Armadale, Based on Wilkie Collins' Yarn, Begins at Milwaukee Rep

News   Armadale, Based on Wilkie Collins' Yarn, Begins at Milwaukee Rep Milwaukee Repertory Theater's Armadale, a world-premiere adaptation of Wilkie Collins' Victorian novel of murder, lies, tormented pasts and treacherous futures, penned by prolific American playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, begins April 23.
Deborah Staples of Armadale.
Deborah Staples of Armadale.

Rep artistic director Joseph Hanreddy directs the staging at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. Opening in Wisconsin is April 25. Performances play to May 25.

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According to The Rep, "A deathbed bequest leads to the most gripping of intrigues in this tale of deception, inherited curses, romantic rivalries and murder. In the center of it all, is the mysterious and beautiful Lydia Gwilt, one of the most hardened and most fascinating female villains in literature."

Collins, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, also penned the suspense novels "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White." The latter was adapted into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Collins wrote 25 novels, more than 50 short stories and at least 15 plays from 1848 until his death in 1889.

Of Collins' secrets-and-intrigue-filled works, The Rep's literary director Kristin Crouch observed, "These shocking fictions peeked beneath the surface of ordinary English households to find a sinister reality beneath the surface of the prim Victorian exteriors." Hatcher is known for his plays Three Viewings, A Picasso, Scotland Road, Neddy, Tuesdays With Morrie, Work Song, Mercy of a Storm, Compleat Female Stage Beauty (and its film, "Stage Beauty"), among others, and the screenplay to "Casanova," directed by Lasse Hallstrom. He also penned the librettos to Never Gonna Dance and Lucky Duck.

The cast of Armadale includes resident Rep acting company members Gerard Neugent (Rogers/Young Pedgift); James Pickering (Major Milroy/Dr. Downward); Rose Pickering (Mrs. Milroy/Mrs. Oldershaw); Peter Silbert (The Reverend Decimus Brock/Bashwood); Deborah Staples (Lydia Gwilt) and Brian Vaughn (Allan Armadale). Also featured are guest actors Marybeth Gorman (Miss Thorpe-Ambrose/Mrs. Armadale/ Nun/Whore); Michael Gotch (Ozias Midwinter); Steve Pickering (Joseph/Old Pedgift); and Emily Trask (Nellie Milroy/Urusla).

The production team includes Michael Ganio (scenic designer); Martha Hally (costume designer); Noele Stollmack (lighting designer); Barry G. Funderburg (sound designer/composer); Ed Burgess (choreographer); Susan Sweeney (text and dialect coach); Briana J. Fahey (stage manager); Amanda Weener (assistant stage manager); Lesley Anne Stone (assistant stage manager); and Tim Nicolai (assistant director).

For more information visit milwaukeerep.com or call (414) 224-9490.