MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Repertory Theater has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring three world premieres and 15 total productions.
“From oft forgotten or unheard sides of history, to powerfully resonant stories of today, this season in particular looks at life from myriad perspectives, and allows our audiences the opportunity to view the world through a different lens,” artistic director Mark Clements said in a statement.
The season will open with My Way: A Musical Tribune to Frank Sinatra (Sept. 11-Nov. 8), created by David Grapes and Todd Olson with a book by Olson. Directed by Kelley Faulkner, the musical will feature the greatest hits from Sinatra’s five-decade career.
Next up will be Titanic the Musical (Sept. 15-Oct. 25), with a book by Peter Stone and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, a musical retelling of the stories of those aboard the fateful ship. Clements will direct.
Following will be the co-world premiere of Meghan Brown’s The Tasters (Sept. 22-Nov. 1). Tasters have the important job of protecting high-ranking government officials from assassination attempts by serving as food tasters. The system is thrown off when one taster goes on a hunger strike. Laura Braza will direct.
The season will continue with an adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic, Murder on the Orient Express (Nov. 10-Dec. 13), adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig. Detective Hercule Poirot must battle the clock to solve a murder on a train full of suspects who all have a motive and an alibi.
Next will be a musical comedy from Matt Zembrowski, Dad’s Season Tickets (Nov. 13-Jan. 17). Directed by Ryan Quinn, the musical asks the simple question: Who will inherit Frank’s prized season ticket at Lambeau Field?
Following will be Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone (Jan. 12-Feb. 7). The play follows Toni Stone as she becomes the first woman to go pro in baseball’s Negro Leagues.
Next up will be the world premiere of George Brant‘s Tender Age (Jan. 20-Feb. 28). After taking a job at a detention center, Martín faces the difficult reality of supervising sick child refugees who have been separated from their parents. Henry Godinez will direct.
Returning for the first time since 2012 to the Stackner Cabaret is Blues in the Night (Jan. 22-March 21). Directed by Dan Kazemi, the musical revue was conceived and written by Sheldon Epps, with original vocal arrangements and music direction by Chapman Roberts, and orchestrations and additional vocal arrangements by Sy Johnson.
Next will be the rolling world premiere of John Proctor Is the Villain (March 2-23), by Kimberly Belflower, a look at present-day high schoolers as they learn that the line between witch and heroine is a very fine one. May Adrales will direct.
Following will be a musical tribute to Judy Garland in Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland (March 25-May 30).
Closing out the mainstage season will be a different take on Shakespeare’s As You Like It (April 20-May 23). Adapted by Daryl Cloran, this version of the classic romantic comedy mixes its with the 1960s and features more than 20 songs by the Beatles.
This season’s off-subscription programming will include the Charles Dickens staple A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24-Dec. 24), adapted and directed by Clements.
Also included will be Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice (Feb. 11-14). Directed by Andy Gale, the show will take a look at Kathleen Turner’s journey and career.
Rep Lab (March 4-8) will return and will again feature Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents.
Closing out the off-subscription offerings will be a staged reading of Lockdown, by Cori Thomas, which looks at the unlikely friendship between a grieving novelist and a prisoner at San Quentin with a life sentence.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, founded in 1954, presents classics, new plays, and musicals in its three performance venues.