The centerpiece world premiere in the 2002-2003 Milwaukee Repertory Theatre season is Moby Dick, a new adaptation of the Herman Melville classic, beginning Sept. 4 on The Rep's mainstage.
Eric Simonson, co-creator of Work Song, the Rep play about Frank Lloyd Wright, pens and directs Moby Dick at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.
"Similar to Work Song, Moby Dick has been developed over a period of approximately three years via a process of Mr. Simonson shaping the material in periodic workshops with The Rep's Acting Company," according to the season announcement. The 1851 novel, about a captain obsessed with the "great white whale" that tore off his leg, is considered a great sea-faring yarn and an exploration of good, evil, god, man and nature.
Milwaukee Rep produces a variety of works — musicals, world plays, premieres and classics — on three stages, the Quadracci Powerhouse, the Stiemke Theater and the Stackner Cabaret, with a core full-time acting company. The Rep stages A Christmas Carol on the Pabst Theater. The 2002-2003 season marks Joseph Hanreddy's 10th year with the regional house in downtown Milwaukee.
The season includes: The Quadracci Powerhouse
- Moby Dick, written and directed by Eric Simonson, Sept. 4-Oct. 6.
- Escape From Happiness, Canadian playwright George F. Walker's dark comedy about a dysfunctional family trying to hold together while two detectives attempt to unravel deception, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, Oct. 16-Nov. 17.
- The Hollow, a yarn by Agatha Christie, Nov. 26 Dec. 29.
- A production to be announced, perhaps a Tony Award winning play, Jan. 8-Feb. 9, 2003.
- All My Sons, Arthur Miller's postwar morality play about a family torn apart by lies, directed by Paul Barnes, Feb. 19-March 23, 2003.
- The Mill on the Floss, Helen Edmundson's stage version of George Eliot's novel of a woman with aspirations beyond her village, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, April 2-May 4, 2003.
The Stimeke Theater
- A Delicate Balance, Edward Albee's examination of family ties, extended and intimate, directed by Edward Morgan, Sept. 6-Oct. 6.
- Proof, David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winner about the daughter of a math genius who may have inherited his gifts — and his sickness, Jan. 3-Feb. 2, 2003.
- Inventing Van Gogh, Steven Dietz's play about the famed painter moves between past and present as a contemporary painter attempts to recreate Van Gogh's final and lost self-portrait, Feb. 21-March 23, 2003.
- The Lonesome West, Martin McDonagh's third chapter in his Leenane trilogy focuses on two brothers bound by a secret, directed by Michael Bloom and billed as a "special bonus production" for the Stiemke, April 4-May 4, 2003.
The Stackner Cabaret
- Oil City Symphony, the cult fave mock concert by former high school musician-nerds as they salute their old music teacher, Sept. 6-Nov. 3.
- Sophie Tucker, American Legend, Jack Fournier and Kathy Helenda's musical-revue tribute to the actress-singer, Nov. 8-Jan. 5, 2003.
- King of Cool: Nat King Cole — The Life, the Man, a musical tribute to crooner Nat King Cole, conceived by David Koch and written by David Scully, Jan. 10-March 9, 2003.
- Fully Committed, Beck Mode's hit Off-Broadway solo show about the personalities surrounding an ultra-hot Manhattan restaurant, March 14-May 11, 2003.
- A Christmas Carol, the Dickens classic adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan, directed by Morgan, Nov. 23-Dec. 29 at the Pabst Theater.