elf the musical

Elf the Musical

December 4, 5, 6 and December 11, 12, 13

Coming off the popular run of Abrams Spotlight Productions production of Elf the Musical Junior…. Our winter show will be Elf the Musical- the FULL production!   Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway), with a book by Tony Award winners,Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

This production of Elf the Musical is the full length production and includes 2 more songs!  Elf the Musical will feature both adults and kids in various roles.  The modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Elf the Musical will be presented December 4, 5, 6 and December 11, 12, 13.

red derby hat

Loverly News

♫ I’ve grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon ♫

We’ve grown accustomed to seeing all of your lovely faces and miss each one of you dearly! That is why we are excited and pleased to announce the NEW showtimes for My Fair Lady!

We’ll be back on the stage September 17th-20th & 24th-27th and cannot wait for you to join us.

All who had purchased tickets for the cancelled March showings can NOW exchange their tickets by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.

Want to attend a September showtime and did not previously have tickets to a March showing? Tickets will go on sale July 17th!

Have questions? Contact the box office at 920-826-5852. For future updates be sure to check us out on Facebook!

Postponed – My Fair Lady

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. has postponed the upcoming musical “My Fair Lady” and the Spotlight Wedding Show. Future dates for the shows are being reviewed.

The postponement is in support of the well-being of the theater-going public and those who work on the productions, subject to ongoing assessment by county and state health authorities. ASPI takes the health and safety of our patrons, staff and community seriously.

ASPI customers with tickets to “My Fair Lady” will be contacted via phone or email with further information. 

Please note that ASPI is a volunteer organization with many moving parts. Our volunteers spend countless hours rehearsing, working behind-the-scenes, and doing maintenance and groundskeeping. The community theater’s income is based upon ticket sales, advertising sponsorships, and donations.

Donations to the theater are appreciated, especially now with the postponement of the shows. ASPI will need to reinvest in its promotional materials and cover other unexpected costs. You can help out by clicking here.

We look forward to bringing the spotlight back to the community theater when the coronavirus is in check.

ASPI Postpones Production

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. has postponed the upcoming musical “My Fair Lady” and the Spotlight Wedding Show. Future dates for the shows are being reviewed.

The postponement is in support of the well-being of the theater-going public and those who work on the productions, subject to ongoing assessment by county and state health authorities. ASPI takes the health and safety of our patrons, staff and community seriously.

ASPI customers with tickets to “My Fair Lady” will be contacted via phone or email with further information.

Please note that ASPI is a volunteer organization with many moving parts. Our volunteers spend countless hours rehearsing, working behind-the-scenes, and doing maintenance and groundskeeping. The community theater’s income is based upon ticket sales, advertising sponsorships, and donations.

Donations to the theater are appreciated, especially now with the postponement of the shows. ASPI will need to reinvest in its promotional materials and cover other unexpected costs. You can help out by clicking here.

We look forward to bringing the spotlight back to the community theater when the coronavirus is in check.

What to Wear: Eliza’s Runway

Our very own Mrs. Debra Jolly is costume designer for ASPI’s upcoming production of My Fair Lady. As she shares the styles of living in the 1910s from head to toe, imagine dinners on the Titanic and garden parties at Downton Abbey, the elegance, tradition, and attention to detail. My Fair Lady is Eliza Dolittle’s very own runway!

Everyday Styles

For everyday style, it all comes down to class! Upper class would have spent most of their day changing clothes to fit the activity. A feminine and lightweight day dress might have a square neckline or shawl collar, a higher waist and narrow skirt, and an overskirt. Popular fabrics of chiffon, lace, and satin were sure to adorn an upper class lady. For men, their suits were of a similar style as we see today, including a jacket, vest, white shirt and tie. Some activities would require a more formal suit with a long jacket, striped pants, white shirt complete with a cravat, vest, gloves, and a top hot. The ensemble would also include spats (or spatterdashes), a footwear accessory used to protect shoes from rain and mud.

If someone was of the middle class, their wardrobe would be much the same as the upper class, but with less trim and sturdier fabrics. There would also not be as many clothing changes throughout the day as you would see with the upper class women.

Individuals of the lower classes would be seen in older styles of clothing, often mismatched, and made of sturdier fabrics. Women’s accessories would include aprons and shawls. Many men would wear vests or jackets at work, often with a cap and a neckerchief. Because most of their clothing was secondhand cast-offs from the upper classes, working clothes looked more formal than today.

The Hair

No pixie cuts or man buns here! Even bobbed, or chin length hair on a woman was still considered a rebellious style.

Popular women’s hairstyles included the pompadour. This entailed being puffed out and slightly up at the front. And hold onto your seats because women used false hair pieces, or “rats” made of hair combings formed into rolls, to create the Pompadour hairstyle. Another popular style was the Gibson girl, puffed out hair complemented with a bun, or knot, at the top of the head.

Other popular hairstyles included Marcel waves, similar to finger waves; frizzed bangs, as made popular by King Edward’s wife, Queen Alexandra; low buns called Psyche knots after the Greek goddess; and braided twists.

With the fashion of large hats, hairstyles had to be big enough and sturdy enough to support the hat. For evening or indoor activities, hairstyles were softer and less puffed out.

Men’s hair was not as involved as their counterparts. Men usually wore their hair trimmed short and slicked back with oil or petroleum jelly. They also had a “pompadour” style where the sides were short and the top longer and pushed up, akin to the 50s style or Elvis. Handlebar mustaches, named after their similarity to the appearance of handlebars on a bicycle, also were having their time to shine!

Go to Accessory

We all have something that we cannot leave the house without. A signature scent? Favorite watch? During the 1910s, the go to accessory for both men and women was a hat. Regardless of class status, women, even lower-class women, would never be seen outdoors without a hat.

Formal Night on the Town

Here comes the glitz and the glam! Formal evenings were occasions for ball gowns, often with trains and long gloves. The look would not be complete without accessories! From jewelry to hair adornments such as feathers, flowers and jeweled combs or hair bands, women and young ladies were dressed to the nines. Satin slippers and fans, opera capes or cocoon wraps (a large circle of fabric with short sleeves at the wrists), complete the look.
While not as adorned by accessories, from their formal tuxedos with tails, complete with white shirt, best, tie, gloves, along with a top hat and opera cape, the men were sure to look sharp!

Dare to Wear

Slacks were still strictly for men. A woman in anything resembling pants was very risque indeed. Thanks to the Russian Ballet for introducing fashions of an oriental style, including harem pants. Dress hemlines were also becoming shorter. Exposed shoes and ankles? Gasp! Working our way up, it was also more common for ladies to forgo corsets. Oh my!

Eliza on Stage

ASPI is bringing a special early 1900s touch to the stage. The upper-class ladies will have large hats, which the cast members will decorate themselves! The lovely Pam Loberger, cast member and local expert on historic fashion styles, will be leading a workday session to help them create the proper look.

Are there any styles from the 1910s that you wish would make a comeback?

Many thanks to Mrs. Debra Jolly for her contribution to this blog post! You can see her efforts as choreographer, costume designer, and lighting designer in ASPI’s production of My Fair Lady. So put on your best and join us for performance running March 20-22 and March 27-29. For more information check out https://abramsspotlightproductions.com/ or call the Box Office at (920)826-5852.

My Fair Lady

Oh Eliza!

Wendy Hiller, Julie Andrews, and Audrey Hepburn. What do these three ladies have in common? Each lady has dazzled audiences in the leading role of Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady. These three accomplished actresses transform with Eliza from a Cockney accented flower seller to regal “Hungarian princess”.  

Wendy Hiller
Wendy Hiller Reading

Our first notable Eliza is Wendy Hiller, who appears in the 1938 British film adaptation of George  Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. It was only natural for Hiller to be cast in the lead as she had already portrayed the character on the Festival Theatre stage in Malvern Worcestershire, England in 1936.

The film adaptation featured Hiller as leading lady and Leslie Howard as Henry Higgins. The adaptation itself was an Oscar winner for Best Screenplay and Hiller received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

The film held a first for Ms. Hiller. She became the first actress to utter the word “bloody” in a British film. The line, “Not bloody likely, I’m going in a taxi!” was in the original play and the filmmakers decided to keep the line in the film.

Throughout her 60 year acting career, Hiller was primarily a stage actress, but her most notable film roles include the role of Pat Cooper in the 1958 film Separate Tables, earning her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the 1974 film Murder on the Orient Express as Princess Dragonmiroff, earning her the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress.

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews

Eighteen years after the film Pygmalion, the screenplay was adapted to the hit musical starring Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins and leading lady Julie Andrews as Eliza Dolittle

The musical made its Broadway debut at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in NYC on March 15, 1956. The musical ran for a total of 2,717 performances, with its last being on September 29, 1962. At that time, it was a record breaking run! However, Harrison and Andrews did not appear in all of the performances. In 1957, Harrison was replaced by Edward Mulhare and in 1958 Andrews was replaced by Sally Ann Howes (who you may recognize as the actress who played Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

In 1958, Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews reprised their roles in the London production of My Fair Lady. The production ran for 2,281 performances, with Harrison and Andrews exiting their roles in 1959.

Accolades all around! In 1957, the Broadway musical was a Tony Award winner with Julie Andrews receiving a nomination for her leading lady role.

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

For the 1964 film adaptation of My Fair Lady, producer Jack Warren cast Audrey Hepburn in the lead role, coming as a shock to the many fans of Julie Andrews! This was considered outrageous because fans believed Andrews was the embodiment of Eliza and that the role was made for her.

Another surprise came when audiences found out that Hepburn’s singing voice was not her own, and that it was in fact dubbed by Marni Nixon. While Hepburn’s vocals were not considered “good enough” for the role, her vocals can be heard in the chorus of the musical number “Just You Wait”.

At the 1964 Academy Awards, Andrews won Best Actress for her lead role in Mary Poppins, the award for Best Actor went to Rex Harrison for his role as Professor Henry Higgins, and the award for Best Picture went to My Fair Lady. While the film My Fair Lady received nominations in every major category, Audrey Hepburn did not receive a nomination for Best Actress in her role as Eliza. It is said that the lack of nomination, along with Andrews’ Oscar win, was to show support to Andrews and disapproval to Jack Warner for his refusal to cast her in a role that was viewed as rightfully hers.

While there was much controversy surrounding Hepburn in the role of Eliza Dolittle, Hepburn was a star and icon in her own right. Her prominent films include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, and Roman Holiday, just to name a few. Hepburn was a recipient of an Academy Award for Best Actress for Roman Holiday and a recipient of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards for Best British Actress for her roles in Roman Holiday, The Nun’s Story, and Charade.

ASPI’s very own Abby Frank will follow in the footsteps of the women before her to bring Eliza Dolittle to the stage.

Tickets are on sale NOW and wouldn’t it be loverly for you to join us! Performances run March 20-22 and March 27-29. Just you wait! This production is sure to be anything but ordinary. For more information check out https://abramsspotlightproductions.com/ or call the Box Office at (920)826-5852.

Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show is April 5

The Stadium View, JPS Nvitations and Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present the Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple Street, Abrams. Brides, grooms, their families and friends are invited to attend the show, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 5, at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, formerly a quaint country church, has been newly renovated and is now open for weddings and funerals.

Guests at the Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show will have the opportunity to speak directly to a variety of wedding vendors from Northeast Wisconsin. Vendors will provide information about their products and services, including wedding cakes, music, photography, invitations, make-up, and more.

Drawings for prizes will be held throughout the event.

Tickets are $10; however, fees will be waived for the first 200 registrants. Call the Abrams theater box office to reserve your tickets, 920-826-5852.

Wedding vendors interested in exhibiting at the show are encouraged to call the box office for prices and availability, 920-826-5852.

Sparklejollytwinklejinglely

Notice something different about our upcoming winter musical?! ASPI is proud to present Elf The Musical, Jr. That Jr. part is very important because it means that all the cast and production crew are between the ages of 6 and 15. This production is 100% youth driven!

While ASPI makes it a priority to have multi-generational musicals with children’s roles, this will be the very first musical with an entire youth cast. This also includes youth in the production staff, where they will be mentored by their adult counterpart.  You can see the entire lineup of cast and crew here.

Elf The Musical Jr. is being directed by Liz Jolly along with her junior director Sydney Surber. An instant Christmas classic, this musical production of the hit film is an opportunity for our young cast and crew to shine!

In their working relationship as director and junior director, Liz includes Sydney in all her duties and decisions. Sydney’s role as junior director involves various roles such as blocking part of a scene, casting parts in a song, and attending production meetings. Just to name a few!

It may be a junior production, but Liz is demanding the highest professional-level quality from the cast and production staff. She believes they are all more than up to the challenge! Since the “adult” characters in the production are also played by children, casting requires looking at each child is capable of, which gives youth the opportunity to play roles they normally wouldn’t.

The great opportunity a junior production brings to the theater, Liz explains, is that it allows junior members to become more involved in different aspects of theater, such as production. Production roles, while generally not considered as popular as acting on the stage, are just as essential for a show’s success.  Liz cannot wait to see how her young cast and crew grow in their roles both on and off stage.

Liz also believes that directing a junior production breathes new life into all parts of the job. The adults involved in the production are mentoring their junior counterparts, which involves explaining what they are doing and why. Which Liz thinks is great because sometimes why things are done can be forgotten and this mentorship encourages communication.

Both Liz and Sydney believe everyone should make attending Elf The Musical, Jr. part of their Christmas festivities this winter season. This show is sure to get you in the holiday spirit with its huge song and dance numbers and its way of tugging at one’s heart strings. This hilarious show with it’s positive uplifting message will take you from Bah Humbug to Sparklejollytwinklejinglely!

Want to be on Santa’s nice list? Order your tickets for Elf The Musical, Jr. NOW. They make the perfect gift! Showtimes are December 6-8 and December 13-15. It’s sure to be a Santa approved evening 😉

Meet the Directors

Liz has been involved with ASPI since 2010. Her many roles have included director of Meet Me in St. Louis, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Kathy Selden in Singing in the Rain, and The Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone, where she also lended her talents as costume designer. Liz’s theater experience also includes work with Theatre Z, PlayByPlay Theatre, Evergreen, Green Bay Community Theatre, SNC Summer Music Theatre, and appearances in Drunken Shakespeare at The Green Room Lounge in De Pere.

Liz is more than qualified to mentor this young cast and crew as she holds a BA in Theatre Studies and Classical Studies from St. Norbert college and an additional degree in acting from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Miss Sydney Surber has been involved in theatre since the age of 4 years old! Elf will be her eighth production with ASPI. She also had the opportunity to shadow her mom as assistant director for ASPI’s production of Barefoot in the Park. A 6th grader at Bay City Christian School, Sydney is on the volleyball team. When not acting or playing volleyball, she enjoys taking piano and voice lessons.

How Building a Patio Also Built a Community

What started out as a simple sidewalk project morphed into something much more this summer. The Nancy Byng Community Theater now has an entirely new element which will make a long-term impact – an outdoor patio. The patio beautifully dresses up the theater’s entrance with a colorful flowerbed during the day and twinkling lights in the evening. It’s the perfect backdrop for mingling, day or night.

We now have a gathering area that can be used for various purposes, including our opening night gala and Happy Hour before a comedy show. We can sell food and beverages outdoors, creating an ongoing source of additional revenue for the theater.

In addition, as was our original goal, the patio provides a safe pathway for our actors from the backstage exit. It also alleviates water-ponding issues that occurred in that spot.

The patio became a possibility due to a generous $1,500 gift from the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation. We allocated an additional $1,300 to complete the landscaping and new backstage stairway, but took seriously the challenge to stay within the budget based on the foundation’s gift.

In order to complete what should be a $12,000 project, we solicited the help and assistance of many of our friends. Once others understood that our goal was to do this within the scope of the Bond Foundation gift, they stepped up to the challenge. This is an inspiring example of how to be good stewards of the foundation’s generosity while creating community.

The following businesses and individuals contributed equipment, labor and materials:

  • Jackie Foster Inc.
  • Central Heating LLC
  • Wirtz Septic Pumping
  • Duame Sand and Gravel Inc.
  • Jerry Parham and crew
  • Mike Konkel
  • Joe Konkel
  • David Jolly
  • Bill Koehne
  • Chris Weiss
  • Jerry Schmit
  • Steve Druckrey
  • Brigette Finger and family

By combining time, talent, and treasure, we successfully completed the patio project while forging new partnerships in the community. We’re looking forward to spending many relaxing hours on the outdoor patio. We hope you’ll join us.

Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Adam and Eve

Show is cancelled due to COVID 19

This play is a light-hearted look at the world’s first love story through the eyes of America’s greatest humorist- Mark Twain.  Throughout this play, the Garden of Eden bursts with wit, laughter and the lyric poignance of the first love and the first loss.  Based upon Mark Twain’s book from the early 1900’s titled the same name, this play is sure to hit home with all audiences!

First produced for PBS “American Playhouse,” The Diaries… is a uniquely American theatre piece. Since that time, the show has enjoyed well over 200 productions, in both extended runs and touring engagements at regional theatres, college and university theatres, and performing arts centers on both coasts and across the country.