Don’t miss the world premiere documentary film “Amereki Kum, Escape From Dubai” by local filmmaker Matt Johanning at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22, on the Oconomowoc Arts Center’s Main Stage.
Five years in the making, “Amereki Kum, Escape From Dubai” is the true story of the filmmaker’s uncle, Ted Van Der Zalm. The Chicago businessman escaped from a Dubai jail on Aug.17, 1998, by mailing himself to Amsterdam in a wooden crate.
As the only American prisoner in the Dubai jail, when Van Der Zalm was needed for a court appearance, the guards would simply say, "Amereki kum," unwittingly providing the name for the future documentary.
Van Der Zalm would exit the crate after 28 hours, having endured extreme conditions and a couple of close calls. His course of action tested him physically, mentally and spiritually.
“I was in the crate, but I could see blue skies. It was like a mirage. The airplane had about an eight-hour flight to Amsterdam,” said Van Der Zalm.
Johanning is director and editor at Long Leash Films in Madison. He and his wife, Kerri, raised their two sons in Oconomowoc before relocating to Madison in 2014.
After the screening, Johanning and Van Der Zalm will take questions from the audience about the journey depicted in the film. Van Der Zalm’s escape crate will also be on display in the OAC lobby.
General admission tickets are $12 and can be purchased through the OAC box office. For information about the film, visit www.amerekikum.blogspot.com.
Kids from Wisconsin
There are still great seats available for the Kids from Wisconsin performance, sponsored by the Oconomowoc Kiwanis Breakfast Club, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29.
Celebrating its 49th show season with a group of 35 young singers/dancers and musicians representing more than 20 hometowns across Wisconsin, this year’s tour theme is “Head Out on the Highway!”
The show will take audiences on a journey celebrating the richness and variety of American music. The performance features songs from Chuck Berry, Jefferson Airplane, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Celine Dion and Leonard Bernstein. Audiences will also be transported to famous Broadway musicals and Hollywood’s award-winning films.
Reserved seating tickets are $24 adults, $20 seniors (60 +) and $10 high school students and younger and military personnel (with ID). For more information, visit www.kidsfromwisconsin.org.
Free Kids workshop
Kids from Wisconsin will facilitate a free “Realize Your Dream” musical theater workshop for area kids ages 7-13 from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29, on the OAC Main Stage.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn a song and dance and perform it alongside a member of the Kids cast. Workshop attendees will also receive a free ticket to see the Kids from Wisconsin show at 7:30 p.m. Indicate when registering whether you will attend the performance.
For information and to register, call the OAC box office. Register by 5 p.m. Friday, July 21.
Original works of art by artist Pat Rodell will be featured in the OAC Art Gallery through Aug. 19. The art exhibit "Watercolor: An Exploration of Pigment and Design" explores the artist’s love for the outdoors and plein air painting.
Rodell holds a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has won several awards for her watercolor paintings. In 2011, she won Best In Show at the Edge of the Rock Plein Air Events in Beloit Wisconsin for her painting "Peace and Quiet,” and in 2012 she was awarded the Pride of Beloit Artist award.
She also has received numerous awards for her paintings from the Wisconsin Regional Art Program. For information, visit www.patrodellwatercolors.artspan.com.
Summer box office
The OAC’s summer box office hours are in effect through Sept. 1. The box office will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition, the box office is open 90 minutes before events.
The Oconomowoc Arts Center is at 641 E. Forest St. For more information, call the OAC Box Office at 262-560-3172 or visit www.theoac.net.