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Nancy Drew’s Biggest Case Yet

First Stage and Willy Porter team up for a musical mystery

Apr. 22, 2014
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Nancy Drew, the brilliant teen detective of fiction series fame, will solve her next great mystery at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater. Co-written by First Stage’s Artistic Director Jeff Frank and Associate Artistic Director/Young Company Director John Maclay, Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever is the young sleuth’s First Stage debut and also the theater company’s 50th world premiere play. Collaborating with Frank and Maclay is musician Willy Porter, who has created an original soundtrack for the show. Maclay, a huge fan of the singer/songwriter, says, “I’m beyond excited to be working with Willy. He has been working closely with us as we’ve refined the work, writing various melody lines—Nancy’s theme, chase/action sequences, etc.—and now he’s working with our sound designer, John Tanner, to ensure it all works with the timing of sequences that we’re discovering in rehearsals.”

Frank, also the director of the play, is excited about creating the play’s live-action sequences on stage: “Kokens are assigned to manipulate elements of the set—or in some cases even the actors themselves—to make the seemingly impossible come alive. Matt Daniels and Joe Foust are helping us build some remarkable sequences, including shifts in perspective during an opening ski chase, a capsized canoe and a car chase.”

Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever runs May 2-June 1 at the Todd Wehr Theater in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St. For tickets, call 414-273-7206 or visit firststage.org.


Theatre Happenings:

UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts stages two performances in the coming days. Cinderella: The First 30,000 Years follows the fairytale heroine through time and cultures, April 25-27 and May 1-4 at Kenilworth Studio 508, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place.

Tony Horne directs Urinetown: The Musical, a commentary on contemporary politics revolving around the question “How much does it cost to pee?,” April 30-May 4 at the Mainstage Theatre, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. For tickets to both shows, call 414-229-4308 or visit arts.uwm.edu/tickets.


John Barrymore (1882-1942) is most famous for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and he makes a brazen appearance in Andrew Rally’s new apartment in the play I Hate Hamlet to give the young TV star some acting lessons. See this outrageous comedy at Sunset Playhouse May 1-18 at the Furlan Auditorium, 800 Elm Grove Road. For tickets, call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com/tickets/.


Michael Frayn wrote Noises Off after watching a performance of one of his works from the wings of a stage. Formatted as a play within a play, this farce gives us an insider look at what happens to a show onstage when actors both intentionally and unintentionally provoke one another behind the scenes. Waukesha Civic Theatre will put on the show May 2-18 at the Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre Building, 264 W. Main St., Waukesha. For tickets, call 262-547-0708 or visit waukeshacivictheatre.org.


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