Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
Press Release

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents LOBBY HERO by Kenneth Lonergan

November 23 – December 18 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre

By - Nov 11th, 2016 04:06 pm

Milwaukee, WI. … How are you supposed to know if you’re right and everyone else is wrong – or if you’re the one making all the wrong choices? That’s just one question at the heart of LOBBY HERO, running November 23 – December 18, 2016. This irrepressible work by comic wizard Kenneth Lonergan, set within the lobby of a high-rise apartment building, is a comedy, romance and play of ideas all rolled into one. LOBBY HERO, directed by MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright, will be performed at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Set in the fall of 2002, LOBBY HERO centers on Jeff, a luckless young Manhattan security guard working at a middle-income high-rise apartment building. With way too much time on his hands, he finds himself drawn into a local murder investigation. When William, his tightly wound supervisor, is called to bear witness against his troubled brother, and Dawn, a rookie cop, finds she must stand up to her seasoned partner Bill, Jeff finds himself making some quick, irreversible decisions about right and wrong.

While MCT produced LOBBY HERO back in 2003, director C. Michael Wright wasn’t involved with that particular production, having directed his own take on the comedy-drama earlier that season at the former Madison Repertory Theatre. He says now is the perfect time to revisit this still-potent morality play.

“LOBBY HERO is one of my favorite plays of all time,” Wright says. “I love the issues it explores, I love the complexity of the characters, I love the frankness of the humor. I even love the title! Ultimately, this play is about everyone’s burning need to find a role model. Aren’t we all looking for a ‘hero,’ someone fearless and virtuous that we can believe in and attempt to emulate?”

In the central role of Jeff, Chris Klopatek (COMPLETE WORKS/SHAKESPEARE, JEEVES TAKES A BOW) returns to MCT alongside Andrew Edwin Voss (BROKEN AND ENTERED), playing seasoned cop Bill, and Sara Zientek (SLOWGIRL), playing his more idealistic partner Dawn. New to MCT is Di’Monte Henning, playing William, Jeff’s supervisor.

Kenneth Lonergan is a critically acclaimed writer for both stage and film, whose earliest theatrical success was the 1996 play THIS IS OUR YOUTH. His best-known work is the film You Can Count On Me, a drama about an estranged brother and sister whose paths cross again in adulthood. Lonergan both wrote and directed the film, which won the 2000 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Drama and was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for best screenplay. Lonergan’s other plays include THE WAVERLY GALLERY and THE STARRY MESSENGER, and Manchester by the Sea, his latest film as a screenwriter and director, is scheduled to open in limited release this November.

[ CAST ]

William Di’Monte Henning

Jeff Chris Klopatek

Bill Andrew Edwin Voss

Dawn Sara Zientek

[ PRODUCTION STAFF ]

Director C. Michael Wright

Scenic Designer Stephen Hudson-Mairet

Costume Designer Krissy Sneshkoff

Lighting Designer Steve White

Properties Master Madelyn Yee

Sound Designer Terrance Barrett

Dialect Coach Michelle Lopez-Rios

Stage Manager Judy Martel

 

[ PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

November 23 – December 18, 2016
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
23         

7:30 p.m. P

24

Thanksgiving

25

8:00 p.m. O

26           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

27

2:00 p.m.

30         1:00 p.m.*

7:30 p.m. V

Dec 1

7:30 p.m. T

2

8:00 p.m.

3             4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

4

2:00 p.m.

7           1:00 p.m.* 8            

7:30 p.m. T

9

8:00 p.m.

10           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

11

2:00 p.m.

14

7:30 p.m.

15            

7:30 p.m. T

16

8:00 p.m.

17           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

18

2:00 p.m.

P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints; *= Talk Theatre

[ SPECIAL EVENTS ]

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: Join us for an insightful pre-show presentation featuring Mary Hough, a security professional with more than 25 years of global security experience in both the private and public sectors. She will share her take on issues referenced in LOBBY HERO including workplace ethics, gender pressures, and the relationship between security and police agencies. This free, pre-show presentation is on Wednesday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.

–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will lead lively and informative chats with scenic designer Stephen Hudson-Mairet and props master Madelyn Yee at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 30 and actors Andrew Edwin Voss and Sara Zientek at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, December 7 in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

–Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussions with the artists following performances on Thursday, December 1, Thursday, December 8, and Thursday, December 15.

LOBBY HERO performances will take place November 23 to December 18, 2016 (Opening Night: Friday, November 25), in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. LOBBY HERO is co-sponsored by Briggs & Stratton Corporation Foundation, Inc. and Patrick & Julia Fennelly.

[ BIOGRAPHIES ]

DI’MONTE HENNING – William

Di’Monte is excited to make his debut with MCT on LOBBY HERO. A native of Milwaukee, Di’Monte serves as the executive director for performing arts organization Lights! Camera! Soul! His theatre credits include JITNEY (Youngblood), TO THE PROMISED LAND (Cliff), DREAMGIRLS (Tru-Tone), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Puck), THE SUITCASE DREAMS (Groom), HAIRSPRAY (Seaweed), BURYING THE BONES (James), and HAIR (Tribe). TV credits include Chicago PD, Cellcom, and Harley-Davidson. DiMonte has studied theatre at UW-Milwaukee and is a recent acting resident of the Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents program.

CHRIS KLOPATEK – Jeff

Chris is always excited to return to Milwaukee Chamber Theatre! His past roles at MCT include: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED], Bertie Wooster in two JEEVES shows, Passepartout in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and more. He has also been seen as Emile in GOOSEBUMPS THE MUSICAL: PHANTOM OF THE AUDITORIUM at First Stage, Fred in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Milwaukee Rep, Harpo Marx in GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVIEW at Next Act Theatre and multiple characters for five seasons out in the woods at American Players Theatre.

ANDREW EDWIN VOSS – Bill

Andrew is thrilled to be back at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, where he has previously appeared in BROKEN AND ENTERED and PICNIC. He was most recently at the Utah Shakespeare Festival for his second year, performing in JULIUS CAESAR. Other regional Shakespeare credits include: Illinois Shakes, Great Lakes Theatre, Idaho Shakes, and Lake Tahoe Shakes. He received his BFA in acting from UWM, and was a co-founding member of Youngblood Theatre Company. Other Milwaukee credits include: BACK OF THE THROAT at Next Act Theatre, THE TEMPEST, TWELFTH NIGHT, and MACBETH at Optimist Theatre; RED LIGHT WINTER, DYING CITY, CARTOON, MINNESOTA MOON, and several more with Youngblood.

SARA ZIENTEK – Dawn

Sara Zientek is thrilled to be back at MCT! She was last seen as Becky in SLOWGIRL. Sara has worked with many theatre companies in Milwaukee. She was an intern with First Stage and in the Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residency program. She has been a teacher for First Stage, Waukesha Civic Theatre, Next Actors, and was also a part of an educational tour of ROMEO AND JULIET with Utah Shakespeare Festival. She received her BA in acting from UW-Milwaukee.

MICHAEL WRIGHT – Director

Since joining the staff here in 2005, Michael has directed quite a number of MCT productions including FALLEN ANGELS, SLOWGIRL, THE TRAIN DRIVER, THE GOOD FATHER, UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL, HEROES, DRIVING MISS DAISY and PICNIC, as well as three original works: OCTOBER, BEFORE I WAS BORN, THE DALY NEWS and DICKENS IN AMERICA (which he also directed at American Players Theatre). Before MCT, he served as Associate Artistic Director of Next Act Theatre for eight years. Since moving to Wisconsin in 1988, Michael has directed well over 75 productions. Some favorites have been THE STORY OF MY LIFE for Milwaukee Opera Theatre, VISITING MR. GREEN for Next Act, THE SYRINGA TREE for American Players Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks and Delaware Theatre Company, LOBBY HERO for Madison Repertory Theatre and A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER for Next Act, Madison Rep and Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida. Michael has been acting professionally for 40 years and has appeared on Broadway, in Israel and in regional theatres all across the country. His most recent performances have been as Vanya in VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Serge in ‘ART’, Philip in MAURITIUS and Dr. Alfred Feldmann in DUET FOR ONE, all here at MCT. In 2009, Michael was honored with an “Artist of the Year” award by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Mulvey, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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