Milwaukee Rep Cancels “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol”

This is sad news indeed. Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol was the first play scheduled for the renewed Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2020/21 season. And this was a much anticipated return of Rep favorite Lee Ernst for the holiday season. And I was looking forward to a new telling and a new viewpoint on this classic tale. But I agree with the Rep’s decision. As Wisconsin continues to set records for daily positive cases of COVID-19, it would be foolish to put the audiences and staff of the theater at risk right now.

Here is a few details from the email that I received this morning…and the full story appears here.

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the incomparable Lee E. Ernst playing more than a dozen characters in the Dickens’ classic with a unique soundscape developed by foley artist Dan Kazemi, under the direction of Artistic Director Mark Clements. Our fully realized production will be taped and distributed to a limited number of people on a first come, first served basis. The production will be available to view for $20 during the month of December. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to employ and compensate artists involved in the production. Look for more details on how you can purchase tickets later this month.

So please, make the most of this holiday season and purchase a ticket to Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. It will not only enlighten your holiday but help support the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. (something we talked about a bit ago)

And for those of you who have had a holiday tradition of seeing the Milwaukee Rep’s A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater…you don’t have to miss out on that this year either. The Rep will be streaming a complete multi-camera recording of their 2016 presentation. And these two events are not Zoom readings, but full streaming video stage presentations…so they should be a great way for all of us to celebrate the 2020 holiday season!

Mark Clements’ Classic Production of A Christmas Carol

Each year, nearly 40,000 people experience Artistic Director Mark Clements’ epic production at the beautiful, historic Pabst Theater. We are opening our video vault to bring a never-before-seen recording of the record-breaking 2016 production filmed and produced by HMS Media. The production will be available for FREE to view during the month of December on our website as our gift to theater lovers worldwide. Donations encouraged and welcomed.

emphasis mine

It seems that I have been sharing too much sad news around theater cancellations this year. But this time there is a silver lining and we have alternatives and we can still enjoy a unique and expressive A Christmas Carol in our homes.

Merry Christmas.

And again, the full details can be found here.

MKE Repertory Theater: Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol: ONE DAY Ticket Sale October 12

This is going to be a unique theater experience for the 2020 holiday season. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from staging their annual tradition of a Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater…Milwaukee Rep fans don’t have to totally lose out on some great seasonal theater.

Instead, in the Quadracci Powerhouse theater, Lee Ernst will be the solo actor in the Rep’s first time presentation of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol….directed by Mark Clements and written by Tom Mula…with an original new set on the mainstage!

AND there will be a one day ticket sale on October 12, 2020. See the photo below and here is the link to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s website for more information! Don’t miss your chance to reserve your seats and save a few dollars as well!!

And please note: Here is the link to the Rep’s COVID-19 precautions and guidelines. They are committed to providing you with a safe and comfortable theater experience.

Murder, Mayhem, and the Modern World, The Milwaukee Rep’s 2020/21 Season

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced their 2020/21 season back in February. But I was waiting to have An Intuitive Perspective up and running before I wrote about it. I would have gotten lost in the original wave of articles anyway. But now that we are in the heart of the Age of Pandemic and the remainder of the 2019/20 season has been canceled, it is a pleasure to look ahead to next season with hope and excitement!

Murder you say? Well, yes, the Quadracci Powerhouse will feature Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express from November 10 to December 13, 2020! I imagine everyone will be looking forward to this classic of theater. And who can ever get enough of Hercule Poirot?

And Mayhem? Yes the mayhem of the sinking of the Titanic, as Titanic, The Musical opens the Quadracci Powerhouse season from September 15 to October 25, 2020. The winner of five Tony Awards, Titanic continues the Rep’s tradition of opening with a blockbuster musical.

And the modern world? By all means! I am going to outline the rest of the season by stage!

Also at the Quadracci Powerhouse:

Toni Stone which was named Best New Play of 2019 by the Wall Street Journal. Hey, this one’s about baseball…one of the most attended sports in Milwaukee. So certainly this play displays a portrait of America by discussing America’s pastime. But it also is going to bring to the fore some of the divides in society prevalent for much of the nation’s history. Toni Stone is a talented baseball player who becomes the first woman to play in the men’s Negro Leagues. So certainly this story is fraught with her struggles to be accepted and to be treated like an equal. A very tough act in the male-dominated arena of baseball and in a racially divided nation. Toni Stone runs from January 12 to February 7, 2021.

For a short run in March, John Proctor Is The Villain. This is being billed as a Rolling World Premiere. I am just going to lift the tagline from the Rep here: This challenging, contemporary post #metoo response to “classic” literature explores the power of young girls who fight to tell their own stories. The classic lit they are describing here is “The Crucible” as it is being studied in a present day Appalachian high school.

And the closing feature at the Quadracci, is William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, running from April 20 to May 23, 2021. But there’s a twist or maybe a Twist. The locale is 1960’s British Columbia with cross-dressing lovers and mistaken identities and mishaps and laughs. And the Twist? Well the play will feature 20 songs from the Beatles. This should get interesting.

Now, I will admit that the Stiemke Studio has been my favorite stage at the Rep for years. Not only is the theater intimate but it usually features the most stimulating and challenging plays of the season. So don’t miss these:

The Tasters opens the Stiemke season – September 22 to November 1, 2020. To protect high ranking government officials, three women are employed to taste their food…well until one of them goes on a hunger strike…how appropriate? Billed as equal parts Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Food Network, this is a dark little comedy to enjoy!!

And after the holidays, Tender Age brings us into contemporary America as Martin takes a job at a refugee detention center, where children have been separated from their parents. And when this was written, it could have hardly anticipated the events of 2020, but the story intensifies when an epidemic starts to sweep through the center. Billed as a harrowing, unflinching portrait of modern-day America, it will certainly reverberate even more with the audience than originally planned.

And then everyone’s favorite, the Stackner Cabaret! And don’t forget to make dinner reservations for pre-show…the food is simply delightful here.

But opening the season is My Way and you’ll never guess the subtext: A Musical Tribute To Frank Sinatra. So, you’ll get to hear the best of Frank in a cabaret setting. What simple magic that’s going to be. And I bet there are going to be some signature cocktails on the menu. And you won’t have to go to Vegas or New York, New York to enjoy!  Frank holds court from September 17 to November 8, 2020.

And this next one will be a story for all of Wisconsin and will bring heartfelt joy to some families and maybe a bit of dismay or regret to others…but it all sounds like fun. Dad’s Season Tickets tells the story of inheritance…of dad’s season tickets to the Green Bay Packers! This is one of the most popular plays from Northern Sky Theater and I am sure that it will translate well in Milwaukee’s Packersland.

And then an encore performance of Blues In The Night. A Tony and Olivier Award nominated musical that illuminates the songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and more. Just the perfect cure for Wisconsin mid-winter blues from January 22 to March 21, 2021. This visited the Stackner in 2012.

And then the season finale is the perfect bookend to My Way, as Get Happy plays from March 25 to May 30, 2021. A bookend to Frank? My goodness, yes, Get Happy = Angela Ingersoll Sings JUDY GARLAND. This is the live stage performance of Ms. Ingersoll’s Garland PBS concert.

Well there you have it! But if feels like I am missing something.

Oh wait! Yes, I almost did. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is staging its 45th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theater. And to lend an additional special cache to the 2020 version, Milwaukee favorite, Lee Ernst is returning as Scrooge in the Mark Clements adaptation of the story. He hasn’t played the role at the Rep since 2006. This will be a special treat this year.