We've been season ticket holders at the Milwaukee Rep for a long time. As a matter of fact, if you're a season ticket subscriber, when you resubscribe the subsequent year, they move your seats forward. For the last 10 years my wife and I've been sitting in front row, center seats. Interesting place to be, you get up close and personal, but saliva and perspiration also come with the territory.
The Rep actually consists of 3 physically separate theaters, the large sized Powerhouse (a remodeled old electrical plant), where mainline popular plays are produced, the Stiemke theater, a small blackbox stage where new and occasionally experimental plays are put on, and the Stackner Cabaret where productions, often musical, are put on in a venue that allows one to drink or even order small plate type food.
The Rep has a long history of great productions in each theater and historically, an excellent resident acting company. Sound, lighting and especially set production are particularly strong. The current artistic director, who arrived 2011, has more of an interest in musicals than the previous directors, which I like. However, he also seems to be reducing the number of roles for actors in the resident company in his productions. Although the visiting actors have been marvelous, there seems to have been a resultant reduction in visibility of the resident company, diminishing the "repishness" of the Rep.
If you arrive 45' early for a Stiemke or Powerhouse production, you will be treated to a "Rep in Depth" session put on by an actor or intern prior to the show itself. This often provides interesting insights into what goes on at the Rep backstage or important background details about the upcoming play. On less numerous scheduled occasions there are post-play sessions called "Talk-Backs," where, after getting out of their costumes, the players come back out and answer questions for about a half hour about anything the audience would like to ask. These sessions are very worthwhile and the questions and answers are often fascinating.
If you're looking for something to do in downtown Milwaukee, an evening at the Rep is an very enjoyable way to spend some time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.