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.
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.
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