new saxophones give us a much fuller and resonant low end. It’s like having a subwoofer for the first time. We’ll be featuring them on the final march.”

“The students are excited to play on such fine instruments. Many of them are first-generation college students… they are working their way through school and don’t always have a great deal of flexibility in their budgets… so we’re thrilled to provide instruments to students who might not otherwise be able to afford them.”

Tickets to Friday’s concert, general admission are $10 dollars for adults, $5 dollars for seniors. (K-12 and college student tickets are free at the box office.) Tickets may be purchased in advance through the University Ticketing and Information Center (920.465.2400) or online, or purchased at the Weidner Center Box Office before the performance.


Gerds reviews Theophilus North: ‘Excellent play, excellently done’ 

Veteran critic Warren Gerds of WeAreGreenBay.com took in opening night of the Theatre and Dance program’s production of “Theophilus North” on Thursday and loved it. Based on characters by Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder, the play chronicles the adventures of a young free spirit dropped into the somewhat dysfunctional lives of the wealthy 1920s residents of tiny Newport, Rhode Island. The cast, playwright and director John Mariano draw plenty of praise. The show continues today and Saturday, Oct. 16-17, and Oct. 21-24, in the Jean Weidner Theatre. To read the full review.


Alumni Choir, early director return for 50th Anniversary Choral Concert

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program will mark Alumni Days and the school’s golden anniversary with a celebratory choral concert at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday (Oct. 17) at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

Prof. Trinidad Chavez, then UW-Green Bay's director of choral activities, rehearses with a 1970s-era student ensemble on campus.

Prof. Trinidad Chavez, then UW-Green Bay’s director of choral activities, rehearses with a 1970s-era student ensemble on campus.

Current student performers — members of the full Concert Choir and the elite UW-Green Bay Chorale — will share the program with the 50th Anniversary Alumni Choir made up of returning performers representing graduating classes from the 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. The 70-voice reunion choir will perform under the direction of Prof. Emeritus Trinidad Chavez, who guided the growth of the University’s vocal music program from 1970 through his retirement in 1997.

The alumni portion of the program closes the evening. The alumni — some of whom have performed professionally and many who went on to local music education careers or participation in church or community choral groups — will begin with Mozart’s motet “Ave Verum Corpus,” a gentle and serene work written just months before the composer’s death in 1791. Their second selection features another familiar piece by a renowned composer, the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” by the widely performed 20th century English composer John Rutter. The final selection will bring current students — the 37 members of the select UW-Green Bay Chorale — back on stage to join the alumni in performing “Dona Nobis Pacem,” the grand closing movement of Bach’s masterful Mass in B-minor. Current student Ryan Dummer will accompany the 50th Anniversary Alumni Choir on piano.

The concert begins with the Concert Choir under the direction of Prof. Sarah Meredith, performing a varied program — spanning musical theatre to opera — that will also feature an alumni dimension. Guest mezzo-soprano Laurie Seely Vassalli, who attended UW-Green Bay in the 1990s and today performs professionally with Lyric Opera of Chicago, will be soloist on the aria “Dido’s Lament” from the 17th century work Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell. The 44-member Concert Choir will also perform choral selections from “State Fair” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the “Neighbors’ Chorus” from the 19th century Jacques Offenback comic opera La jolie Parfumeuse, and Verdi’s “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from Nabucco. The women of the Concert Choir will be featured on Gilbert Becaud’s “Let It Be Me,” and the men will be featured in “The Mansions of the Lord” by contemporary composer Nick Glennie-Smith. Pianist Mary Slavek is the accompanist.

Following intermission, the UW-Green Bay Chorale under the direction of Prof. Randall Meder will be backed by a faculty and alumni instrumental ensemble — string, brass and percussion — in the performance of all six movements of Mozart’s sacred masterwork Vesperae solennes de confessore. Featured vocalists are Prof. Courtney Sherman, who will perform the famous soprano solos, along with students Lauren Paul, alto; Lane Ludtke, tenor, and Nicholas Schommer, bass. The guest instrumentalists are Jill Sousek and Janet Bond Sutter, violin; Michael Dewhirst, cello, Maximillian Simmons, bass, Prof. Adam Gaines and James Block, trumpet; Andrew Zipperer, Prof. Kevin Collins and Bill Burroughs, trombone; Jamie Rodgers, timpani; and Ray Thompson, organ.

Members of the Chorale, Concert Choir and 50th Anniversary Alumni Choir are listed below.

Tickets to Saturday’s concert, general admission, are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors. (Student tickets are free.) Tickets may be purchased in advance through the University Ticketing and Information Center (920.465.2400) or online, or obtained at the Weidner Center Box Office before the performance.

UW-Green Bay Alumni Choir:
1970s — Susan McAllister 1972, Edward Selinsky 1972, Craig Konowalski 1974, Kate Meeuwsen 1976, Crystal Hogan 1979;
1980s — Paula Tolksdorf 1983, Mike Cisler 1984,
Cindy Ludtke 1984,
 Mark Schmandt 1985, Steve Dotz 1986, 
Scott Willems 1988,
 Janet Holdt 1989, Timothy Kozlovsky 1989, Mark Peot 1989;
1990s — Cheryl Coisman 1990,
Angela Bertram Kampmann 1990, Karen Runnoe Oftedahl 1990, Deb Seidl 1990,
 Tina Thielen-Gaffey 1990, 
Duane ,Woelfel 1990, 
Judy Woelfel 1990, 
Kevin Flogel 1992,
 Sherry Savee Zimbal 1993,
 Tim Bahn 1994,
 Roger Drumm 1994,
 Phillip Frazier 1994,
 Jill Huguet 1994,
 Michelle Kuchta 1994, 
Michelle LaPlante 1995, 
Jennifer Steeber 1995,
 Debbie Drumm 1996, 
Karla Keegan 1996, Laurie Seely Vassalli 1996, Kristin Robertson Gehm 1997, Jeffrey Burkel 1998,
 Brett Dimmer 1998, Amy Baker 1999, Christy Flynn 1999, Melissa Platowski 1999, Tina Sauerhammer 1999;
2000s — Mary Hart Ott 2000,
 Amanda Moschea Reichhold 2000, Jessica Galarneau 2003,
 David Robertson 2003,
 Tiffany Wier 2003,
 Timi Wojcik 2003,
 Abbe Somerhalder 2004,
 Darla Czarapata VanCamp 2004, Terry Brennan 2006, 
Jemma Lund 2007,
 Shiyanke Goonetilleke 2008, Ashley Sprangers 2008,
 Shelley DeGrave 2009, 
Kolia Olson 2009,
 Matthew Walton 2009,
 Andrea Fisher Storzer 2010,
 Erin LeGrave 2011,
 Lacy Siegmund 2011,
 Kendra Wilke 20012,
 Krista Jaeger 2013, 
Alex Stensaas 2013,
 Rancel Tom 2013, 
Angie Danowski 2014,
 Nicole Duhaime 2014,
 Charles Reimer 2014,
 Farin Ludtke 2015.

UW-Green Bay Concert Choir: Soprano I — Acacia Angelo, Emily Blaha, Abigail Borchardt, Breanna Butterfield, Guinevere Casper, Jessica Hannon, Laura Hoffman, Jacilyn Rubio, Alleia Tyson, Mallory Uttech, Sarah Vestweber, Anna Xiong; Soprano II — Natasha Ales, 
Alivia Dobbratz, Kaitlyn Kuchenbecker, Hailey Maurer, McKenzie Reimann, Katrina Strnad, Charlotte Wu; Alto I — Taylor Casperson, Macie Doyle, Courtney Hamilton, Olivia Helander, Brittany Int-Hout, Rebecca Kornowski, Jordan Parbs, Mallory Uttech; Alto II — Nicole Baeb,
 Taylor Gulbrand, Halle Johnson, Anastasia Lundquist, Madisen Lutz,
 Emily Pouli,
 Fantasia Robinson, Samantha Slater, Madeline Tiedt; Tenor — Alex Ashbeck, Aaron Hepp, Lane Ludtke, Josh Riehn; Baritone/Bass — Erik Larson,
 Misael Moya, Jordan Sisel, Michael Wallenfang.

UW-Green Bay Chorale: Soprano — Acacia Angelo, Ashley Bucholtz, Lindsey Buss, Lisa Ford, Anna Hoesley,
 Claire Kitzerow, Brittney Koerner, Sabrena Koren, Kaitlyn Kuchenbecker, Christa Lewin, Sydney St.Clair, Mallory Uttech, Madelyn Winter; Alto — Alysha Brooks, Laura Cortright, Maria Fannin, Samantha Gulino, Ashley Gutting, Kelsie Holtzheimer, Xinyi Liu, Lauren Paul,
 Rissel Peguero, Heather Roberts, Beth Waldeck, Brittany Welch, Lorelei Zimmerman; Tenor— Aaron Frye, 
Logan Gruszynski, Lane Ludtke, Craig Sampo, Jordan Sisel; Bass — Ryan Dummer, Gatlin Grimm, Bryan Konicek, Nicholas Schommer, Thomas Sielaff, Kevin Wellens.


UW-Green Bay Theatre presents ‘Theophilus North’

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance presents the comedic drama Theophilus North, a Jazz Age tale based on a semi-autobiographical story by Thornton Wilder, as its first production of the 2015-16 season.

The performances of Theophilus North will take place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 15-17, and Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 21-24 at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Jean Weidner Theatre at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. General admission prices at the door are $20 for the general public and $17 for seniors and students (discounted to $18 and $15 if purchased in advance). Tickets for currently enrolled UW-Green Bay students are $10.

Set in 1926, the play follows 30-year-old Theophilus North, who quits his teaching position in New Jersey and embarks on a quest for fun, adventure and his place in the world. When his used car breaks down, leaving him stranded in Newport, Rhode Island, Theophilus takes on odd jobs in houses of the wealthy.

The title role in the student production will be played by junior Evan Ash, a double major at UW-Green Bay and the recipient of the Irene A. Shewalter Memorial Scholarship for Theatre.

When asked about the role, Ash said, “I identify most with Theophilus, and I instantly fell in love with the journey he and the rest of the characters take during the show…The part I enjoy most about playing Theophilus is being able to project his aura of kindness and good-hearted nature and his willingness to help anyone.”

Theophilus North is written by Matthew Burnett based upon the semi-autobiographical final work of Wilder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning icon of American literature. The production is directed by Associate Prof. John Mariano.

For more information about this event, call 920-465-2944 or visit the Weidner Center website.