Artistic director Joseph Hanreddy announced Milwaukee Repertory Theater's playbill for the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, Stiemke Theater and Stackner Cabaret. The upcoming season marks the theatre's 50th year.
The actors that comprise The Rep's resident acting Company will bite into two classics in rep at the top of the season: Shakespeare's Richard III and Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, about Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots, at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater (Sept. 3-Nov. 9).
Lee E. Ernst will play the role of Richard III. Laura Gordon and Deborah Staples will play cousins Elizabeth and Mary Stuart, respectively. Eric Simonson, who created past Rep productions Work Song and Moby Dick (which was named one of the 10 best theatre productions in America for 2002 by Time magazine), will direct the Shakespeare, and Hanreddy will direct Mary Stuart.
The Quadracci Powerhouse season will also feature the famed European László Martón directing Ibsen's classic A Doll's House (Feb. 25-March 28, 2004) and respected American director Marshall Mason to helm Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan (April 7- May 9, 2004).
Lillian Groag will direct Eduardo DeFilippo's Napoli Milionaria (Jan. 14-Feb. 15, 2004) featuring new acting company member Peter Silbert and a translation by Maria Tucci. The lesser-known play is billed as "a warm, full-blooded comedy about a desperate but honest Italian family who learn to survive in the waning days of World War II by trading on the black market." Lee E. Ernst stars as The Foreigner (Nov. 19, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004) in the return of Milwaukee's favorite playwright, the late Larry Shue (the work was the best selling play in the history of the Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater).
The Stiemke season offers Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys (Oct. 10-Nov. 9) with local favorites Jim Baker and Richard Halverson, directed by Edward Morgan. The second production is made up of two one-acts (Problem Child and Criminal Genius) from George F. Walker's cycle of plays known as Suburban Motel (Feb. 6-March 7, 2004).
Also on tap for Stiemke is Sam Shepard's True West, with Ernst and Mark Corkins as feuding brothers (April 9-May 9, 2004).
The Stackner cabaret has four shows, starting with the piano-performance play, Two Pianos, Four Hands (Sept. 5-Nov. 2), with Richard Carsey (who runs Milwaukee's Skylight Opera Theatre) and Jack Forbes Wilson, directed by Rene Moreno. The performance piece by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt was a sensation in Canada over the last decade (it's about two piano students who grow up at the keyboard) and is finally making a splash in regional markets around the U.S.
The Marvelous Wonderettes, the fictional act dreamed up by writer-director Roger Bean, return for a holiday show, Winter Wonderettes, with holiday tunes from the 1950s and '60s (Nov. 7, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004).
A special tribute to the late Wisconsin lyricist, Fred Alley, comes in the form of The One That Got Away — A Fred Alley Revue (Jan. 9-March 7, 2004). Directed by Jeffrey Herbst, the show includes songs from Guys on Ice, Lumberjacks in Love, Spitfire Grill, Belgians in Heaven, The Bachelors and more.
Jimi Ray Malary (star of the Stackner hit, King of Cool) performs Jazz Royalty (March 12-May 9, 2004), a revue of Duke Ellington songs and other Harlem Renaissance favorites, directed by David Koch.
A Christmas Carol returns in 2003-04 at the Pabst Theatre, but with a brand new physical production.
Subscriptions are now available at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Ticket Office, 108 E. Wells Street, or by phone at (414) 224-9490. Single tickets for the 2003-04 season will go on sale Aug. 25. For more information, visit www.milwaukeerep.com.