For the Antigo Times
The KIDS will celebrate all summer from June 21- August 18, in over 35 hometowns across the state and twice daily at the Wisconsin State Fair, as they mark a milestone 50th year of performing and molding professional performers.
This year’s show theme, “Shine the Light”, will feature music performed since the inception of the Kids from Wisconsin. Some of the KIDS all-time audience favorites will be featured along with 5 decades of Broadway. KIDS will Shine the light on our past 50 years while lighting the way for the next 50.
In their 50th season, the KFW will have performed for approximately 10 million across Wisconsin and the Midwest, with great entertainment by some of Wisconsin’s most talented performers ages 15-20. The revue is produced in collaboration with some of the best writers, arrangers, and choreographers across the country.
The KIDS will perform in the Volm Theater at Antigo High School on Tuesday, July 17. There will be two performances, one at 2:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available in advance at CoVantage Credit Union and Lakeside Market. For more show dates and times, visit their website, www.kidsfromwisconsin.org.
About the Kids from Wisconsin:
The establishment of the group was authorized in 1968 by Douglas G. Weiford, (1968 Secretary of the Department of Local Affairs and Development), in keeping with Governor Warren P. Knowles’ “Youth Power Program”. The Wisconsin Exposition Center Music director, Mark S. Azzolina, was appointed by Vernon G. Wendland, (Administrator of the Wisconsin Exposition Center) as the special project official.
Since their organization in 1968 and first performance in 1969, the Kids from Wisconsin show troupe has performed at state and county fairs, festivals, national trade shows and conventions. Their travels have taken them to many hometown stages as well as distinguished stages such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee, Cabo Hall in Detroit, the Convention Center in Atlantic City, and the Canadian National Exhibition, which at the time was the world’s largest fair.
In the earlier days before artists hired their own opening acts, The KIDS performed before the big-name artists. These included Dianna Ross and The Supremes, Guy Lombardo, Eddie Albert, James Darren, Liberace, Friends of Distinction, George Kirby, Pat Boone, Roger Miller (King of the Road), Sonny and Cher, Johnny Cash, John Davidson and many more.
Still today, the program remains a true professional experience and opportunity for growth both in leadership and as performers. It is a privilege and honor for students to take part in the KIDS iconic program after an intense, audition process. Troupe members not only perform to thousands over the summer, but are also trained to provide a handson, performing arts workshops in many of the communities they perform, helping to spread the love of performing to youth ages 7-13.
Since 1969, there have been nearly 1000 alumni that have been part of KIDS. Alumni will celebrate at a reunion weekend slated for August 3-5.