Marcus Center For The Performing Arts
Press Release

Classic Downtown Theater Refurbished and Renamed: Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall Opens with a Blast of Fall Entertainment!

Artists, philanthropists and the community will celebrate the official opening of the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

By - Nov 10th, 2014 08:03 am

Milwaukee– Artists, philanthropists and the community will celebrate the official opening of the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, formerly known as Vogel Hall, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. The event will mark the completion of phase one of a renovation of this beloved performance space at the Marcus Center.

Thanks to a generous naming gift from Don and Kate Wilson, the theater has been completely refurbished with new seats, flooring, lighting and more. Though Marcus Center President and CEO, Paul Mathews, is quick to point out that the “classic jewel-box” theater retains its red palette and all of the charm that audiences have loved for 40 years.

“The gift from the Wilsons, along with other philanthropic supporters has allowed us to polish this special space that is loved by artists and audiences alike, while maintaining a very consistent look and feel,” stated Mathews. “The goal was to make the space more comfortable for audiences, who will also enjoy a new super titling system contributed by the Florentine Opera.”

Legendary artists like Tony Bennett and Art Garfunkel along with Milwaukee’s own John McGivern, Norman Moses, In Tandem Theater, and countless others have all earned rave reviews on the Vogel Hall stage. Originally designed as a recital hall, in recent years, Marcus Center resident arts groups, especially the Florentine Opera, have utilized the 475-seat theater for smaller, more intimate performances. This season already launched with a bang, including the Second City 55th Anniversary Tour and a five-night run of Cooking with the Calamari Sisters.

Phase two of the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall renovation will be undertaken in the summer of 2015. The lobby will be expanded and transformed into a gorgeous atrium with a new Riverwalk entryway, a permanent bar will be installed, new restrooms will be added, and the entire theater will be more accessible to patrons of all abilities.

“We think the renovated atrium will bring a glittering new element to Milwaukee’s Riverwalk, increase audience comfort and enjoyment, and help us attract an even broad range of national and local shows.” says Mathews.

Fundraising for phase two of the project is ongoing, including a Seat Campaign that kicked off in September.

Don and Kate Wilson, also well-known for their activities at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center in Brookfield, said this:

“We are very proud to be a partner in the refurbishing of a wonderful venue at the fabulous Marcus Center, the home of the arts in Milwaukee. The Wilson Theatre at Vogel Hall is a further testimony to our passion for supporting the arts and education across the Greater Milwaukee landscape. We are especially interested in connecting the arts activities of the western suburbs with Milwaukee’s vibrant downtown.”

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