Grease is the word, and it means a great deal to me. Released in 1978, the movie made it to the still-relatively-young Home Box Office (HBO) in 1979, and at that time, HBO was available in the Milwaukee market on its own, as much of the market had yet to gain a cable television option. I know this because I was in my formative years at this time, and my family – for a short time that included this period – had HBO. The fledgling network was very different then: it was only broadcasting in the evening, and its library was small. Grease was on all the time, and I watched it a lot. Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure, but it’s still one of my all-time favorites. But why shouldn’t it be?
It was the number one movie of 1978, and it was set in the late 1950s – a time in US history often romanticized on film, in part because of the birth of rock & roll in 1955. Plus, it’s filled with now classic songs like Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted to You, You’re the One That I Want, and the title track, Grease. Each of those songs charted on Billboard magazine’s Top 40, with each of latter two hitting number one in the U.S., but Summer Nights is the only one of the four that was also part of the original Grease musical.
The musical – which debuted in Chicago in 1971 – hit Broadway in 1972 with an original cast that included Barry Bostwick as Danny Zuko and Adrienne Barbeau as Betty Rizzo. Notable replacements for Danny include Patrick Swayze, Richard Gere, and Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie in the movie. John Travolta was also a replacement during that original Broadway run, but he played Doody. That original Broadway run lasted eight years, which – believe it or not – was good enough to be the longest-running musical ever at the time it closed. Since then, fifteen newer musicals have had longer runs. With the passage of time, records fall, but perspective is also gained. Consider the relationship between the year the musical debuted – 1971 – and the year of the Rydell High graduating class – 1959. If a similar musical were to debut in 2019 romanticizing that creator’s high school years, it’d be reminiscing about 2007! Crazy, isn’t it?
As WCT wraps up 61 historic years we look forward to our 62nd season and start our summer off with a cornucopia of awesome art!
Our seventh and final Mainstage show of the 61st season, Father Knows Best, opens TONIGHT and performs through June 17.
We still have room in our New York City Theatre Adventure, but you need to book it NOW. The deadline is today, June 1, but I can accept registrations up to next Tuesday, June 5. If you are interested and want more information let me know and I can send you the registration and tour description.
I am also offering beginner-to-intermediate Tap Dance Classes over the summer. There will be 16 75-minute sessions from June 5 through August 21. You can pay as you go, one class at a time, or pre-pay for five, ten, or all 16 sessions. If you are interested please let me know and I can send you the information.
Our twelfth PIX Flix film of the season is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 pm. Join us for John Hughes’ brilliant comedy starring Mathew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Gray, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, and more! All PIX Flix tickets are $5.00, or groups of ten or more for $4.00 each. And of course we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and POPCORN from Pop’s Kettle Corn!
Come see Waukesha’s future stars strut their stuff in our A.C.T. June Summer Showcase on Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Our current featured artists in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery are The League Of Milwaukee Artists through June 25.
Are you interested in helping WCT make decisions about everything we do? Join A Committee and get involved. We have lots of great committees to choose from: Education and Outreach, Finance and Facility, Fund Development, Fundraising Events (Gala), Governance, and Marketing.
June is the final month of our 61st Season, with one Mainstage show, one PIX Flix Film, and one Education & Outreach show. Fabulous Flex Passes are still available for our Mainstage show!
Father Knows Best
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase
And don’t forget about all the ways to save on quality, live entertainment. WCT’s Ticket Promotions can’t be beat!
Fabulous Flex Pass – Save 22%
Subscriber Rate – Save 22 to 31%
Group Rate (Ten Or More Tickets) – Save 22 to 31%
Educational Group Rate (Ten Or More Tickets) – Save 31 to 63%
Student / Senior (60+) / Military Rate – Save 11%
Student Rush – Save 50%
Terrific Tickets – Save 50%
Pay What You Can – You Name Your Savings
All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 17 downtown Waukesha restaurants. And your ticket stub can save you money too!
And our 62nd Season is going to be spectacular! Season tickets for our Mainstage series are on sale now and individual tickets and group sales will go on sale on July 1st. Individual tickets for all of our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events are on sale now as well.
We are looking for Production Staff to fill out the full season, including Stage Managers, Music Directors, Choreographers, Scenic Designers, Costume Designers, Lighting Designers, Sound Designers, Properties Designers, and more, so if you are interested please send me a letter of interest and your resume.
Our Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)
Individual tickets and group sales for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase
Our PIX Flix Film Series individual tickets and group sales are on sale now! Get a Flix Mix and SAVE on the whole season!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Singin’ In The Rain
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Field Of Dreams
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 matching gift through local sponsoring business employers
* A gift that will last a lifetime through your Will or Estate Planning to our Curtain Call Club
* 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 wife Kelli will be performing in The Queens Of Country at the Sunset Playhouse June 14-17.
Happy Father’s Day!
I’ll see you at the Theatre!
Managing Artistic Director