At 10 a.m. today, WMCS-AM 1290 changed formats and informed staffers of a change in direction.
They're selling cheeseheads in the lobby of the Milwaukee Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. And Packers T-shirts, caps, books and assorted tchotschkes. Theatrically lighted Packers pennants hang inside the Powerhouse. The occasion, of course, is the Rep's production of "Lombardi," the first staging of the drama since its Broadway engagement ended in May.
An interesting parallel exists in the Rep's production of "Lombardi" that opens Oct. 14. Eric Simonson's biographical drama examines the Packers coach who instilled lofty standards of performance and professionalism in the players he taught, coached and mentored. The Rep production of "Lombardi" is being directed by ex-Milwaukeean Sanford Robbins, who has run one of the premier acting training programs in the country, first at UWM and for the last 22 years at the University of Delaware.
Vince Lombardi returns to Wisconsin next football season when the Milwaukee Rep stages the post-Broadway regional theater premiere of "Lombardi" on its Quadracci Powerhouse Theater stage.
Milwaukee Rep actor Lee Ernst opened the company's current season playing the emcee in "Cabaret" and he is now about to close it as Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman." He may be the only professional actor to ever do those radically different roles in the same season.
The Milwaukee Rep opened its 2010-2011 season with the debut of its new artistic director, staging a huge musical, while Next Act Theatre began a transitional season in a new temporary home, the Tenth Street Theatre.
Playwright Conor McPherson is the brain surgeon of contemporary drama. With a precise, sensitive and feathery touch, he accesses the nerve center of what it often means to be human. But there is too much alcohol and not enough substance in his "The Seafarer," currently at the Milwaukee Rep.
All deviations from expectation aside, the 30th Milwaukee Rep production of Dickens' classic holiday tale is good enough to feel good about receiving the same old gift for years to come.
Just like most of us do, Chip Duncan started at the bottom. He went from painting studio floors and sets at the NBC affiliate in Madison to being an award-winning documentary filmmaker, author, lecturer and president of The Duncan Group, Inc., based in Milwaukee.