August 31, 2016
It’s a carnival, a variety show, a social extravaganza and a gathering of general monkeyshines and tomfoolery…the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Return of the Big Sheboygan Shebang will take over downtown Sheboygan on Saturday, Sept. 24. The excitement begins with preshow street entertainments at 4 p.m. and a performance in the Stefanie H. Weill Center for ticketholders at 7:30 p.m.
To make way for the festivities, 8th Street will be closed from Wisconsin Avenue north to Above and Beyond Children’s Museum.
The preshow celebration, which is free and open to the public, runs from 4 to 7 p.m. It will feature roaming entertainers, street performers, food stands, sales at local shops and more.
At 7:30 p.m. the stage portion of this masterfully crafted production, orchestrated by international performer and self-proclaimed lunatic Dr. Prof. Tomáš Kubínek, begins inside the Weill Center at 826 N. 8th St.
The production is an original, created especially for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Connecting Communities program. In 2009, the Arts Center’s first Big Sheboygan Shebang was performed before a sold-out crowd. The Return of the Big Sheboygan Shebang promises to garner the same measure of belly laughs, tugs on heartstrings and moments of wonderment as its highly praised predecessor.
Return of the Big Sheboygan Shebang has been in development since auditions were held last spring. The production is the culmination of Dr. Prof. Kubínek’s collaboration with the performers, one in which dozens of area residents will showcase talents from bona fide to bizarre.
Among the entertainers are fire dancers and fire eaters, guitar pickers and ukulele strummers, bagpipers and baton twirlers, thespians and comedians, and so many more. Musical groups to perform include the African drum and dance ensemble Ubuntu, guitar duo The Saddle Tramps, the Irish band Shamrocks & Shenanigans, metal nerd rockers Da Gof Rockerz and the indie band This Big Life.
Kubínek has appeared in more than 30 countries on five continents and has been seen by millions of people in standing-room-only appearances at theaters, opera houses, international festivals of theatre and humor, in television specials and on Broadway. A collision of theatre and old-time music-hall, his exuberant one-man show is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville and irresistible charm.
Kubínek is the recipient of numerous international awards including; The Moers Comedy Prize from The International Comedy Arts Festival in Germany, The Schneestern Award from the International Festival of Humor in Arosa, Switzerland, and The Samuel Beckett Theatre Award from The Dublin Theater Festival in Ireland.
Kubínek’s special guest artists are musical comedian Al Simmons and rope aerialist Elise Ebner.
Simmons (aka the Thomas Edison of entertainers) is a wizard of one-liners and a lightning bolt of lunacy. His astounding gadgets, preposterous songs, and impeccable comic timing have thrilled and entertained all ages for close to half a century.
When Ebner began rope dancing there were no aerial or circus classes in the small British Columbian town in which she lived, so she bought her own equipment and began to teach herself. Now, her grace and daring entertains crowds at events and festivals along the west coast of Canada and in the United States.
Limited tickets are available for this one-night-only performance at the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts, by calling 920-208-3243 or visiting weillcenter.com.
About the John Michael Kohler Arts Center: Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, community arts initiatives, and publications. The Arts Center’s collections focus primarily on works by vernacular-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program.
Looking to the future, the Arts Center continues to generate new explorations in the arts that foster creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public, making real the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at jmkac.org.
Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. Arts Center members receive a discount on performance and other event tickets, classes and camps tuition, purchases at ARTspace gift shops, and free or discounted admission to many special events. Memberships are available at the Arts Center, by visiting jmkac.org, and/or by calling 920-458-6144.
Arts Center Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Center is open at other times for special events.