A dramatic space for a dramatic production. Each year Milwaukee Rep puts on an adaptation of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, in the historic Pabst Theater. This beautiful ornate space covered in marble and gold leaf features a 4,000 pound crystal chandelier and 1,300+ seats - this is truly a stage of epic proportions.
An intricate gold arch frames the stage and directs one’s attention toward the action where multi-level sets capture the imagination and whole towns come to life. This proscenium stage is your portal to Victorian England during the holidays!
History of the Pabst Theater
Brewer Frederick Pabst purchased the Nunnemacher Grand Opera House in 1890 from Jacob Nunnemacher and his son, Hermann, and renamed it Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater (The New German City Theater). The structure was damaged by arson in 1893, and subsequently completely destroyed by fire in January 1895. Pabst ordered it rebuilt at once, and it reopened as The Pabst Theater later in 1895.
The Pabst was designed by architect Otto Strack in the tradition of European opera houses and the German Renaissance Revival style. He made it one of the most fire-proof theaters of its day, as well as one of the most opulent.
The Pabst played an important role in the German American culture of early 20th century Milwaukee, when the city was known as Deutsch Athen (German Athens). The venue was home to the German-language productions for many years, due to declining revenues began scheduling performances in English by 1918.
The Pabst has undergone several renovations, the first of which occurred in 1928. In 1976, after a long decline, it was restored to its original style. In 1989, a colonnade was added connecting the theater to the Associate Bank River Center. The latest renovations took place in 2000 after the Pabst Theater Foundation purchased the facility. Michael Cudahy began the renovation fundraising by contributing $1 million. Work included adding two elevators, public restrooms, replacing some seats and upgrading the ventilation system. The theater also added Cudahy's Irish Pub in an expanded lobby space. Visit their site: https://pabsttheater.org/