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Humor, change, and more holiday tales with John McGivern

As host of the Emmy award winning “Around the Corner with John McGivern,” the PBS series dedicated to his visits and profiles of various communities throughout Wisconsin, John McGivern is known for his down-to-earth charm and sense of humor that is easily relatable.

In recent years he has become Milwaukee’s unofficial Christmas ambassador, and he remains a perennial favorite entertainer. This year, he returned to the Northern Lights Theater with his new stage show, “More Holiday Tales with John McGivern.”

The exclusive show ran from November 29 to December 8, and served up new heartwarming stories along with some classic memories from his youth. McGivern was the third child born into a family of six kids, to a working-class Irish Catholic family in Milwaukee.

“More Holiday Tales with John McGivern” recounted holidays past and present, plus all the richness and joyful chaos of life in the McGivern household around the holidays. His stories were personal, funny, touching, and familiar. For his this year’s show, the theme included dealing with change, like the challenges of moving his elderly mother to a care center.

The Milwaukee Independent was invited back to spend some time with McGivern, as he prepared for the new holiday program. These images capture moments of preparation during a rehearsal at the Northern Lights Theater, before his sold out performances began.

About The Author

Lee Matz

A Milwaukee native, Lee worked internationally for years as an award-winning foreign photojournalist based in Asia. He was also Wisconsin's first war correspondent to report from Ukraine in 2022. Lee proudly uses MCTS as the exclusive mode of transportation for covering all his local news assignments.