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PIX Flix Spotlight on the Board: The Greatest Showman

There’s a particular joy in watching an original musical that was written for the silver screen. The Greatest Showman is a dazzling cinematic experience that doesn’t disappoint. Don’t miss your chance to see this larger than life musical on the PIX screen.

The Greatest Showman is inspired by the life of PT Barnum, portrayed by Hugh Jackman with an effervescent energy that drives the film. This Father of Show Biz charismatically and tirelessly works to create the greatest show on earth. True to the spirit of Barnum himself, The Greatest Showman glosses over the grittier details of Barnum’s real-life story and instead paints the tale of an American dreamer, full of hope and imagination, who pulls himself up by the bootstraps to “dream with his eyes wide open.”

Barnum assembles an ensemble of misfits who live in society’s shadows and offers them that which their lives woefully lack: respect, acceptance, love. Where the rest of the world sees “freaks,” Barnum sees human beings who are “extraordinary, unique, [and] beautiful.” Who among us hasn’t felt out of place, bullied, or shunned for our imperfections? As Barnum and The Greatest Showman create a safe space for these misfits — and for us — where uniqueness is celebrated instead of mocked, we are reminded that our differences are a marvelous gift.

Despite Barnum’s abundant optimism and relentless drive, The Greatest Showman is not void of strife. Touching love stories examine classism, racism, adultery, and the very deep wounds that can result from gossip and bullying. Through tragedy, Barnum learns how to refocus on the most important things in life, the core beneath the intoxicating razzle dazzle. Fame, money, and applause are fleeting. Living a life full of love? That is truly the greatest show.

A star-studded cast (Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya) is equally matched with stunning costumes and set, striking cinematography, and innovative choreography. This feel-good film opens with a literal bang, and the high-paced energy captures your attention and heart for the full hour and forty-five minutes.

As a musical, it has both songs and straight dialogue. The score is integral to the heart of the film, intertwining musical theater elements into dialogue scenes, such as characters nailing fliers to walls becoming part of the score’s percussion. The nine original songs by Oscar and Tony award-winning Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, Smash) will leave you wanting to hear them over and over again.

The unique format of an original movie musical allows for creative choreography to be woven into both songs and dialogue. Particularly impressive moments include a bird’s-eye view shot that catches a trapeze artist’s singing while she soars, and a barroom business deal incorporating handiwork with shot glasses into the dancing.

Like Barnum’s circus, The Greatest Showman is “a celebration of humanity.” It is one of those rare gems that is tailored for everyone, especially those who have ever felt like they don’t quite fit in. Perfect for a date night, family night, or even a lonely misfit in search of inspiration and hope.

Parents will enjoy talking with their children about myriad themes, such as bullying; ethical showmanship; and how to find hope and the strength to persevere when all seems lost.

Don’t miss your opportunity to run off and join the circus for a couple hours while you’re swept away into this fanciful world of spectacle, hope, and love.

 

 

Scott Fudali

Board of Directors

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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

Spotlight On The Board: The Underpants

Welcome to The Underpants, a hilarious comedy by Steve Martin based on Die Hose, German play written in 1910 by Carl Sternheim. The play begins with a most unfortunate wardrobe malfunction that briefly leaves a young woman caught with her pants down, both literally and figuratively. Everyone involved in the incident, including her husband, gets their knickers in a knot as they try to iron out the wrinkles this delicate situation has caused. What’s revealed is an intimate piece of comedic schadenfreude that is sure to charm your pants off.
What I love about Waukesha Civic Theatre is the many opportunities available to get involved. In my tenure here at WCT, I have been an actor, costume assistant, stage crew, production director, and Board Director. This spring, I will take on a new role as Props Designer for The Giver (May 2-19, 2019).

This particular production of The Underpants continues the tradition of providing opportunities for participants to try some new skills. WCT audiences are used to seeing Gwen Ter Haar and Phil Stepanski playing various characters on stage. This time, they have taken on new challenges as Costume Designer and Director, respectively.  

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering at Waukesha Civic Theatre, please consider joining our team where you can share your talents or discover new ones!
Thank you for choosing to spend your time at Waukesha Civic Theatre and enjoy the show!


Peter Kao
Secretary
Board of Directors

Spotlight On The Board: Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Happy Holidays and welcome to the 62nd season and return of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s production of Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols. This production started from the creative mind of our very own Managing Artistic Director, John Cramer. John will reprise his role directing and updating his original WCT classic. I still remember the early variety show in which my oldest son had the pleasure of playing Charlie Brown back in 2011. Also, my youngest daughter elated the audience singing “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” in 2015. While the show has changed throughout the years, it is still one of the best ways to enjoy the Holiday season. I hope you, like me, are looking forward to seeing what surprise John may have in store for us in the return of this beloved Holiday adventure. This family-friendly show never fails to captivate the essence of the Holiday spirit.

Thank you for supporting our theatre with your patronage. Please also remember there are many ways to support the theatre while providing you discounted ticket prices with our Festive Flex Four For Sixty-Four membership available throughout the Holiday season. You can also take advantage of our Terrific Tickets by utilizing your ticket stub for you or a friend to see this show again for half price.

The theatre also welcomes many different volunteer opportunities to help support everything that goes into shows and keeping the theater immaculate. Volunteer opportunities include ushering, maintenance, set development, and serving on a committee or on the Board. These are just a few of the opportunities to help the theatre.

Enjoy the show and please have a safe and Happy Holiday!

 

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

Spotlight On The Board: Billy Elliot The Musical

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre and this performance of Billy Elliot The Musical. In my tenure as a board member, I have heard repeatedly from our patrons their desire for WCT to bring modern and challenging shows to the community. What show better fits that bill then Billy Elliot, an award winning show that has thrilled audiences around the world while promoting acceptance and open mindedness and positively challenging notions of traditional gender roles. Scored by Elton John, this show is a great showcase for local talent of all ages to sing, dance and perform.

Waukesha Civic Theatre counts on your support to be able to continue to bring great performances and opportunities to our community. Let your friends, family and neighbors know how much you enjoyed this show and spread the word on social media.

The board, cast, crew and volunteers, not just of Billy Elliot but from the dozens of events each season, sincerely thank you for coming out and being a part of the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

 

 

Thank you and enjoy!

Brian Goeller

Board Of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Singin’ In The Rain

AT RISE

(A hospital room somewhere in Brookfield, WI. 4 A.M. The sound of a baby wailing takes over the scene. The exhausted mother swaddles her son and does the only thing she can think of. She sings)

Mother: For I’m content the Angels must have sent you / And they made you just for me

That very clueless mother was me. The screaming child was my miracle baby. Bleary eyed and overwhelmed, I don’t think I would have been able to tell you my name had you asked. But those lyrics, so perfect for that moment, didn’t just comfort my son. It comforted me.

That is one of the reasons I love the PIX Flix series. The movies shown aren’t just movies. They are the movies that shaped our culture. Movies that make us cry, laugh and occasionally sing. And for me, no movie does this better than Singin’ in the Rain. Full of catchy songs, this movie isn’t just another musical rom-com. It is also the ultimate buddy movie with Donald O’Connor’s Cosmo Brown making us laugh as the OG “ride or die” friend to Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood.

You will laugh.

You will cry.

You will want to sing along.

What you won’t want to do is miss this one.

See you at the PIX on Monday, September 17th!

 

 

Dawn Pelej

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Father Knows Best

Greetings and welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre!

Father Knows Best is a wonderful show that captivates all ages. It has true-to-life characters, humorous situations, rebellious teenagers, and a sentimental, funny ending. Father Knows Best is a light-hearted and highly entertaining comedy. What a great way to finish off the 61st season for the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

It is hard to believe the season is ending already. The good news is that the Waukesha Civic Theatre 62nd season calendar is now available. Be sure to pick up the calendar during intermission or on your way out and see all the fun performances and offerings in the upcoming season.

My husband and I, and many of our friends, have had season tickets for years. Our subscription package has allowed us to change dates when needed, for any available seats in the house at no charge and now the restaurant partnership discounts are a bonus. It is great! There are many different subscription packages with a lot of flexible choices. Check it out.

One last note, WCT always welcomes new volunteers with a lot of fun opportunities.

Enjoy the show. Be happy and take care.

 

 

 

Mary Dembinski

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Wait Until Dark

On behalf of the Waukesha Civic Theatre and the Board of Directors, I’d like to welcome you to Wait Until Dark, the sixth Mainstage show of our historic 61st season. This thriller outlines the activities of a sinister con man and his two ex-convict partners who are on the hunt for a mysterious, valuable doll. They trace the doll to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam and Susy Hendrix. Sam, who was persuaded by a mysterious woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, has left it in the care of his blind wife.

Background/Interesting note…

Wait Until Dark is a play by Frederick Knott, first performed on Broadway in 1966. A film version was released in 1967, and starred Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Jack Weston. Audrey Hepburn was actually nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress, and Zimbalist was nominated for a Golden Globe in the supporting category.

The Waukesha Civic Theatre offers an assortment of opportunities to engage in the creative arts which include the Mainstage show, Random Acts Of Entertainment, Academy at Civic Theatre, Friday Night Live, Special Events, and our community partnerships with ACAP.

So please come out and join us as we continue our marvelous 61st season…tell a friend that “happening is happening” at our downtown Waukesha gem!

Now sit back and enjoy the show as you try to guess what’s the fuss about this elusive doll!

 

Anthony Ventress

Board Of Directors

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged)

To be, or not to be, that is the question

-Hamlet, Act III, Scene I.

What quote could be more quintessential than this line from quite arguably the most renown English poet and playwright of all time, William Shakespeare. If you thought you were about to embark on an emotional journey of a tragic Shakespeare play, then the answer to the question is “not to be.” O…there will be emotion, not of a tragic nature but of a comedic twist on the plays that have shaped and influenced countless authors, playwrights, and screenwriters for centuries. Get ready to be taken on a witty paradoxical weaving of all 37 Shakespearean plays in 97 minutes.

We have many opportunities throughout the year to enjoy, in more than one way, the offerings at the Civic. If after seeing The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) you want to dust off your acting skills, we encourage you to audition for any of our upcoming shows. If acting isn’t up your alley, purchasing tickets to our upcoming shows or donations are always a welcomed support of the theatre. We also have many opportunities for volunteering your time to the theatre to help keep it in the pristine state and experience you are used to after all of these years of entertainment.

So grab your tissue box–not for the traditional tears of sadness you get from Shakespeare but because you will have countless tears of joy from the non-stop laughter from this fresh take on these timeless stories. Please spread the word to your family and friends about the great works Waukesha Civic Theatre has to offer. Remember, we cannot provide this great entertainment without the support of our collective Civic family.

 

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Welcome to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame! This production at Waukesha Civic Theatre is truly a must-see “TV” (Theatrical Venue) event. This is an amazing institution that showcases local talent in quality shows, and I am proud to be on the Board of Directors. Do not miss other sell-out performances this season! We have some great productions yet to come.

We have an amazing array of entertainment and involvement opportunities all year round: Mainstage, Random Acts, A.C.T., Friday Night Live, PIX Flix, our community partnerships such as ACAP, and Waukesha Reads, and a host of special events. You can be involved on and off stage! So whether you can pound a nail, sing a solo, teach kids, focus a light, or just have a passion for the arts, there are plenty of ways to get involved. I encourage you to speak to any board member about being part of this community.

In the original work, Victor Hugo expressed his passions for maintaining a reverence for the achievements of a society in transition. Today, live theater stands in stark contrast to the bite-sized hand held electronic entertainment that consumes so much of our modern era. And this live experience does not exist without performers and patrons who have a passion for the arts. Please come join us in that important community expression.

See you at the Theatre!

 

 

Brian Goeller

Vice President

Board of Directors