'Kids from Wisconsin' show brings local flavor to Beloit

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Gina Duwe
July 15, 2015

TOWN OF BELOIT—They're some of the most musically gifted youth from across Wisconsin, and their Broadway-style revue reaches more than 100,000 audience members each summer.

This year, that will include a crowd at Beloit Turner High School on Friday, July 17.

But before members of the Kids from Wisconsin ever take the stage, they first have to complete a demanding camp program that lasts more than two weeks and runs from early in the morning to late at night.

Across about 18 days, students learn lyrics, music and choreography for the Kids' entire two-hour show, said Beloit Turner music teacher Tim Rosenthal, whose daughter Hayley is in her second year with the group.

In the 22 months that follow the camp, the Kids perform about 60 times—including twice daily at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Rosenthal said. The students live in the dorms at State Fair Park or stay with host families when they're on the road.

The group brings its high-energy, family-oriented show to its only Rock County stop Friday night. The group also will offer a free workshop for students that afternoon.

This marks the second straight year the group has performed at Turner. Before that, it had been years since the Kids made a local stop, Rosenthal said.

Kids from Wisconsin selects 33 students from across the state to participate: 10 girls and 10 boys mixed between 20 singers/dancers and 13 musicians. They range from ages 15-20. Some already are music majors in college; others will go into other fields.

“They definitely will be lifelong musicians,” Rosenthal said.

Audience members can expect a “show choir-ish kind of environment,” he said, as well as featured pieces for the band. The show includes five to six costume changes, so it is “visually entertaining” with “lots of really strong choreography,” he said.

The group “maintains a broad repertoire of music that includes American favorites, big band, ’50s-’80s classics, Motown, country, Broadway and current top hits,” according to its website, kidsfrom

The show season is even more enjoyable for Hayley since it is her second year, her dad said. She knows what the program entails, and she came in more comfortable and prepared for the intense start to the season, he said.

Hayley, a soprano, will be a senior at Turner this year, and she is heavily involved in musical theater, a capella and show choir groups, her dad said.

She most recently portrayed the role of Millie in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

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