The YAP Movement

by Nathan Litt

I am a YAP–a Young Appleton Professional.  I live, work, and play in Downtown Appleton and I love it!  To paraphrase a favorite saying of a longtime Appleton resident:  Downtown Appleton is the center of my universe.

Age is what you make of it and while you don’t have to be 25 to enjoy all that downtown has to offer, as a twenty-something with an active lifestyle, I enjoy having it all–nightlife, great coffee shops and cafes, live music, unique shops, the arts, and much more–right at my door step.

Are you a YAP?  Join the movement!  As a YAP, share what you like about Downtown Appleton.  Where do you like to hang out; where do you go after work to socialize; what do you do downtown on the weekends; what is your favorite restaurant/coffee shop/cafe; where do you go to meet other YAPs?

I am a YAP and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Association, Inc. Names Executive Director

The Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Association has selected a new executive director, Roseanna “Rosie” Cannizzo. She will lead all operational aspects of the adult and youth orchestras, from fund raising to ticket sales.

Screen_shot_2011-09-12_at_4 “Though the search was national in scope, Rosie was found, literally, in our own backyard,” said Phil Snyder, symphony Board president.  Cannizzo brings years of experience in arts management, including Director of Conservatory Admissions at Lawrence University, where she also had responsibility for the Artists and Jazz Series. Prior to Lawrence, she worked in the Artistic Operations Department and had other managerial responsibilities with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Cannizzo is a graduate of Lawrence with a double major in piano performance and English, and has taught piano and performed as a concert accompanist.

Screen_shot_2011-09-12_at_4“We are thrilled to have Rosie leading the Fox Valley Symphony,” said Snyder. “She brings enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to our organization as we enter our 45th season. And in addition to her background in arts administration, we will benefit from her unique business perspective gained as the operations manager and chief financial officer for a local company.”

Cannizzo and her husband, Ralph, own Lee’s Plumbing.

Cannizzo is the organization’s fourth full-time Executive Director in its 45-year history.

Love Monkey’s Best Summer Concert Yet!

Appleton Downtown Inc. has provided free summer concerts on Thursday evenings for the last 6 years.  These concerts are outdoors, they are free, they feature local & regional bands and offer a variety of food and beverages on site!  All in all a great way to spend a summer evening.  And I’m not the only one who feels that way.  Here is an email that we received from Lari a few weeks ago about the Love Monkey’s performance at the  Heid Music Summer Concert Series.

Good morning,

Just wanted to say last night’s Heid’s Summer Concert Series with the Love Monkeys was the best one yet!

ADI always brings in great musical groups, but I though the Love Monkeys were outstanding. We go almost every week and really enjoy the talent this series brings to the Valley.

Really makes Thursday’s an enjoyable weekday night.

Thanks for doing what you do for Downtown Appleton.


Thanks for this great feedback!


Lombardi Comes to Life During a ‘Reading’

by JC Paustian, owner of Just Act Natural

When my brother asked me to go with him to a “reading” of the Broadway play Lombardi at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton, I thought it would be, at the least, a different way to spend 90 minutes of my Friday night.  In other words, the bar wasn’t set too high.  Yeah, I love the Packers.  I love Lombardi’s coaching style and personality, but a “reading” of the play?  Ok, fine, I’ll go.

lombardiThe show was “read” by the original Broadway cast and is based on the fictitious account of a magazine reporter who spends one week with the Lombardi’s at their home and on the practice field.

The cast first went to Green Bay for two shows inside Lambeau Field and then came to Appleton for a three-day, five-show appearance July 28-30.

The show itself, which features only six characters, ran for eight months to glowing reviews in New York City.  Vince Lombardi is played by Dan Lauria, who is most famous for his role on TV as the dad in The Wonder Years.

As I envisioned what a “reading” would look like, I figured the actors would stand on stage, no costumes, and read from podiums.  Sounds very exciting.

My brother and I were among the sold-out crowd in the Kimberly-Clark Theater at the PAC.  Every seat is a good seat and no one is too far from the stage.

As the actors took the stage, there they were IN COSTUME!  It looked like the ghost of Lombardi was right there in front of us.  Lauria looked the part to a T.  And then there were the Packers characters of Paul Hornung, Dave Robinson and Jim Taylor, all dressed in sweats.  Also on stage were the characters of Marie Lombardi, Vince’s wife, and the fictitious reporter, Michael McCormick.

They all had the individual manuscripts that they held onto, but not a single time did any of the actors reference their binders.  In one scene Marie used the manuscript binder as an atlas prop as she’s trying to find Green Bay.  One of many hilarious scenes.

Once Laurie started talking I knew this was going to be something special.  Scratch that.  Not talking; acting.  This was no “reading.”  This was a first-class Broadway show minus the props and sets.  Laurie is a seasoned actor on stage, on TV and in film.  He was brilliant!  His performance was the best live acting I’ve ever seen.

About halfway through the performance, I kept thinking about my father, who passed away 5-1/2 years ago and how he would’ve thoroughly enjoyed this play.  I can just picture and hear him laughing dozens of times during the show.

He was sports editor of The Post-Crescent for more than 30 years and covered hundreds of Packers games in his life, including the tenure of Vince Lombardi.  My dad even reminded me of Lombardi sometimes with his glasses, trench coach, fedora and yes, even his yelling.

It was a great show through and through, and I thank my brother for inviting me to the show and the PAC for getting the actors to perform.  I hope the PAC can get the full-blown Lombardi show sometime down the road, but if not, I am quite content with my “reading.”

Johnson Bank Downtown Cool Trolley

Park once and travel the Downtown & Riverfront!

This free trolley makes a complete loop of Downtown and the Riverfront every 20 minutes with 12 scheduled stops along the way. Look for the black, green and red trolley stop signs! There is a stop in front of the East Ramp on Washington Street so you can conveniently park in that ramp for just two dollars and then ride the trolley to your favorite restaurant and retailer. Running Thursday – Saturday, it’s the perfect way to get around Downtown and to our beautiful Riverfront. Take the trolley to enjoy the sights, sounds and delicious smells of our vibrant area.

And a ride on the trolley makes Art On The Town, the Heid Music Summer Concerts and the Downtown Appleton Farm Market even more special!

Thursday and Friday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Dates: The Trolley runs June 2 through September 22.