Les Leffingwell is native to the Milwaukee/ Waukesha/ Pewaukee landscape and is attracted by its rich visual arts heritage. He graduated from UWM in 1969 and found work as an art educator, fine art restorer and on-the-spot courtroom illustrator for television news. In 1982, he became owner and sole proprietor of Les Leffingwell Architectural Illustration. His lifelong passion for putting brush to canvas still thrives within and is viewable at: http://leffingwell.artistwebsites.com/
In these times of threats to reduce or eliminate government funding for the creative arts, it is especially gratifying to have the opportunity to show my art at the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery.
For this event, I’ve included paintings of local landmarks (acrylic plein air and Avalon composite poster) and portraits of famous performers and artists (oil paintings). The stylistic spirit of the work is what I like to call “expressionist impressionism” or “painting from the gut.” I’ve been inspired by the bright, bold colors of the Fauvists, such as Kees van Dongen, and the spontaneity of Bay Area Figurative painter Richard Diebenkorn. Also, I rely on a glazing technique taught to me early on by artist and professor Joseph Friebert.
Hopefully, my paintings will involve you to see something in a new light and encourage you to use your own imagination and experience to complete the picture. Please enjoy the show and thanks for looking!
The ACAP PlayMakers have been part of the Waukesha Civic Theatre family since 2006 starting with a meeting with John Cramer to discuss how people with disabilities could get involved in some way with the Theatre.
“We have our PlayMakers program that no one is currently operating since the two creators of that program retired. Why don’t you start with that.”
Us run a theatre program? Nevertheless, John put his faith in us (and a lot of moral and professional support) and here we are 20 shows later.
As people have heard about our adaptive theatre work, many more people have joined our troupe. Starting out with 8 people, we now have over 30 people regularly involved in the program (and that’s not including the many community actors that play supporting roles in the cast). As we continue to grow, we are running out of space on stage!
That’s where our idea for a film production came from: looking for a way to include more people, given the limited space available at the Theatre. We figured, if we could create and capture smaller groupings of people on film, and string them all together in a larger story, we would achieve that end.
So we are currently learning from scratch the ins and outs of movie making. Join us on Saturday, July 15th to see the final product – Oh, Henry: A Double Feature! Here’s hoping that 20 productions from now, we will be as successful as the ACAP PlayMakers venture has been!
Barefoot In The Park is known by many for the 1967 movie adaption directed by Gene Saks and starring Robert Redford (Paul) and Jane Fonda (Corie). However, it all started four years before that on October 23rd, 1963 when it opened at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway. It ran for a total of 1,530 performances closing on June 25th, 1967, making it Neil Simon’s longest-running hit. Robert Redford also played Paul in the Broadway performance, and Elizabeth Ashley played Corie.
This production is set in 1963. While times have changed around the woman’s role in the household since then, many of the challenges Corie and Paul are presented during their first four days living together after their blissful honeymoon, along with how they deal with them, remain timeless.
We laughed a ton during rehearsals as we each thought back to our own relationships, and how spot on Neil Simon was. The nosey mother, the crazy neighbor, and the reality that hits after the honeymoon is over. But, ultimately realizing that with your loved one at your side, you can conquer it all, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. For many actors, the roles in Barefoot In The Park are bucket list roles, and I know that to be true for several of our cast members. I think you’ll understand why after seeing the show. I am truly lucky for the caliber of cast, crew, and production staff I have working with me side-by-side on this production. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at rehearsals as I did working with this cast. I hope you have as much fun watching the show as the cast does performing it!
Patricia was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin and has lived in the area all her life. Her interest in photography started in 1982 and continues today. Trained through classes at WCTC, UWW, and workshops from Santa Fe School of Photography, Rocky Mountain School of Photography including many photographers such as John Gerlach, Barb Gerlach, Brenda Tharp, Doug Beasley, Mike Moats and many others. Patricia worked for Walgreens for 45 years and after retiring in 2015 she has become an avid photographer joining several workshops a year around the US, melding her love of travel and passion for photography. She is a past president and member of The Unlimited Vision Photo Club based in Waukesha. Her images have been used by Prohealth in the yearly Breast Cancer River Walk Brochure and she volunteers for the City Of Waukesha Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department to photograph yearly events.
While staying at Akiko’s Bed and Breakfast outside Hilo, Hawaii, I traveled with a group of photographers to produce images of the non-traditional local beauty of the Island. Encouraged by the instructor, photographer Douglas Beasley, the assignment was to look for gratitude and serenity in the backroads of Hilo. The beauty of Volcano National Park, driving along the Hamakua Coast, the very small village of Wailea, the lush greenery of the Red Road Scenic Drive, dramatic rocks at Lapahoehoe and downtown Hilo are my memories of Hawaii. The images that you see in the exhibit are my personal artistic expression showing the peaceful beauty that is Hawaii.
In many ways, I am The Man In The Chair. As a child and young girl, I spent hours in our living room, ears glued to the speakers, listening to my mom and dad’s LPs, imaging the likes of Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, and Mary Martin as they gallivanted across the streets of London in My Fair Lady, rode the vaudeville circuit in Gypsy, and sang and danced on sugar sands in South Pacific! I could see them so clearly in my mind’s eye that it was as if they were right there with me in the room, performing just for me, thrilling me and making me laugh and cry, dance and sing! How can you NOT love a classic musical?!?!?
Welcome to The Drowsy Chaperone, where we all get to be The Man In The Chair! As a WCT board director and performer, I am constantly amazed and thrilled by the variety of theatre options the WCT brings to our community every season. From cutting edge drama like 33 Variations to the innumerable learning opportunities through ACAP, STEM Academy, and A.C.T. to family friendly classic movies with PIX Flix and more, WCT is truly a gem. But I confess, deep down in my heart, my absolute favorites are the WCT musicals. No one does them better than WCT!
Our historic 60th season ends next month with Neil Simon’s Barefoot In The Park, as we look forward to our 61st season and your continued support. Without the generous support of our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha community. Please consider a donation today to support our mission to provide quality live theatre performances and educational opportunities that will enrich, challenge, and entertain both participants and audience members for years to come.
Enjoy the Show!
Jane G. Klett
Board of Directors
What would possess a left-leaning 24 year old from Kenosha, WI to co-write, direct, produce and star in a motion picture intended to skewer the oligarchs who controlled the American media in the 1930’s? In Orson Welles’ own words, “Ignorance.” Having already achieved critical acclaim as a theater actor, playwright and director, perhaps it is this audacity of scope combined with the fresh technological innovations of the silver screen that led Welles to create what is now almost universally agreed to be one of the greatest films ever made.
Citizen Kane, a fictional biopic of the newspaper magnate Charles Kane, is Welles’ first film and employs numerous experimental techniques developed for this movie. Many of these contributions to style and cinematography have entered the movie making lexicon. Today these remain as fresh and important to the story as when Citizen Kane was released in 1941.
Charles Kane, played by the young Orson Welles, is transparent in life and mysterious in death. Welles and his co-writer, Herman Mankiewicz, ask the viewer to share in the detective work of newsreel reporter Jerry Thompson, played by William Alland, to discover Kane’s deepest secrets by investigating the mundane meaning of the final utterance on his deathbed: “Rosebud.” This thinly veiled misdirection provides the audience the opportunity to approach and receive the film on numerous levels. Today, the parallels to our culture remain as strong as they did 76 years ago with just as much opportunity to be challenged and entertained.
With a handpicked cast, many of whom such as Agnes Moorehead and Joseph Cotten would go on to storied careers, Citizen Kane represents a high watermark in cinematic storytelling. Whether you are a fan of film, student of history, have interest in the media’s role in modern politics or simply want to share this experience with friends and family, the Waukesha Civic Theatre invites you to join us at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 5th to watch and celebrate this Hollywood masterwork.
As Andy Williams said, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” And in the words of Blues Traveler “If it’s Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, Solstice Harvest, or December 25th, peace on earth to everyone, and abundance to everyone you’re with.”
I love this season, and I love WCT’s tradition of presenting an affordable family show for the community to enjoy. This season we present a hidden gem by local playwright / composer Jason Powell; For Purely Elfish Reasons, a holiday show with great characters and a story line that gives a respectful (and hilarious) nod to the Marx Brothers. We open tonight and run through December 18, including two Pay What You Can performances Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm and Saturday December 17 at 2:00 pm. Click here for more information.
Waukesha Silver Bells is once again sponsoring Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in downtown Waukesha every Friday and Saturday throughout the month. Click here for more information.
The West End Artists are presenting their 94th Art Crawl Saturday, December 3, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, with fantastic art displays in several galleries and stores in downtown Waukesha, including our own Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in the WCT lobby. Click here for more information.
For those of you looking for something a little naughty (but a lotta nice) Joel Kopischke brings his unique brand of comedy to our stage for the eighth consecutive season with I Got Yule, Babe Tuesday and Thursday, December 6 and 8, at 7:30 pm both nights. Joined by his merry band of incredible musicians and singers, he will present some of his favorites with a few new songs mixed in. Click here to buy tickets.
We have two auditions coming up this month. A.C.T. Live! auditions will be held on Monday, December 12 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and auditions for 33 Variations will be held on Monday and Tuesday, December 12 and 13, starting at 6:30 pm. Click here for more information.
Our PIX Flix movie series is utilizing our new screen and projector, bringing the silver screen back to the PIX. Our next movie of the season will be Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas on December 19 at 6:30 pm. The cast of the movie includes Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and more. All tickets are $5.00, and we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and … wait for it … POPCORN! Click here to buy tickets.
We end the holiday season with the return of Tony Davis as Elvis Presely in Elvis: The Legend Lives On with performances December 29-31. Click here for more information.
Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby is the InterFaith Lifetime Art Competition Winners through December 8, and then we will feature the art of Jonathan Korotko December 10 through January 9.
Our 60th Season is on sale now. Subscription packages for the Mainstage shows, and individual tickets for everything can be purchased now. Please join us for another great season of entertainment!
I know we are only half way through our current season, but I am so excited about our 61st season I have to share it with all of you. I am thrilled to annouce that our 2017-2018 season will include:
Sex Please, We’re Sixty
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (an area premier!)
The House Without A Christmas Tree (an original adaptation by our own Doug Jarecki)
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Wait Until Dark
Father Knows Best
Amazing, right? Subscription packages will go on sale in May 2017! Individual tickets will go on sale in July 2017!
Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us so far this season. If you would like to donate, you can choose from any number of ways you could help us not only maintain, but thrive, as Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone.
Please Consider Giving …
* A gift to our Operating Fund
* A gift to our Spotlight On The Future Capital Campaign
* A matching gift through local sponsoring business employers
* A gift that will last a lifetime through your Will or Estate Planning
* A gift by donation to CARS
* A gift by shopping through Amazon Smile
* A gift by purchasing something on our Amazon Wish List
* Choose WCT as your Thrivent Choice charitable organization
* Become a Sponsor of outstanding performances and educational programs
On a personal note, my son Jude will be appearing with the Waukesha South High School choirs in two concerts. The first with the Wisconsin Philharmonic on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm at Shattuck Auditorium, and the second at Waukesha South High School on Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 pm.
Have a Happy Holiday Season, and I’ll see you at the theatre!
Managing Artistic Director
262-547-4911 ext. 13 office
Don’t Be A Grinch … Come See The Grinch!
By now you are all most likely aware of our new PIX Flix movie series, where we have brought the Silver Screen back to the PIX one Monday every month. We are half way through our second season of the series, and our next movie makes me giddy. It is no secret that I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of year, and I love, love, love, love, love holiday movies. I’m hoping to get a full house for our December movie, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and more. This is easily one of my all-time favorite holiday movies, and I can watch it over and over.
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss and the original 1966 cartoon TV special narrated by Boris Karloff, the movie brings the wonderful world of the Whos to life. Ron Howard directed the movie, which has become the second highest-grossing holiday film of all time with over $345 million worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
And of course there’s Jim Carrey.
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Jim Carrey’s 100% commitment to every role he plays. When Mr. Carrey first started having success on the big screen I was not amused. I didn’t understand what the buzz was about, but I saw every film he was in. Perhaps begrudgingly, but I saw it. Over time I grew to appreciate his genius, and now he is one of my favorite actors of all time. His ability to completely transform himself, both vocally and physically, is a wonder to behold. And his Grinch is pure brilliance.
I love quoting the Grinch. I’m no Jim Carrey, but it sure is fun to imitate him. This is my usual go-to:
The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?
The movie’s soundtrack is loaded with fun, funny, and sentimental songs, including “Green Christmas,” “Christmas Of Love,” “Better Do It Right,” and “Perfect Christmas Night.” And of course, Carrey’s inspired version of the classic “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is spectacular. These songs are in my personal holiday music playlist and always make me smile when they start to play.
The movie will be on Monday, December 19th at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 each, and we have concessions (including popcorn!) and bar service. It would be a great night for everyone that loves WCT to gather just before the holiday to celebrate this incredible organization, each other, a very fun and funny movie, and our NEW SCREEN and PROJECTOR!!!!! I’m hoping that we can get 200, or MORE, of our key supporters and participants to come see this movie. You can fully experience our projector and screen, purchased and installed a little over a year ago thanks to the generous donations we have received for our Spotlight On The Future Campaign. (It’s never too late to give to the campaign, or give again to the campaign. We are at 47% of our total goal). You can buy tickets online or at the box office by phone, email, fax or in person. Get your tickets early so you are sure to have a seat! I’ll see you then, if not before!
Managing Artistic Director
PS – click here to check out the rest of our PIX Flix series!