Two shows, both alike in dignity…

Two shows, both alike in dignity, in the fair Fox Valley, where we lay our scene.

From ancient grudge to ditzy romp, where tech week makes directors stomp.


You might have done a double take if you’d made your way through the north side of Appleton this week. There young actors on dinner break milled about in period costumes; William Shakespeare himself rode through the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Meanwhile, across town, Bye Bye Birdie actors, who doubled as crew, rolled their jeans and set pieces across the stage, polished their lines and pulled curtains, tap danced and taped marks.

They call it Hell Week, that last stretch of rehearsals before opening night.

Wet tech rehearsals, during which directors and their tech crew work the kinks out of lighting and sound cues. seem to last all through the good night, till it be morrow.

The more gifted the director, the more meticulous the notes, the more tedious the rehearsal.

“What percentage is that light at?


“No, no bring it up to 62”


“Wait, wait, wait. That’s too far.”

“61.5? 61.7?”

But the actors in these exceptional programs wouldn’t have it any other way.

Romeo and Juliet, the culmination of a Summer Shakespeare program sponsored by the Fox Cities Summer Consortium, opened last night to a sell-out crowd. This remarkable show runs through this weekend and tickets are still available. Don’t miss your chance to see this truly excellent show.

Bye Bye Birdie, Attic Theatre’s final show of the season, opens tonight and runs through next weekend. A musical comedy featuring some familiar tunes including “Put on a Happy Face,” Bye Bye Birdie features an exceptional cast that encompasses the true meaning of community theatre with whole families participating. Tickets currently are still available. You’ll thank me for tipping you off to this show as well.


Go hence, to have more talk of these two plays:

One a famous tragedy, the other super fun:

For never was a weekend with two better shows

Than Bye Bye Birdie, and fair Romeo

Bye Bye Birdie 013
How cool is this backdrop for Bye Bye Birdie?
Tablet tableau
This picture cracks me up. They look like a bunch of newsies. Dinner break during Tech Week creates some interesting tablet tableaus.
Romeo in line
A prince, a couple of Montagues and a Capulet or two set aside their difference to carbo load.
Carbo loading
Shakespeare on the round…table at Fazolis.
Notes with Ian
Tech week notes…
…and a classroom full of actors in period clothing.
Green Room
The hair styling begins early for these period pieces.
Bye Bye Birdie 001
Costume parade for Bye Bye Birdie. The director and costume designer check every shoe, every skirt, every hem.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare himself made his way through the McDonald’s Drive-thru.


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