Performing Arts

Theater • Dance • Music • Comedy • Storytelling

Willy Porter Concert

Willy plays rhythms that make me want to crawl inside his guitar and sleep there forever.
— Tori Amos

Porter accentuates well – rendered tales with spit – fire – percussive acoustic guitar strumming and fiery color – chord picking.
— Billboard

Willy Porter continues on a musical and personal odyssey spanning over two decades, 11 albums, and multiple continents. His journey has been defined by an inquisitive love for humanity and the language that describes what we all hold to be true. Porter’s songs weave a universal perspective about the questions, struggles, and triumphs of human existence. His live shows are guitar-driven grit, soul, silence and muscle– at times electrifying, dynamic, and unique in the way that Porter’s voice blends and fuses with his fret work.

Performance on Sat. Oct. 23, 2021 at 7:30 pm

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

Spooky Stories on a Dark Night

Join the Bluff Country Tale Spinners on Halloween Eve for a Spook-tacular night of scary tales. Local tellers have prepared a night of frights, not for the faint of heart.
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Performance

  • Sat. Oct. 30, 2021-7:30 pm

 

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

 

Storyhill 

Storyhill, from Bozeman, Montana, is a folk duo that brings infectious melodies, smart story songs, and heartbreaking harmonies together in one perfect package.

“Their sound recalls the harmonious interplay of Simon & Garfunkel and the acoustic juice of the Indigo Girls”. -Billboard

“It takes less than a minute to fall in love with Storyhill…Trading folk and rock passages back and forth a la early records by the Jayhawks, Chris Cunningham, and John Hermanson have crafted a timeless sound.”        –Duluth Budgeteer News

Take a listen to their album here: www.storyhill.com/music/bethlehem-2020/

 

Performance:

  • Friday, November 12, 2021, 7:30 pm

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

Magic Mystery Matinee

The Magic of Isaiah

My interest in magic began when I was given a trick at the age of 9.  I learned it and used it to entertain my friends and family.  I enjoyed the feeling it gave me to make people scratch their heads in wonderment.  I started acquiring more magic and gaining an audience whose excitement encouraged my love for entertainment.  My passion and joy continues to grow and I take pride in perfecting the art of magic.  I have had the pleasure of entertaining professionally for over ten years and have performed over 1000 shows for a variety of age groups and organizations.

 

Magic is about the experience and I promise to give you a memorable one.  I continue to keep my audiences entertained and coming back for more. I strive for excellence and work hard so my audiences are never disappointed.

Performances

  • Saturday, January 8, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Saturday, February 12, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Saturday, March 12, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm

 

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

John Smith

Johnsmith

“I don’t know who this Johnsmith guy is. But after his album crossed my desk I feel like I do. Its heartfelt, well-written songs casually slipped into my CD player and didn’t want to leave .. They mirror life, and are sung by a voice so comfortable with them that they seem like old friends’ stories that you’ve lived too. “

~John Porter, Performing Songwriter

Johnsmith is one of those artists so often under-recognized – he possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored, or overlooked. For the past thirty-plus years, Johnsmith has been sharing his music all across America and abroad. He has become a favorite at festivals, clubs, and house concerts alike. In addition to being a Kerrville New Folk Winner, Johnsmith has released eight solo CDs to rave reviews, leads musical tours to Ireland, teaches songwriting, and has served as a staff songwriter in Nashville.

With his faded jeans, his twinkly blue eyes, and his infectious smile, John immediately connects with audiences. You get the sense of a man who loves his life, his family and friends, and who loves nothing more than sharing that love in song and stories all across this land.

Performances:

  • Friday, January 14, 2022, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, January 15, 2022, 7:30 pm

 

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

John Smith

Celtic Stories and Music

Presented by the Bluff Country Tale Spinners who will be sharing a bit of the Irish and beyond with their Celtic Stories and Songs. So put on your best ‘green’ and join us for some good o’ Irish tales and music.

The Bluff Country Tale Spinners (BCTS) was started in 1999 by Dr. Phyllis Blackstone and Ms. Sara Slayton. Both these women had backgrounds in teacher education and children’s literature and an abiding interest in storytelling. Phyllis belonged to a storytelling guild when she lived on the East Coast, so when she arrived in La Crosse she searched for a comparable group. There was none, but she was given Sara’s name. Sara had been teaching a storytelling class for Extended Education. The two met and the Tale Spinners guild was created. Current members include storytellers and story listeners from all walks of life; teachers, lawyers, therapists, military personnel, toastmasters, home schoolers, forensics members, parent, grandparents, retirees, and teens.

 

Performance: Saturday, March 12, 2022, 7:30 pm

 

 

John Smith

Moors & McCumber

 A vocal harmony duo fifteen years in the making, Moors & McCumber have done more than just endear themselves to fans – they’ve built a genuine community. Bridging the gap between classic folk rock and present day Americana, they write heartfelt songs directly inspired by life’s experiences. With their latest record, 2021’s ‘Survival,’ they have created some of their most compelling work to date.

 

The sound of Moors & McCumber is adventurous, eclectic, and endlessly creative. Borrowing from rock, pop, blues, folk, and world music, the two multi-instrumentalists defy common logic and embrace spontaneity to bring their stories and songs to life. Their strong vocal harmonies and unconventional instrumentation combine to create a mesmerizing experience. At the center of it all is their evocative songwriting.

 

Prior to the duo’s formation, James Moors, based in Wisconsin, and Kort McCumber, based in Colorado, each led prolific careers as solo artists. They had both already released six solo studio albums and had begun developing fanbases of their own. The two met at a music festival in 2005 and quickly bonded over their shared passions. James and Kort began performing together as something of a side project, but it immediately became apparent they were meant for much bigger things.

 

While “more than the sum of their parts” has become a bit of a cliche, there is no better phrase to describe Moors & McCumber. James is a gifted singer and songwriter, while Kort specializes in creating vocal harmonies and captivating arrangements through inventive instrumentation. With their voices combined, they create a truly special sound. As Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines says, “They bring it all to the stage and deliver in a big way.”

 

Performance: Saturday, March 26, 2022, 7:30 pm

 

 

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

 

 

John Smith

Telling Stories: A Strong Heart

A La Crosse Dance Centre and Pump House Regional Arts Center production that combines dance and spoken word.

Performances:

  • Friday, April 1, 2022, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, April 2, 2022, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, April 3, 2022, 2 pm

 

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

 

 

John Smith

Harmonious Wail

Americana flavored Gypsy Jazz on full tilt!  Harmonious Wail combines the searing wit, humor and mandolin, virtuosity of vintage Jethro Burns performances, the Continental panache of Django and charm of Edith Piath inspired vocals to create a unique musical journey.

“In the Gypsy Jazz field, no one does it any better than the Madison, Wisconsin based group Harmonious Wail.” -Jazz Review

“Intense playing & sense of purpose that never wavers… a mind altering experience.” -The Washington Examiner

Performance: Saturday, April 9, 2022, 7:30 pm

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

 

 

John Smith

Prairie Smoke-25th Anniversary Concert

The Best of Prairie Smoke ~ 25 Years of Music

The music of Prairie Smoke includes traditional American and Celtic folk music and original songs. Prairie Smoke is composed of Tom Walter on guitar, Jon Stuttgen on bass Rita Koch-Thometz on flute, Betsy Knowles on fiddle and Erin Hussey on dulcimer. Their music began with a decidedly folk flavor before being spiced up with a little Celtic charm. In time, some of their original music, truly American folk, was added to their library, giving their music a wonderfully personal touch.

Performance: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 7:30 pm

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House

 

 

John Smith

Patron Reception 

In Recognition and Honor of Anne Drecktrah

Saturday, April 30, 2022, 7:30 pm

Tickets Available Soon

Artspire Graphic

Friday, June 10, 2022-Saturday, June 11, 2022

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

La Crosse Storytelling Festival

Friday, July 22, 2022-Saturday, July 23, 2022

Tickets Available Soon

Past Events

2021-22 Season Opener in the Newly

Renovated Theater

 

 

 

*If you had tickets to the March 2020, postponed performance of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, please call the Pump House (608-785-1434) to reserve your seat at the September 2021 rescheduled performance.  Thank you!

**Student and military discounted tickets available to purchase in person at the Pump House Regional Arts Center.  Be prepared to show identification to receive the discount.  Thank you!

***COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All theater ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a performance at the Pump House.

This production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore opens our 2021 theater season and debuts our newly renovated theater!

Love, Loss, and What I Wore is a play written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman. This funny and poignant theatrical event uses clothing, accessories and the memories they trigger to tell an intimate collection of stories about relationships and wardrobes and at times the interaction of the two, using the female wardrobe as a time capsule of a woman’s life.

Produced by the Pump House Regional Arts Center

Directed by Anne Drektrah

Performances:

  • Thursday, September 16, 2021 – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, September 17, 2021 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, September 19, 2021 – 2 pm

Cast Members: Diane Breeser, Mary Leonard, Nancy Noelke, Jean Saladino, Ellen Ullsvik, Terry Visger, and Lynn West

 

Second Weekend Performances:

  • Friday, September 24, 2021 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, September 26, 2021 – 2 pm
  • Sunday, September 26, 2021 – 7:30 pm

Cast Members: Susan Fox, Diane Foust, Mary Lansing, Dominique Luecke, and Emily Ware

Love, Loss, and What I Wore | Writing Contest

Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a play written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, tells stories that will delight and astonish you with a collection of stories about women, relationships, and how clothes become significant in some of life’s memorable moments. These sincere stories contain moments that all of our hearts warmly resonate with.

We invite you to write an essay sharing your own memory of love, loss, and most importantly, what was worn. Entries will be judged based on creativity, quality of writing, and stage adaptability. Essays will be sent as blind submissions to jurors and winning entries will be read on stage by a cast member at one of the performances. The winning submissions will receive 2 free tickets to this performance. The Pump House will also share the winning essays on Instagram and Facebook.

This is a continued call to writers from last year, as the 2020 performances were rescheduled to this September 2021. Submissions from the 2020 theme–evolution of style during a pandemic–will be included in this year’s contest. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS:

  • Corrine Huber, The Last Dance Dress, read on stage Sunday, 09/19/21
  • Heidi Blanke, The Yellow Suit, read on stage Saturday, 09/25/21
  • Carrie Massine, Our Last Snowman, read on stage Sunday, 09/26/21

 

 

 

Four years ago, Bryan abandoned his labor of love, a newspaper for truckers. Now he’s returned – with no word of where he’s been – and things have changed. His former lover is filled with rage, his new coworker is filled with incessant adoration, and his paper is filled with personal ads.
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Preview Donation Performances
  • Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 7:30 pm
Performances:
  • Thursday, August 19, 2021, 7:30 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm
  • Friday, August 20, 2021, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, August 21, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, August 22, 2:00 pm, doors open at 1:30 pm
  • Thursday, August  26, 2021, 7:30pm, doors open at 6:30 pm
  • Friday, August 27, 2021, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, August 28, 2021, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, August 29, 2021, 2:00 pm, doors open at 1:30 pm

Tickets available at the Pump House Regional Arts Center

Call 608-785-1434 or order online

All Performances are at the Pump House Regional Arts Center, newly renovated theater!

Fri. July 23 – Tales of the Creepy & Scary: Tickets $8/person or $15 for a family of 6 (in the same household)

Door open at 6:00 pm

Emcee is Cruella aka Diane Breeser

6:40 pm: Stories for all ages

7:30 pm: Intermission

7:40 pm: Stories that are a bit scarier to very chilling

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Sat. July 24 – All performances are at the Pump House Regional Arts Center

Morning Children’s Performances:  10:30 am-1:50 pm

FREE FOR ALL** (ticket/registration required)

Doors Open at 10 am

Emcee Kay Weeden

10:30-11:00 am: Hans Meyer

11:05-11:50 am: Isiah Foster

11:55-12:15 am: Activities

12:20-1:05 pm: Bill Lepp, Featured Storyteller

1:10-1:40 pm: Activities

1:45-1:50 pm: Children’s Performance from Activities

**Thank you for Arla and John Clements for the sponsorship of free tickets for all

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Sat. July 24 – Afternoon Multi-age Performances: 1:50-5:15pm

$10/person, Children 12 and under FREE (ticket/registration required)

Emcee August Rupreccht

1:50-2:10 pm: Intermission– music by Ariane Lydon

2:10-3:00 pm: Kevin Kling

3:00-3:15 pm: Intermission- music by Ariane Lydon

3:15-3:30 pm: August Ruprecht (emcee and teller)

3:30-4:15 pm: Kim Weitkamp

4:15-4:30 pm: Intermission- music by Ariane Lydon

4:30-5:15 pm: Bill Lepp

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Sat. July 24 – Night Performances: $15/person: 5:30-9:40 pm 

Emcee Michael Scott

5:30-6:30 pm LUNA Story Slam 

6:30-9:40 pm Adult Cabaret 

6:30-6:40 pm: Kao Xiong                                                   6:30-6:40

6:45-7:30 pm: Kim Weitkamp                                           6:45-7:30

7:35-7:45 pm: Luna Story Slam Winner                          7:35-7:40

7:40-8:00 pm Intermission, Silent auction ends at 8:00

8:00-8:45 pm Bil Lepp

8:50-9:40 pm Kevin Kling

Additional information is available at www.lacrossestoryfest.com

 

 

Brought to you by the Pump House Regional Arts Center,

this inaugural year of  Make Music La Crosse is a live, free, musical

celebration on June 21, 2021, the longest day of the year,

with concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the city of La Crosse, WI

 

Visit www.makemusicday.org/lacrosse/ for a full musician and location listing

 

 

Chamber Music Concert – Ensemble Druzhba

In honor of La Crosse-Dubna Friendship Association

Friday, June 25, 2021

Free to attend, donations to the musicians encouraged.

Doors Open at 6:30 pm

Concert at 7:00 pm

Ensamble Druzhba Quintet:
Michelle Elliott, violin
Busya Lugovier, viola
Derek Clark, cello
Troy Birdsong, bass
Pamela Kelly, piano

This concert celebrates two iconic masterworks of the romantic period.
The Schumann Quartet is a work that blends lyrical beauty, suppressed excitement, and joy. The Schubert “Trout” Quintet highlights his immensely popular lied “Die Forellen” (“The Trout”) in one of the five movements. It is a sunny work of pure delight.

Past Theater Performances