Milwaukee Repertory Theatre artistic director Joseph Hanreddy makes his Rep acting debut Jan. 14, when Of Mice and Men opens at the Wisconsin resident troupe's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. Previews began Jan. 12, with Hanreddy in the role of the mentally challenged Lennie in the classic John Steinbeck tale of innocence, dreams and loyalty. Performances continue to Feb 20.
Lennie's sharper pal, George, a fellow migrant worker and co-dreamer in California's hardscrabble Salinas Valley, is played by Lee E. Ernst. The classic 1937 novel was adapted into a play by Steinbeck, with director George S. Kaufman.
Hanreddy, 52, began his stage career as an actor, performing in productions of Candida, Hedda Gabler, The Front Page, Beyond Therapy and Lone Star, but since 1984 has concentrated on directing. He began as the Rep's artistic director in 1993.
Under the direction of J.R. Sullivan, the cast includes Jim Baker, Russ Benton, Ron Frazier, Jonathan Gillard Daly, James Pickering, Simon Jon Provan, Deborah Staples and Daniel Whitner.
Designers are Bill Clarke (set), Dawna Gregory (costume), Robert Jared (lighting designer), Joe Pino (sound).
Tickets are $5-$36. The Rep is at 108 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee's downtown theatre district. For information, call (414) 224-9490 or try www.milwaukeerep.com
-- By Kenneth Jones