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Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

Travel Through Time With First Stage’s ‘Magic Bicycle’

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The first bicycle, a wooden-framed contraption introduced in Europe in 1817, bears little resemblance to today’s super-sleek, lightweight, carbon-fiber designs. But as far as bicycle technology has come over the years, no manufacturer has been able to develop one that could travel back in time. Writers, however, have no such restrictions. Indeed, a time-traveling bike is the subject of First Stage Children’s Theater’s latest world premiere, The Magic Bicycle.

The play, which opens Jan. 14, begins as Lilah, a young girl running away from an orphanage in the 19th century, runs into Willy, a resident of 2010 who is riding around on a rather curious-looking bicycle. Lilah and Willy embark on a journey to save his ancestors and find her a loving family.

Written by playwright and theater critic John Olive, the time-travel adventure comedy rolls off the script and onto the stage in a production starring some very talented local actors, including Flora Coker and Molly Rhode.

“The production and design teams are working together to create this amazing computerized bike and the time-travel sequences,” says First Stage Artistic Director Jeff Frank. “Lighting, sound and video components will work in concert as we convey the sense of traveling through time.”

First Stage Children’s Theatre’s The Magic Bicycle runs through Feb. 5 at the Todd Wehr Theater. For tickets, call 414-273-7206.

Theater Happenings

  • Renaissance Theaterworks presents the first show in its new Diversity Series as it collaborates with African-American theater company UPROOTED in a production of Crumbs From the Table of Joy. The show runs Jan. 14-Feb. 6 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre. For tickets, call the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office at 414-291-7800.
  • The Milwaukee Rep opens its production of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps on Jan. 11. Four actors play a large cast of characters in a quick-change suspense-thriller comedy through Feb. 13 at the Quadracci Powerhouse. For tickets, call 414-224-9490.