In Wisconsin, what could possibly be a more appropriate opening offering for the fall season than Matt Zembrowski’s Dad’s Season Tickets in the Stackner Cabaret? And given the factual, anecdotal, and certainly apocryphal stories ranging across the state about how season tickets pass through to the next generation, what a perfect conceit for a musical in Packers nation!
So here we are in a living room implicit as the middle class living room where every Wisconsinite watches their Packers, hey. And although the furnishings look more 1970s that 1996 when the action takes place, certainly a lot of 1970s living rooms tarried into the late 1990s, particularly as Cheeseheads aged in place. You will recognize home and feel immediately comfortable.
And….it’s Packer season and we meet Frank Kosinski who, after three years of mourning his late wife, has come to realize that family and family traditions are more important than where he’s been emotionally most recently. And he has three daughters: two adult, married, and out of the nest, and Cordelia. Cordelia is still at home and preparing for going away to college. And if you want a little sneaky insight into where we are going, Mr. Zembrowski is having a little theatrical fun: check out Cordelia here!
You are going to love the Kosinskis. And you will wonder why there is a troubling layer of discord in the family, particularly between the adult daughters. BUT…the underlying issue in our play, IS, who will inherit Frank’s Packers Season Tickets? He can only will them to one individual! All will be revealed via some cliche family squabbles, entertaining and encouraging songs, and Cordelia’s determination to bring happiness to her father as she prepares to leave by enabling his dream to reunite the family.
The casting here couldn’t have been better. We have the gamut of Packers adherents and lifelong Wisconsinites. You will love Jonathan Gillard Daly as the long suffering newly optimistic Frank Kosinski. His love of the Packers, his memory of their history, and his inherited season tickets are all you need to know until you get there. And, for me, Jamie Mercado. is the stand out actor in her role as Cordelia, as she plans and plots the reuniting of her sisters without knowing the whole story around the discord. And the most intriguing outsider is Edgar Nimwitz (read the last name again, out loud) ably played by Jackson Evans for every laugh and horror handed him in the text!
You will laugh openly. You will wonder how we got here. You will remember the Packer glory years. You will get to boo. You should wear your Packer swag. And there will be secret uncovered that should never ever happen in Green Bay! And given that it is 1996, our playwright ‘predicts’ the future! See if you can catch it.
And before you go, you may want to bone up on your Packer history from Curly Lambeau to Vince Lombardi to Mike Holmgren and the 1996 Packer season. And as I said previously, you won’t feel uncomfortable attending in your Reggie White, etc, jersey!!
One last thing before I go “Viking fans don’t get back up singers”!