Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Time to Heat Things Up

With longer days, sometimes warmer temperatures and cabin fever at an all-time high, Wisconsinites starting to come out of hibernation, and Acoustic Africa is one sure way to beat the winter blues.
On March 8, three of Africa’s biggest music stars – Habib Koité, Oliver Mtukudzi and Afel Bocoum – will be heating things up as they bring the sounds of the Sahara Desert, the Niger River and their homes in Mali and Zimbabwe to the Fox Cities stage. With genuine vocal talent, acoustic guitars and traditional African instruments, Acoustic Africa shares a powerful musical heritage and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see three amazing African musicians performing together onstage. Want more information? Visit their show page at!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Broadway Buzz: Where Would We Be Without Love?

Without love, life is “like a week that’s only Mondays, only ice cream never sundaes, like a circle with no center, like a door marked do not enter.” Our friends from the Broadway show Hairsprayhave it right. Without love, life would be a lot less enjoyable. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite Broadway love stories and couples.
In the first half of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Belle sings that “far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise” are parts of her favorite story. Belle’s favorite fairytale essentials happen to foreshadow her romantic future. Belle’s strength to overcome the physical appearance of the Beast and see past the enchanted spell to fall in love is delightful every time I see it.
Some of the greatest love stories don’t always end up happily ever after. (Spoiler alert!) The Phantom of the Opera highlights some of the best Broadway love songs and ranks as a top Valentine’s date night show, but the story is filled with unrequited love. Don’t give up all hope for the Phantom. Maybe he will find the love he’s always hoped for in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel Love Never Dies, now playing in London.
Many love stories are just as extraordinary as the classics they’re based on. Like “Romeo and Juliet,” West Side Story’s star crossed-lovers Tony and Maria battle rivalries that have kept their families apart for ages. I can’t blame Maria for falling in love with Tony, and neither can Mary Poppins star Laura Michelle Kelly!
Sometimes the music is just as unforgettable as the relationship that grows onstage. Emile and Nellie in South Pacific are a classic Broadway couple and had an instant connection that “Some Enchanted Evening.”Bernadette Peters and Olivia Newton John agree with my choice that “Some Enchanted Evening” is one of the greatest Broadway love songs of all time. Read more to see who agrees with your favorite.
I could go on all day listing my favorite couples. Who is your favorite, and what makes you love their story?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WICKED Returns in Grand Fashion

By all accounts, WICKED has returned to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in grand fashion. And by grand fashion, we mean the Tony Award®-winning costumes designed by Susan Hilferty. 

Using more than 7,000 fabrics in hand-crafted couture pieces designed down to the smallest sequins, Hilferty helped create the iconic images of Glinda's stunning ball gown and Elphaba's striking black hat that add layer upon layer to the theatrical land of Oz. Whether it is your first time experiencing WICKED or your 50th, the magic is there in every performance, in every detail onstage.

CLICK TO WATCH:  Susan Hilferty guides us backstage to explore the world of fashion she designed forWICKED

If you want to see these amazing costumes come to life, WICKED will be playing at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center tonight through February 20. Tickets are still available through the Fox Cities P.A.C. ticket office and!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Broadway Buzz: Packers, Football and Broadway Fans Unite with Lombardi!

Packers, football and Broadway fans unite! The Packers are going to the Super Bowl this Sunday and are bringing back memories from the first big game under legendary coach Vince Lombardi. The Super Bowl trophy is named after him, and his story is up in lights on Broadway too.
Sorry, non-Wisconsinites, but the Broadway play Lombardi has Wisconsin written all over it. Lombardi is based on the book “Life and Times of Vince Lombardi” by Wisconsin native David Maraniss and the play was written by Eric Simonson, also a Wisconsin native. The play screaming green and gold pride has been drawing in first time theater goers and sports enthusiasts, even professional football teams.

 is going into Broadway overtime. As mentioned in the interview, Lombardi has been extended through June 2012 as the only new fall show that is still currently playing on Broadway. Actor Bill Dawes, who plays former Packer Paul Hornung, jokes that they were the wild card show. It’s only appropriate that the cast ofLombardi will be cheering on the Packers at this year’s Super Bowl-read more about it here. Vince Lombardi’s legacy is alive and well onstage and I'll keep my fingers crossed for the Packers to win his trophy this Sunday. 
Did you know?
The Vince Lombardi Trophy is valued at $50,000 and created by Tiffany & Co. The trophy is made entirely of sterling silver and takes about four months create. Sounds like the perfect souvenir to bring back from this year’s big game.
Not the biggest football fan? For those who prefer flying monkeys over flying footballs, come celebrate with the WICKED OzBowl at the Fox Cities P.A.C. this Sunday. Kick off is at 6:30 p.m. but come early for special OzBowl pricing, a green or pink gift bag and a chance to win Glinda and Elphaba inspired prize packages. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wicked at the Fox Cities P.A.C.

I find it difficult to sum up in a few words how great Wicked was.  Awesome, spectacular, moving, powerful, incredible, hilarious and amazing all come to mind.  

Everything I believed, as a child, to be true about OZ has just been turned upside down.  This show takes you on a journey of twists, turns and surprises from the opening scene to the jaw dropping, tear provoking ending, as the "true" story of OZ is revealed.

I encourage you all to put aside some time, grab a loved one, buy your tickets and experience the amazing vocal talents that Wicked has to offer. Keep your eyes open for a cameo appearance from Dorothy and never count out the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion.

Enjoy the show, and I encourage your feedback.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just Announced! Kick-off a WICKED OzBowl Party on February 6

Kick-off a fantastic performance of the Broadway blockbuster WICKED with the OzBowl Party! If you're more interested in flying monkeys than flying footballs, the Fox Cities P.A.C. has the hottest ticket in town forWICKED on Sunday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. Ticket holders will receive green or pink gift bags, refreshments and a chance to win Elphaba and Glinda prize packages in a preshow raffle.* Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. 

If you haven't bought your WICKED tickets yet, here's the best part. All remaining seats for the 6:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, February 6 will be priced at $45! Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or the Center’s ticket office at (920) 730-3760. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Fox Cities P.A.C.'s Ticket Office or online at Use the password "OZBOWL."

Already have tickets for the OzBowl? Call the Fox Cities P.A.C. Ticket Office today at (920) 730-3760 to upgrade your seats at no cost!

*OzBowl gift bags will be available while supplies last. This promotional ticket price does not apply to previously purchased tickets and is valid only on the 6:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, February 6.