New Nicolet Live! season brings wide variety of performing arts to the Northwoods
Twenty different performances that range from comedy and drama to animated film, Congolese dance, and a number of concerts will make their way to the Nicolet College Theatre as part of the 2017-18 Nicolet Live! Performing Arts Series.
“We always strive for a wide range of performances and to have several shows that people don’t typically experience in the Northwoods,” said Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall. “It’s really about variety and offering something that will appeal to just about everyone.”
Events of note include:
- The return of the increasingly popular Trout Steak Revival mountain bluegrass band Sept. 27.
- A presentation by Kyle Cherek, host of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show Wisconsin Foodie Oct. 18.
- And the high-energy and transfixing African dance troupe Bichini Bia Congo Feb. 10.
“I’ve been trying to book this dance company for years and this time everything worked out,” Nuttall explained. “The music and dance at one of their live performances is simply electrifying. It’s like this force overtakes the theater and you just sit there and say to yourself ‘Wow!’”
On the docket for the Nicolet Players community theater troupe will be the dark comedy God of Carnage in November followed by Shakespeare’s popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream in May.
“God of Carnage was a huge hit on Broadway about seven years ago,” Nuttall said. “And when the Broadway run ended, professional theater troupes across the country snapped it up for their own productions.”
Nuttall has been producing plays at Nicolet for more than 20 years and he said about every other year or so he likes to bring in something newer, edgier and something that most people have never heard of.
“God of Carnage will be the darkest comedy we’ve ever performed. The challenge for myself and the actors will be to walk a fine line, to essentially give the audience permission to laugh and find humor in a rather touchy storyline. When it works, it becomes absolutely hilarious.”
A number of local musicians will also take to the Nicolet stage over the course of the season, which runs through June.
First up will be a holiday concert with Desiree Wattelet and friends Dec. 9. “Desiree has possibly the finest voice in the Northwoods,” he said. “To hear her sing a number of holiday favorites will truly be special.”
This will be followed Jan. 30 with An Evening with Paco Fralick and Friends performing an original blend of country, pop, folk and Native American music.
Scott Kirby and a band of his talented troubadour friends will round out the local musician series June 26 with sets of mostly original music that have made him a Northwoods favorite.
The free film series will return for its third season, this time with an animation theme, for the three feature-length films Beowulf Oct. 5, Kubo and the Two Strings Feb. 8, and the Iron Giant April 5.
“Computer-generated animation is very popular right now, especially with younger audiences,” Nuttall noted. “Each of the films will represent a different animation technique. The genre has advanced light years since the days Disney drew everything by hand.”