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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Illustration © T/Maker Company

December 1998

Wisconsin Traveler
Cool performances

A musical about ice fishing?

It hadda happen. A fella says "You betcha der hey!" and the next thing ya know, he's up on stage. Singin' & Dancin,' for krups sake! Tellin' stories in front of people he don't even know.

Well, if they can do it to cats, they can do it to ice fishermen, too. The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Door County's American Folklore Theatre present "Guys on Ice" – a lively musical revue of Wisconsin folklore as seen through the frost-dusted eyes of our hard-water anglers.

Icefishing. © RJ & Linda Miller

In their on-stage fishing shanty, a couple of guys pass the time between nibbles regaling one another with jokes, stories and tunes about (in order of importance) fishing, life and love in the Badger State. Enjoy songs with more hooks than a bait shop courtesy of Fred Alley's lyrics and James Kaplan's score, and be sure to take notes: The fellas might have a good fish story you can swipe for your next outing on the ice.

Wintertime nice: A guy on ice!
© RJ & Linda Miller

"Guys on Ice" runs through January 3rd at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's Stackner Cabaret, 108 E. Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets are $12.50 for the Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances; $17 on Friday and Saturday. Call (414) 224-9490 for performance dates or to book tickets. "Guys on Ice:" See it now before it hits New York and Broadway freezes over!

"Guys" is sure to thaw your heart, but you can expect "The Christmas Schooner" to melt it all the way through. The holiday musical by John Reeger and Julie Shannon tells the story of a courageous family that braves the icy waters of Lake Michigan to ship Christmas trees to immigrants in Chicago. Based on historical events, the musical explores different holiday traditions and the perils of winter navigation on the Great Lakes. The unusual combination of themes promises to be engrossing as well as entertaining.

"The Christmas Schooner" runs Fridays through Sundays on weekends from December 4-20 at Lawrence University's Music/Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave. in Appleton. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $8 for youths; $12.50 for adults. Call (920) 734-7887.

If the theater doesn't entice you, try putting a new spin on the holidays at the Top Museum in Burlington. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 26th the museum's chief spinners will thrill a select audience with their skill and dexterity in "Christmas at the Top Museum" – a performance guaranteed to turn your head. Children will enjoy the museum's hands-on games and try-it-yourself experiments; adults will marvel at the museum's 2,000 tops, hall of puzzles and toys on exhibit. The gift shop offers 45 different yo-yos and other toys. Reservations are a must as the museum can only accommodate 50 people at a time., so call (414) 763-3946 before you visit. The Top Museum, 533 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.