'Rudolph' introduces Milwaukee kids' theater

The holiday attraction at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place will be a show with origins at First Stage, an Equity children's theater in Milwaukee.

Although billed as a creative partnership with the Emerald City Theatre Company, a long-standing partner of Broadway in Chicago, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" will be directed by Jeff Frank, the artistic director of First Stage. 

Ernie Nolan of Emerald City will be the associate director of the Chicago staging. Although the production staff is mostly coming from Wisconsin (the show was a big critical and popular hit in Milwaukee last year), the Broadway Playhouse version is to be re-cast in Chicago with Equity actors. 

This will be the first major foray into the Chicago market for First Stage, a big Milwaukee children's theater operation that claims to be that city's second largest theater company.  In essence, Emerald City, which is a non-Equity company, is presenting this show, which is based on the stop-motion TV classic and will have both daytime and evening performances.

"Rudolph" will play the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St.) Nov. 14 to Dec. 29, 2013.

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