Victory for Victoria with Milwaukee Opera Theatre

Oct. 22, 2016
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Victory for Victoria

It’s probably going to be Hillary. I mean it’s DEFINITELY probably going to be Hillary. When analysis from certain sources start saying things like, “obviously people still have to vote, but...” it’s more or less set. It’s historic, yes. Some of us voted for a woman for president last time, but I understand how this is a big deal. Of course, Hillary wasn’t the first woman to run for president. There was Victoria Woodhull. It was 1872. She might have also been the youngest person ever to run for president. She would have turned 35 a few months after getting sworn-in, which wouldn’t have been strictly constitutional, but that didn’t stop her from rnnning. She was a strong feminist activist who advocated the idea of love and marriage being separated from government regulation. She had come from little money, making her fortune as a spiritual therapist who worked with people’s magnetic fields. She founded a newspaper. She started a brokerage firm. Probably one of the more interesting figures in the late 19th century US. It’s kind of odd that she’s not a bigger folk hero, but she did share a general era of American history with more celebrated women’s rights activists like Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony.

One of the largely unsung figures in US history gets a closer look this month thanks to  Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s production of the original musical Victory for Victoria. From obscurity to prominence, the show sounds like a fascinating biography. The book is by Susan Peterson Holmes with music by  Alissa Rhode and lyrics by Peggy Peterson Ryan. Emerging talent Allie Babich is given a fascinating challenge in portraying a character as complex as Woodhull. She’s got plenty of charisma to shine into a very charismatic figure from the margins of US history. 

Victory for Victoria runs Oct. 27 - 30 at the Wauwatosa Woman's Club on 1626 Wauwatosa Avenue. For ticket reservations and further information, visit Milwaukee Opera Theatre online. 

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