‘A Frank’s Christmas’ a coat of many colors in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WFRV) – The year is 1. Jesus Christ is approaching his first birthday. In Egypt, Pharaoh’s family is trying to find a way to mark the day.

It’s crazy for the story of Let Me Be Frank Productions 2021 edition of “A Frank’s Christmas”.

Very different.

The performing troupe adds songs to the story. Most titles have been around for years and years. In this show, most are contemporary interpretations. The lyrics are mostly the same; the styles are of a rock kind of kind – which may explain the extra volume of the musical presentation of this show.

Different.

The show revolves around faith. Words and philosophies found in the church regularly surface. The namesake of the Frank Hermans troupe even makes claims that we should all get along and respect each other.

Very different.

In its quest for originality in entertainment, Frank’s is once again a hit.

In this show there is a story as usual with that of Frank. But there are no strings – puns that lead to songs. There are discussions and jokes and the development of plots in the Pharaoh’s family, but then another Christmas song is performed.

The lineup seems to have this concept for the singers: What are some of your favorite artists’ Christmas songs that you would like to sing? Singers sing songs in the style in which they are comfortable. Included are the daring Jars of Clay for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for Zach Hibbard among the younger performers and a powerful Elvis Presley version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” for Frank Hermans.

To this technicolor sound display, the band adds a steroid version of the Trans-Siberian Christmas Orchestra as an instrument.

In the second half of the show, traditional styles emerge, such as Lisa Borley’s soaring “Ave Maria” and Amy Riemer’s kissing “Silent Night”.

A continuing version of “Silent Night” is special. The chandelier shines as Lisa Borley, Sarah Galati and Amy Riemer join together for an a cappella harmonic collaboration of sheer beauty – three wonderful voices mixed together.

Around the song, the story tumbles like a combination of story with shenanigans of characters. In the center is Tom Verbrick as Jafar, wearing a fantastical robe that is part of the show’s vivid visual sha-zam of Ancient Egypt, like Pharoah’s gold lamé shoes. Collared, Jafar was forced to be a miss to the Pharaoh (Frank Hermans) and his wobbly wheel family – Queen Cleo (Amy Riemer) and her daughters, Princess Jasmine (Sarah Galati) and Princess Amira ( Lisa Borley) sticky. .

Word games are everywhere. Groans in the same direction: the mummies sang rap. The mummies are wrapped in fabric. To wrap up. Rap. To find?

Topping the list of word games are three characters, the Maas brothers. Zach Hibbard is Joseph, the guy in the technicolor dream coat who got thrown into a well by his brothers. Blake Hermans is Nickolas, current dreamcoat holder. Pat Hibbard (who wrote this stuff with Frank Hermans) is Chris. Okay, now there’s Chris and Maas. Say the names quickly and – ta-da – you’ve billed the show as “the first original fictional Christmas story.”

It’s a big, colorful and complex spectacle with laughter, meaning and visual pop. It’s fun and funny and the jokes are good and the vocals are hot.

Dennis Panneck, from left, Pat Hibbard, Tom Vervbrick, Sarah Galati, Zach Hibbard, Amy Riemer, Blake Hermans, Lisa Borley, Tony Pilz, Andrew Klaus, Frank Hermans. (Sue Pilz Photography)

The noise level is a bit loud. While fitting into the style of many songs, what I assumed on Friday night was this: One song was performed with vigor and excellence, and that sound overwhelmed the enthusiastic response from the audience, which was not a rock crowd filled with adrenaline. Even though the response was strong and positive, the response felt weak – like a step down.

This is the 22 of the troopsd Christmas show, and the 20e collaboration of Frank Hermans and Pat Hibbard for the creation of a Christmas show. Each production was different from the last. This kind of sustained originality is a rarity in the entertainment industry. This year’s production takes the troupe’s imagination to a new level.

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Duration of operation: Two hours 18 minutes

Remaining performance: Green Bay at the Meyer Theater at 7:30 p.m. on December 4, 8-10; 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on December 11; 7:30 p.m. on December 15; 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on December 16; 7:30 p.m. from December 17 to 23. Info: meyertheatre.org. Meyer Theater COVID-19 safety protocols and regulations are available at https://meyertheatre.org/keeping-you-safe/. Manitowoc at the Capitol Civic Center at 7:30 pm December 7th. Info: cccshows.org.

Society

Pharaoh (the narrator) – Frank Hermans

Chris (a Maas brother) – Pat Hibbard

Queen Cléo – Amy Riemer

Jafar (Queen’s Evil Assistant) – Tom Verbrick

Princess Amira – Lisa Borley

Princess Jasmine – Sarah Galati

Nickolas (a Maas brother) – Blake Hermans

Joseph (a Maas brother) – Zach Hibbard

Group and support: Dennis Panneck (guitars), Pat Hibbard (bass), Tony Pilz (keyboards), Andrew Klaus (drums), Ross Loining (lights), Kelly Klaus (sound)

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Musical selections

Act I

“Joseph’s coat of many colors” (Christmas parody) – All

“Go Say It On The Mountain” (Jennifer Nettles) – Sarah Galati

“Sweet Baby Jesus” (Carrie Underwood) – Lisa Borley

“We three kings” (Aly & AJ) – Amy Riemer

“What a child is this” (third day) – Tom Verbrick

“Chanukah Song” (Neil Diamond) – Frank Hermans

“O little town of Bethlehem” (Clay jars) – Zach Hibbard

“A Whole New World” (Brad Kane and Lea Salonga) – Blake Hermans and Zach Hibbard

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (David Archuleta) – Blake Hermans

“Little Drummer Boy” (Meaghan Smith) – Sarah Galati

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful” (Weezer) – Pat Hibbard

Act II

“Carol of the Bells” (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) – Group

“The First Christmas” (Gabby Barrett) – Amy Riemer

“The Magic of Christmas Day (God Bless Us All)” (Céline Dion) – Lisa Borley

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (Johnny Reid) – Pat Hibbard

“Mary Did You Know” (Hannah Ellis) – Sarah Galati

“Mary’s Boy Child” (David Archuleta) – Blake Hermans

“He Came on a Midnight Clear” (Elvis Presley) – Frank Hermans

“Ave Maria” (Celine Dion) – Lisa Borley

“Silent Night” (Kelly Clarkson) – Amy Riemer, with the final trio of Amy Riemer, Lisa Borley, Sarah Galati

“Joy to the World” (day three) – Zach Hibbard, All

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FOLLOWING: “New Years Eve with Frank! Best of 2021 ”, December 31.

THE PLACE: Stop and look around. The auditorium of the Meyer Theater is a real eye-catcher. Located at 117 S. Washington St. in downtown Green Bay, the Meyer is one of the state’s colorful historic theaters. In its current form, the Robert T. Meyer Theater opened on February 27, 2002. It can accommodate approximately 1,000 people. The building dates much later. It opened on February 14, 1930, as one of the lavish Fox Theaters. The place is picturesque. The inner aura of the theater was its saving grace towards the end of the 20e century, when the building faced an uncertain fate. The architectural / decorative style is defined as the Spanish atmosphere. The auditorium is designed like a Moorish courtyard of yesteryear. The eclectic mix of architectural styles and colors can be found in all of the halls.

THE PEOPLE: Robert Meyer was President and CEO of Tape Inc. of Green Bay. The theater took its name at the request of his wife, Betty (Janet Elizabeth) Rose Meyer, whose financial contribution at a crucial time helped revitalize the building. The Rose family has a history of deep commitment and involvement in the well-being of Green Bay. Robert Meyer died in 1984, Betty Rose Meyer in 2008.

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