Since 2011, Milwaukee's premier Youth Theater Company, First Stage, has been introducing one play each season that discusses important issues and reflects the stories, histories, and ethnic diversity of the Milwaukee community, hoping to foster cultural understanding among audiences from all backgrounds. This series of plays is called The Wisconsin Cycle, and the world premier of The Snow marks the 5th play in the series.
Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer, and commissioned and developed by First Stage, Oregon Children's Theatre, and Magik Theatre, The Snow tells the tale of Theodore Sutton (Seth Hoffman/Zach Duckler), a small boy from a small village called Kishka. The village has been surrounded by a snow so deep that the villagers cannot get food to eat and wood for their fires, but Theodore, though he is only a small child, has a solution that will - maybe - work.
Written in the style of a German folk tale, but with plenty of modern humor, audiences of all ages will find something to relate to over the course of Theodore's journey. "[The Snow] explores what it means to be heroic, what it is to be a true community, the pain of regret, the damages of hate, and the power of listening to our children," says Director, Jeff Frank.
A highlight of the play is the live music played by several of the actors, including Milwaukee's own master of the ukulele, Matt Daniels, who appears, brilliantly, in several roles, as well as Andrew Crowe, a classically trained violinist who is also the Music Director of The Snow.
Rounding out the talented adult cast is Karen Estrada as Margot and Margaretta, Tim Linn as the giant, Oliver, and Jonathan Williams as Roll Ark.
Friendship, giants, adventure, darkness, laughter, bravery - The Snow is a nice way to wrap up a Wisconsin winter.
The Snow opens Friday, February 26th at the Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N. Water St., in Milwaukee, and runs through March 20th. Tickets can be purchased online at www.firststage.org, or by calling (414) 267-2961.
About First StageFounded in 1987, First Stage is one of the nation’s most acclaimed children’s theaters, and the second largest theater company in Milwaukee. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families through Professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain; unparalleled Theater Academy training that fosters life skills through stage skills; dynamic Theater in Education programs that promote active learning in our schools and community. First Stage is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Arts Wisconsin and TYA/USA, the international association of theater for children and young people. First Stage is a proud cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund.
Cedarburg Salutes America is the theme at the 42nd Annual Winter Festival, this Saturday and Sunday, February 20th and 21st, in downtown Cedarburg.
The traditional Ice Sculpture Contest will begin bright and early at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Visitors can watch as blocks of ice take shape while strolling Washington Avenue and checking out the Petting Zoo in the Community Center parking lot between 10 and 3. Stop into the Community Center for make 'n take crafts, sponsored by the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts; coffee, cocoa and sweet bar; Upstairs Marketplace from 10-4; Individual Chili Contest from 11-1 and Restaurant Chili Contest from 11-4; and, also, the Festival Food Booth, featuring food from Out & Out Custard, and more.
The parade begins at 1:30, featuring the entries for the annual Bed Races. Follow the parade to the Mill Pond on Cedar Creek, behind the Settlement, and you'll get a good look at all of the sculptures before they're judged at 2 p.m. The bed races take place from 1:30-2 on the Mill Pond, ice conditions permitting, with the Barrel Races immediately after.
The Cedarburg Cultural Center will have a Cool Notes Musical Talent Competition between 1:30 and 5, featuring local talent. Then, in the evening, come back to the CCC for Cool Brews and Tunes, featuring Dueling Pianos, appetizers from Cedarburg's finest restaurants, a beer tasting, and wine from Cedar Creek Winery. Tickets are $25, and attendees must be 21 or over.
On Sunday, fill up at a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11:30 at the Community Center, and then head out to more festivities, including the Dog Weight Pull Contest from 10-4 in the Community Center parking lot, and an Egg Hunt on the City Hall grounds at 10:30.
There is so much to do at the Festival, it's impossible to mention it all here! Go to: http://www.cedarburgfestival.org/#!wf-schedule/ for a full listing of events.
You may not be familiar with the Family Enrichment Center of Ozaukee, but you're likely familiar with one or more of the many nonprofits that the Center houses in it's environmentally-friendly building, which was donated anonymously, in Grafton. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ozaukee, COPE Services Administrative Office, Energy Services, Habitat for Humanity Ozaukee, Independence First, Interfaith Caregivers of Ozaukee, Ozaukee Family Services, Ozaukee County Economic Support, and Volunteer Center of Ozaukee all call the FEC home. By sharing space, each of the nonprofits is able to save on costs, but they are also able to share their passion for caring for the people of our community.
For the third year in a row, the FEC is hosting the Gourmet Gala, a fundraiser for the nonprofits that utilizes the talents of local chefs. This year's theme is 'Flavors From Around the World,' featuring food from Shully's Cuisine & Events, the cheel, and Casa Tequila, appetizers by the Falafel Guys and India Garden, and desserts by From Scratch Catering.
Guests will wander and sample each signature dish with a suggested wine pairing, served by the Glass Palette, and enjoy beer from a local brewer, as well as partaking in a Wine Pull, Silent Auction, Raffle, and more.
The Gourmet Gala will take place on February 27, at 6:30 p.m., at Family Enrichment Center, 885 Badger Circle in Grafton. There are still tickets available, and donations for the raffle are still being accepted. For more information, contact the FEC at (262) 376-5272.
The best cure for cabin fever is to get outdoors, and one of the best places to do it is at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg. Riveredge has numerous outdoor (and indoor) activities for all ages. Here's a sampling of upcoming events to attend:
Weekend Wild Things
February 13, 9:30 to 11:30 AMCome join the Riveredge Nature Center’s new, once monthlySaturday land stewardship group, “The Weekend Wild Things”. This month we will be out on the land gathering the supplies to make spiles for Maple Sugarin’. Come help us find the perfect sumac to make this necessary tool. We will also be gathering sumac berries for our educational programs. We will teach you what you need to know and some cool sumac facts, just bring yourselves and warm clothes.Snacks, Sumac Berry ‘Lemonade’ and Sumac Berry Tea will be available!
Family Nature Club: Evening Snowshoe
February 16, 6 PM to 7:30 PM
An evening snowshoe by moonlight! We provide the snowshoes and the guide; you provide the sense of adventure! Flashlights welcome, please dress for the weather.Everyone is welcome at this community minded, nature based club specifically sprouted for families! The Riveredge Family Nature Club invites families urban and rural, single and mixed, extended or simply friends who feel like family to join them on adventures, discoveries, and field trips in nature throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties.
Science for Everyone: Freshwater- A Crisis In the Making With Dr. Norm Lasca
February 16, 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Less than 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water: 70% is in glaciers, about 30% is in groundwater and less than 1% is in lakes, and rivers. By 2025, two thirds of the world’s population will suffer from water shortages. In the meantime, we are wasting and polluting our finite supply of water while adding 85+ million people a year; all of us need water!
Nature Detectives: Snowflakes!
February 20, 10 AM - 11:30 AM
Have you ever looked at snowflakes up close? Are there really no two alike? Find out at Riveredge where we will create a snowflake ID key and find out more about the snow all around you. Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, check out the Riveredge website at: http://riveredgenaturecenter.org/
This Sunday is Valentine's Day and, though many consider it a "Hallmark" holiday, the celebration actually dates back to Roman times; a fertility festival called "Lupercalia."
Times have certainly changed. Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated by friends, family and lovers, alike, and whether you need a treat for your kids or a romantic gift for your significant other, there are plenty of great, local choices in Oz.
Chocolate Chisel in Port Washington has fresh, chocolate covered strawberries available for the occasion, as well as a wide variety of milk and dark chocolates to choose from. Bring in your own bottle of wine, and they'll even help create a special gift basket for you.
A beautiful caramel apple from Amy's Candy Kitchen in downtown Cedarburg makes a wonderful Valentine's gift and, while you're in town, make it a gift from Cedarburg with something from Ashley's Confectionery and Beerntsen's Confectionery, too!
If you're in the Grafton area, stop into Sweet Trio for a delicious variety of chocolates, candy and caramel apples, or, if you're in the southern Ozaukee neck of the woods, Mequon has two brand new candy shops, Leo and Lou's Children's Wear and Confectionery. and Get Happy. Both are located in the new Mequon Town Center, at the intersection of Cedarburg and Mequon Roads.
It's hard to believe, but some people don't like chocolate and candy. If flowers are what you're looking for, you're in luck - there are plenty to choose from! In Saukville, try Lighthouse Florist; in Grafton, there's the Bloomin Olive. Cedarburg has Rachel's Roses, while Port Washington has La Tulipe. In Mequon, try A Floral Affair or Fantasy Flowers.
However you share the love, put some Oz into it! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.
Diane Sposito is an accomplished playwright living in New York City, but she grew up in the Milwaukee area, and got her start in theater through her Alma Mater, Cardinal Stritch University. This Saturday, February 6th, she returns to CSU for the World Premiere of Cinderella, which she wrote alongside CSU Artistic Director, Mark Boergers.
This production is a perfect introduction to theater for young children, with plenty of humor for the parents and grandparents in the audience, as well. Children will be delighted to receive an "invitation" to Prince Veridicus' Ball as they enter the theater, and all attendees will be amazed when the Fairy Godmother turns Cinderella's rags into a beautiful ball gown! Guests at the Saturday performances are invited to an ice cream social with the performers, following the performance.
Cinderella runs February 6th through the 14th, in the NANCY KENDALL MAINSTAGE THEATER at the Joan Steele Stein Communications and Fine Arts Building on the Cardinal Stritch University Campus. Saturday and Sunday performances are at 2:00 p.m., and Monday-Thursday performances are at 10:00 a.m., with the Friday performance at 1 p.m. For tickets or information, call (414) 410-4171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets directly online.
On Saturday, February 6th at 7 p.m., three Ozaukee high school A Cappella teams will compete against each other in the Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella Quarterfinal Competition, held at the Port Washington High School Auditorium.
Limited Editon, Port Washington High School's a cappella group, will face Cedarburg's Bella Voce and Grafton High School's Graftonics, for the first time. No stranger to competition, Limited Edition has won the semifinal competition four times in the last six years, as well as the 2010 championship.
The popularity of a cappella music has skyrocketed, mainly due to the films, Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. In fact, Limited Edition was selected by Deke Sharon, the Musical Director of Pitch Perfect, to open the Vocalosity concert last month in Green Bay.
The top two finishers in the quarterfinal competition will move on to compete in the regional semifinals in March, while the winner of the semifinals will go to the championship competition in New York at the end of April.
Tickets to the concert can be purchased from the Varsity Vocals website, and are $10/student and $15/adult.