The public wins when sisters in love with the Packers fight over ‘daddy’s season passes’
Like Desmond Howard in Super Bowl XXXI, “Dad’s Season Tickets” takes him home and the crowd goes wild.
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s new production of Matt Zembrowski’s musical, which debuted Sunday night at Stackner Cabaret, ensures there will be no weeks off for theater-loving Packers fans over the next two years. month.
In a comedic variation of the “King Lear” plot, widower Frank (Jonathan Gillard Daly), awakened from his grief watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, appears to decide which of his daughters should inherit his Packers subscriptions: conscientious elder Rhonda (Kelley Faulkner), rowdy Gabby (Sophie Grimm) or teenage Cordy (Jamie Mercado), peacemaker and budding journalist.
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This awesome Lear has two fools: Rhonda’s husband Ralph (Rick Pendzich), a die-hard fan who wears the same forever unwashed Don Majkowski jersey, and Gabby’s husband Edgar (Jackson Evans), an assistant professor quoting Shakespeare. with a strangely purple wardrobe.
Rhonda and Gabby have been shooting each other for years. There’s also a thing with Martha and Mary: Kitchen witch Rhonda envies the way Gabby always gets to go to Lambeau with dad. Looking at childhood photos of older sisters so close that they are practically united, Cordy is determined to learn what happened between them.
Zembroski’s clever script treats the Packer fandom like the quasi-religion that it is, with sacred food (Packeroni salad), sacred icons (a Bart Starr bobblehead) and clothing (jerseys, T-shirts, novelty sweaters and other merchandise they wear). It takes place at the end of the wonderful 1996 season, which Brett Favre, Reggie White, and other brilliants guided to a great conclusion. Zembrowski is working the names of around 30 players in the show, with plenty of Easter Eggs for die-hard fans, as a discussion of whether Edgar Bennett or Dorsey Levens was the best running back.
But you don’t have to be a Packers historian to enjoy this show. Faulkner’s Rhonda replaces people who don’t know much about the game. From a character point of view, here she has the most difficult of the three female roles, as she has to slowly mellow, until she voices her love for her father with her eyes on her first trip to the stadium.
It’s funny that Frank mentions “It’s a Wonderful Life”, because Daly has a Jimmy Stewart like a blunderer who is more crafty than he suggests. It goes well with Mercado, who played the same role in the Northern Sky Theater production of this show in Door County. So grounded in the character, she never seems to play the part. She’s just Cordy.
Pendzich, who is one of the most skilled fourth wall breakers in the local theater, is taking full advantage of his chances to do so here.
The Stackner stage is smaller than many living rooms. Director Ryan Quinn directs this red zone offense in a tight space so effectively Matt LaFleur would have to request the tape.
If you are going to
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is presenting “Dad’s Season Tickets” through January 2 at Stackner Cabaret, 108 E. Wells St. Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test required. Masks required. Visit milwaukeerep.com or call (414) 224-9490.