By Carey Purcell
25 Feb 2014
The season will feature the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey, a resident staging of the Tony Award-winning play Peter and the Starcatcher and the return engagement of Brent Hazelton's Liberace!
The theatre will also present the world-premiere productions of after all the terrible things I do and Five Presidents.
"Next season will offer strong stories that are substantive pieces of theatre that are both enlightening and entertaining," artistic director Mark Clements said in a statement. "The season includes two exciting world premieres, after all the terrible things I do and Five Presidents. We will also continue the tradition that I started upon my arrival by including a musical on our main stage – the first production in the Quadracci Powerhouse will be the award-winning musical, The Color Purple. Audiences responded so enthusiastically to last year's production of Ragtime, I believe they are in for another treat with The Color Purple."
The season-at-a-glance follows:
The Doyle & Debbie Show
By Bruce Arntson
Sept. 5–Nov. 2
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Directed by JC Clementz
"The Doyle & Debbie Show finds a washed- up country star and his newest singing partner dusting off their microphones and resurrecting a familiar signature sound. Singing 16 original hits, including 'Stock Car Love' and 'Blue Stretch Pants,' this hilarious send-up of country music duos will have you doubled-over with laughter and roaring for an encore."
The Color Purple
Book by Marsha Norman
Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray
Sept. 23–Nov. 2
Directed by Mark Clements
"Following the success of last year's Ragtime, Mark Clements and his creative team reunite to bring you the hit musical based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. This glorious musical saga, spanning four decades, tells the unforgettable story of a woman who finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her own unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, The Color Purple captures the hearts of young and old, and reminds us that 'it only takes a grain of love to make a mighty tree.'"
after all the terrible things I do
By A. Rey Pamatmat
Oct. 1–Nov. 9
Directed by associate artist May Adrales
"A poignant, new American drama finds Daniel, a writer, fresh out of college, returning to his Midwestern hometown to regain his sense of self. He takes a job at a local bookstore owned by Linda, an émigré from the Philippines, and soon after, they realize their connection is much deeper than a shared love of literature. Together they will have to face the trauma of their pasts to create second chances for themselves — but can they find forgiveness?"
By Brent Hazelton
Nov. 7–Jan. 11, 2015
Directed by Brent Hazelton
"Born less than 10 miles from where Milwaukee Rep now stands, Liberace lived a life of flamboyance, flash, and lavish costumes. In this funny and touching tribute, the virtuoso musician gets one last chance to glitter and shine as he tickles the ivories through his favorite songs, including 'I'll Be Seeing You,' 'Chopsticks,' and 'The Boogie Woogie.' Milwaukee favorite, Jack Forbes Wilson, will reprise his iconic performance as the man who defined four decades of music and pop culture."
By Mary Chase Nov. 18–Dec. 21
Directed by KJ Sanchez
"Elwood P. Dowd has a friend in Harvey – a six-foot-tall rabbit 'pooka,' visible only to him. Elwood's behavior relating to his invisible friend is a constant source of frustration for his long-suffering family. When his social-climbing sister attempts to have him committed to an asylum, she learns she'd rather have Elwood just as he is — kind, caring, genial and at peace with the world and his place in it — than turn him into something he's not."
The Beautiful Music All Around Us
By Stephen Wade
Jan. 16–March 15, 2015
"Legendary musician and 2013 Grammy-nominee Stephen Wade brings his near-lifetime exploration of Southern musical traditions to the Stackner. Best known for his long-running one-man show, Banjo Dancing, Stephen's newest piece is based on his award-winning recent book that uncovers the largely hidden but surprisingly influential makers of iconic American folksong. Drawn from the celebrated Library of Congress field recordings of the 1930s and '40s, this exhilarating theatrical concert features spoken word, projected images, and live music-making. The Beautiful Music All Around Us is guaranteed to be a performance unlike any you have ever seen."
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Jan. 20–Feb. 15
Directed by Kate Buckley
"In South Boston, gossiping and bustin' chops is the name of the game. You can bet your weekly bingo winnings that everyone knows your personal business. Southie native, Margie, has found herself in tough times — no job, overdue rent, and a difficult family. With very little left to lose, Margie turns to an old flame for help, and ends up finding out that sometimes it only takes a few good people to help you succeed in life."
The Amish Project
By Jessica Dickey
Feb. 11–March 22
Directed by Leda Hoffmann
"The Amish Project is a devastating and beautiful one-woman tour-de-force performance that compels us to question the paths we take at the crossroads of grief, rage, and clemency. Inspired by the 2006 school shootings in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, this fictional account of a real-life tragedy allows us to glimpse into the world of Amish culture, and to come to grips with the true limits of compassion and forgiveness."
By Rick Cleveland
March 10–April 5
Directed by Mark Clements
"From Emmy Award-winning writer, Rick Cleveland, ('The West Wing,' 'House of Cards' and 'Six Feet Under'), comes a funny and incisive new drama about the meeting of America's most exclusive club — the ex-presidents. Obliged to gather together on the day of Richard Nixon's funeral, four 'exes' and one 'current' vent frustrations, revisit old grievances, and reveal the toll it takes on any person foolish enough to seek the highest office in the land."
Low Down Dirty Blues
By Randal Myler
March 20–May 24
"The night club may be closed, but the party is just heating up. Join a group of musician/singers as they gather after-hours to swap stories and share their fervor for music. Four multi-talented performers pour their passion, soul, and love into the greatest hits from Muddy Waters, Ma Rainey, Sophie Tucker, Howlin' Wolf, Pearl Bailey, and many more. Twenty-two smokin' songs, non-stop blues riffs, titillating double-entendres, and hot rhythms keep the theater sultry and steamy from the first note to the last."
Peter and the Starcatcher
A play by Rick Elice
Adapted from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Music by Wayne Barker
April 21–May 24
"Join a swashbuckling, mad-cap adventure aboard the good ship Neverland! Before Peter was Pan, he was just an orphan who didn't like grownups. But his future changes forever when the lost boy boards a pirate ship, and we're whisked away on a breathtaking adventure to answer the question: How did a boy named Peter become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?"
Additional productions not part of the regular Subscription Season:
A Christmas Carol
Adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan
Dec. 2–Dec. 24
"Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and Ebenezer Scrooge make their 39th annual appearance at the historical Pabst Theater in the Milwaukee holiday family favorite."
"The Rep’s annual short-play festival, Rep Lab, will celebrate its 5th season of showcasing The Rep’s highly-lauded Intern Ensemble."
Call (414) 224-9490 or visit MilwaukeeRep.com for more information.