Don't discount the new show. After all, this is the same state where the ice-fishing comedy Guys on Ice and the great-outdoors comedy Lumberjacks in Love were smasheroos.
Previews for Muskie Love begin Sept. 20. Opening is Sept. 22, and performances continue to Oct. 15, in The Playhouse at the Overture Center for the Arts.
Loosely based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing "is a home grown Wisconsin delight" by the winners of the Richard Rodgers Award, Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, featuring Doug Mancheski and Lee Becker from Madison Repertory Theatre's earlier Guys on Ice (which was also a hit at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre).
Muskie Love — a muskie is short for the pike-like freshwater fish, muskellunge —is the first collaboration of award winning writers Dave Hudson and Paul Libman. It premiered at the popular American Folklore Theatre in Door County, WI, in 2004.
The writers' other works include Main-Traveled Roads (which is slotted for Madison Repertory Theatre's 2006 Madison New Play Festival) and Bringers, for which they won the 2005 Richard Rodgers Award. Muskie Love will be directed by Pam Kriger, who has directed other works for the Madison Repertory Theatre (All Night Strut!, Little Shop of Horrors and A: My Name Will Always Be Alice).
"Muskie Love continues our on-going dedication to supporting plays by, or about, the people of our great state of Wisconsin," stated Madison Repertory Theatre's artistic director Richard Corley.
The cast also includes John Andrew Hegge, Ryan Winkles, Meghan Deese and Laurie Flanigan.
The Muskie Love design team consists of scenic designer Jim Maronek and costume designer Valerie Pruett.
According to Madison Rep, "The story takes place during the summer tourist season in Door County, WI. It begins with character Roy Nelson opening his bait and tackle shop. Fishing guides and close friends Ben and Claude soon join Roy in the opening song, 'On Green Bay.' Also joining in is Roy's daughter Sarah and Roy's niece Bea. Roy plays matchmaker setting up Sarah and Claude. The young couple resists at first but soon give in to love. Roy then enlists their help to set up rival fishing guides Bea and Ben. All the while the group is avoiding the harassment of DNR Doug."
For more information, visit www.madisonrep.org.