Ozaukee County is the place to be for the holidays! From Thanksgiving through the New Year, there are festive events happening everywhere you turn. Here's the complete listing:
Saturday, November 26th
37th Annual Grafton Christmas Parade at 11 a.m.
Village of Fredonia Tree Lighting, beginning at 6 p.m.
Monday, November 28th
Cedarburg Tree Lighting beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Friday, December 2nd
Thiensville's Tree Lighting, beginning at 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 3rd
Christmas on the Corner in Port Washington, beginning at 3 p.m.
St. Nicholas Day Celebration in Belgium, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 4th
Mequon Winter Wonderland, beginning at 4 p.m.
Saukville Tree Lighting, beginning at 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 10th
Christmas Parade in Belgium, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 17th
Take your kids for a ride on the Polar Express, beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Don't forget the full listing of Cedarburg's holiday events here. Happy Holidays!
The Foreigner at The Rep
With the recent election of Donald Trump, the US has been thrown into scary times. Our country, seemingly so divided, is plagued by incidents of racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and nationalism almost every day on the news. What we all need is a good laugh, and a good reminder that we need each other more than we think; The Foreigner is just the ticket.
Of course, there's no way that The Rep could have predicted how the election would turn out when they chose this particular play to run at this particular time. The writer, Larry Shue, was a popular Rep actor and playwright in the late 70's and early 80's, and the play saw its world premier at The Rep on January 13th, 1983 -- long before the Donald was even a Republican. The play was a hit -- so much so that it moved Off-Broadway in '84, and became the Best Off-Broadway Production and Best New American Play in '85. It ran at The Rep again in '93, when it became the best-selling production in the history of the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, and yet again in 2003. While there's no arguing the popularity of The Foreigner, it's almost eerie how much it speaks to our current state of affairs.
Taking place in rural Georgia, we meet Staff Sergeant Froggy La Sueur (the amazing James Pickering, celebrating his 43rd season at The Rep) from England, who's been making regular, military visits to this area for years, and is a favorite at the backwoods lodge of Betty Meeks (Linda Stephens). This visit, though, Froggy has brought his old friend and fellow Englishman, Charlie Baker (Matt Zambrano), a shy and bumbling copy editor who is badly in need of some peace and quiet. To encourage Betty and the guests of the lodge to leave him alone, Froggy convinces them that Charlie is a foreigner, and doesn't speak a word of English. Cue the loud, slow talking and hysterical antics!
Three local guests in the lodge round out the cast: the Reverend David Marshall (Marcus Truschinski), who is considering buying the old lodge from Betty, and his fiance, Catherine (Cristina Panfilio), who is responsible for her younger brother, Ellard (Brendan Meyer), after the death of their parents. Also appearing in the lodge is Owen Musser (Eric Parks), the local property inspector, and the epitome of a backwoods, southern Klansman. While Owen can't resist trying to insult and harass Charlie, Betty, Catherine, and Ellard, for reasons of their own, find that Charlie is just the person they need in their lives at that moment. Meanwhile, the once awkward Charlie becomes what his new friends need him to be, and the greatest of foes to his enemies, to the delight of the audience.
Directed by Laura Gordon, who has appeared in over 80 productions at The Rep herself, The Foreigner is exactly what our country needs right now: hysterically funny, yet laced with the very message we all need to hear. As Hamlet said, "The play's the thing." Indeed, this play is "the thing," though nobody involved in bringing this production to The Rep at this moment in time could have guessed just how important of a thing it would be.
The Foreigner runs now through December 18th at The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. Tickets are available online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at (414) 224-9490, or in person at the Ticket Office (108 E. Wells St. in Milwaukee).
About Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Rep is a nationally recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, and full-scale musicals housed in its three, unique performance venues: the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio, and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, featuring a World Premier of a new adaptation in 2016, at the historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Mark Clements, and Managing Director, Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee's rich diversity.
Although it has taken many months to gain traction on regular news media outlets, the general public is finally becoming aware of the construction of a massive oil pipeline being built to bring crude oil from North Dakota all the way to Illinois. The controversial project has stalled where it is supposed to cross the Missouri River, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where over 100 Native American tribes, along with many supporters, have come together to protect the water, both for their own people, and the millions of people downstream who depend on this water source. Among the supporters is Cedarburg native and CHS graduate, Alex Kubala, who has been "Standing with Standing Rock" since July at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
Alex's relationship with the Native tribes began years ago with his interest in herbal medicine, which led him to study with Native healers throughout the US, as well as in Mexico. "He was even adopted as a nephew into an Anishinaabe tribe in Wausau," said Alex's father, Tom Kubala, of Kubala Washatko Architects in Cedarburg. "He's a remarkable kid." Tom and his wife, Patty, still reside in the house Alex and his father built on Columbia Road in Cedarburg.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL, as it is called) is being built by a company called Energy Transfer Partners, and was originally proposed to go through Bismarck, North Dakota; however, residents of the community did not want the possibility of their water being contaminated; a valid concern, considering there have been 5 massive pipeline leaks or explosions in our country in the past 6 years, and thousands of minor leaks, costing billions in cleanup and untold environmental damage. Instead, the pipeline was rerouted through the Sioux's treaty land, without the consent of the tribe. In response, Native tribes and supporters from across the country gathered at the construction site, forming a camp they've named the Sacred Stone Camp, in an attempt to block the construction, and causing friction between pipeline workers and water protectors. Then, on Thursday, October 27th, a group of around 200 militarized police forced their way into the camp and began to arrest water protectors; Alex was among them.
"I was standing in a prayer circle," explained Alex, "and the police came through the front lines. They struck me with a baton and pulled me behind their line; hog-tied me, stole my shoes and necklaces, and brought us in." Alex's hand was broken during the arrest, but he was put in jail without treatment, along with about 140 others who are now facing felony charges of conspiracy to endanger by fire, engaging in a riot, and being a public nuisance. Thankfully, an anonymous donor paid the bail for all 140 water protectors, and Alex was able to return to the camp.
"We feared something like that might happen," said Tom. "We didn't hear about it until three days after he was released. You can imagine how that felt, as his parents, to hear what had happened."
Alex insists that he will remain at the camp until the end. "They need to be held accountable," Alex said of the police, government, and the company behind the project. "They're basically acting like a police state. This is treaty land, and they need to acknowledge that."
Earlier this week, President Obama put a halt to construction in order to give time to review the project, though water protectors fear that Energy Transfer Partners may continue the construction without permission, as they are contractually obligated to complete the pipeline by the end of the year. The construction delays have cost the company millions, already; should it continue to be delayed into the new year, it is expected that the project will be abandoned. In the meantime, the Sacred Stone Camp continues to grow, and protests are erupting across the country on a scale that can no longer be ignored. Standing Rock has become a symbol of Native, environmental, and minority justice.
Winter is descending on Standing Rock, and the water protectors could use items such as sleeping bags for extreme cold and wool hats, gloves, and blankets; see the Sacred Stone Camp Amazon Wish List for a full listing. If you would like to make a monetary donation to Alex's camp, click here.
"Alex was a troublemaker when he was young," Tom said. "He doesn't back down; he never has, but he's a become a very respectful, prayerful, and resourceful person. I love my son."
There's nothing quite so magical as the holidays in downtown Cedarburg. On Fridays, when the downtown is decked out in luminaries and sleigh bells jingle on the horse drawn carriage, courtesy of the Cedarburg Merchants Organization, it's hard to imagine a better place to be.
Fridays are also Festive Friday Eves from 5-9 p.m. at the Cedar Creek Settlement, when the shops stay open late, and activities and offerings abound with a different theme each week. Complimentary Cider & Cookies are offered each Friday, or sample Cedar Creek Winery’s award-winning wines!
On Friday, November 18th, the Festivity begins with “Feliz Navidad.” Celebrate the Christmas season with a Latin flavor! Enjoy Live Music. Food Sampling, Holiday Crafts, Storytelling, and more.
Friday, November 25 is "Home for the Holidays," when guests can enjoy Thanksgiving weekend with visiting friends and family. Free Make It & Take It projects, Live Music with Sinatra-style singer Ed Franks, and Easy Entertaining Tips for the Holidays.
The first weekend in December is "The Settlement Showcase," which begins on Friday, December 2nd, from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m; continues on Saturday, December 3rd from 10 a.m .- 6 p.m.; and goes through Sunday, December 4th, from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Featuring beautiful handmade and artisan objects of desire, and live music Friday with Joey LaVie. Festivals of Cedarburg also has other events planned during this weekend that you don't want to miss, such as free tours of historic Kuhefuss House, a Holiday Craft & Gift Sale with the Cedarburg Senior Center, The Little Show at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, and the Holiday Art Fair Show & Sale in the Community Gym.
Friday, December 9th is the annual “Santa's Workshop." Visit with Santa Claus in his winter wonderland! Live music featuring “Songs of the Season” by everyone's favorite elf, David H.B. Drake, and children’s holiday ornament craft and cookie decorating make this a great evening for families.
Finally, Friday, December 16th is “A Taste of Christmas." This is a night for grown-ups to leisurely shop in a festive atmosphere. Complimentary munchies and wine tasting, live holiday music with pianist/singer Kathy Fry, and the strolling Sweet Adeline quartet, Swizzle Chix, along with the Cedarburg High School Carolers are sure to put you in a festive mood.
Festivals of Cedarburg brings a variety of events over the season with A Cedarburg Christmas, including a visit to Santa's Workshop!
Plan to stay in shape for the holidays? Don't miss Santa's Dash Away 5K on December 10th, and then enjoy McMann & Tate's return to the Cultural Center's stage to tickle yourholiday funny bone. After 16 years of holiday skit shows, the resident comedy troupe is putting a new spin on poking fun at this special time of year by presenting one of their popular improv shows.
When you get tired of shopping, the Rivoli, Cedarburg's beautifully restored movie theater, features a Holiday Film Festival from December 9th through the 23rd, with films such as Polar Express, White Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Story, and It's A Wonderful Life, among others. You can't beat the ticket prices, or the nostalgic feel of a quieter time.
Even if you aren't a music aficionado, I'm willing to bet that the name Irving Berlin rings a bell, and even if you can't bring yourself to name a specific tune he wrote, I guarantee that you'll recognize several during the performance of Irving Berlin's I Love A Piano at The Rep.
Considered one of the greatest American songwriters ever, Irving Berlin was actually born in Russia in 1888, but arrived in the US when he was just five years old, and died a New Yorker in 1989. His music spans generations, from Ragtime music around World War I to Swing music during World War II, and encompasses favorite Broadway Musicals and Film scores, such as Annie Get Your Gun and White Christmas.
In The Rep's intimate Stackner Cabaret theater, four amazing performers (Kelley Faulkner as Ginger, Jane Labanz as Eileen, Eric Shorey as George, and Steve Watts as Alex) take an old piano with a broken key on a journey through time; singing, dancing, and changing the set (and even their clothes!) right on stage as they go; living up to the iconic status of Berlin's songs as they do it. This thoroughly entertaining performance will have you laughing, clapping, and singing along until the very end.
Written by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley, and Directed by JC Clementz, with Music Direction by Dan Kazemi (Man of La Mancha), and Arrangements by Michael Berkeley, I Love A Piano runs from November 4th through January 15th at the Stackner Cabaret. Tickets can be purchased online at www.milwaukeerep.com, by phone at (414) 224-9490, or in person at the Ticket Office (108 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee). I Love A Piano is sponsored by Executive Producers, Adlon Partners, Pete and Beth Gottsacker, and Wayne and Kristine Lueders. The Rep is sponsored in part by The United Performing Arts Fund.
Pat and Amy Wilborn have a passion for local food -- so much so that they started their very own aquaponics business, PortFish, Ltd., out of their home back in 2009, growing greens in a closed loop system in which fish waste fertilizes the plants, which then clean the water for the fish. While the demand for local food was growing, the availability of it was limited to the Farmers Market season, from June through October. In 2010, Pat and Amy helped to extend the season by starting an indoor Winter Farmers Market.
Now in its 6th year, the Winter Farmers Market will return to the First Congregational Church on Webster Street in Port Washington each Saturday in November and December from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (except 11/26 and 12/24), with live music and a wide variety of locally grown food and locally produced goods.
Visitors can purchase meat and eggs from Burkel Family Farms in Fredonia, honey from Bethel's Seven Hills Honey or chicken, pork, lamb, turkey or eggs raised right in Port Washington from Lone Rooster Farm. There's delicious food and bakery from Chalkboard Kitchen in Mequon, produce from Wellspring in Newburg, and so much more!
Live music has been a part of the market from the beginning, and Amy Wilborn is often one of the people providing it. Her traditional Irish Band, Green Sails, will help kick off the first Farmers Market on Saturday, November 5th. Amy plays the fiddle and sings, along with band mates Bonnee Beth on percussion, tin whistle, story-telling & dancing, and Sandy Weisto on guitar & vocals.
The Winter Farmers Market is an excellent place to connect with the community, as well as to meet your local food producers. First Congregational Church is located at 131 N. Webster St. in Port Washington. For more information, visit the Winter Farmers Market Facebook Page, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (414) 202-7840.