The Central Wisconsin Educational Theatre Alliance (CWETA) will be presenting it’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenon The Phantom Of The Opera from Thursday through Sunday, February 17, 18, 19 and 20, 2011, at the Wausau West High School Theater. Tickets are available at ShowTix4U. As of this writing, early-ish Tuesday evening, tickets are still available for all shows, but don’t be expecting the sweet seats for the Friday or Saturday evening performances!
Frankly, Phantom has been reviewed to death. Anything I could tell you about it wouldn’t do it justice, and has probably been said already. If you’re familiar with the show, you know what I mean. If you aren’t familiar with the show, stop reading. Click on the tickets link, buy your ticket, print your ticket, go sit on the ground outside the theater until they’ll let you in and seat you, experience the show, then come back and finish reading when the impact of the show starts to wear off. We’ll see you in about a week. Maybe a week and a half.
Here’s what I can tell you. This performance of The Phantom Of The Opera is being produced by CWETA (pronounced SWEETA), the Central Wisconsin Educational Theatre Alliance. CWETA only does one show every two years, but they do them big. In 2009, they performed Peter Pan, Cats in 2007, Les Miserables in 2005, and the list goes on. Do you see the theme? It’s “spectacle”. From the rubble wall and 20 foot rotating stage section in Les Mis to the elaborate costuming and makeup for Cats to flying cast members 3 or 4 at a time in Pan, these are shows with splash and CWETA does “splash” very, very well.
For my money, though, it’s not the spectacle of it all that makes these shows worth seeing. CWETA auditions students from all of the local high schools that choose to buy into the program, this year featuring performers from Wausau East, Wausau West, DC Everest, Merrill, Newman Catholic, and Northland Lutheran High Schools. That’s a pretty broad talent base, and that, to my mind, is the appeal of a CWETA show. It’s an opportunity to see the best talent from a number of different schools in one place, at one time, with one purpose.
And they’ll knock your socks off. Just go.