Around our corner

Review story and photos by Emmitt B. Feldner

The red carpet was out and the auditorium was filled Monday for the premiere of “Around the Corner with John Mc- Givern” featuring Plymouth, which will air on Milwaukee Public Television starting tonight. The red carpet was out and the auditorium was filled Monday for the premiere of “Around the Corner with John Mc- Givern” featuring Plymouth, which will air on Milwaukee Public Television starting tonight. PLYMOUTH – A capacity crowd in the Plymouth High School Acuity Auditorium got to see their hometown through comedian John Mc- Givern’s eyes Monday night – and they thoroughly enjoyed the view.

The public will get a chance to share that view when Plymouth is featured in the season four premiere of McGivern’s Emmy-award winning Milwaukee Public Television show “Around the Corner with John McGivern” starting tonight (see accompanying schedule).

“We spent five great days in Plymouth,” show producer/director Lois Maurer told the audience.

In that time, they ranged far and wide in the city and surrounding area to find out what makes Plymouth unique and attractive.

That took McGivern and the MPTV crew to Drewry Farms in Winooski for maple syrup making, the Old Wade House in Greenbush and Road America in the town of Plymouth, where McGivern got to drive around the world-famous road course.

The major focus, through, was on what makes the city of Plymouth tick, from major industries like Sargento and Plymouth Foam to niche stores like Allechant Boutique downtown.

Through it all, actor/comedian McGivern brought his own uniquelyskewed point of view to each segment.

The premiere event, sponsored by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, began with hors d’oeuvres prepared by culinary students at Plymouth High School in the hallway outside the auditorium, where the PHS Junge Kameraden German band did the pre-show warmup – including director Jason Sebranek’s comedy stylings.

The audience then got to see the program on a giant screen, followed by comments from McGivern, Maurer and ‘Around the Corner’ regulars John Gurda and Mike McGivern, the host’s brother.

Mike Mc-Givern, a longtime coach and sports talk radio personality, takes a look at local sports in each of the show’s episode – in this case, a visit to a PHS track and field meet while wearing a Panther ball cap.

That prompted Gurda to note that, over the show’s four seasons, “(Mike) has gotten to wear more outfits over the years.”

“They’re uniforms, John – you’ve been hanging around my brother too long,” Michael retorted.

Gurda’s role, as a noted local historian,, is to open each show with a historical summary of the community being highlighted – riding his bicycle to his meeting with the host for the history lesson.

In this episode, Gurdar met John McGivern at the Antoinette the Cow statue in Utility Park.

Asked how long Gurda researches the history of each community, John McGivern cracked, “He makes it all up.”

To which Gurda responded that while the host’s brother can put anything over on McGivern to do with sports, “I can do the same with history.”

McGivern noted that, in addition to Milwaukee and Wisconsin Public Television, the program is carried on public television in Minnesota and Chicago. But he insisted the focus will remain on places in Wisconsin.

“This is the state we call home,” he explained. McGivern added that the crew jokes that, with so many more places to go in the state, the show can stay on the air long enough to be called “Around the Bend with John McGivern.”

MPTV General Manager Ellis Bromberg, who introduced the show cast, noted the large turnout and remarked, “Why did we wait four years to come to Plymouth?”

Maurer noted that the crew films hours of tape that is edited down to a half-hour program, after extensive pre-taping research on what places to highlight.

McGivern related that they spent five days filming in Plymouth but, to make it seem like a one-day visit, he has to wear the same shirt each day.

By the last day, he related, “We ran into people at Subway who saw me and said, ‘Nice shirt!’ They must have asked themselves is that the only shirt that guy owns?”

“This is a charming visual town and as director I’m all about visuals,” Maurer said. “You guys have so many wonderful things to show, so many wonderful stories to tell.”

“Around the Corner with John McGivern”

Season 4, Episode 1 - Plymouth
Thursday, January 8
7 p.m. - WMVS Milwaukee, Channel 10
WPNE Green Bay, Channel 30
Sunday, January 11
7 p.m. - WMVT Milwaukee, Channel 36
Friday, January 16
5 a.m. - WMVT Milwaukee, Channel 36

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