January 22, 2017
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Reagan Beem, left, Jazmine Cruz, center, and Ruben Castanuela appear in a scene from "The Spitfire Grille" at Tremper High School. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )

Pull up a seat at ‘The Spitfire Grill’


When it comes to musicals, bigger isn’t always better.

Kenosha Unified returns to an intimate, studio setting with the production of “The Spitfire Grill,” opening Friday at the Tremper High School Studio Theatre, 8560 26th Ave.

Percy Talbott (played by Delaina Kuzelka) has just been released from a five-year prison sentence. Looking for a fresh start, Percy travels to the small, fictional town of Gilead, Wis., where she lands at job at “The Spitfire Grill.” Restaurant owner Hannah Ferguson (Jazmine Cruz) deals with local backlash for welcoming a convict into a small, struggling town, while other residents like Shelby Thorpe (Lexi Olivares) support her decision.

Welcome to ‘The Secret Garden’


A gifted father-daughter duo take on leading roles in the beloved children’s story “The Secret Garden,” opening Friday (Jan. 20) at the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St.

Racine’s Evelyn Alumbreros, 14, stars as Mary Lennox, a young English girl who is orphaned in India when her family dies of cholera. Lennox is sent back to England to live with her only remaining relatives at an estate with many wonders, including a magical garden that guides her through her new life.

Pair of comedies continue


A light-hearted comedy and a comedic opera return to the stage this week. Here is a look at both shows:

What: The Kenosha Unified production of “The Pirates of Penzance”

Unified brings ‘1776’ play to Bradford stage

Hall of fame director Holly Stanfield and Emmy Award-winning writer Cheri Steinkellner team up for one of Kenosha Unified’s most anticipated shows of the season in the former Broadway hit “1776.” Here is a closer look at the Tony Award-winning musical:

When: Jan. 27-29, Feb. 3-5

Get Out: ‘Exit Laughing’ finds comedy in a tragedy


Sometimes tragedy evokes humor.

Three grieving women deal with the death of their longtime bridge partner in an outlandish way in the lighthearted comedy “Exit Laughing,” opening Friday at the Racine Theatre Guild.

Get Out: ‘Pirates’ invade Indian Trail auditorium


Opera and comedy isn’t always the easiest combination in musical theater.

But Kenosha Unified students travel back to the Victorian era to perform librettist W.S. Gilbert’s and composer Arthur Sullivan’s farce “The Pirates of Penzance,” opening Friday at Indian Trail High School.

Coming soon: ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘Spitfire Grill’

Lakeside Players Inc., delivers a classic Broadway musical and Kenosha Unified produces a studio act. Here is a closer look at both shows opening next week:

What: Lakeside Players’ production of “The Secret Garden”

Extended runs: Area theater shows continue this weekend


A Walt Disney classic, a Dr. Seuss’ production and a black comedy continue this weekend:

What: The Racine Theatre Guild production of “Mary Poppins”

Get Out: ‘The Nutcracker’ returns Sunday


The Kenosha Academy of Dance, Music and Drama is performing “The Nutcracker” on Sunday (Dec. 18) in the Bradford High School Auditorium, 3700 Washington Road.

Thirty-five students were chosen during auditions about six months ago. While the performance is a shortened version of “The Nutcracker,” Academy owner Annie Hackett said there are scenes added each year, with the goal of someday delivering a full production.

Christian Life delivers ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

One of the most popular holiday films of all time arrives on the stage as Christian Life School delivers “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 7 p.m. today and Friday (Dec. 15-16) at the Journey Church Main Auditorium, 10700 75th St.

George Bailey (played by Nick Abate) is broke and suicidal on Christmas Eve when Clarence (Daryle Spiller), a guardian angel, arrives and shows him what life would have been like if he was never born. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the timeless story of a man who gives up on his dreams to benefit others.

Get Out: ‘Mary Poppins’ returns to Racine


The Racine Theatre Guild’s most successful show of last season is back for an encore performance.

Kenosha native Jamie Johnson stars in the title role for the most supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical ever made as “Mary Poppins” opens a two-weekend run 7 p.m. Friday (Dec. 9) at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave.

Extended runs: Pair of shows continue this weekend


A live radio version of a Christmas classic and a dark comedy continue this week. Here is a look at both shows:

What: The University of Wisconsin-Parkside production of “A Christmas Carol: On the Air”

Coming soon: Two chances to catch ‘Nutcracker’

Two area dance studios are performing “The Nutcracker” and a high school is producing “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Here is a sneak peak at the three shows:

What: The Studio of Classical Dance Arts production of “The Story of the Nutcracker”

Get Out: Breakfast with Santa includes ‘Bah Humbug!’ show


A musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” takes the stage as St. Joseph Catholic Academy performs “Bah Humbug!” for its 16th annual Breakfast with Santa on Sunday (Dec. 4) in the St. Joseph Auditorium, 2401 69th St.

Showtimes are 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Breakfast is served from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free. Admission includes the show and a pancakes and sausage breakfast.

Get Out: ‘A Christmas Carol: On the Air’ at Parkside


The University of Wisconsin-Parkside theater arts department delivers one of the most beloved Christmas stories ever told through the charm of a 1940s live radio show in “A Christmas Carol: On the Air” opening Friday (Dec. 2) at the school’s intimate Black Box Theatre.

Charles Dickens’ timeless story unfolds as seven actors and two sound effects artists perform in a live studio.

Theater troupe goes for dark comedy with ‘Behanding in Spokane’

In line with its focus on originality, Over Our Head Players is brewing up a sadistic, dark comedy for the holiday season.

A misfired scam arouses imaginative anger in acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s “A Behanding in Spokane” opening Friday (Dec. 2) at the Sixth Street Theatre, 318 Sixth St. in Racine.

PM&L staging ‘A Christmas Carol’

PM&L’s bonus holiday show, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” adapted and directed by Rebecca Zellar, opens on Friday (Dec. 2) and runs for three weekends at the PM&L Theatre, 877 N. Main St. in Antioch, Ill.

“A Christmas Carol” tells the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Dean J. Griffiths), a bitter old miser, who receives visits from his former business partner, Jacob Marley (Chris Riter), and the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Garrett Christiansen), Present (Jim McClure), and Yet to Come, and becomes a kinder, gentler, transformed man because of the encounters.

Mary Poppins returning to Racine next week


Back by popular demand, Racine Theatre Guild delivers an encore performance of Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins.” Here is a closer look at the musical and two other local shows opening next week:

What: Racine Theatre Guild’s production of “Mary Poppins”

Christmas productions coming soon

St. Joseph Catholic Academy hosts its 16th annual Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 4. Here is a quick look at the musical and two other shows opening that weekend:

What: St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s production of “Bah Humbug!”

Get Out: Central show aims for success


The Central High School Performing Arts department delivers the story J. Pierrepont Finch’s improbable and comical rise atop the corporate ladder in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

The show opens Friday night at the school, running through Sunday.

Middle schools unite to present ‘Once on This Island Jr.’


Kenosha Unified School District’s flourishing theater arts program is expanding with its first combined, all-middle school production.

Forty-three students from all five middle schools (Bullen, Lance, Lincoln, Mahone, Washington) in addition to Harborside Academy, Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum-West and Stocker Elementary perform “Once on This Island Jr.” at 7 p.m. tonight (Nov. 17) at Mahone Middle School Auditorium, 6900 60th St.

GO Kenosha

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