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Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

A Lively, Contemporary New York Musical

Skylight casts locally for 'In the Heights'

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When looking about for an ethnic cast for a big local production, major arts groups tend to search elsewhere for their talent. This is a pity, as it ignores the great talent right here in greater Milwaukee. It’s nice to see Skylight Music Theatre acknowledging this with some of its casting for its upcoming production of In the Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical is set in a predominantly Dominican-American neighborhood in Washington Heights, New York City. The Skylight cast includes a few notable local actors, including David Flores, whose stage experience matches his sometimes jaw-droppingly impressive talent. He’s appeared on nearly every major stage in Milwaukee. Here he stars as an overprotective father who broke away to run his own cab company. Milwaukee’s Ericka Wade plays his wife. She is relatively young with a very powerful voice, having appeared with a wide range of different theater companies. UW-Milwaukee graduate Adrian Feliciano plays the owner of a piragua stand. He’s got a really distinctive and magnetic stage presence that can illuminate even a small, peripheral role really, really well. A Milwaukee native, Feliciano moved to Los Angeles in search of work.

If local companies could continue to do what Skylight has done with some of the casting of this production, actors like Feliciano would find it easier to stay in the area.

Skylight Music Theatre’s staging of In the Heights runs Jan. 31-Feb. 23, at the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit skylightmusictheatre.org.

 

Theatre Happenings

  • Talented actress Marti Gobel is challenged with helping to bring to the stage the memory of a legendary figure in the history of civil rights next month in Uprooted Theatre’s Truth: The Testimonial of Sojourner Truth. Uprooted’s Dennis F. Johnson directs the drama, written by Eric Coble, Feb. 7-8 at the Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St. For tickets, call 262-560-3172.
  • Leda Hoffmann directs an intimate staging of Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs at the Alchemist Theatre early next month. A man and a woman prepare a very important presentation for many, many people who have been invited and who may, in fact, be imaginary. The complex drama for two runs Feb. 7-22, at the Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For tickets, visit thealchemisttheatre.com.