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

Jo Jean Retrum, who performed regularly at Melody Top in both chorus and supporting roles from 1969-1978, supplied the first gallery of musical production photos on this page. In 1971's PLAIN AND FANCY, her "By Lantern Light" pas de deux won well-deserved praise from Marge and Gower Champion after they saw the show on a casting trip for the Broadway production of SUGAR. Jo Jean was also well-reviewed for her potrayal of June in GYPSY (1975) opposite Margaret Whiting. A professional dancer and graduate of UW-Milwaukee in dance, music and theatre, her training included classes at American Ballet Theatre and Harkness House in NYC. She studied with Gus Giordano, Luigi and Joe Tremaine and was a soloist with the Milwaukee Ballet and Ruth Page companies. Today, Jo Jean is the director of the Monona Academy of Dance and the artistic director of Dance Wisconsin.

Applause Applause Cabaret Cabaret Cabaret Damn Yankees Fiddler on the Roof Funny Girl George M! George M! Gigi Gypsy Gypsy Hello, Dolly! How Now, Dow Jones Kiss Me, Kate Kiss Me, Kate Kiss Me, Kate Li'l Abner Li'l Abner Little Me Little Me Little Me Mame Mame Meet Me in St. Louis Meet Me in St. Louis No, No, Nanette Oliver! Pippin Pippin Song of Norway Sugar West Side Story Wonderful Town

The production photographs below are from two sources. Mike Griebl, who started his Melody Top career parking cars and finished as plant supervisor, furnished pictures from the 1969 and 1971 seasons. Nancy McCloud, a resident company member at Melody Top for many summers, provided images from the 1973-1980 musicals. According to her Melody Top playbill biography, she was praised as Young Vanessa for vamping a torrid "Bolero d'Amour" in FOLLIES (1977). Nancy is currently a faculty member of the Milwaukee Ballet, and she also manages the Towne Center studio in Brookfield. Many photographs on this page were taken by (Richard) Borgeson Photographers.

A Little Night Music A Little Night Music Annie Get Your Gun Anything Goes Anything Goes Anything Goes Applause Applause Bells Are Ringing Bells Are Ringing Bells Are Ringing Bitter Sweet Bitter Sweet Bitter Sweet Brigadoon Brigadoon Brigadoon Call Me Madam Call Me Madam Camelot Camelot Can-Can Can-Can Carnival Chicago Chicago Fiddler on the Roof Fiddler on the Roof Finian's Rainbow Finian's Rainbow Follies Follies A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Gigi Good News Guys and Dolls Gypsy Gypsy Gypsy Hello, Dolly! Hello, Dolly! High Button Shoes How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Irene Irene Irene Irene The King and I The King and I Kismet Kismet Lullaby of Broadway Lullaby of Broadway Mame Man of La Mancha The Merry Widow The Merry Widow The Merry Widow The Most Happy Fella My Fair Lady My Fair Lady Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Paint Your Wagon Paint Your Wagon Paint Your Wagon Paint Your Wagon The Pajama Game Peter Pan Peter Pan Pippin Pippin Promises, Promises Promises, Promises Shenandoah Show Boat Show Boat Show Boat Song of Norway Song of Norway South Pacific South Pacific Sugar Sugar The Roar of the Greasepaint - the Smell of the Crowd The Wiz The Wizard of Oz The Unsinkable Molly Brown The Unsinkable Molly Brown West Side Story Zorba Zorba

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