Mulan Jr. Opens on Feb. 14
Disney’s “Mulan Jr.,” based on the 1998 Disney film “Mulan” and the story “Fa Mulan” by Robert D. San Souci, will be performed by The Phipps Children’s Theater from February 14 through March 2 at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
The musical is set in ancient China. Defying the village matchmaker, Mulan takes up arms and disguises herself as a man in order to spare her father from having to serve in the army. The Huns have invaded her homeland, and it is up to the misfit Mulan (Kia Feia, Hudson) and her mischievous sidekick, Mushu, to save the Emperor. Disney’s “Mulan Jr.” is a celebration of culture, honor, and the fighting spirit. The score includes favorites such as “Reflection,” “Honor to Us All” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
The cast features 36 talented actors from area high schools.
The story includes many humorous characters, such as Mushu, the trouble-making dragon (Emily Gjerde, River Falls); lovable soldiers Yao (Phillipe Thao, Hudson), Ling (Elijah Wood, Houlton), and Qian-Po (Brendan Finn, Woodbury); and the fussy bureaucrat Chi Fu (Jack Clauss, River Falls).
Much of the comedy in the musical centers on the changing perspectives of boys’ and girls’ roles. Mulan pretends to be a young soldier named Ping and learns how to act like a man from Mushu. Gjerde said she loves the irony of being a girl playing a boy and a dragon who is trying to teach Mulan how to be a girl. Gjerde said it really helped her get into character to have a cool costume and elaborate makeup to look like a dragon.
Feia said at first it was confusing being a girl who is pretending to be a boy who is then teaching the boys how to be girls in disguise. “It was actually difficult at first to go back and forth between being a boy and a girl – it can be pretty hard to keep it straight,” she said, but Feia has risen to the challenge and finds the scene where she teaches the soldiers to be girls “super funny.” She said, “It’s not just what we can do on the stage but also what we can give to the audience that makes the show exciting.”
Director John H. Potter, music director Andrew A. Haase, and choreographer Christina Leines previously staged Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” and “Willy Wonka Jr.” for The Phipps Children’s Theater. Potter said the show appeals to a wide-variety of folks.
Performances will be given from Feb. 14 through March 2 on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m.Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for students age 13 and older as well as seniors, and $15 for children age 12 and younger. The play is recommended for children age 4 and older. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715.386.8409 or online at thephipps.org, The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis.
Ballroom dance party Feb. 15
Ballroom dance parties will be offered on the first and third Saturday of every month from 7 to 10 p.m. in the dance studio of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Tom Larson will offer a dance lesson during the first hour. The rumba and waltz will be taught on Feb. 15 with a DJ. This is an opportunity to have fun trying out new dance skills in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome. Admission is $15 per person with a live band or $12 per person with a DJ.
Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis. He performed for five seasons with The Continental Ballet Company.
For further information, contact The Phipps Center at 715-386-2305. The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis.
Auditions for ‘The Fox on the Fairway’
Auditions for “The Fox on the Fairway,” a comedy by Ken Ludwig, will be held on Monday and Tuesday, February 17 and 18, at 7 p.m., with callbacks, if necessary, on Wednesday, February 19 at 7 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
“The Fox on the Fairway” is a tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and ‘40s. It takes audiences on a hilarious romp, which begins at the Quail Valley Country Club as it prepares to take on archrival Crouching Squirrel in the Annual Inter-Club Golf Tournament. With a sizable wager at stake, the contest plays out amidst three different love affairs, a disappearing diamond, objectionable sweaters, and an exploding vase. The play is a madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair with golf.
Director Denise Baker is looking for actors to play the following roles:
• Justin: about 25, an offbeat, sweet, and anxious bundle of nerves
• Louise: about 23, good natured and a little ditzy
• Henry Bingham: mid-40s, executive director of the Quail Valley Country Club
• Pamela: about 39, beautiful, tanned, and very sophisticated
• Dickie Bell: mid-40s, executive director of the Crouching Squirrel Country Club
• Muriel: mid-40s, a woman with a strong personality, takes no guff from anyone
Rehearsals will be held Sunday through Thursday evenings and occasionally on Saturday mornings, beginning March 3. Eleven performances will be given from April 11 through May 4 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m. (not April 20) on the main stage.
All auditioning should come prepared to read from the script, which will be available at 5 p.m. each evening. Those auditioning should also bring a photo and resume, if they have one, and a list of conflicts they may have during the rehearsal period.
This is Baker’s first time directing at The Phipps. Among the shows she has staged are “Suessical the Musical” for St. Croix Festival Theatre as well as “Steel Magnolias,” “South Pacific,” and “Nunsense” for Willow River Players. Baker is also a choreographer and actor in the Twin Cities area and a longtime member of the Lev Mailer Actors Studio.
For further information, contact the center at 715-386-2305. The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis.
Wouterina “Riana” de Raad, an award-winning artist living in Beldenville, Wisconsin, is offering a Concrete Sculpture Workshop on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6, and a Mosaic Workshop on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
In the Concrete Sculpture Workshop, which will be held on Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, April 6, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., participants will learn to make a concrete planter, birdbath, or statue that can be outside all year round in a subzero climate. De Raad has been working in this media since 1987, and will be teaching her own techniques and formulas. With this knowledge, students also will be able to create concrete environments, with benches, fireplaces, walls, and arches that light up, without welding.
During the first day of this workshop, participants will make a multi-layered metal armature which will be cemented in the following day. Participants will learn how to cut and shape metal lath as well as when and how to use reinforcements. There will be a demonstration on various cementing techniques and discussions on cement formulas as well as what pigments to use for coloring cement. Students should wear work clothes and bring garden gloves with a cloth upper and a thin nitrile palm (Atlas gloves are recommended, and are available at most garden centers), band-aids, a dust mask, and safety glasses, as well as a sack lunch each day. All other materials and tools will be provided. The fee for this workshop is $235.
The Mosaic Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, April 27, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Participants will learn the basic skills of mosaic tiling, including how to cut and break glass and ceramic tile, as well as what materials and adhesives to use for a subzero climate. There will be a grouting demonstration and discussions on cement formulas as well as how to use pigments and texture a cement surface. Participants must wear old clothes; provide the object or sculpture to mosaic; bring tiling objects such as broken dishes, buttons, mirrors, beads, shells, tiles, recycled, found objects, etc. (for outdoor work, tiling materials must be impermeable); and bring old towels or rags, garden gloves with a cloth upper and a thin nitrile palm (Atlas gloves are recommended and are available at most garden centers), band-aids, a dust mask, safety glasses, and a sack lunch each day. All other materials and tools will be provided. The fee is $180.
De Raad’s award-winning sculpture gardens have been featured on “Rebecca’s Garden” and “The Wisconsin Gardener” on Wisconsin Public Television, as well as in numerous publications including Backyard Living, Midwest Living, Minnesota Monthly, Country Gardens, Minnesota Horticulturist, and the Folk Art Messenger. To see more of de Raad’s work, go to concretemosaicsculpture.com/.
For more information or to register, go to thephipps.org, call 715-386-2305, or stop by the center. The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis.
Annual high school art exhibit
All high school-age students from Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota are invited to submit one recent original work in any media – drawing, painting, collage, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, or other fine crafts – for display in the Annual Area High School Art Exhibition, which will run March 21 through April 13 in The Galleries of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
All submissions must meet the specified guidelines and be dropped off at The Phipps on Tuesday or Wednesday, March 18 or 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. If students are unable to deliver work on these dates because of spring break, they may drop off on Thursday, March 13, from 12 noon to 6:30 p.m., but must contact The Phipps in advance to use this early drop off date. Submission guidelines and entry forms can be found at thephipps.org/events/calls_for_artists. A closing reception will be held on Sunday, April 13, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Galleries hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m., as well as one hour before and through intermission of all performances in The Phipps theaters.
The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis. 15 miles east of St. Paul. Take Hudson Exit 1 off I-94, Hwy 35 North, and turn west on Locust Street. For further information, contact Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director, at 715-386-2305, ext. 103.
Consignment opportunities for artists
Artists and fine craftspeople interested in consigning their handmade work for sale in the Gift Gallery of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin, are encouraged to respond to a call for artists with a submission deadline of Friday, March 7. Guidelines can be found at www.thephipps.org/events/calls_for_artists.
For more information, contact Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director, at 715-386-2305, ext. 103.
The Phipps is located at 109 Locust Street in Hudson, Wis.