In the melodramatic farcical mystery, to play the Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater starting in March 2010, "novelist William Magee wagers with his wealthy friend that he can write a novel in 24 hours under the proper circumstances," according to Rep notes. "He's given a key to the Baldpate Inn and is told it's the only one. Magee soon discovers there are six other keys, as he is interrupted one by one by a cast of characters in a criminal conspiracy."
Resident Actor Brian Vaughn will lead a cast that will include the entire Rep Resident Acting Company.
Milwaukee Rep produces on four stages — the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, Stiemke Theater and Stackner Cabaret, and at the Pabst Theater (A Christmas Carol).
The 2009-10 season begins Sept. 8 with Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's classic comedy of mistaken identity, The Government Inspector, at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. Hanreddy directs.
Steven Dietz's Yankee Tavern, John Cariani's Almost, Maine and Lucinda Coxon's Happy Now? will get their Midwest premieres at the Quadracci. A new musical called Holmes and Watson will appear at the Stackner Cabaret, as will the return of Roger Bean's popular Route 66 revue.
For more information visit www.milwaukeerep.com.
Here's the 2009-10 Milwaukee Rep season at a glance:
QUADRACCI POWERHOUSE THEATER
The Government Inspector adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, Sept. 8-Oct. 4. "When a small town full of bumbling officials hears that a government inspector is paying a visit, the village spirals into a Marx Brothers-like world of panic, greed and silliness. The officials ridiculously mistake a penniless clerk for the government inspector and embark on an absurd mission to woo, outdo and bribe the unsuspecting visitor. Wildly witty, smart and satirical, this is an imaginative, madcap theatrical event."
Happy Now? by Lucinda Coxon, directed by Jon Jory, Oct. 20-Nov. 15. "In her thirtysomething world of well-educated, well-networked and well-meaning friends, Kitty's life is overflowing. There's her gay friend and confidant, the troubled married couple next door, her kids, her aging parents, her husband and the work colleague trying to seduce her into some uncomplicated and meaningless sex. A recent London hit, this is a starkly comic new play on contemporary life and how to survive it."
The Lady With All the Answers by David Rambo, directed by J.R. Sullivan, featuring Resident Acting Company Member Laura Gordon, Nov. 24-Dec. 20. "For decades, Eppy Friedman, aka Ann Landers, answered countless letters in a newspaper column that made her a legend. No topic was off-limits, from lovelorn teens to nude housekeeping (oy vey!), to the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper. In 1975, an ironic twist of events confronts her. With a print deadline looming, she counsels her own broken marriage and heart."
Yankee Tavern by Steven Dietz, directed by John Langs, Jan. 5-31, 2010. "Alfred Hitchcock meets Oliver Stone in this fascinating and funny new play set in a dusty old New York City bar. Here a cantankerous regular argues with talk-radio hosts and anyone else nearby on the wildest of government conspiracy theories. The young man behind the bar satirically derails his rants while his fiancée addresses invitations for the wedding. Then a stranger walks in and orders a beer for himself and his invisible buddy, setting off a topsy-turvy thriller that grips you until the very last word."
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, directed by Ben Barnes, Feb. 9-March 7, 2010. "This whiskey-laden tale is set on Christmas Eve in the run-down Dublin home of Sharky and his blind brother. A sweet old friend who had slept there the night before, lights up their dreary lives as he comically rummages for his misplaced glasses. When the husband of Sharky's ex-wife shows up unexpectedly with an outsider, they engage in a friendly game of poker. As the stories pour out with the liquor, Sharky realizes that the stranger dealing has come to claim his soul."
Seven Keys to Baldpate, adapted from George M. Cohan by Joseph Hanreddy, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, March 23-April 18. "One of the hits from the canon of the famous Yankee Doodle Dandy. In this melodramatic mystery, novelist William Magee wagers with his wealthy friend that he can write a novel in 24 hours, under the proper circumstances."
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (based on her memoir), directed by John Sipes, Oct. 14-Nov. 8. "Novelist and screenwriter Joan Didion's memoir captures the compassion, humor and bewilderment of a fiercely intelligent woman whose world lurches suddenly from the ordinary to the unimaginable with her husband’s sudden death. It is an inspirational story that is both a love letter to a child and a tribute to an extraordinary marriage."
Almost, Maine by John Cariani, directed by Laura Gordon, Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010. "On a cold, clear, winter night, the northern lights hover over the remote town of Almost, Maine. All is not quite what it seems as the town’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in hilariously unexpected, and often unusual ways. This enchanting midwinter night's dream touches audiences with laughter, heartbreak and hope."
Radio Golf by August Wilson, directed by Timothy Douglas, March 3-28, 2010. "A dynamic and surprisingly humorous play about a successful real estate developer and the challenges he faces when he sets his sights on becoming the city's first black mayor. Supporting his efforts are his wife, an ambitious public relations executive, and his business partner, a Tiger Woods fanatic (who gets involved in a radio station scheme). But when he’s about to demolish the decaying home of the legendary Aunt Esther, secrets are revealed that could be his undoing."
Soultime: At the Apollo by Kevin Ramsey, directed by Kevin Ramsey, Sept. 11-Nov. 8, 2010. "A new musical experience that celebrates the rich musical legacy of the world famous Apollo Theater with the spirit of the Godfather of soul, James Brown, at the helm as emcee. Join us as 'stars are born and legends are made.'"
Holmes and Watson: A Musical Mystery by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, directed by Jahnna Beecham, Nov. 13, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010. "From the creators of hits Chaps! and Dogpark: The Musical comes a new musical comedy! It's All Hallow's Eve and the great detective Sherlock Holmes finds himself in a locked room with his faithful friend, Doctor Watson. They have until the last stroke of midnight to solve the fiendish Moriarty's deadly puzzle. Is it curtains for the Wizard of Baker Street?"
Pearl Bailey…By Request, story by Roz White, book by Roz White and Thomas W. Jones II, directed by Thomas W. Jones II, Jan. 8-Feb. 28, 2010. "In this musical tribute, show-stopping performer Roz White channels the irrepressible 'Ambassador of Love' Pearl Bailey in a tour de force. Bailey's infectious sultry tones are underscored by her remarkable wit in an evening of memorable swing, jazz and Broadway show tunes."
Route 66 by Roger Bean, directed by Roger Bean, March 5-April 25, 2010. "A Rep 'original' returns after ten years! Now, a completely updated production, Route 66 features more songs….[including] 'Bring My Cadillac Back,' 'Six Days on the Road,' 'On the Road Again,' 'King of the Road,' 'Dead Man's Curve' and, of course, 'Route 66.'"
A Christmas Carol, adapted from Charles Dickens by Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, featuring Rep Resident Acting Company Member James Pickering as Ebenezer Scrooge, Nov. 27-Dec. 27. "For 34 years, A Christmas Carol has been Milwaukee's best-loved family tradition and longest-running holiday production! This highly acclaimed production combines traditional Christmas carols, magnificent costumes and memorable characters with Dickens’ timeless Christmas tale."