By Livia Peterson
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater (108 East Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee) is currently presenting Fran Charnas’ The All Night Strut! in the Stackner Cabaret, Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley in the Quadracci Powerhouse, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Pabst Theater. The capsule reviews are provided below.
The All Night Strut! in the Stackner Cabaret
Despite a nonexistent coherent narrative, the brilliant performances, set, and costumes allow genuine escapism. One should just go along with the fun to enjoy the production. Yet, The All Night Strut! is easily one of my favorite Stackner Cabaret productions. A-
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley in the Quadracci Powerhouse
From the incredible performances by the small ensemble including Rebecca Hurd and Yousof Sultani to the stage movement including some modern dances and music, Miss Bennet is a lighthearted and charming romance comedy focusing on Mary Bennet, portrayed by Ms. Hurd. Despite it is sometimes too maudlin, the poetic nature of its narrative is endearing. I liked the production enough to attend it again during the closing weekend. B
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Pabst Theater
In its forty three years of presenting this holiday classic, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater definitely understands the tricks of the trade, regardless how many times one attends the production. A Christmas Carol continues to be innovative in its execution, such as the production provides a bleak tone during some scenes, the audience interaction still enhances the experience, and Deborah Staples and the ensemble brings it full circle during the first act and the curtain call, respectively. The young performers still steal the show and prove to be indeed, they are the next generation of theatre artists. Despite it may be a bit predictable, it is still one of my favorite holiday traditions and remains magical. B+