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Milwaukee Repertory Theater will bring its hilarious production of "Guys on Ice" to Lakeland College as part of Lakeland's Krueger Fine Arts Series on Friday, Jan. 23.
Tickets for the performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Fine Arts Building, are $25 for adults and $15 for non-Lakeland students. Seats can be reserved by calling (920) 565-1536, or they can be purchased at the Bradley box office the night of the show.
Originally produced during Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial by American Folklore Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, "Guys on Ice" explores the men behind the door of an ice shanty.
In northern Wisconsin, the land of frozen toes and wind-blown faces, Lloyd (Steven M. Koehler) and Marvin (Doug Mancheski) brave the cold to find companionship and good fishing while enjoying the simple luxuries of a faithful fishing-pole, a warm snowmobile suit and plenty of beer as they scramble to protect their "cold ones" from fellow angler Ernie the Moocher.
This production is a newly-expanded, two-act version that adds three new songs and a "Halftime" show hosted by Lee Becker as Ernie the Moocher.
"Guys on Ice" has played to sold-out houses in Beloit, Ephraim, Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Madison and Milwaukee, and has played for audiences as far away as California, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts and West Virginia.
The late Fred Alley wrote the book and lyrics for "Guys on Ice." Alley was co-founder of American Folklore Theatre and wrote many of their most popular shows including "Goodnight Irene," "Old Friends" and "Lumberjacks in Love." "Guys on Ice" was conceived and researched by Mr. Alley and Frederick Heide.
James Kaplan is the co-author and original music director of "Guys on Ice," and was a frequent collaborator with Alley. Kaplan has been creating original musicals with Door County's American Folklore Theatre for 15 years. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
"At first, Fred planned on writing the book and lyrics with his friend and AFT co-founder, Doc Heide," Kaplan said. "Doc did some remarkable research, interviewing several of Door County's leading ice fishermen. Fred and Doc found that their schedules didn't allow for enough time together, and it was agreed that Fred would write the script, based in part on Doc's research.
"Fred knew that he wanted to write this show for himself and Doug Mancheski. Doug had joined the AFT summer company in 1997, and quickly became Fred's favorite actor. Doug has performed the role of Marvin almost 600 times. It's hard to imagine 'Guys on Ice' without him."
This production is directed by Jeffrey Herbst, who made his Rep debut in 1995 as a performer in "Shine On Harvest Moon." He has directed six shows for The Rep, and has directed numerous original productions in his role as artistic director of American Folklore Theatre. He is the creator of "Bone Dance: A Carnival Of Ghost Tales" and "Fool Me Once."
The design team includes James E. Maronek (scenic designer), Neen Rock (costume designer), Jason Fassl (lighting designer) and Dave Alley (sound designer).
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally recognized theater company that presents a critically-acclaimed selection of compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and lively Cabaret shows on three stages from September through May.
The Rep also produces an annual production of "A Christmas Carol." The Rep's home, the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex, contains the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, the Stiemke Theater and the Stackner Cabaret. The Rep is also "home" to a Resident Acting Company of 11 actors who perform with The Rep throughout the season.