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MRT 2012/13 Season

Gutenberg! The Musical!  •  Assassins  •  The Mountaintop  •  Blues in the Night  •  The Diary of Anne Frank •  A Christmas Carol  •  Sense and Sensibility
Mind Over Milwaukee  •  How The World Began  •  Rep Lab  •  Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash  •  Clybourne Park  •  A Raisin In the Sun  •  One Night With Janis Joplin

Gutenberg! The Musical

“Marvelous... dynamic.”


Written & Originally Directed by Sheldon Epps
Original Vocal Arrangements &
Musical Direction by Chapman Roberts
Orchestrations & Additional Vocal Arrangements by Sy Johnson
October 19 - December 23
Stackner Cabaret

The universal language of the blues speaks eloquently in this scorching, Tony-nominated musical! The twenty-six hot, torchy numbers that tell the sweet, sexy, and sorrowful stories of four colorful inhabitants of a 1930s Chicago saloon will leave you energized, inspired, and ready to wail. This dynamite revue features blues classics from Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Bessie Smith, and many more, packed into a larger-than-life score that’ll bring down the house!

Video Preview

Blues in the Night gallery

Blues in the Night Photo Gallery

“Dazzling…Glorious…Funny…Fierce” – ThirdCoast Digest
“Hits all the right notes…electrifying…sizzling” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Mark Clements

Blues in the Night is a great celebration of singers and dancers kicking back and doing what they do at their very best. Our take on the piece—utilizing actor/singer/musicians as the cast—will hopefully prove original and innovative. This will definitely be one of those shows where we lift the roof off the Stackner Cabaret!


» 1982 Tony Award Nomination for Best Musical

» 1988 Laurence Olivier Award Nomination for Musical of the Year

» Learn more about Blues in the Night
   from Artistic Director Mark Clements


First Rehearsal: Meet the Cast

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.



Carl Clemons-Hopkins, (The Man/Tenor Sax)
Carl Clemons-Hopkins is excited to make his Milwaukee Rep debut! Regional credits include: Eclectic Society – world premiere; My Way (Walnut Street Theatre); Pericles (Georgia Shakespeare); Avenue X, Rent and Little Shop of Horrors (11th Hour Theatre Company.); Topdog/Underdog, Orphans and This Is How It Goes (Philadelphia Fringe Festival); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Christmas Dreams (Theater Horizon) and Robin Hood (Arden Theatre Company). Directing credits include: Iterations . . . (Roundtable Theater play festival) and Our Father (Art/Life Theater Company). Next up, 11th Hour Theatre Company’s “Next Step Concert Series” performance of Passing Strange. For Dad.  -Top-


Zonya Love, (The Lady)
Recently returning from Lyon, France where she performed as a solo Gospel Artist for the Absolute Gospel Festival, Zonya is extremely excited to make her debut at Milwaukee Rep. Prior productions include: The Color Purple (Celie); First National Tour: Avenue Q (Gary Coleman understudy); This One Girl’s Story (Dessa); Kiss Me Kate (Hattie); You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Lucy Van Pelt); Intimate Apparel (Mayme); Wit (Susie); Twelfth Night (Maria) and Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Ermina). She received her BFA from North Carolina A&T State University and MFA from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Romans 8!!!  -Top-


Halle Morse, (The Girl, Percussion/Washboard)
Halle Morse comes directly from the Broadway company of Mamma Mia! where she performed the role of Lisa for three years! She is thrilled to be making her Milwaukee Rep debut! Regional credits include: Mimi in Rent (Pioneer Theatre Company); Lil Inez in Hairspray (Sacramento Music Circus), Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly! (North Carolina Theatre); Carmen in Fame (Mercury Summer Stock) and Oklahoma! and Hello, Dolly! (St. Louis Muny Theatre). TV: TeenNick promos with Nick Cannon, and various national commercials/voiceovers. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Many thanks to The Rep. Take a chance on love!  -Top-


Lili Thomas, (The Women, Trumpet/Trombone)
Lili Thomas is thrilled to be returning to Milwaukee Rep! Regional favorites include: Rent (Mimi); Pippin (Fastrada); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park); Miss Saigon (Gigi) and The King and I (Tuptim). New York City: Reefer Madness (Placard Girl/ Dance Captain); Sounds of Plaid (Connie); Radiant Baby (Radio Singer) and Metropolis, the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Garden of Light (Disney Millennium Symphonies) at Avery Fischer Hall with the New York Philharmonic (Young Soprano). BFA from CAP 21, NYU. “Thank you to Mark, Dan and Megan for the amazing opportunity! This one is for Ryan and AB, for keepin’ my blues away.”  -Top-


Patrick Morrow, (Drums/Percussion/Guitar/Bass)
Patrick is glad to be back at the Stackner Cabaret where he was last seen as the pivotal role of Bob Bob in Always . . . Patsy Cline. He also played percussion at The Rep for Assassins, Next To Normal and Cabaret. In addition to The Rep, Patrick has provided percussive accompaniment for many local theaters including The Fireside Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theater and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. He spent a great deal of 2009/10 touring the U.S. and Canada with Little House on the Prairie: The Musical starring TV’s Melissa Gilbert. When not doing “legit” gigs, Patrick can be found playing with local power pop sensation, Trolley, and jaunting the globe with Eddie Clendening & the Blue Ribbon Boys.  -Top-


Megan Nicole O’Brien, Director Megan returns to The Rep after directing The Bomb-itty of Errors in the 2010/11 Season. Other credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (11th Hour Theatre Company/Theatre Horizon); Reefer Madness and The Great American Trailer Park Musical (11th Hour/Montgomery Theater, Barrymore Nomination); Rooms, Avenue X (Barrymore Nomination), The Bomb-itty of Errors (Barrymore Nomination) and Tick, Tick . . . Boom, (11th Hour); John & Jen (Act II Playhouse); High Fidelity and Adding Machine: A Musical (University of the Arts) and The Irish…and How They Got That Way (Walnut Street Theatre). Megan would like to thank Mark Clements for this amazing opportunity, her incredible cast and staff, and everyone at Milwaukee Rep for making this such a wonderful experience. Love to Justin!  -Top-


Dan Kazemi, Musical Director/Piano/Harmonica Dan Kazemi is a Philadelphia-based composer, actor, music director and educator, and was Musical Director for The Rep’s recent productions of Assassins, Always . . . Patsy Cline, Next to Normal and Cabaret. He graduated from Haverford College with a BA in Music Composition and a Theater minor. In Philadelphia, Dan most recently orchestrated and musically directed the world premiere musical, Tulipomania at the Arden Theatre Company. Dan musically directed Tick, Tick . . . Boom! , Austentations, The PhillyRocks! concerts, The World Goes Round (Barrymore nomination), Reefer Madness, Little Shop of Horrors, Rooms and The Great American Trailer Park Musical for 11th Hour Theatre Company. He also garnered a Helen Hayes Nomination for his work on the D.C. premiere of The Musical of Musicals: The Musical, a Barrymore Nomination for The Flea and the Professor (Arden Theatre Company), and received a Barrymore Award for 11th Hour’s Avenue X. At the Walnut Street Theatre, Dan musically directed, arranged and performed in The Irish . . . and How They Got That Way (Two Barrymore Nominations). Dan’s music has been performed at the Cirque de Demain in Paris, at the A.W.A.R.D. Show Philadelphia and in 213 Productions collaborations, Untitled Project#213 and Your Attention Please! Dan is also the composer of a new musical, The Tapioca Miracle (thetapiocamiracle.com).  -Top-


Megan Truscott, Scenic Designer Megan Truscott is a Chicago-based scenic designer. She is a graduate from The Theatre School at DePaul University, where recent credits include The Death of Gaia Divine (director John Jenkins) and Medea (director Damon Kiely). She also assisted on the shows Sweeney Todd and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (designer Kevin Depinet). Megan would like to thank her parents for their unending support. www.megantruscott.com.  -Top-


Holly Payne, Costume Designer Currently the Costume Director at The Rep, Holly graduated with an MFA in costume design and technology from the University of Arkansas. Holly has also designed at Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Shakespeare, University of Tulsa, American Players Theatre, Florentine Opera, Delaware Theatre Company, First Stage Children’s Theater, 11th Hour Theatre Company in Philadelphia and Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Some of her favorite designs at The Rep have been Lombardi in the Quadracci Powerhouse, The Bomb-itty of Errors in the Stackner Cabaret and Speaking in Tongues in the Stiemke Studio. Thanks to The Rep’s fantastic costume shop for all their great work and much love to ACB for being a fantastic husband.  -Top-


Craig Gottschalk, Lighting Designer Craig is happy to be designing another production in the Stackner Cabaret. Previous Milwaukee Rep designs include Always . . . Patsy Cline, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Nobody Lonesome for Me and Route 66. Other lighting credits include: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Ivey award-winning Kiss of the Spiderwoman; ‘Best in Twin Cities’ award-winning Jerry Springer – The Opera for Minneapolis Musical Theatre; King Lear for Minnesota Shakespeare Project; Into the Woods and Wizard of Oz for Minnetonka Center for the Arts and 1940’s Radio Hour and 3-Way for 8-Ball Theatre. Craig holds an MFA in Lighting and Sound Design from the University of Minnesota.  -Top-


Barry G. Funderburg, Sound Designer Mr. Funderburg is excited to return to The Rep for his 60th production. Memorable Rep productions include Othello, In the Next Room, The 39 Steps, The Cherry Orchard, Pride and Prejudice, Armadale, Mary Stuart, Work Song and Angels in America:Millennium Approaches. Off-Broadway, Barry designed the critically acclaimed New York premiere of Wittenberg at The Pearl Theatre Company. Other regional theater credits include Fake, Carter’s Way and Mother Courage and Her Children at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and productions at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, City Theatre (Pittsburgh), CenterStage (Baltimore), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Peninsula Players, American Players Theatre, LA Theatre Works and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Chicago credits include Writers’ Theatre, Next Theatre, Theatre at the Center and Lookingglass Theatre Company. Barry has received four Chicago Equity Jeff Award nominations, the 1996 and 2008 Jeff Awards for Sound Design and an MFA in sound design from Purdue University.  -Top-


Kat Borrelli, Choreographer Kat Borrelli graduated from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Musical Theatre last May. Recent credits: Johnny Mercer Cabaret (Choreographer/Blurring Edges Theatre Company); The Realm of The Unreal (Choreographer/UArts); The Marvelous Wonderettes (BJ/11th Hour Theatre Company); The Adding Machine (Mrs. Zero/UArts); A Chorus Line (Val/Ritz Theatre Company); Dessa Rose (Ruth/UArts) and Nine Parts of Desire (NaNa/ UArts). Kat is thrilled to be working for the first time with Milwaukee Rep! She would like to thank Mark and Megan for this amazing experience and opportunity. Love to Ellie and Chris!  -Top-


Stephanie Klapper, New York Casting Director This season she has cast Assassins, Blues in the Night and The Mountaintop for The Rep. Previous Rep credits include: Cabaret, Next to Normal, Assassins, The Bomb-itty of Errors, From My Hometown, Fire on the Bayou, Grafton City Blues and The Night is a Child. Selected Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, the Musical! (upcoming), Dividing the Estate, and Bells are Ringing. Select Off-Broadway credits include Eve Ensler’s Emotional Creature (upcoming), Harrison, Texas, RX, (Primary Stages//Resident Casting Director), Cactus Flower (Westside Arts Theatre) and Karen O’s STOP THE VIRGENS (St. Anne’s Warehouse). Regional credits include Adirondack Theatre Festival, The Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, Hartford Stage Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, The New Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, Roundhouse and Westport Country Playhouse. Select film and television credits include Alice Jacobs is Dead, Feast of the Goat, Roberta and Lazytown. Ms. Klapper is a member of The Casting Society of America and The League of Professional Theatre Woman.  -Top-


Laura F. Wendt, Stage Manager Laura is excited to spend her seventh season here at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She is a Wisconsin native and graduate from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Other regional theater credits include: Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre and Nebraska Shakespearean Festival. Special thanks to Matt, Briana and Holly for all they do.  -Top-


Marissa Robinson, Stage Management Intern Marissa is thrilled to be joining the Milwaukee Rep this season. She is originally from Connecticut and a recent graduate of Emerson College in Boston. Previously, she has worked for Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the New London Barn Playhouse. She also recently spent a semester in London where she got the fabulous opportunity to work and study at Shakespeare’s Globe and at the Duchess Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. Special thanks to friends and family for their endless support and encouragement.  -Top-


Maggie Ellsworth, Assistant Director Maggie Ellsworth is proud to be a Directing Intern for the 2012/13 Season. She is excited for this unique opportunity to AD in the Stackner Cabaret again. So far this season, she has assisted Laura Gordon on Gutenberg! The Musical! and May Adrales on The Mountaintop. Maggie holds an MFA in Theatre-Directing from Western Illinois University and a BA from Carthage College where she studied Musical Theatre and Political Science. Many thanks to Sandy and Mark for this rewarding experience and her husband, Brett, for his unwavering support.  -Top-

The Creator

Sheldon Epps

Sheldon Epps has been artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse since 1997. He has directed at many of the country's major theatres including the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Old Globe, the Guthrie, Arena Stage and the Goodman Theatre. He conceived and directed the Tony-nominated musicals Play On! and Blues in the Night and directed Blues... in London (Olivier nomination, Best Musical). He co-directed Baby It's You! on Broadway. Off-Broadway he directed the world premiere of Blue, and at his own theatre, the record-breaking production of Fences, starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. As a television director, he helmed episodes of shows such as Frasier, Friends and Girlfriends. Under his leadership The Playhouse has earned distinction for productions of artistic excellence, critical and box office success and highly praised theatrical diversity.


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Running Time
1hr. and 45 min.

Performance Times
Tuesday: 6:30pm*
Tuesday - Thursday: 7:30pm
Sunday Evening: 7:00pm
Fri/Sat Evening: 8pm
Saturday Matinee: 4pm
Sunday Matinee: 2pm
Wednesday Matinee: 1:30pm
*Once per run otherwise 7:30pm

Recommended Age
12 years and older

Access Date
Audio Described
Sun. Oct. 28, 7pm

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Mark Clements Artistic Director

The Rep is sponsored in part by:

Milwaukee Repertory Theater • Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex • 108 E Wells Street, Milwaukee WI 53202
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