Performances began Sept. 17 for Milwaukee Repertory's Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches, Tony Kushner's Tony and Pulitzer-winning drama. It's the first play of the Milwaukee Rep season.
In a coup for the Wisconsin regional, Milwaukee Rep will also host the U.S. premiere of Richard Nelson's drama, The General From America, March 4, 1998. The play, which was commissioned and premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London, depicts the last few days of the Revolutionary War at West Point including the moment when Benedict Arnold goes from true patriot to America's "best-known traitor." No director or cast have been announced.
Otherwise, Milwaukee Rep has an ambitious 1997-98 season full of comedies in store for its Powerhouse mainstage theatre. Here is the Powerhouse mainstage season schedule:
* Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner, Sept.17 - Oct.19
* Over the Tavern by Tom Dudzick, Oct. 23 - Nov. 23
* Having Our Say by Emily Mann, Dec. 3 - Jan. 11
* An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, Jan. 21 - Feb. 22
* The General From America by Richard Nelson, Mar. 4 - Apr. 5
* The School for Wives by Moliere, Apr. 15 - May 17
Angels in America is a comedy- drama, about people (and angels) testing the limits of love and loyalty in Reagan-era America. This play has received the most Tony nominations in Broadway history. Over the Tavern is a comedy centering on a wisecracking 12-year old, Rudy Pazinski, and his family. While Rudy battles a 70-year-old nun on theology and makes prayerful negotiations with Jesus, the rest of his family is struggling with personal conflicts.
Mann's Having Our Say is next, with the Delany sisters recounting anecdotes of their century-plus lives.
An Ideal Husband, (another comedy) follows Sir Robert Chiltern's rise to statesman and his being blackmailed. In order to remain the "ideal husband" and save his marriage he must defend his reputation.
The final comedy of the season is The School For Wives, in which a wealthy bachelor raises a young ward to be Pfect wife. He intends to marry her when she comes of age, but foils his own plan by unwittingly helping a handsome suitor win her heart.
Appearing on the Steimke secondstage of the Milwaukee Repertory theatre this season are:
* Nixon's Nixon by Russell Lees, Sept. 19 - Oct.12
* Private Eyes by Steven Dietz, Oct.13 - Nov. 23
* The Turn of the Screw by Jeffrey Hatcher, Jan. 23 - Feb.15
Nixon's Nixon is a humorous two person fictional depiction of the meeting between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and 37th president of the United States Richard Nixon, set on the eve of the president's resignation.
Dietz's Private Eyes is "a comedy about the fantasy of lust and the reality of love," as described by the theatre. The audience becomes the detective as an actress and a director are having an affair. When the actress's husband grows increasingly suspicious of them, the questions become -- Is the affair real, or just a part of the play they are rehearsing? Is the husband's therapist part of the deception as well?
Ending the short second stage season is Hatcher's Turn of the Screw in which a governess tries to save her two young charges from supernatural evil.
For tickets or more information: (414) 224-9490.