Players de Noc has an exciting 2017/18 season ahead with two musicals and two thought-provoking plays and a fifth show outside of the regular season.

Wall:A Product of Resourcefulness and Efficiency in Americ’s Never-Ending Battle for Absolute Supremacy and General All-Around Kick-Assedness is a play written by local playwright J.R. Spaulding Jr. He is directing his own play. It runs October 6-14 at the Bonifas Theater.

All Mr. Rondo and his assistant, Ms. Ricki, want is to build a wall of grandiloquent scale and epic importance as a symbol to provide Americans purpose in their otherwise meaningless and mundane lives. But when a government agent from the Dept. of Redundancy, Waste, and Red Tape shuts down the project with a cease and desist order their noble task becomes more difficultized, leaving them to decide if the completion of this American Dream is really worth bringing the wrath of The Man down on them.

The Marvelous Wonderette:Winter Wonderettes runs December 8-16. It is directed by Lynn Soderberg with musical direction by Travis Dubord.

The Wonderettes are back! This seasonal celebration finds the girls entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa turns up missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! Featuring great ‘60s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Run, Rudolph, Run,” and “Winter Wonderland,” the result is, of course, marvelous! This energetic and glittering holiday package is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.

The musical Curtins runs March 2-10. It is directed by Jeff Woerpel with musical direction by Tom Knoll.

It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan!

Steve O’Driscoll is directing Dinner With Friends April 27-29.

Karen and Gabe have been friends with Beth and Tom for over a decade, since introducing the two at their summer house on Martha’s Vineyard. During what was to be a normal dinner with friends, Beth, attending alone, announces their breakup. This sends Tom into a fury since he was unable to defend himself, despite being the one that left for another woman. The twists and turns from the past, present, and five months later leave Karen and Gabe as well as the audience questioning their own situation.

For ticket information, visit playersdenoc.org.

 

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“When it’s 30 below, there is no substitute for the comfort and warmth of a snowmobile suit!” This from the song “Ode to a Snowmobile Suit” — one of the many humorous and wise localisms found in Players de Nocs current production of the comedic musical “Guys On Ice,” written by the late Fred Alley, founder of American Folklore Theater in Door County with James Kaplan.

“Guys On Ice” follows a day in the life of Door County, Wis., ice fishing buddies Marvin (Mark Cowman) and Lloyd (Mark Ammel) as they anxiously await a promised visit from a cable TV fishing show celebrity wanting to highlight their ice fishing expertise.

They while-away the time with lots of fishing, beer, and wise banter about love, friendship, and the meaning of life. Most of the action takes place in Marvin’s ice shanty which sits on the only local place frozen enough to hold it — the Bonifas Theater stage — and yes, there’s actual ice under that shanty!

The performances are outstanding and thick with Northern Wisconsin dialect and local humor. Mark Cowman performs Marvin with hilarious physicality — such as seen when he’s busting out Elvis moves in “The King” (the King of ice fishing, naturally).

Mark Ammel delights us with an earnest performance and clear vocals as he contemplates marital difficulties and considers his estranged wife who has asked him to be more devoted to their marriage than to the Packer football team. A dilemma for sure!

We see Jeff Woerpel’s endearing comedic talent as Ernie the Moocher, and Jon Johnson’s fun cameo adds a perfect understated Yooper touch. The audience is treated to many memorable moments and songs including: “The One that Got Away”, “Fish is the Miracle Food”, “The Beer in the Bucket”, and “Ode to a Snowmobile Suit.” Speaking of snowmobile suits…it’s worth the price of a ticket just to see the four worn in this show!

The talented Travis Dubord is musical director for the show and he’s present throughout the show on stage entertaining us with his accompaniment. Director Dawn Martin has much to be proud of in this production and she succeeded in putting together a capable, hard-working behind- the-scenes team to give our community this polished production.

Kudos to Jon Johnson for his work designing and building a perfect ice shanty which is brought to life by Jon Flath’s detailed set dressing.

Tickets are $15 and available online at playersdenoc.org, at the William Bonifas Arts Center, or in the Box Office beginning 30 minutes before each performance. Student tickets with ID are available at the ticket price at the box office each night of the show, unless sold out.

Performances are Dec. 2, 3, 7, 8, 9,or 10 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. The Bonifas Theater is located at 700 1st Ave. S., Escanaba. The show is rated PG and delightful for pre-teens through age 110 — ice fishermen or not! It runs under two hours including intermission.

  • Reviewed by Cathy Wilson
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