By Kenneth Jones
12 Mar 2012
Also on the slate for the Wisconsin company that produces on three stages are a visit from mentalist Marc Salem; the comedy Sense and Sensibility; The Diary of Anne Frank; a play to be announced; A Christmas Carol; and a festival of short plays featuring The Rep's Artistic Intern Company.
Here's the Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2012-13 season at a glance:
Gutenberg! The Musical!
Written by Scott Brown & Anthony King
Aug. 21-Oct. 14
"Three men, one piano, thirty baseball caps — and one massively misguided dream! In 1450, in Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press; in 2011, in Nutley, New Jersey, Bud and Doug wrote a big, splashy musical about him, the evil monk trying to stop him and the beautiful girl who loved him. They may not have a cast, an orchestra, or a clue, but with an unending supply of enthusiasm, they're pitching their hilarious, 16-song epic to Broadway producers who just might fulfill their bright-eyed ambitions!"
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.
Directed by Mark Clements
Sept. 4-Oct. 7
"This groundbreaking American musical kicks off the Quadracci Powerhouse season with a bang! Bold, original, surreal, thought-provoking and alarmingly funny, this five-time Tony Award-winner investigates the personalities behind nine Presidential assassins and reveals uneasy truths about the American Dream. Hugely resonant in today's celebrity-obsessed culture, Assassins is peopled with desperate, disillusioned characters who force us to wonder how everybody's right to be happy can include killing a President."
By Katori Hall
Sept. 26–Nov. 4
"On the eve of his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cools down in a lonely Memphis hotel room after delivering the speech of a lifetime — when an unexpected visit from a feisty, young hotel maid pushes King into a confrontation with his doubts, fears and haunting premonitions. A critically acclaimed work in London that recently had a run on Broadway, The Mountaintop's humorous, magical storytelling fuses theatricality with spirituality to reach a summit that will leave audiences breathless."
Blues in the Night
Conceived and Originally Directed by Sheldon Epps
Original Vocal Arrangements and Musical Direction by Chapman Roberts
Orchestrations & Additional Vocal Arrangements by Sy Johnson
Oct. 19-Dec. 23
"The universal language of the blues speaks eloquently in this scorching, Tony-nominated musical! The 26 hot, torchy numbers that tell the sweet, sexy and sorrowful stories of four colorful inhabitants of a 1930s Chicago saloon, will leave you energized, inspired and ready to wail. This dynamite revue features blues classics from Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Bessie Smith, and many more, packed into a larger-than-life score that'll bring down the house!"
The Diary of Anne Frank
Dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Oct. 23-Dec. 2
"Anne Frank's remarkable diary has become an essential tool for understanding one of the darkest periods of our history — and one of the most beautiful, haunting stories in our shared experience. A testament to the human spirit and its young author's 'boundless desire for all that is beautiful and good,' the play illuminates Anne's unwavering belief in justice and love during more than two years in hiding during World War II. This moving, true story is essential viewing for every generation."
Sense and Sensibility
By Jane Austen
Adapted by Mark Healy
Dec. 11, 2012-Jan. 13, 2013
"From the author of Pride and Prejudice comes this heartwarming, humorous tale of two sisters struggling to move past a family disaster. Sensible, reserved Elinor and passionate, impulsive Marianne find the road to true love, beset with dashing suitors and well-meaning relatives, devoted friends and devious rivals, and scandalous secrets and unexpected twists in a period-perfect adaptation that captures all of the deliciousness, flirtation and folly of Austen's well-loved novel."
Mind Over Milwaukee
By Marc Salem
Dec. 28, 2012-Feb. 24, 2013
"Mentalist Marc Salem brings his interactive stage show to The Rep for an experience that will leave you astounded, dumbfounded and believing the unbelievable! Using psychological techniques, a sharp eye for human nature, a quick wit and more than 20 years of close study, Mr. Salem creates a mystifying, often hilarious show that explores the depths and true capabilities of the human mind."
Jan. 16-Feb. 24, 2013
"The Rep is in the process of choosing the perfect show to round out the 2012-13 Season. Several options are being explored that will continue the tradition of producing culturally-relevant, text-driven work. More information will be available soon."
By Bruce Norris
Directed by Mark Clements
Jan. 29-Feb. 24, 2013
A co-production with Arizona Theatre Company
"Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and London's Olivier Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative new play about the volatile combination of race and real estate. Act One opens in 1959, as a white couple sells their home to a black family (the Younger family in A Raisin in the Sun), causing uproar in their middle-class neighborhood; Act Two finds the same house, in 2009, changing hands again. And, while the stakes have changed over the years, the debate remains strikingly similar as neighbors wage a hilarious and horrifying pitched battle over territory and legacy that reveals just how far our ideas about race and gentrification have evolved — or, have they?"
A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry
March 12-April 14, 2013
"One of the most powerful and beloved American plays ever written, A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of the Younger family's struggle for dignity and a better life — and the backlash that erupts when they try to move beyond their oppressive Chicago tenement home. Set just before the dawn of the Civil Rights and Women's Movements, A Raisin in the Sun demonstrates how a single family's dreams can change the world."
Ring of Fire: The Songs of Johnny Cash
Created by Richard Maltby
Conceived by William Meade
Orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby
March 1-May 5, 2013
"From the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash comes this unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family. More than two dozen classic hits — including 'I Walk The Line,' 'A Boy Named Sue,' 'Folsom Prison Blues' and the title tune — performed by a multi-talented cast, paint a musical portrait of The Man in Black that promises to be a foot-stompin', crowd-pleasin' salute to a uniquely American legend!"
Added attractions include:
A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan
Nov. 29-Dec. 24
A Short-Play Festival
Featuring The Rep's Acting Intern Ensemble
March 1-4, 2013
Subscriptions are currently available for renewing subscribers only. New subscriptions will go on sale the week of April 23. For additional information on subscriptions, contact The Rep's Ticket Office at (414) 224-9490 or visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is home to a Resident Acting Company that performs with The Rep throughout the season, offering comedies, dramas, classics, contemporary works, musicals and cabaret shows on three stages in the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex (the Quadracci Powerhouse, the Stiemke Studio and the Stackner Cabaret) from September through May. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst.