A Night at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

The Tuesday night debut of “Flashdance-The Musical” at the Fox Cities Performaing Arts gave me an unexpected chance to revisit a decision to move back to Wisconsin when it was time to raise a family.

We got that one right.

As the Broadway show found its pace during Act 1, I cast a sideways glance at my oldest son. He was engaged with the show, both the performers on stage and the musicians in the pit. I realized this might be the first time he had seen a Broadway show, though I know he’s seen other shows at the PAC and has been on stage as a performer several times. I was suddenly feeling pretty good about the fact we could have this experience right here in the Fox Cities.

We are blessed with some great cultural assets here.

As a 17 year-old young man, I was not sure how much he would be into Flashdance. Not really a story you would expect him to appreciate, and he did not learn he was coming to the show until the last minute when my wife fell ill. In between acts I asked the question: “what do you think?”

“I think it’s pretty good,” was the response. If you have a 17 year-old boy, you realize that is a gushing review, well beyond the usual mono-syllabic responses to a parent question. He seemed to most enjoy the music & dance, and I’m sure the costuming of the dancers from Harry’s and C.C.s helped keep his attention on stage.

After the show he was in good spirits. He not only enjoyed the show, but would like to see another one. He’s never seen the original and could not make comparisons.



As to what he saw, he found the character of C.C. to be the most compelling. He thought the actor playing that part, Christian Whelan, both looked and played the part convincingly. He said he actually believed he could be a club owner. The ballet dancers, both male and female, also illicited praise. I think he appreciated the athleticism of their movements.

For me, I have to confess that I did not like the original movie, though I did not share that with my son until after the show. I found the stage production more enjoyable. There seemed to be a few opening night jitters in the first couple of numbers, but by the first “Maniac” number, the show seemed to have found its stride.

What I liked even more, though, was watching my son’s reaction. As much as my wife would have enjoyed the show, I’m glad I got the chance to share the experience with him.

Of course, having the PAC right here in my backyard made it easier.

I think we forget sometimes how blessed we are to have such as community resource. After all, it’s been here more than 10 years and perhaps the newness has worn off. Still, it’s a cultural asset we are lucky to have.

Which leads me to my one shameless plug in this post: In next month’s issue of FOX CITIES Magazine, we will take a look at the ideas and community assets that have changed how we work and play in the Fox Cities. Make sure you visit our website or follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss it.

Flashdance – The Musical plays at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center through Nov. 17.


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