Memories of Melody Top: Remembering Milwaukee’s Summer Stock Theatre


Photographs in the first gallery on this page were supplied by Betty Ann (Carlton) Weiss. Betty Ann holds the distinct honors of, one, performing the last summer (1965) both Melody Top tents were in operation; and, two, performing in all seven shows choreographed by Tommy Tune during the summer of 1967. She is pictured above with one of her favorite stars, Howard Keel, with whom she worked in the national tour of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER and at Houston Music Theatre. Click on the squares below for a rare glimpe of working in summer stock almost 50 years ago!

The colorful images below were captured by Laurel Ferch, who worked at Melody Top Theatre as an apprentice, dresser, assistant wardrobe manager and production assistant during the mid- to late-1960s. Luckily, almost all of her pictures are dated and include handwritten names of their subjects on the back sides. Click on the boxes below to view enlarged images from each of the shows listed. Many familiar faces were well preserved by Ms. Ferch and her camera. She captured the backstage magic rarely seen by hundreds of thousands of patrons who attended shows at Melody Top.

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