Blog Archives

PIX Flix Spotlight on the Board: The Sound of Music

September is a great time to gather the family together and come to PIX Flix, in Historic Downtown Waukesha! We are thrilled to bring The Sound of Music back to the PIX Theatre, now the home of the Waukesha Civic Theatre, on Monday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.!  I say “back,” because, while I wasn’t able to find historical proof, I feel certain this film must have been shown at what is now our amazing community theatre, back in 1965, when it was first released by 20th Century Fox.  The film, which debuted in sold out theatres around the country for over a month, was produced and directed by Robert Wise and stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  The film was adapted from the musical, and two new songs were written just for the movie, “I Have Confidence,” and “Something Good.”  Becoming an instant hit, it is no wonder this stunning film won five Oscars at the 38th Academy Awards!

Influenced by other successful movies of the day, such as Camelot, Mary Poppins, and Cinderella (all of which also starred Julie Andrews) the screenwriter, Ernest Lehman, used artistic license to convey the meaning and essence of the times in Salzburg, just as the Nazis were gaining power.  A small amount of historic exploration will uncover many ways that opulence and pageantry, which were not historically accurate, were employed to draw the audience deeper into the unfolding story and to create a visual masterpiece.  In reality, the von Trapps did not live in a mansion or play in the hills of Salzburg and the home they lived in was not actually their ancestral home, as is depicted in the movie.  However, the visual backdrop of the movie we have come to know and love is enchanting and it is almost impossible to imagine the story without it.

Then there is the music!  Who of us has not grown up with “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “So Long Farewell,” and “Climb Every Mountain,” as part of our own personal soundtracks?  My family had such a thrill sharing these songs and the film with the next generation that our daughter was cast as Brigitta von Trapp in Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 2014 production of the musical!  These songs will forever be in our hearts.

We hope you will take this opportunity to bring your families, young and old, to see the cinematic treasure The Sound of Music at the Waukesha Civic Theatre on the big screen on Monday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.  Always a value, our PIX Flix films are still only $5 per ticket and of course, we have popcorn and refreshments available too!  While you’re there, pick up an A.C.T. (Academy at Civic Theatre) brochure and discover all the amazing educational opportunities that await at our own community theatre, WCT.  You will also be able to find a calendar for our 63rd season Mainstage productions – the first of which, The Little Prince, opens September 13, 2019.  Mainstage Season Ticket Packages are available now and the lineup is outstanding!  We will also present Bad Seed, Elf the Musical, Come Back, Big Fish, Silent Sky, and The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes this season, in addition to many Random Acts of Entertainment!  We look forward to seeing you at the Theatre.

 

 

Jenny Erato

Board Director

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Spotlight On The Board: Thoroughly Modern Millie

My family has been patiently waiting for the Waukesha Civic Theatre to present the musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie for a long time! As the first show my husband and­ I saw on Broadway (with the Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster in 2003), it immediately became a favorite! When our four-year-old daughter started tap dance lessons, we could not wait to show her the movie that the musical was based on. At the ripe old age of 6 years old, we treated her to the tap-dancing, mad-cap antics of Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore featured in the 1967 film, also starring the recently deceased Carol Channing. Finally, bringing everything full circle, the same daughter, now sixteen years old, just finished her sophomore winter musical as Millie Dillmount in Catholic Memorial High School’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We are thrilled that our own cultural cornerstone, Waukesha Civic Theatre, is able to introduce a new generation of theatre lovers to this classic story of determination, perseverance, and, of course, love!

A spoof set in New York City at the height of the roaring twenties, the musical introduces the audience to Millie, a “modern,” who comes from small town Kansas and plans to marry her boss at a job she hasn’t yet found. The situations she and her friends get caught up in at the Hotel Priscilla, their temporary residence, are somehow shocking and hilarious at the same time, eventually leading Millie, Dorothy, Jimmy, and Ching Ho to discover the true meaning of love.   Along the way, the group encounters flappers, speakeasies, a villainess-involved in kidnapping, and time in jail. All this, combined with a powerful score and explosive tap numbers, promises an evening of entertainment that will leave you grinning!

If you saw Gypsy at the Waukesha Civic Theatre in 2016, you will be thrilled to know the amazing actress who played Gypsy Rose Lee, Megan Miller, is starring as Millie Dillmount in this show! Audiences will once again be wowed by her talent!

Thank you for coming, and enjoy the show!

 

 

Jenny Erato

Board Of Directors

Gratitude Committee, We Are Grateful For YOU!

As you may know, we added a new committee around the middle of our 57th season. The Waukesha Civic Theatre Gratitude Committee is determined to make sure our many volunteers, patrons, donors, and staff know just how much we here at WCT appreciate all the hard work that too often goes un-lauded, though never unnoticed. Char Paulbicke and Debi Mumford are co-chairing this committee. IF this sounds like something you’d like to be involved in, please contact Katie Danner at kdanner@waukeshacivictheatre.org for more information.

One of the things the committee does to celebrate our outstanding volunteers is the Civic Super Star Award. If you want to nominate someone as a Civic Super Star, please fill out a card and deposit it in one of the Super Star Suggestion boxes located in the lobby, green room, and upstairs rehearsal hall. Here are all the Civic Super Stars announced so far:

Becky Miller: Becky is one of our Bartenders.  She had the most successful bar in WCT’s history during, “I Got Yule, Babe!”  She did an amazing job keeping up with the thirsty patrons and helped make the night a smashing success!  Thank you, Becky!

Sean Downs: Sean is one of our Bartenders, Box Office/House Managers, and all around great guy!  Thanks to Sean we have booster seats for our family friendly venues, and a time clock in the concessions area to make sure our shows run as efficiently as possible.  He has contributed so much to WCT.  Thank you, Sean!

Barbara Johnson and Sandy Zingler:  Barbara and Sandy have organized the Learning in Retirement, (LIR) theatre/dinner gatherings.  They have organized groups to attend WCT productions followed by dinners at restaurants, their homes, and at church often including informative programs.  They encourage and welcome new people to enjoy the theatre.  On top of all of that wonderful work, Barbara and Sandy have also ushered for WCT for several years and are often called last minute to lend a helping hand.  Thank you, Barbara and Sandy!  You two are amazing!

Emmie Wendorf:  Emmie is a senior at Waukesha North High School and one of our fantastic ushers.  During one of our Comedy Tonight performances Emmie stepped up to the plate and helped sell raffle tickets for The Great Gatsby Speakeasy.  She stepped outside her comfort zone, offered information, raffle tickets, and a beautifully contagious smile.  You are a star, Emmie!

Lee Piekarski: Lee is definitely one of the Civic’s brightest Super Stars!  When she isn’t helping out at her church or performing with The Civic Senior Players, she is sewing costumes, washing costumes, arranging the costume room, repairing costumes . . .

Thank you for all the hard work that you do, Lee!

Margaret Kennedy: Margaret ushers, is one of our bartenders, house manages, covers the box office, and is one of the first to step up and help out.  Weather she is covering shifts for others, grabbing lunch for co-workers, or maintaining her positive attitude during stressful times, Margaret is a silent source of strength and support!  She was also our first DOUBLE nominee! You are amazing, Margaret!

Emilie Grunfelder:  Emilie stepped up to cover for Katie Danner in the box office over the summer while Katie is taking care of the new Danner, Talia.  Emilie is willing and able to take on any task assigned.  She is a bright light in the office!  Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Emilie!

Another thing this committee does, to recognize our volunteers who have been with us the longest, is the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dexter Meise has been a volunteer at The Civic for over 50 years!  He has ushered, done set work, and has been a priceless asset to WCT.  He was presented his award on Friday, March 15th.  Congratulations, Dexter!

The Gratitude Committee also makes sure that important milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and births aren’t overlooked. They do this in the monthly newsletter, available in our lobby and here on this blog. That’s also where our award winners are announced. Be sure to check it out the next time you’re at the theatre! Here’s an example of an announcement:

Katie Danner, our Box Office Supervisor, has a beautiful new addition to her family.  Talia Amani!  She joins her father, Jon, and her brother Byron in the Danner clan!  Katie would like to extend a special thank you to John Cramer for covering for her during her Maternity leave. A very special thank you also goes out to Mary Dembinski & Anthony Ventress for taking over management of Friday Night Live and  Farmers’ Markets.  Congratulations Danner Clan!

Picnic 6

Elle & Chris, just goofin’ around

Picnic 2

Some of the Gratitude Committee members, enjoying a beautiful day!

Picnic 3

Volunteers, soaking up the love!

 

Finally, the committee puts on events for our WCT Family. The most recent event was the Dog End Days Of Summer Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, this past Sunday, August 24th. We owe this committee a deep debt of gratitude! Special thanks to Jenny Erato, for sharing these photos with us on Facebook!