May 4, 2017
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – Frank Hermans and Amy Riemer hope that no one ever makes them get a real job. Despite a never-ending cycle of performing on stages, the married couple behind Let Me Be Frank Productions says they don’t view any of it as a job.
“It doesn’t seem like work,” Riemer said. “We love it.”
Hermans graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a major in communication. While he studied some theatre at the university, it wasn’t until he was 30-years old when he decided to experiment further into what would soon become Let Me Be Frank Productions.
“It was a pipe dream,” Hermans said. “It was kind of like a party, then it became a business.”
Like any good party in show business, the after-party is where the best things happened for Hermans.
Since 2000, he’s written, created and performed 108 shows, something that sounds like an astronomical number for less than two decades. “It doesn’t feel like that many,” Hermans said.
They perform regularly, and have season passes, at the Capitol Civic Center in Manitowoc and the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay. 26,000 individual tickets are sold each year at the Meyer Theatre alone, and 1,500 more are season ticket holders. They’re in their 18th season in total, and 12th at the Meyer Theatre.
The company has seven full-time employees and around 10 more that are part of the production company that is unrivaled around the United States for the content they bring to the stage.
Hermans ties in local historic events and writes shows based on those eras. He doesn’t do quick Google searches either. Hermans spends time learning about the history with anyone from city officials, local museum employees and anyone else with knowledge of yesteryear.
On Friday, May 12, the cast is bringing a one-time showing of “Rattle Those Pots and Pans, Mirro Style,” to the Endries Performing Arts Center at Brillion High School.
The show takes viewers back to the early 1980’s when Mirro Corporation in Manitowoc was bought out by Newell Corporation. Hermans plays Paul Ferguson, the CEO of Newell Rubbermaid, as he goes undercover to snoop around Manitowoc and find out what it’s like to work at Mirro. The story carries with it historical significance. At one time Mirro was the largest employer in Manitowoc County.
Hermans says all the shows are designed to shed light on the positive times of a former powerhouse like Mirro, while bringing comedy to the stage as well. The shows are interactive and the couple describes their plays as “blue collar,” where they say they feed off audience interaction and improvisation.
The show in Brillion is special to both, as the city is where they’ve called home since 2011. Riemer was a graduate of Brillion High School. While living in Texas and working as a teacher, she spent her summers back with Let Me Be Frank Production before making the move back to the Midwest permanently.
Riemer now handles much of the music, which are famous tunes that fit the show’s vibe and time period. The Mirro show includes a wide-ranging set list including Barry Manilow and Vanilla Ice.
The couple, married for seven years, say they formed their own “modern day Brady Bunch,” combining to have a household of eight children – Josh, Austin, Blake, Katrina, Harrison, Jack, Vivian and Darien.
“Brillion was a good choice,” Hermans said. “Neighbors are great, we love the small-town life. The school is amazing.”
Performing in Brillion feels like a home performance, though many friends from the city attend shows of theirs on the road. They view this show as a chance to do something unique, like last year when they put together a production on Al Capone.
“Hopefully they’ll have us back every year,” Hermans said. “We get to give back to the community.”
Tickets for the show are available online at endriespac.com and show time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Please see the complete story in the May 4, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.