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"In the Heights," by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes, at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in 2018. Pictured: Courtney Arango, Nicolas Garza, Lillian Castillo, Henry Gainza, UJ Mangune, Alyssa V. Gomez, Emily Madigan, Stephanie Gomérez, and Eddie Martin Morales. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Milwaukee Repertory Theater Announces 2019-20 Season

The lineup will feature 15 productions, including a world premiere by David M. Lutken.

MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Repertory Theater has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring 15 productions.

“This is my 10th season with Milwaukee Rep, and in that time I’ve directed countless productions, implemented a new mission, started a family, become a U.S. citizen, but most importantly I’ve made Milwaukee my home,” said artistic director Mark Clements in a statement. “This season is full of plays deeply aligned in tolerance that add a layer of thought to how we as a community can come together in a shared experience through highly entertaining theater. It has been a true privilege to lead Milwaukee Rep these past ten years, and I look forward to continuing to serve the community by bringing an artistic vision that reflects our city’s rich diversity.”

The season will start with 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Sept. 6-Nov. 3), by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, a comedy about two childhood friends both chasing the dream of becoming concert pianists. Laura Braza will direct.

Next up will be West Side Story (Sept. 17-Oct. 27), with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical follows a romance between members of two warring New York City street gangs. Clements will direct.

Following will be The Niceties (Sept. 25-Nov. 3), by Eleanor Burgess, a two-hander about a young Black student and her esteemed white professor, who meet to discuss their differing views on the college junior’s paper about slavery and the American Revolution. Annika Boras will direct.

The season will continue with Nunsense (Nov. 8-Jan. 12, 2020), with book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggin. The musical comedy follows the Little Sisters of Hoboken as they put together a variety show to raise funds for the convent.

Next will be Larry Shue’s The Nerd (Nov. 12-Dec. 15, 2020), a comedy about an unexpected party guest who turns into an unwanted houseguest, and the havoc that ensues. JC Clementz will direct.

Following will be Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (Jan. 14-Feb. 9, 2020), about a former Elvis impersonator who takes on a job at a drag show to support his family.

Next up will be Chasin’ Dem Blues: Untold Story of Paramount Records (Jan. 17-March 22, 2020), written and directed by Kevin Ramsey. The show, which premiered under the title Grafton City Blues at the Rep in 2008, follows the inspiring story of Paramount Records in Grafton, Wisc., and features songs by Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter, and Ma Rainey.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Jan. 28-March 8, 2020), with book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, will be next. The musical is about a fictional rock and roll band headed by a German genderqueer singer named Hedwig.

Next will be Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed (March 3-29, 2020), about five extraordinary women who form an unlikely sisterhood midst the Liberian Civil War. May Adrales will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of David M. Lutken’s Hootenanny: The Musicale (March 27-May 24, 2020), about the tradition of communal music-sharing. Sherry Lutken will direct.

The mainstage season will close out with Destiny of Desire (April 21-May 17, 2020), by Karen Zacarías, a comedy about a former beauty queen who swaps two baby girls at birth, one born into a life of privilege and the other into poverty. José Luis Valenzuela will direct.

The off-subscription programming will include the annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 26-Dec. 24), adapted by Clements from Dickens.

Also part of the programming will be Antonio’s Song: Dreaming of a Son (March 24-April 12, 2020), by Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez, about an artist’s journey from the streets of Brooklyn to Russia’s most prestigious ballet training studios. Clements will direct.

The company’s Professional Training Institute will present a yet to be announced show (July 18-21).

The short-play festival “Rep Lab” (April 16-20, 2020), will feature works by Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents.

Founded in 1954, Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents dramas, classics, new plays, and musicals in its three performance venues.

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