Guys on Ice

Book and Lyrics by Fred Alley

Music by James Kaplan

Directed by Jeffrey Herbst

This charming play tells the story of two ice fishing buddies from Northern Wisconsin who talk and sing about life, love, and the one that got away. The Rep's production is a newly-expanded version that adds three new songs and a 'half-time show' to the hilarious original.

From their ice fishing shanty, long-time pals Lloyd and Marvin keep warm with a mutual appreciation for good bait, cold beer, and the Green Bay Packers. As Marvin anxiously awaits his opportunity to appear on a cable TV fishing show and share secrets of his life on da' lake, Lloyds ponders a recent squabble with his wife concerning plans to spend their anniversary at Lambeau Field. Both pals scramble to protect their cold ones from fellow angler, Ernie the Moocher.

With musical numbers like "De Wishing Hole", "Ode to a Snowmobile Suit", and "Fish is de Miracle Food", Guys on Ice will charm your wool socks off. The Green Bay Press-Gazette said, "It's Wisconsiny. It's also surprisingly touching." "Guys on Ice is simple, straightforward and possesses a sweet charm," said the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Produced by The Rep

Presented at the UW Mitchell Theatre in Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue.

Performances: November 30 &endash; December 29, 2001

Tickets prices are $30 for Friday and Saturday performances, and $24 for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances. Advance tickets can be purchased until four hours prior to show time at the Madison Civic Center ticket office, 211 State Street, or by phone at (608) 266-9055. Beginning two hours prior to show time, tickets may be purchased at the Mitchell Theatre ticket office, 821 University Ave, or by phone at (608) 219-4180.

For group sales, call Heather Stickeler at 256-0029 ext. 13. Audience discussions are scheduled to follow the 1:30 p.m. performance on December 2 and the 7:30 p.m. performance on December 12. These informal gatherings are an opportunity for the audience to meet cast members and discuss the play.


The Director

Guest director Jeffrey Herbst will direct the production. "Guys on Ice is about a couple of guys that everyone in Wisconsin knows somehow or somewhere," says Herbst, "They might be someone in your family, they might be a friend of a friend, or they just might be you. It's also one of the few musicals that a "gal" might drag a "guy" to, but he'll drag her back (and bring some of his buddies) to see it again." Herbst is artistic director of American Folklore Theatre.

The Cast

Herbst has chosen three seasoned actors to play the fun-loving trio. Rep favorite Jack Forbes Wilson returns to play Ernie the Moocher. Wilson was the musical director for a number of other shows at the Rep, including Consumer Affairs and 'tis the Season, both of which he co-wrote with actress Colleen Burns. He also served as musical director for Rep productions of A...My Name is Alice, A...My Name is Still Alice, and A...My Name Will Always Be Alice. Doug Mancheski will take on the role of Marvin. Mancheski acted the part in both Milwaukee Repertory Theater's and American Folklore Theatre's productions of Guys on Ice. He also played Dirty Bob in Milwaukee Rep's production of Lumberjacks in Love. His additional American Folklore credits include Fool Me Once and Bone Dance. Michael Flanigan will play Lloyd. Flanigan starred as Chris in the Broadway company of Miss Saigon. During that time, he also performed the National Anthem at Shea Stadium (N.Y. Mets), and Giants Stadium (N.Y. Giants). He has acted for television (Guiding Light), film (The Homecoming), and a number of regional theaters. His Chicago theater credits include Frankie in Forever Plaid and various roles in Shear Madness. He also toured Japan, Cyprus, and Hungary in Achilles: A Kabuki Play with The People's Light and Theatre Company.

James Kaplan, who wrote the score for Guys on Ice, is the musical director for the Rep's production. Kaplan composed scores for Lumberjacks in Love and The Bachelors and created the musical arrangement for Milwaukee Rep's production of Old Friends. His American Folklore Theatre credits include Fishing for the Moon, Northern Lights, Belgians in Heaven, Goodnight Irene, Bone Dance, Sweet Baby James and many others. Lynn Terry Jr. is the guest stage manager.

The Playwright

The Rep's production of Guys on Ice will be a celebration of the life and work of the late Fred Alley, who wrote the book and lyrics for the musical comedy. Alley died May 2 in Door County. He was the co-founder of American Folklore Theatre in Door County and wrote many of their popular shows including Lumberjacks in Love and The Bachelors. Alley's musical adaptation of Lee David Zlotoff's acclaimed 1996 film Spitfire Grill recently premiered off-Broadway at Playwright's Horizon. The Rep's Managing Director Tony Forman said, "Plans for the Rep's production began long before Fred's untimely death, and working with him on this project was indeed a pleasure...we will strive to infuse our production with his wonderful spirit and warmth."