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"The Foreigner" by Larry Shue, at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Fla., in 2014. Pictured: Matthew Minor and Andrew Sellon (Photo by Jen Vasbinder)

Milwaukee Rep’s 2016–17 Season Celebrates the City

The season will feature Wisconsin native Ayad Akhtar’s ‘Disgraced,’ and a play about a local legendary basketball coach.

MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Repertory Theater has announced its 2016–17 season, which will include a classic musical, a contemporary drama, and a new production of a holiday favorite.

“The 2016–17 season is an exciting and eclectic mix of time-honored classics and new plays,” said artistic director Mark Clements in a statement. “As we continue to create world-class theatre that entertains, provokes, and inspires meaningful dialogue, our audiences can expect to see our traditions evolve.”

The season will start with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Sept. 9–Oct. 30), by Lanie Robertson, about one of Billie Holiday’s final performances in Philadelphia.

Next up will be Man of La Mancha (Sept. 20–Oct. 30), by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion, about imprisoned inmates of the Spanish Inquisition who escape their fate by telling the tale of the chivalrous hidalgo Don Quixote and his quest to better the world. Clements will direct.

Following will be Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (Sept. 28–Nov. 6),  inspired by a true story about a boxer who fought to prove that he was the best boxer in the world, despite the color barrier in sports in 1905.

Next will be I Love a Piano (Nov. 4, 2016–Jan. 15, 2017), with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and written by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley. The show follows a piano with one sour note that passes from owner to owner in a musical journey about American history told through the songs of Berlin. JC Clementz will direct.

Following will be The Foreigner (Nov. 15–Dec. 18), by Larry Shue, a comedy about a man who pretends to not speak English to avoid feeling unsociable at a fishing lodge, and learns about a secret plot to overtake the lodge. Laura Gordon will direct.

Next will be Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (Jan. 17–Feb. 12, 2017), about a dinner party gone awry when racial identity and politics come up. Marcela Lorca will direct.

Following will be McGuire (Jan. 20–March 19, 2017), by Rick Enberg, about the late Al McGuire, a legendary basketball coach of Marquette University in Milwaukee.

George Brant’s Grounded (Feb. 22–April 2, 2017) will be next, about an ace fighter pilot who is grounded when an unexpected pregnancy puts her career in the air on hold.

Following will be Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie (March 7–April 9, 2017), about a faded Southern belle and her two adult children who struggle to let go of the past.

Next up will be An Evening with Groucho (March 24–May 28, 2017), written and performed by Frank Ferrante, featuring some of the comedian Groucho Marx’s best jokes and songs.

Following will be Jane Eyre (April 25–May 21, 2017), adapted by Polly Teale from Charlotte Brontë’s novel, about a young, spirited orphan who becomes an accomplished governess at the mysterious home of Mr. Rochester, with whom she becomes romantically involved.

The season will also include A Christmas Carol (Nov. 29–Dec. 24), adapted by Clements from Charles Dickens, a new immersive adaptation of the classic tale. Clements will direct.

Also part of the season will be the seventh season of the Rep Lab (April 13–17, 2017), a short-play festival featuring the work of the Rep’s emerging professional residents.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater, founded in 1954, presents dramas, contemporary works, and full-scale musicals in its three performance venues.

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