Clear Channel will gain a new Broadway touring house on the banks of Wisconsin's Fox River. The 2000-plus-seat facility will rise in the downtown of Appleton and be called the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. A grand opening is scheduled for January 2003
The aim is to attract audiences from Appleton—a sleepy town that is home to the liberal arts college Lawrence University (which George C. Scott and his wife Colleen Dewhurst, as well as their son Campbell Scott, attended)—and the nearby central Wisconsin towns of Oshkosh, Fon Du Lac and Neenah/Menasha. To date, the area has been serviced by one Broadway-level house, Green Bay's Weidner Center.
Clear Channel will christen the center with such top level attractions as The Producers and Mamma Mia!.
The building, located at 218 West College Avenue, costs $45 million, with money being raised by local civic and corporate groups. John Bergstrom, a board member of the center, called the touring house "a Lambeau Field for the arts," citing the Green Bay Packers' cherished open air stadium.
The 2003 Broadway series for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center runs as follows:
- • Mamma Mia!, Jan. 21-Feb. 2, 2003
- • Seussical, Feb. 18-23
- • Jesus Christ Superstar, July 8-13
- • The Producers, Sept. 16-28
—By Robert Simonson