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Milwaukee Theatre

500 W. Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Seats (approximate): 4100

On September 21, 1909, when the Milwaukee Auditorium was dedicated on the site of the earlier Industrial Exposition Building, Milwaukee had already established itself as a critical stop on the Industrial Revolution exposition circuit, and its immigrant populace exercised a strong commitment to arts, culture and politics. The new Auditorium was a multi-purpose facility serving Milwaukee's cultural and civic life as well as the budding convention industry. It featured a horseshoe-shaped arena with a proscenium stage, 3,000 permanent seats, a main floor that could accommodate most trade shows of the day, and several side halls. Historical uses included concerts, circuses, political rallies sports events. For decades the Milwaukee Auditorium boasted its own orchestra, and hosted touring concerts from such historic notables as John Phillip Sousa and Enrico Caruso to contemporary stars like Barry Manilow, Nirvana, Marilyn Manson and Prince. Sitting Presidents from Taft to Clinton delivered important policy addresses in the Auditorium, and it hosted even more candidates beginning with Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1912 gave a three-hour speech there after being shot in the chest. Returning doughboys were billeted in the Auditorium after World War I, and for six-day bicycle races in the '30s, it became a velodrome with a banked, wooden track. Structural and cosmetic improvements were made throughout the Auditorium's life, both before nd after a major 1978 renovation brought in modern heating and air conditioning, restored architectural details and overall physical upgrades. However, by the time it was acquired by the new Wisconsin Center District in 1995, the Auditorium's continued viability was questioned – until a 20-day run of Riverdance, in 1999, shattered sales records and indicated that a market existed for a venue of its size. Subsequently, a decision was made to transform the building into a state-of-the-art concert, theatrical and assembly venue. The Auditorium closed for construction in 2001, and two years and $41.9 million later, it reopened as The Milwaukee Theatre on November 7, 2003. Effectively an all-new theater in the shell of the old building, the 4,100-seat Milwaukee Theatre features two sloped tiers of seats with superior sight lines and comfort, and built-in flexibility to create an "intimate" house of 2,500 seats. A signature feature is its spectacular, half-domed rotunda lobby, perfect for concessions, merchandising, receptions and assembly breaks. For patrons, The Milwaukee Theatre offers terrific elbow room, plenty of restrooms, and generous disability access. Back-of-house, the venue provides an amazing amount of rehearsal, dressing room and production space, a new stage and loading docks, new "house" sound and light systems, and other 21st-century technological and physical-plant improvements. Since opening, The Milwaukee Theatre has hosted a wide range of convention, corporate, religious and political assemblies as well as Broadway musicals and other entertainment ranging from the Radio City Rockettes to the Milwaukee premier of Disney's THE LION KING, concerts by such musical legends as David Bowie, Sting, Dolly Parton and the Boston Pops, and comedians Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Ron White and Chris Tucker, among others.


Productions Production Dates
The Lion King - Gazelle
Musical, Original
Music by Elton John; Book by Irene Mecchi, Roger Allers; Lyrics by Tim Rice
Nov 11, 2014 - Dec 07, 2014
Hello, Dolly!
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Music by Jerry Herman; Book by Michael Stewart; Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Nov 01, 2013 - Nov 02, 2013
Rock of Ages
Musical, Original
Book by Chris D'Arienzo
Apr 26, 2011 - May 01, 2011
Billy Elliot The Musical
Musical, Original
Music by Elton John; Book by Lee Hall; Lyrics by Lee Hall
Dec 07, 2010 - Dec 12, 2010
Billy Elliot The Musical
Musical, Original
Music by Elton John; Book by Lee Hall; Lyrics by Lee Hall
Nov 30, 2010 - Dec 05, 2010
Billy Elliot The Musical
Musical, Original
Music by Elton John; Book by Lee Hall; Lyrics by Lee Hall
Nov 23, 2010 - Nov 28, 2010
Billy Elliot The Musical
Musical, Original
Music by Elton John; Book by Lee Hall; Lyrics by Lee Hall
Nov 16, 2010 - Nov 21, 2010
Rent - Mark
Musical, Original, Drama
Music by Jonathan Larson; Book by Jonathan Larson; Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Dec 08, 2009 - Dec 20, 2009
Ain't Misbehavin'
Musical, Revival, Revue
Apr 24, 2009 - Apr 25, 2009
The Lion King - Cheetah
Musical, Original
Music by: Elton John; Book by Irene Mecchi, Roger Allers; Lyrics by Tim Rice
Jan 29, 2008 - Mar 02, 2008
Chicago
Musical, Revival, Comedy
May 08, 2007 - May 13, 2007
Golda's Balcony
Play, Original, Solo, Drama
Written by William Gibson
Nov 29, 2005 - Dec 04, 2005
Peter Pan
Musical, Revival, Comedy
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Apr 26, 2005 - May 01, 2005
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Musical, Original, Comedy
New Music by Jeanine Tesori; Book by Dick Scanlan, Richard Morris; New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Mar 15, 2005 - Mar 20, 2005
The King and I - 2004
Musical, Revival, Comedy,Drama
Feb 21, 2005 - Feb 27, 2005
Urinetown
Musical, Original, Comedy
Music by Mark Hollmann; Book by Greg Kotis; Lyrics by Greg Kotis, Mark Hollmann
Feb 10, 2004 - Feb 15, 2004