The Milwaukee Theatre Holidays Begin
The Rep and First Stage open the Holiday Season
The Milwaukee stage holidays begin tonight with a pair of big, iconic openings downtown.Â Two shows opening about a block apart from each other is far from being the insane flurry of openings next week. The two shows opening this week are however noteworthy in that theyâ€™re both probably the biggest, best funded local theatrical Holiday shows this side of the Milwaukee Balletâ€™s annual Nutcracker .
First off, just a couple of hours from the moment I am writing this sentence, the curtain will raise on the Milwaukee Repâ€™s first matinee performance of its annual production of A Christmas CarolÂ at the Pabst Theatre. The Joseph Hanreddy/Ed Morgan adaptation of the Dickens classic. James Pickering returns as the Repâ€™s distinctive Scrooge on a supernatural Â journey into the heart of the holiday. This yearâ€™s production also includes RepÂ actors Lee Ernst, Torrey Hanson, Gerard Neugent and more. The Repâ€™s website features links to a video of an appropriately dramatic James Pickering Dickens video project and behind the scenes photos taken by Hanson.
The Repâ€™s A Christmas Carol runs through December 27th at the Pabst Theatre.
And opening just down the block from the Pabst at 7pm tonight is the First Stage Childrenâ€™s Theater production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The popular 1980â€™s Christmas show may not have the kind of recognition of Dickensâ€™ classic, but Barbara Robinsonâ€™s contemporary look at an unflinchingly flawed American Christmas is probably only a decade or so away from a holiday classic status of its own. The story of the irreverent Herdman kidsâ€™ involvement in the title Pageant has enough longevity to take its place alongside A Christmas Story as one of the â€˜80â€™s most enduring contributions to Holiday pop culture. Â With a high standard of professional, quality productions the First Stage adaptation of the story show be a great deal of fun.
First Stageâ€™s production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever runs through December 24th at the Marcus Center. Â