Looking for something to do? Here's a sampling of some entertaining events from local community groups. For a full list of weekend events, click on the related link to see the calendar listings.
Art show opens at Spectrum Gallery
RACINE — Spectrum Gallery at the DeKoven Center, 600 21st St., presents “The January 2013 Invitational Show” Jan. 19-Feb. 2. The exhibit features artwork from regional artists in a variety of media. The show is dedicated in memoriam to Terri Aaen, who was involved with Spectrum for many years.
Each artist is showcased with one of their pieces in media including drawing, oil, acrylic, watercolor, ceramics, digital art, bronze casting, collage, photography and tapestry. Featured artists are: Cynthia Allen, Noah Bober, Jane Rae Brown, Claire Cross, Cait Dallas, Clare Fiore, Katie Fiore, Mark Giese, Jerome Guerra, Bill Girdzius, Greg Helding, Nicole Higgs, Louis Hills, Jerry Jarvinen, C.K. Johns, James A. Kipfer, Anne Lasch, Tammy Leverich, Alex Mandli, Judy A. Maranger, Louis C. McNair, Todd Nelson, Samantha Nelson, Al Pietkivitch, Lewis Schultz, Phil Schultz, Mason Swager, Sonja Sinclair, Tom Simonson, Scott Skogstad, Jim Tavernese and Denise Zingg. Many of these works are also for sale.
Spectrum Gallery, a nonprofit organization and community gallery, is dedicated to helping artists by providing a nonjudgmental space and empowers artists by having them choose their own work for exhibition.
Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment. Call (262) 634-4345.
The Big Chill returns to Downtown Racine
Don’t be put off by the delayed start of Downtown’s “Big Chill” event. The “Big Chill” — also known as the 23rd Annual State Snow Sculpting Competition — was originally scheduled to take place on Monument Square this weekend, and has been rescheduled for Jan. 18-20, due to our “unseasonably warm weather.”
This event will bring the state’s best two-person snow sculpting teams here to compete for the title of Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Champion, along with cash prizes. And everyone is invited to come Downtown to see them work their magic on 6-by-6-by-8-foot blocks of snow — and to cast their vote for the prize winners. Spectators will also be treated to the skills of professional ice carvers, who will sculpt their masterpieces out of 300-pound blocks of ice, set along Main and Sixth streets during the “Big Chill.”
This is the second year that Racine has hosted the competition, which used to happen in the Wisconsin Dells as the Flake Out Festival. The winning team from Racine’s competition will advance to the U.S. National Competition in Lake Geneva in February 2014.
RTG stages "A Night at the Nutcracker"
RACINE — “A Night at the Nutcracker,” a Marx Brothers-style musical farce, will be staged Jan. 18-Feb. 3, at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave. Two unique features of this production are its resemblance to a 1930s film and the collaboration between RTG and the Studio of Classical Dance Arts.
The Marx Brothers were an American comedy act feauturing five actual brothers, though the core of the act was the three eldest — Chico, Harpo and Groucho — who enjoyed success in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in films during the first half of the 20th century. Five of their 13 motion pictures were selected by the American Film Institute as among the top 100 comedy films of all time, with two of them, “Duck Soup” and “A Night at the Opera,” in the top 12. In the latter, the brothers wreaked havoc on the world of opera. What if they’d had a crack at a ballet company? That’s the question answered by playwrights Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore in this comedy with music by Ed Alton and Tchaikovsky.
The hilarity ensues when the world’s greatest detective, at least in his own mind, Felix T. Filibuster (Jay Pilger), comes to the rescue of a wealthy patron of the arts, Constance Stuffington (Dawn Van Ess). She’s backing a production of “The Nutcracker Suite” and is being targeted by suave swindler Clyde Ratchette (Michael Kroes). Filibuster teams up with a silent butler, Pinchie (Len Maki), and his Italian friend, Pepponi (Frank Russ), to save opening night of the ballet. Slapstick comedy, physical gags, chases, jokes and songs lead to a zany climax that incorporates elements of “The Nutcracker Ballet” (the craziest version ever).
To mimic the look of a 1930s Marx Brothers film, “Everything — set, costumes, props, makeup — is black and white,” explains director Kara Ernst. “However, we go to full color when the ballet starts in Act 2. We are lucky to have dancers from the Studio of Classical Dance Arts, who are bringing their costumes from “The Nutcracker” along with them. They are lovely, and in color, so we decided to go to color for the ballet.”
Completing the cast are Rebekah Bryan, Davidson Kane, Robert Kroes, Megan Elizabeth Lewis, Bryanna VanCaster, Stacey Duchrow and, from the Studio of Classical Dance Arts, MaxAnna Collen, Tess Dimler, Zeli Frantz, Madeline Jerry, Claudia Lasch, Emily Lovdahl, Franni Tempesta and Haley Schonter.
On the production side, Steve Barnes is the set designer and Karen Hamilton heads the volunteer crew as production stage manager.
On each weekend there are shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, there are Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Jan. 26 (followed by a free talkback with cast and crew) and at 4 p.m. on Feb. 2. There are 7 p.m. shows Jan. 27 and 31.
The adult ticket price is $19 for the 7:30 p.m. shows, $15 on Thursday night and $17 at all other times. Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of 12 or more. The box office is open from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 90 minutes prior to each curtain time through intermission. For reservations, call (262) 633-4218 or go to www.racinetheatre.org (discounts and coupons cannot be applied to online orders).