Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

MCT's 'Lobby Hero' a morality play for the holidays

Thursday, November 03, 2016

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 Wrightwasn'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.

LOBBY HERO opens Nov. 25 (with a preview Nov. 23) and runs through Dec. 18. To order tickets, call 414.291.7800 or  click here.

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