The season opens with the cabaret revue, Isn't It Romantic…, Sept. 5 in the intimate Stackner. The slate includes one world premiere: Dogpark: The Musical, also in the Stackner Cabaret.
Playwrights represented in the coming year include Alice Childress, Jane Austen, Anton Chekhov, Sarah Ruhl, Carlo Goldoni, Doug Wright, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and more.
Here's the Milwukee Rep season at a glance:
QUADRACCI POWERHOUSE THEATER State of the Union
by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, directed by Michael Halberstam, Sept. 16-Oct. 12. "The Republicans are looking for a new Presidential candidate in 1946, and they pin all their hopes on Grant Matthews, a charismatic, successful businessman with no prior involvement in politics. When Matthews' estranged wife encourages him to stand firm with his honest, outspoken style, he soon discovers that he must choose between political ambition and moral principles. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama offers a shrewd and witty look at affairs of state as well as of the heart."Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Jonathan Moscone, Oct. 28-Nov. 23. "Pulitzer Prize-nominee Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House) returns with a haunting, new play that explores the pain of love, loss and memories. Eurydice is a contemporary re-telling of Orpheus' descent into the underworld. In this inventive and lyrical play, Eurydice must decide how long to cling to the memories of her life and loves on earth."The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead by Robert Hewett, directed by Joseph Hanreddy, Dec. 9, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009. "This one-woman tour de force performance explores multiple perspectives on love, anger and adultery. When a desperate housewife suspects that her husband is cheating, her rash act of revenge forever changes the lives of everyone around her. Resident Acting Company Member Deborah Staples transforms into seven different characters in this play that will leave you questioning whether or not truth is really just a matter of perception."Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress,
directed by Timothy Douglas, Jan. 20-Feb. 15, 2009. "The year is 1957 and African-American actress Wiletta Mayer is ready for her big break. She has started rehearsals on a play headed for Broadway, but when racially demoralizing stereotypes start to spill forth from the play, will Wiletta's insistence on truth cost everyone the jobs they so desperately need? Trouble in Mind is a fierce and funny look at the half truths we tell ourselves about race, identity and opportunity in America."Pride and Prejudice, adapted from the novel by Jane Austen, directed by J.R. Sullivan, March 3-29, 2009. "One of the most delightful and popular romantic comedies of all time, Jane Austen's classic tale takes us to Regency England circa 1813 and the drawing room of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as they seek wealthy husbands for their five marriageable daughters. When an eligible young man and his friend arrive at a nearby mansion, the lives of Jane Bennet and her sisters are abuzz with excitement and passion."
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, directed by Ben Barnes, April 14-May 10, 2009. "Set in 1904 on the edge of the Russian Revolution, this bittersweet and haunting comedy is Chekhov's final play and masterpiece about a rapidly changing world and a way of life on the brink of destruction. With fortunes fading fast and the auction of their estate looming on the horizon, an impoverished Russian family is uncertain of what the future will bring." STIEMKE THEATERI Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright, directed by John Langs, Sept. 10-Oct. 5. "German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf's remarkable feats of bravery allow her to survive despite two of the most brutally oppressive regimes in history: the Nazis of the Third Reich and the Communists that ruled East Germany. One actor portrays more than 30 characters in this phenomenal Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning work that explores the will to survive."Mirandolina by Carlo Goldoni, directed by László Marton, Jan. 28-Feb. 22, 2009. "A sizzling battle of the sexes catches fire in
Goldoni's 18th century Italian farce. Single, sexy and independent Mirandolina is mistress of her own inn and besieged by a constant stream of suitors. Though all the men around her seem to fall madly in love with her, will she be able to win over the one man she has her own heart set on — a notorious woman-hater? Come watch as the sparks fly."I Just Stopped By to See the Man by Stephen Jeffreys, director to be announced, April 8-May 3, 2009. "Set in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, I Just Stopped By… is a passionate and political ode to the power and truth of the blues. It tells the story of Jesse Davidson, the greatest living bluesman, long believed dead, who is living out his simple life with his activist daughter in a bare shack. Legend surrounds Jesse — like the story about him selling his soul to the devil so that he could play guitar. But when Karl, a famous English rocker who has been making a fortune off the legend's tunes, stumbles into their solitude and probes for the truth about Jesse, he triggers a confrontation of mythic proportions."
Special Production: Guys On Ice, book and lyrics by Fred Alley,
music by James Kaplan,
directed by Jeffrey Herbst, Dec. 17, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009. "Back by popular demand, the ice shanty crew returns for their seventh hilarious engagement. Join us in celebrating 'De Wishing Hole,' 'Ode to a Snowmobile Suit,' 'Fish is de Miracle Food' and 'De One dat Got Away!'" STACKNER CABARETIsn't It Romantic…, written and directed by David Koch, Sept. 5-Nov. 2. "Jimi Ray Malary returns to the Stackner after his past hit shows Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke, Jazz Royalty and The King of Cool. This tribute features the songs that epitomize romance from [songwriters] Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart and George and Ira Gershwin.Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, directed by J.R. Sullivan, Nov. 7-Dec. 28. "The hilarious comedy about Texas' third smallest town, where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. The eclectic band of citizens that make up this town are portrayed by only two performers, making this satire on life in rural America even more delightful as they depict all of the inhabitants of Tuna — men, women, children and animals."Dogpark: The Musical by Jahnna Beecham, Malcolm Hillgartner and Michael J. Hume, directed by Jahnna Beecham, Jan. 9-March 1, 2009. "An all-new musical canine comedy from the creators of Chaps! and They Came From Way Out There. Follow Daisy, Champ, Bogie and Spud through their adventures at the hippest, hottest place in town: the Dogpark, where every dog has his day, and love conquers all."
Fire on the Bayou: A Mardi Gras Musical Extravaganza, written and directed by Kevin Ramsey, March 6-May 10, 2009. "From the creator of Grafton City Blues, and native son of New Orleans, comes this steamy musical gumbo that traces the history of New Orleans Jazz. This show will heat up the Stackner Cabaret with a mixture of the sounds of jazz, zydeco, Dixieland and the second line. Laissez les bons temps rouler." PABST THEATER
A Christmas Carol, adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan, directed by Judy Berdan, Nov. 28-Dec. 28. "For 33 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. Rep Resident Company Actor James Pickering returns to the role of Scrooge." For more information, visit milwaukeerep.com.