PIX Flix Spotlight On the Board: There’s No Business Like Show Business

WE’RE HAVIN’ A HEAT WAVE!!!

Come see Marilyn Monroe in the number that scandalized Ed Sullivan and celebrate the end of summer at Waukesha Civic Theatre’s PIX Flix – There’s No Business Like Show Business – September 19 at 6:30 pm!

This 1954 musical/comedy – highlighting the genius of composer Irving Berlin- is a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood greats, staring Ethel Merman, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilyn Monroe, Dan Daily and Richard Eastman. If you love laughter, singing and musical dance numbers (…and who doesn’t?!) this is a MUST SEE!

Waukesha Civic Theatre is celebrating its 60th season of bringing great entertainment to Waukesha, and it is not hard to imagine PIX theater patrons of the past filling the seats to watch this movie spectacle unfold in Fox’s first musical in Cinema Scope and DeLuxe Color!!! Come join the tradition!

Based on a story by Lamar Trotti, There’s No Business Like Show Business follows the family of Terry and Molly Donahue (Dan Dailey and Ethel Merman) as they shepherd their brood of three (Johnie Ray, Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O’Connor) through the ups and downs of vaudeville life. The film is a tribute to the power of a loving family and is chock full of romance, comedic intrigue, dancing, music and a plethora of show girls (and boys). Fans of the golden age of Hollywood will not want to miss this gem with musical numbers: “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and, of course, the film’s namesake sung by Ethel Merman herself. Everything about it is appealing!!

Although it received lukewarm reviews when first released, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards and Donald O’Connor later called it the best picture he ever made.

Make it your business to come see There’s No Business Like Show Business, September 19 at 6:30 pm See you there!!

Klett Jane 2009Jane Klett

WCT Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On the Board: The Miracle Worker

Have you ever been to the PIX to see a movie?

Please consider coming to see the award winning 1962 American biographical film The Miracle Worker on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m.

The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 Broadway play which was based on the 1902 autobiography of Helen Keller called The Story of My Life.

Anne Bancroft won the Academy Award for Best Actress portraying the tutor Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke won the Award for Best Supporting Actress portraying the young Helen Keller, blind and deaf since infancy due to a severe case of scarlet fever.

The plot centers around a battle of wills as Anne breaks down Helen’s walls of silence and darkness through persistence, love, and sheer stubbornness.

The Miracle Worker holds a perfect 100% score from the movie critics site Rotten Tomatoes and is ranked #15 on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s Most Inspiring Movies.

Time Out London’s review said, “It’s a stunningly impressive piece of work…deriving much of its power from the performances. Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft spark off each other with a violence and emotional honesty rarely seen in the cinema lighting up each other’s loneliness, vulnerability, and plain fear.”

Patty Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, after which she devoted much of her life to advocating for and educating the public on mental health issues.

Nelson Larry 2011Since Patty Duke died this past March 29, what better way to honor her memory than coming to see the film that made her a star at 16 for the role that she had originated on Broadway?

Larry Nelson

WCT Board Director

MAD Corner: Fawlty Towers

We end our 59th Mainstage season (and thirteen years of putting up with me as WCT’s Managing Artistic Director) with a show that is perfectly silly and full of fun … Fawlty Towers. This John Cleese British television farce has become a cult classic and Netflix favorite. The show is a potpourri of delightful and hilarious characters and situations.

We recently announced our lineup for our historic 60th season and are thrilled about the variety of high quality entertainment we are offering for our Diamond Anniversary. We are sure that you, the Waukesha community, will find something you like from our list of exciting entertainment.

In addition to that, we have been blessed with the incredible support of the Waukesha community as you support us as patrons, donors, and volunteers. We are excited about the future and the possibilities that lie before us, and we can’t to move into the next season with enthusiasm for the arts, our community partners, and all of the people that have been touched, and will be touched by the Waukesha Civic Theatre, a true gem in the heart of Wisconsin. I want to thank everyone for joining us, and I hope you are enjoying the ride as much as we are.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider a donation of any size to our Spotlight On The Future Campaign, a major gift drive with a goal to raise $750,000, providing capital for upgrades that will enhance the theatre experience, increase advertising revenue, decrease operating expenses, and provide for building maintenance. We have raised more than a third of our goal, but we need your help to reach the full amount.

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Fawlty Towers

What better way to end our 59th Season at Waukesha Civic Theatre than with the outrageous laughs provided by Basil Fawlty and friends in Fawlty Towers, based on the 1970s British sitcom of the same name.  I have fond childhood memories of watching Fawlty Towers with my father when it was first aired in the US; it was one of the few TV shows he thought was worth watching.  It’s an all-time classic, to be sure, as the British Film Institute put the show at #1 on its BFI TV 100 in 2000.

In our upcoming 60th Season, we’ve got more classics planned in our Mainstage series, starting with Gypsy in September and followed by To Kill A Mockingbird.  To help celebrate this big milestone season, the cast of Gypsy will include the incomparable Kelli Cramer, starring as Rose, and John Cramer as Herbie.  John will also direct Gypsy, and auditions for all remaining roles will be held on June 17-18.

For further details on Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 60th Season, feel free to pick up a 2016-2017 Season Calendar on your way out – better yet, take more than one, give them to friends, and let them know about the wonderful shows you’ve see here.

Finally, as a board director who is also an actor, I want to thank each and every one of you for your support of Waukesha Civic Theatre.  This institution means so much to me and to everyone else on-stage, off-stage, and behind the scenes; it’s truly a blessing in our lives.  Thank you!

Mallmann Jim 2012Jim Mallmann

Board Director

Director’s Notes: Fawlty Towers

Welcome to Fawlty Towers. Or should I say, welcome to the 70’s. Of course, there’s nothing screamingly dated about this play, nor is there anything offensive, so as they say, it holds up. No my friend, what you are about to witness (or have already witnessed, if you waited to read this until you arrived at home) is simply a British themed comedy sometimes called “farce”, which is simply funny. There’s no plot, or deep-seated theme that you must be emotionally affected by, there’s no “message” to perceive, no mystery to unravel. Nope. None of that here. Just some harmless laughter at Basil Fawlty’s expense. It is your opportunity to forget the insanity and drama of the world outside these doors, and have a good time. Laugh! After all, laughter is the best medicine, good for the soul, and it burns calories!

 

Scott David 2004David Scott

Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Annie Get Your Gun

There’s no business like show business

Like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing

Everything the traffic will allow

Nowhere can you get that happy feeling

When you are stealing that extra bow

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Production of Annie Get Your Gun and our historic 59th season. Irving Berlin couldn’t have said it any better. Community theatre can take us to a place like no other. Since joining WCT first as a performer and now also as a Board Director, I relish in the opportunity to share this wonderful theatre and its efforts with you. The commitment of our staff, board, performers, volunteers, and crews to put on quality productions is beyond compare. I am honored to be a part of it. But we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if we didn’t have you, the patrons, sitting in these seats and supporting us. For your attendance, and your support, I am truly grateful.

Since its debut in 1946, Annie Get Your Gun has masterfully maintained its popularity. With hits like “You Can’t Get a Man With A Gun” and “Anything You Can Do,” you are sure to leave the show smiling and humming a tune. And if you are so inclined, please help spread the word and encourage others to attend! We rely on your word of mouth and your help—you are our best marketing tool! Take advantage of the many opportunities available to you to support our theatre, including donations, and volunteering! Enjoy this amazing production!

Bagley Elizabeth 2014Elizabeth Bagley

Board Director

 

Fun Historical Facts & Timeline

1831 – Sitting Bull is born (estimate) Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake, in Jumping Badger, Dakota Territory.

1846 – William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) is born in Le Claire, Iowa Territory, 2/26/1846.

1847 – Francis E. Butler is born in County Longford, Ireland, 1/30/1847.

1860 – Gordon William Lillie (Pawnee Bill) is born in Bloomington, IL 2/14/1860.

1860 – Phoebe Ann Mosey (Annie Oakley) is born near Woodland, Ohio, 8/13/1860, the sixth of nine children.

1865 – Annie’s father dies.

1870 – Frank marries Henrietta Saunders.

1875 – Annie and Frank meet. She is 15 and he is 28.

1876 – Annie (age 16) and Frank (age 29) are married on August 23rd. Sitting Bull defeats Custer at Little Big Horn (age 45). Frank divorces Henrietta (though the divorce may not have been final until after Annie and Frank were married).

1883 – Buffalo Bill creates his Wild West Show (age 37). Pawnee Bill works for him (age 23).

1884 – Annie (age 24) and Sitting Bull (age 53) meet, and he “ceremonially” adopts her. He gives her the nicknames “Little Sure Shot” and “Watanya Cecilia.”

1885 – Annie, Frank, and Sitting Bull join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. (Annie is 25, Frank is 38, Sitting Bull is 54, and Buffalo Bill is 39). Sitting Bull leaves the show after four months.

1887 – Buffalo Bill begins touring Europe (eight different tours between 1887 and 1906). Annie and Frank leave the show.

1888 – Pawnee Bill (age 28) creates his Wild West Show.

1889 – Annie and Frank rejoin Buffalo Bill’s show.

1890 – Sitting Bull dies (age 59).

1901 – Annie (age 41) and Frank (age 54) leave Buffalo Bill’s show.

1908 – Buffalo Bill (age 62) and Pawnee Bill (age 48) combine their shows.

1917 – Buffalo Bill dies (age 71), 1/10/1917.

1926 – Annie dies (age 66), and Frank dies 18 days later (age 79), 11/3 and 11/21/1926.

1942 – Pawnee Bill dies (age 82) 2/3/1942.

Come see this amazing and inspirational story come to life on the WCT stage! Based on the true story of Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Colonel William F. Cody, Sitting Bull, and Major Gordon W. Lillie, and featuring one of the best musical scores ever written by one of the greatest American composers, it truly is a masterpiece. Call our box office (262-547-0708) or get your tickets here: http://waukeshacivictheatre.org/59thSeason/AnnieGetYourGun.html

Director’s Note & MAD Corner: Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get your Gun tbt

My very first community theatre show was Annie Get Your Gun in 1976 when I was 13 years old, and now I am directing it in 2016 for the community theatre that I have been leading for 13 years. Talk about full circle! I know I say it about every musical I direct, but this really is one of my favorite shows, if not my all-time favorite! In addition to being my first community theatre show, it was one of the first shows that I directed when I was fresh out of college in 1986, and my wife played Annie in Drury Lane Oakbrook’s production in 1996, winning a Joseph Jefferson Award for her performance. Kelli and I performed “Anything You Can Do” at the WCT Gala in 2006, and now our daughter is playing Annie in 2016 – one more full circle moment? Maybe. Maybe.

Based on the amazing and inspirational true story of Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Colonel William F. Cody, Sitting Bull, and Major Gordon W. Lillie, and featuring one of the best musical scores ever written by one of the greatest American composers, it truly is a masterpiece. I’m a history buff, and I thoroughly research every show I direct. As I reacquainted myself with Annie’s story, I fell in love with her all over again. She was an amazing woman, and way ahead of her time.

The creators of the show did take quite a few liberties with the facts … this is afterall musical comedy! The show takes place over a span of ten months, and a lot of the story is based on actual facts, but the truth is that most of what you see in the show actually took place over a span of decades. Annie and Frank didn’t actually meet Buffalo Bill until 1885, ten years after they met in 1875. When they met each other Bill was 29, Sitting Bull was 44, and Pawnee Bill was 15. In 1885 when Annie and Frank joined Buffalo Bill’s show Annie was 25, Frank was 38, Buffalo Bill was 39, Sitting Bull was 54, and Pawnee Bill was 25. When Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill merged their shows Buffalo Bill was 62 and Pawnee Bill was 48. Annie and Frank were no longer with Buffalo Bill’s show, having left it seven years earlier. In the program I’ve included a timeline of some prominent moments in her lifetime.

I can’t thank the cast, crew, and staff enough for all of their hard work, focus, patience, creativity, and humor. We have had a marvelous time putting this incredible show together and I hope each and every one of you enjoys it as much as we have.

Our Spotlight On The Future is still active, and still needs your help! So far we have raised 45% of our $750,000 goal and have already put these donations to good use, implementing upgrades that enhance the theatre experience, increasing advertising revenue, decreasing operating expenses, and providing for building maintenance. Current improvements include a new HVAC unit, our new lighting catwalk, our new retractable movie screen and projector, a new sound board for the Mainstage, and new sound and lighting equipment for the Studio Theatre and Rehearsal Hall. We still need your help. If you haven’t given to the Spotlight On The Future campaign yet, please consider a gift! If you have already given, thank you, and please consider an additional gift to help us reach our goal.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and treasure that you give to WCT. Keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Director / Choreographer

Managing Artistic Director

Why Theatre Arts Education?

Academy at Civic Theatre (A.C.T.) works with students to develop and strengthen listening, communication, and creative problem-solving skills. These are core stage skills for any performer, but they are so much more. That’s a nice thing to say, but what do we mean by that?

These core skills are vital to just about anything students will pursue in life. Learning to listen, to truly be engaged and focused on where you are, is invaluable. There are more and more distractions in the world that splinter our focus, and theatre education is a fun and effective way to train ourselves to block those distractions out when necessary.

The communication skills we work on also carry well beyond the stage. Simple but vital skills like eye contact and articulation are at the heart of our A.C.T. programs. There’s a big difference talking to a young person who stares at their feet the whole time as opposed to looking you in the eye when they speak. Eye contact speaks to a confidence level that we work to develop. And with electronic devices doing more and more of the talking for us, exercising these communication muscles becomes more and more important.

And what do we mean by “creative problem-solving” skills? When we work with our students at A.C.T., we make sure they know that acting is not about being perfect. Mistakes happen in almost every single live performance they will ever see. They will probably not notice 95% of those mistakes because actors are trained to not focus on them, but rather to keep moving forward with the story. While we always work with students on ways to minimize mistakes, the more important work we do with them is training them on how to deal with a mistake when it does happen. When something goes wrong, do you shut down and give up, or do you stay calm and allow your brain to figure out how to make it right? We provide a safe and supportive environment for kids to learn how to positively navigate the mistakes that will inevitably pop up.

Theatre Arts education helps equip students with the tools they will need in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue. We are not focused on developing the next generation of actors and singers and dancers. Rather, we are focused on helping develop the next generation of well-rounded, civic-minded young people who are prepared to overcome whatever obstacles lie ahead for them. We just get to do it in a really, really fun way!

Jarecki Doug 2008 Cropped

 

~Doug Jarecki
Education & Outreach Administrator

World Theatre Day Message 2016 by Anatoli Vassiliev

LogoDo we need theatre?

That is the question thousands of professionals disappointed in theatre and millions of people who are tired of it are asking themselves.

What do we need it for?

In those years when the scene is so insignificant in comparison with the city squares and state lands, where the authentic tragedies of real life are being played.

What is it to us?

Gold-plated galleries and balconies in the theatre halls, velvet armchairs, dirty stage wings, well-polished actors’ voices, – or vice versa, something that might look apparently different: black boxes, stained with mud and blood, with a bunch of rabid naked bodies inside.

What is it able to tell us?

Everything!

Theatre can tell us everything.

How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin, and how no-one needs a good person in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, and how they all have to return back to the desert, and how day after day we are forced to part with our beloveds, – theatre can tell everything.

The theatre has always been and it will remain forever.

And now, in those last fifty or seventy years, it is particularly necessary. Because if you take a look at all the public arts, you can immediately see that only theatre is giving us – a word from mouth to mouth, a glance from eye to eye, a gesture from hand to hand, and from body to body. It does not need any intermediary to work among human beings – it constitutes the most transparent side of light, it does not belong to either south, or north, or east, or west – oh no, it is the essence of light itself, shining from all four corners of the world, immediately recognizable by any person, whether hostile or friendly towards it. And we need theatre that always remains different, we need theatre of many different kinds. Still, I think that among all possible forms and shapes of theatre its archaic forms will now prove to be mostly in demand. Theatre of ritual forms should not be artificially opposed to that of “civilized” nations. Secular culture is now being more and more emasculated, so-called “cultural information” gradually replaces and pushes out simple entities, as well as our hope of eventually meeting them one day. But I can see it clearly now: theatre is opening its doors widely. Free admission for all and everybody.

To hell with gadgets and computers – just go to the theatre, occupy whole rows in the stalls and in the galleries, listen to the word and look at living images! – it is theatre in front of you, do not neglect it and do not miss a chance to participate in it – perhaps the most precious chance we share in our vain and hurried lives.

We need every kind of theatre.

There is only one theatre which is surely not needed by anyone – I mean a theatre of political games, a theatre of a political “mousetraps”, a theatre of politicians, a futile theatre of politics. What we certainly do not need is a theatre of daily terror – whether individual or collective, what we do not need is the theatre of corpses and blood on the streets and squares, in the capitals or in the provinces, a phony theatre of clashes between religions or ethnic groups…

 

Translation from Russian original: Natalia Isaeva

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