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Milwaukee Opera Theatre Presents “I Wanna Fly”: A Cabaret with a Contemporary Twist

Milwaukee, WI – February 15, 2024 – Milwaukee Opera Theatre (MOT) takes audiences on a unique musical journey with its latest production, “I Wanna Fly.” This old-fashioned cabaret, infused with a new-fashioned MOT angle, promises an enchanting evening of music and storytelling. Starring Lynette Knapp Ryan and David Bonofiglio, with special guests Diane Lane and Jim and Max Ryan, the show features an original song by Gwen Rice and Matt Zembrowski.

A Two-Year Collaboration Comes to Life

“I Wanna Fly” is not just a performance; it’s the result of a two-year creative collaboration between Lynette Knapp Ryan and David Bonofiglio. The duo bounced hundreds of songs, lyrics, and life stories back and forth, culminating in a captivating cabaret experience that melds tradition with contemporary flair.

Musical Highlights: A Tale in Two Sets

Set One: December Songs by Maury Yeston

The first set of “I Wanna Fly” showcases Maury Yeston’s theatrical song cycle, “December Songs.” This 21st-century American adaptation of Franz Schubert’s “Die Winterreise” takes the audience on a journey of unexpected encounters, beautiful memories, and a sliver of hope. “December Songs” is a theatrical and emotional experience that adds a unique dimension to the traditional cabaret format.

Set Two: Lynette’s Personal Journey

The second set of the cabaret delves into Lynette Knapp Ryan’s personal story. Using lyrics and music from a dozen songs, the performance touches upon her experiences moving from a small town to the world of musical theatre. It explores her journey from city to city, eventually landing in Milwaukee, where her path fortuitously intersected with Milwaukee Opera Theatre.

Dates and Venue

“I Wanna Fly” will be performed on the following dates:

  • Thursday, Feb 29 – 7:30 PM
  • Friday, Mar 1 – 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Mar 2 – 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Mar 3 – 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, Mar 9 – 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Mar 10 – 2:00 PM

The performances will take place at The Florentine Opera Center, located at 930 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212.

Ticket Information

Tickets for “I Wanna Fly” are priced at $32 for general admission and $22 for students/artists. They can be purchased online at

Creative Team Behind the Scenes

The success of “I Wanna Fly” is attributed to the creative vision of the following individuals:

  • Direction: Jill Anna Ponasik
  • Lighting: Jim Padovano
  • Sound: John Webber

An Unforgettable Evening of Song and Story

“I Wanna Fly” is not just a cabaret; it’s a celebration of personal and collective journeys, told through the universal language of music. Milwaukee Opera Theatre invites audiences to join them at The Florentine Opera Center for an evening that transcends the ordinary, blending classical influences with contemporary narratives. Get ready for an unforgettable performance that weaves together the magic of tradition and the freshness of the new.

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