After a run of 694 performances on Broadway during the 1955-1956 season, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof made it to the big screen in 1958, just in time for Elizabeth Taylor to get her second Best Actress Oscar nomination in two years. The film was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike and it received five additional Oscar nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Paul Newman); Best Director (Richard Brooks); Best Writing; Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Richard Brooks and James Poe); and Best Cinematography – Color (William Daniels).
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is truly an actor’s movie, and it is one of those rare films where every single actor is perfect.
Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor are both brilliant as Brick and Maggie. Not very often is there a screen couple that have the same chemistry together that they do. And those eyes! It is hard to say which of them had the most captivating eyes. Taylor and Newman were more than extraordinarily beautiful. She was an amazing actress, and he is arguably one of the greatest actors of all time. The relationship between Brick and Maggie is fascinating; full of confusion, betrayal, honesty, dishonesty, love, desire, and trust.
As Big Daddy, Burl Ives gives one of the best performances of his exceptional career. Jack Carson, Madeleine Sherwood, and Judith Anderson round out the cast as Gooper, Mae (Sister Woman), and Big Momma, and all deliver performances that are astoundingly memorable.
Tennessee Williams was reportedly unhappy with the screenplay, which removed almost all of the homosexual themes and diminished the original play’s critique of homophobia and sexism. But it is important to remember that the play and the film are two separate entities. The film is an adaptation, and they are not meant to be the same. They should be judged each on their own merit!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is one of the great pieces of 20th century American literature and cinema. It has some universal lessons we could all profit by in viewing it.
Managing Artistic Director
We end our 61st Mainstage season (and fifteen years of putting up with me as WCT’s Managing Artistic Director) with a show that is a classic representation of Americana…Father Knows Best. I loved the TV show and remember it fondly. I am thrilled that we are ending our season with a story that will resonate with a lot of our patrons, young and old.
We recently announced our lineup for our historic 62nd season and are thrilled about the variety of high quality entertainment we are offering. We are sure that you, the Waukesha community, will find something you like from our list of nearly 100 exciting entertainment options.
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 wait 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.
I want to thank everyone for joining us in any capacity, and I hope you are enjoying the ride as much as we are.
Managing Artistic Director
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
July of 2018 marks the beginning of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 62nd season. WCT is proud to be part of an elite group: according to the American Association of Community Theatres, of the roughly 7,000 community theatres in the United States, only about 100 can claim 60 years of continuous operation. Since the theatre opened in 1957, WCT has produced or presented more than 650 shows, over 14,000 people have volunteered, 450,000 audience members have been entertained, and more than 15,000 students have been served.
We are thrilled to announce our 62nd Mainstage Season:
Comedy | September 14 – 30, 2018 Snowed in at their wealthy patron’s Westchester estate, a creative team reunites to launch a new show – stalked by the “Stage Door Slasher,” who haunted their last Broadway flop. (NOT a musical. YES a comedy!)
Directed By Carol Dolphin
Set during the miners’ strike of 1984-85, this musical follows Billy as he trades in boxing gloves for ballet shoes and develops the courage to be uniquely himself. This show contains strong language – discretion advised.
Directed By Mark E. Schuster
Holiday Variety Show | November 30 – December 16, 2018 Celebrate with a cast of all ages acting, singing, and dancing through classic seasonal songs and stories. This WCT family tradition is a must-see part of the holiday season.
Directed By John Cramer & Kelly Goeller
Comedy | February 8 – 24, 2019 Adapted by Steve Martin; this comedy is set in Germany, 1910. As events unfold, Theo worries about scandal and repercussions at his job as a government clerk. Louise allows herself to revel in newfound fame, reveling in the possibilities. They explore scandal, fame, and gender roles through intricate wordplay.
Directed By Phil Stepanski
Directed By James Padovano
Drama | May 3 – 19, 2019 Jonas lives in a utopia with no pain, no fear – and no choice. Jonas is assigned to be the Receiver of his community’s memories and learns that life does not have to be so black and white. Based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Lois Lowry.
Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger
Comedy | June 7 – 23, 2019 Barnaby Folcey is murdered at a family gathering where he had the motive to murder everyone, but no one had reason to want him dead. Everything seems to go wrong in this absurd comedy – there are secret passages, poison in the sherry, and the police take forever to arrive, so the eclectic group tries to unmask the murderer themselves.
Directed By David Kaye
Subscription Packages Go On Sale May 1, 2018 | Individual Mainstage Tickets Go On Sale July 1, 2018
See you at the Theatre!
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” – Zuzu Bailey
It’s A Wonderful Life has become synonymous with the holiday season in America, but when the movie premiered in 1946, it was met with a lukewarm reception. It wasn’t until the 1960s, when there was some confusion over rights and the film entered the public domain. TV stations began to air the film regularly, because they didn’t have to pay for it. By the time the rights paperwork was corrected, it had found its place as a holiday tradition.
The message of the film resonates as much among the Greatest Generation, immediately post-WWII, as it does today: Your life matters. Your contribution is important. You can, and do, make a difference. Nestled among the brilliant acting of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, that’s what really endears the film to viewers and why so many of us keep coming back, year after year.
The December PIX Flix film has become a holiday tradition for us here at WCT, too. Even though the title differs year to year, it’s a way for our community to come together, enjoy each other, and experience quality entertainment in a historic theatre. For only $5 a ticket, on a Monday night, there’s no better way to get family and friends together for an evening.
It’s A Wonderful Life is one of John Cramer’s very favorite films and both he and I hope to see you here at the PIX on Monday, December 18th, at 6:30 pm.
The reasons for wanting to adapt The House Without A Christmas Tree were numerous. Great story, complex characters, a father and daughter reconnecting….I could go on and on. The trick was in HOW to adapt it. Can you take what is there and expand it to a full play without losing the essence of the story? Well, I think you can and I think we did.
John and Kelli Cramer were a big part of this. They are the ones who introduced me to this story. It was one of their favorite holiday stories, and their affection for it was infectious. I read the book, I watched the TV movie, and I was hooked. I just loved it. But I did have some concerns.
First, there was not a lot of attention given to any character outside of Grandma, Dad, and Addie. The characters that were there simply did not have much to do. In order to become a Mainstage production, it needed some of these peripheral characters to become more prominent. The students in Addie’s class, for starters. I wanted to see a little more of the classroom world, and what kinds of characters there were, and seeing Addie in that world helps give us a fuller picture of her.
Luckily, we have an outstanding group of young and talented students in our A.C.T. (Academy at Civic Theatre) program. I had no doubt we had more than enough young talent to fill this classroom with some fun characters. And in the end, these students help shape our perception of Addie, and really do help to tell her story. And these are relationships and students we all experienced in our grade school years–the first crush, the destructive kid, the kid who always bragged about something, the know-it-all. There is something each of us can connect to in this colorful group of kids.
There was also not a lot for the teacher, Miss Thompson, to do. I wanted to find a way to see her grow throughout the play. A big key was adding the characters of the principal and his assistant. This provided the chance to tell a sweet, sometimes clumsy love story between the Eugene and Peggy, with Mrs. Kulwicki giving running commentary throughout.
The final major adjustment I made was that I wanted to lighten things up. The actual storyline between Addie and her father gets quite intense at times. I think the other characters in the play help to offset that drama and keep the story more balanced. I also think the culmination of all of these stories helps to make it a much bigger, more satisfying payoff at the end. There needed to be more hope, more optimism at the end, or else the struggle to get there doesn’t seem worth it. It would be like watching It’s A Wonderful Life, and having George Bailey be “sort of happy” to be alive at the end (spoiler alert-George Bailey lives and he’s THRILLED about it).
At the end of the day, I am a sucker for a sweet and heartfelt holiday show. And that’s what I think we have here. I think audience members will find themselves belly laughing in one scene, and getting choked up in the next scene. This show is nostalgic without being dated. The kind of show where parents can watch with their kids and not worry about questionable content. All of us involved in the show are very proud of that, and we sincerely hope you enjoy it.