This summer, the Oconomowoc Arts Center will kick off its 10th anniversary season with a lineup of performing and visual arts programming for the Lake Country area. The 10th anniversary celebration will begin with the center's annual open house 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15.
The center's 2017-18 season will highlight six main stage productions featuring critically acclaimed regional and national favorites. The Cabaret Café Series will return with three different groups of talented musicians.
ComedySportz, as well as a diverse array of center special events that include a world premiere documentary film screening, annual favorites and visual arts programming showcasing artists from all over the region, will round out the upcoming season.
“The OAC has been a labor of love for us for the past nine years and we are looking forward to next year as a celebration of our schools and community over the past decade. You are in for a treat,” said the center's director, Michael Duncan.
The Main Stage Series opens the curtain onto an exciting new season on Sept. 23 with “BritBeat Beatles Tribute - 50th Anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Album Release.” Celebrating one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, the show takes audiences of all ages on an energized and captivating journey along the evolution of the beloved Fab Four.
Just in time for Halloween, the world premiere ballet “Dracula” will captivate audiences Oct. 13, 14 and 15. In partnership with Main Stage Academy of Dance, the oft-told tale of “Dracula” will be come alive in this elaborately-staged ballet production accompanied by familiar songs from today’s most popular artists.
Popular Milwaukee TV and radio personality, prolific actor on both stage and screen, John McGivern returns to Oconomowoc in “A Kodachrome Christmas” Dec. 1 and 2. Written and directed by Pat Hazell, the “one-woman” show will take the audience on a nostalgic journey when they become the live studio audience for Earlene, as she records her Christmas special.
New York Times best-selling author and humorist, Michael Perry returns to the OAC stage Jan. 27 with his new stage play “Population: 485 - Meeting Your Neighbors One Alarm at a Time.” Based on the popular book, “Population: 485,” the stage version picks up when Perry, who serves as the show’s narrator, returns to his childhood town in rural northwest Wisconsin.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the OAC with Tallymoore March 17. The Milwaukee-based contemporary Irish folk band performs a range of Irish and Scottish folk tunes, ballads, reels and classic pub songs. Their vocal harmony blend, distinctive arrangements, and strong musicianship have distinguished them on the Irish music scene.
Rounding out the OAC’s 10th anniversary season on May 20 is “One Night in Memphis – Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute Music Show.” The high energy concert takes the audience back to the night when four of the biggest names in early rock and roll gathered together for an impromptu jam session in Memphis.
The nationally-acclaimed cast members are backed by an energetic rockabilly band for a rock and roll royalty jam session.
The popular Cabaret Café Series returns with three fabulous shows. Set in the OAC’s intimate Little Theater, audiences are treated to an evening of live musical entertainment paired with tantalizing dishes prepared specially by the OAC executive chef, Jenny Truchan.
Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets return to the OAC to kick off the series Friday-Saturday, Jan. 12 and 13, as well as special luncheon show Sunday, Jan. 14. Backed by their live band, the group’s captivating vocal harmonies, humor and choreography will pull at the nostalgic heart-strings of its audience with classic music from the 50s and 60s.
The music of Tale Spin is sure to warm the hearts of its audience Feb. 3 and 4. With Ken Schmidt on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Kim McKisick Monroe on violin, Amy Schmidt on accordion and mykulanjelo on bass and vocals, the group offers an old-timey feel with contemporary rhythms and fresh interpretations of well-known songs.
The 3M Trio will round out the series March 23 and 24, with tight harmony vocals by groups like the Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Beatles, Beach Boys and more. Mike Miller and Ted McCabe were in the same rock 'n' roll band at Oconomowoc High School. Brian Mitchell joined them in the popular rock band called the Piles of Rhythm. Together, 3M is known for getting audiences to tap their feet and sing along to songs we all know and love.
OAC box office
All 2017-18 season tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, May 15. Patrons will receive 5 percent off ticket prices during the early bird special May 15-26 at the box office only. Group rates and gift certificates are available year round.
The box office is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays; noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and 4-7 p.m. Thursdays. In addition, the box office is open 90 minutes before events.
The Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 East Forest St., is part of the Oconomowoc Area School District. For more information, call the box office at 262-560-3172 or visit www.theoac.net.