Milwaukee Repertory Theatre continues its 2001-02 season with one of Eugene O'Neill more lasting works, Anna Christie. The production will begin on Jan. 9 and run through Feb. 10. Milwaukee Rep regular Eric Simonson directs.
Anna Christie won O'Neill one of his Pulitzer Prizes and eventually gave film star Greta Garbo her first speaking role. It tells the story of three lost souls, including the title character, who arrives at New York's waterfront at the play's beginning, fleeing a life of hardship and prostitution in the Midwest. Her secret is unknown, however, by her father, a crusty captain of a coal barge who abandoned her at a young age, and Matt, a boastful sailor who falls in love with her, despite the captain's objections. All seems headed toward a happy ending until Anna feels compelled to reveal her sordid past and confronts a host of biases and double standards.
The play is Simonson's third gig at Milwaukee Rep, after Angels in America and Work Song. [Full disclosure: Simonson is the brother of this writer.]
The Milwaukee Rep mainstage season will be completed by August Wilson's Jitney, about cabbies, fathers and sons in 1970s Pittsburgh, Feb. 20-March 24, 2002; and Dion Boucicault's Irish-flavored adventure The Shaughraun, directed by Edward Morgan April 3-May 5, 2002.
The smaller Stiemke stage will feature Martin McDonagh's A Skull in Connemara, the darkly comic tale of Irish gravediggers unearthing past sins, featuring Rep artistic director Joseph Hanreddy, Jan. 18-Feb. 10, 2002; Lovers and Executioners, a play in verse after a 17th-century work by Montfleury, translated and adapted by John Strand, directed by Edward Morgan, Feb. 22-March 17, 2002. For more information, call (414) 224-9490.
—By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones