Temple Theatre Visitors
Since the Grand Opening Weekend in July, ARTT has hosted many visitors. VHS alumni in town for reunions, other Viroqua visitors, prospective rental groups, as well as the performers and audiences for a variety of shows have given kudos to ARTT for the wonderful restoration. If you have toured the theatre and have a good picture, please mail a copy to ARTT, 220 S. Main Street, Viroqua, WI 54665. We would like to include your picture on this page.
Country Royalty lit up the stage as Jason Petty and Carolyn Martin sang the hits by Hank Williams and Patsy Cline.
Studebaker 7 rocked the house with pop hits of the 60s and 70s on March 5, 2011. This was the fourth show in the current season series.
Maggie Mae's Country Christmas was ARTT"s 2010 Christmas show on Dec.4, 2010. This was the third show in the '10-'11 Season Series. An encore matinee performance on Sunday, Dec. 5 brought even more Maggie Mae fans to the theatre. A tour bus brought 57 visitors from Minnesota to hear her country music.
Monroe Crossing wowed the audience on Oct. 30, 2010 with a show that appealed to not only bluegrass fans, but also to everyone who just loves good music. This was their second visit to the Temple and were brought back as a result of many requests from season tickets subscribers who enjoyed them in 2008.
Roy (Dusty) Rogers Jr. came to the Temple stage on August 19 and 20, 2010, for two performances to kick off Viroqua's annual Wild West Days festival. Dusty was joined by his son Dustin and the outstanding High Riders band.
On July 23, 2010, Blend. a 1950s-60s Doo-Wop group, performed in a fundraiser for Sugar Creek Bible Camp.
The Diamonds "wowed" the crowd for the last show of the 2009-2010 Season Series on April 24, 2010. Their "classic rock and roll with today's attitude" brought the audience to their feet for a standing ovation. They dropped by ENCORE after the show to visit with fans and enjoy refreshments that included special diamond-shaped cookies.
Illusionist Tristan Crist came to the Temple stage on April 10, 2010 for his third appearance. His magic always amazes the audience.
Riverside Swing Band were on stage on March 13, 2010 for the fourth show of the 2009-2010 season series. This Minneapolis-based band included a few selections in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Patrons dropped by Encore after the show for refreshments and chatted with the band members.
Pam Tillis performed to a sold-out crowd on Oct. 24, 2009. Her all-acoustic show was received with roars of approval. She gave autographs and spoke with fans in the theatre lobby for nearly 45 minutes after the show. This was second show in the 2009-2010 season series.
On Sept. 12, 2009 Caitlin Caruso Dobbs became the Temple's youngest headliner to host a show. This 15-year-old wowed the audience with her beautiful voice and stage presence. Joining Caitlin on stage were special guest violinist/fiddler Annie Rong and piano accompanist Rick Murphy.
"Maggie Mae and Heartland Country" returned to the Temple stage on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 for her third performance in the past five years. This sell-out show was a joint production by ARTT and Wild West Days and followed the All-Horse-Drawn parade down Main Street, kicking off Viroqua's annual three-day Wild West Days festival, Maggie Mae shared the stage with Eric Nofsinger whose vocal and violin talents are extraordinary.
Two-Time Grammy Award Winners "Riders in the Sky" came to the stage on April 4, 2009. The 3:00 matinee was all general admission, and the evening performance was the last show of the '08-'09 season series.
The Wisconsin Brass Quintet presented a tribute to Abraham Lincoln with renditions of his favorite songs. This was the fourth show of the '08-'09 season series on February 21.
December 13,2008 brought Five By Design's "Radio Holly Days" to the stage for ARTT's third show of the '08-'09 season. Backed by a thirteen piece big band, the five performers wowed the audience with their vocal renditions as well as their comedic abilities.
The Kingston Trio came to the Temple stage on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008 for two big shows. The matinee was completely sold out, and evening show was attended by over 400 patrons. The Trio not only are great entertainers, but really nice guys who signed autographs and chatted with fans after each show. Their performances were the premier act of the current season series.
The Viroqua Area Men's Chorus brought "Keep America Singing" to the theatre on October 18, 2008. They performed many of their favorite sections in a fundraiser for Vernon Memorial Healthcare Hospice program.
September 25-28,2008, the Viroqua Community Theatre took the stage in their very first production. "South Pacific" played to large crowds who gave the show rave reviews.
The Midwest's premier bluegrass band "Monroe Crossing" were a huge success on Sept. 6, 2008 in their performance as the first show of the new 2008-2009 season series.
Tex and Mary came to the stage on Friday, August 15, 2008 to kick off Viroqua's Wild West Days weekend festival. This show was co-produced by ARTT and the Wild West Days Committee.
On May 3, 2008 ARTT sponsored a special fundraiser concert featuring MaggieMae with "Fiddler Extraordinaire" Eric Nofsinger. All profits from this show were donated to Wild West Days to help this annual Viroqua celebration recoup losses from the devastating flood in the summer of 2007.
Discovered and tutored by the great Eddy Arnold, Royal Wade Kimes presented the final show of the season on April 19th 2008. Kimes, a two-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists' Will Rogers Award, has been called a true visionary in country music.
On February 2, 2008 Vernon Memorial Healthcare brought employees to the stage in "You Gotta Have Heart," a hilarious spoof of the Muppets. The show was part of Vernon Memorial's celebration of February as "National Heart Awareness Month."
The Great River Big Band, directed by Greg Balfany, professor of clarinet and saxophone at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, put the audience in a holiday mood with their repertoire of Christmas music. The band is made up of prominent university musicians as well as other notable regional musicians. Vocalists Tim Henke and Cathy Reitz sang many holiday favorites.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Jake and Kathryn Menn, made a special appearance at the Great River Big Band show. They gave audience members a Temple Theatre pencil as a souvenir of the evening. This show was the third in ARTT's 2007-2008 season series.
On Nov. 3, 2007 the Miss Coulee Region Scholarship Pageant was held in the theatre.
This delightful group first appeared on the Temple stage in 2005. After rave reviews and many requests from season ticket holders, we brought them back for an encore performance on October 13th 2007. "The five members of Germany's Ensemble Amarcord sing like angels and look like the Backstreet Boys. Well, a little more clean cut...don't be fooled by their pretty faces. All of them trained in the prestigious St. Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig, and their intonation and blend is near perfect."
On September 8th 2007, pianist Paul Bisaccia and coloratura soprano Diane Penning brought a show filled with the most familiar hits from many of Broadway's most famous shows, including "Phantom of the Opera," "Evita," " Carousel," and "Porgy and Bess."
It's A Wonderful World Jazz Band brought old favorites and "smokin' licks" when Al Townsend brought his popular band to the stage on February 28th, 2007. Al's band played in the Community Arena for "Jazz Sunday in Viroqua" in 2001 as a joint fundraiser for ARTT and the Arena.
The Viroqua Men's Chorus performed to a full house on Oct. 27,2009 in "Sentimental Journey," a trip through Vernon County in the 40's. A Power Point presentation of old pictures enhanced the the musical journey as seen through the eyes of an elderly couple, played by Roger Hatlem and Beatrice Small.
Illusionist Tristan Christ presented "Illusions of Reality on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007.
"The Dang Its" appeared on stage on Thursday, Aug. 16 and Friday, Aug. 17 in kick-off concerts for Viroqua's popular Wild West Days. The shows were jointly produced by ARTT and Wild West Days. Friday's show follow the annual "All Equestrian Parade" down Main Street.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007 brought Bob Hirsch and the San Francisco-based "Golden Gate Rhythm Machine" to stage in a fundraiser for the Viroqua Athletic Facilities Capital Campaign. Past Viroqua band directors Emery Nordess and Bob Bestul were honored. This show was sponsored by the Thorson-Reetz Funeral Home.
Sunday, August 8, 2007 Brian Brueggen performed for ARTT's free show to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Temple restoration and the new murals in the main lobby of the theatre.
For details, click on MURAL CELEBRATION.
August 17 & 18, 2006 Maggie Mae and Heartland Country presented two shows, with special guest star Eric Nofsinger. The shows were sponsored by sponsored by ARTT-Wild West Days. Warm-up acts included K.G. & the Ranger and Pop Wagner.
On Nov. 25 & 26, 2005 Michael Martin Murphey returned to the Temple for three shows to kick off the Christmas season. MMM's "Cowboy Christmas" for three years has been a favorite follow-up to Viroqua's Twinkle Parade.
On Nov. 19, 2005 Greg Brown performed to a sold-out house.
"America's Musical Storyteller" Eddie Cash performed two special shows in July to introduce the Coulee Region to his unique style of entertainment.
"Montana Blue & the Big Sky Cowboys" headlined two shows for Wild West Days & ARTT's joint production on August 18 & 19, 2005. Wild West Days celebrated their 10 year anniversary with a special parade before the Friday performance. The parade featured over 46 all horse drawn units that included stage coaches, wagons, and riders. KG & the Ranger were the warm-up act.
Bethel Home again rented the theatre for a fundraiser starring Wilma Scheffner and the "Rivertown Revue."
Native American Bill Miller performed privately produced by Rebecca Wainscott. Friend Michael Martin Murphey joined Bill on stage for an impromptu duet.
"Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver" came to the stage as a rental by the Bluegrass Association.
"The Greg and Steve Show" filled the theatre with enthusiastic little children who came from area schools as a special field trip through the generosity of show sponsors Viroqua's Village Market and Nelson Agri-Center.
La Crosse Community Theatre's popular show "Cotton Patch Gospel" came to our theatre in a rental sponsored by the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star.
"Jon Garron & The Prairie Ferrets" performed in a rental show. The Sebion Family developed this rental as a charity fundraiser. This bluegrass show also featured Minnesota state champion fiddler Deena and Sedra Bistedeau. Wait until these two grow up! How can they get any better!
Viroqua Partners rented the theatre for a fundraiser featuring the bluegrass music of the "Knob Hill Boys."
Michael Martin Murphey comes to the theatre often. His popularity results in multiple performances every time. Murphey gave three performances during Thanksgiving weekend 2003 as a fundraiser for the Cornerstone Christian Academy.
Professional producer Randy Newman rents the theatre every November for two performances of "Ozark Jubilee." November 18th, 2004 will be their third performance since the restoration.
Wild West Days and ARTT teamed up to bring the "Sons of the San Joaquin" to the stage for two performances during August, 2003's Wild West Days in Viroqua.
Professional soprano Su Hyoun Kim appeared in a fundraiser for Bethel Home sponsored by United Methodist Church.
ARTT and the Wild West Days Committee again teamed up to bring Western Balladeer Don Edwards and Cowboy Poet Waddie Mitchell to the stage as part of Viroqua's 2004 Wild West Days Celebration. "KG & the Ranger" provided the warm-up act.
October 23, 2004 brought Clay Hess and other champion bluegrass pickers to the theatre in a rental sponsored by Sharon and Jon Garon.
Direct from Branson on November 18, 2004 Ozark Jubilee were on stage for two Christmas shows featuring Doofus Doolittle.
November 26 & 28, 2004, Michael Martin Murphey and his band performed in three big shows to benefit Cornerstone Christian Academy.
Gary Puckett and his band performed for two shows on Dec. 11, 2004. This was the third show in ARTT's 2004-2005 Season Series.
"The Executives" provided an exciting warm-up act for Gary Puckett, playing big hits from the sixties.
"Ensemble Amarcord," the award-winning German quintet, received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience on February 20, 2005. This was the fourth show of ARTT's season series.
Winona Minnesota's "Gate City Jazz Band" played the temple on Feb. 26, 2004 in a fundraiser for the Vernon Country Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
"A Day in Hollywood-A Night in the Ukraine" was ARTT's last show of the 2004-2005 season on March 19, 2004. This humorous musical comedy was stage by the La Crosse Community Theatre. ARTT was established a great relationship with the community theatre director Morrie Enders and the Temple stage will host more shows from this talented group of performers.
The Luren Singers of Decorah, Iowa performed on April 10th in a Spring Gala Concert honoring Bethel Home's 50th Anniversary.
Karcher Middle School Drama Club brought "Fiddler on the Roof" to the stage on April 16th.
Liz Cifani, harpist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brought her harp and an acoustics specialist to the theatre. They determined the theatre house has outstanding acoustics. When the theatre was built in the 1920's, great attention was paid to the design of the theatre house so the audience could hear the vaudeville performers without the benefit of our modern elaborate sound systems. This show was a rental by the Viroqua Fine Arts Association.
Troy Everson, a teacher in Burlington WI, toured the theatre with Fred Nelson. Troy, a VHS alumni, directs and performs in school and community theatre groups. He brought "School House Rock" to the Temple stage in April 2003.
Hal Cropp, director of the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro Minnesota, visited the Temple to make arrangement to bring their production of Henrik Ibsen's play "The Master Builder" to our stage in April, 2003.
Dr. Richard Tubb, Personal Physician to the President George W. Bush poses with Fred Nelson and Sharon Stoleson in the newly restored theatre house. Dr. Tubb is a 1972 graduate of Viroqua High School.
Bethel Home's fundraiser featuring guitarist Monte Montgomery was ARTT's first rental of the theatre for a concert.