Fish Creek, Wis. (December 27, 2023) – Northern Sky Theater will present its perennially popular show, Home for the Holidays, in the intimate Gould Theater December 27-31. This year’s show will feature Dennis Keith Johnson, John Rood Lewis, Cathy Grier, and Bruce Newbern.
Johnson and Lewis have been familiar faces at Northern Sky in recent years, playing in the pit bands for Sunflowered, The Fisherman’s Daughters, We Like It Where? and more. Johnson also provides orchestrations for Northern Sky premieres and has engineered and mixed Northern Sky’s latest cast recordings. Newbern is a Northern Sky pit band alum as well, and the company is excited to showcase these phenomenal musicians that make the shows sparkle but don’t usually get the spotlight themselves. Adding even more power to an already dynamic group will be Door County favorite Cathy Grier. New to Northern Sky, but beloved on the peninsula, Grier has played often with Johnson, Lewis and Newbern. A vibrant quartet, these four top-notch talents will make your heart sing as we celebrate the season.
“I was recently able to see Cathy Grier and John Lewis in the Sister Rosetta Tharpe concert at the DCA and was blown away,” said Holly Feldman, Northern Sky’s associate managing director. “It made me so excited to hear this gang rock out to holiday classics and original tunes in our space. I think they just may blow the roof off the Gould!”
“This quartet will be a completely new offering from Northern Sky for our annual holiday show,” said Northern Sky’s artistic director Jeff Herbst. “The musical excellence of our company has been in part largely attributable to the stellar playing of our band members, who are often never seen. This gives us the opportunity to showcase the considerable onstage talents of Dennis, Jon, and Bruce, as well. Welcoming Cathy to our stage to round out the foursome is the perfect way to introduce her to our Northern Sky audiences.”
Musician Dennis Keith Johnson has recorded and performed with various bands and artists, including Chase, Jim Peterik, Survivor, Software, Dennis DeYoung, Jerry Butler, B.B. King, Larry Carlton, and Paul Wertico. He has appeared at Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Budokan (Tokyo), and Radio City Music Hall. Jingle recordings include Sears, Red Lobster, Cheerios, State Farm, Old Style Beer (composer) and United Airlines. Dennis has provided music for ABC-TV, Abbott, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cellular One, Citibank, CNA, Kraft, Merck, Miller Brewing, and Motorola, for national and international events.
John Rood Lewis has been working as a full-time performing guitarist, bassist, and composer for a number of decades now, based out of Des Moines, Miami, Chicago and now Door County. As a touring sideman, he’s performed at a number of iconic venues such as The Cavern Club (Liverpool), Paradiso (Amsterdam), Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London), NBC Studios (Rockefeller Plaza, NY), the Palace Theater (Hollywood, CA), and the Oprah Show. Lewis has recently released an album of original songwriting entitled Graffiti.
Cathy Grier hails from New York City, but now makes her home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Grier’s gritty, soulful vocals underscore the poignancy of her lyrics, with blues being a fundamental cornerstone of her musical style. Grier formed The Troublemakers in 2017 with a stellar lineup of top Wisconsin blues musicians. Their 2020 album, I’m All Burn, hit the blues charts worldwide and was in the top 100 for 2021 of RMR Contemporary Blues Charts. The title track was named Coolest Blues Song of 2021 in Big City Rhythm + Blues magazine.
Bruce Newbern has played percussion in past Northern Sky productions as well as for Peninsula Players, Door Off-Broadway dinner theater, and Isadoora Theatre Company. Since his recent retirement from teaching music, he has been composing and playing music throughout the county.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.NorthernSkyTheater.com or via phone at (920) 854-6117. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Performances of Home for the Holidays will take place at 4 p.m., December 27-31 at the Gould Theater in Fish Creek. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students, and $15 for age 12 and under. All seats are reserved. Each show will also feature drawings for gift certificates from Northern Sky’s local business sponsors. After the show, everyone is welcome to gather outdoors around Northern Sky’s cozy fire ring. Bakery and hot beverages will be available for purchase.