By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jan 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM

First we had "Inherit the Wind" with a towering lawyer, Henry Drummond, arguing how the world began against prosecuting preacher Matthew Brady. It is a play that soars with oratory and is certain to stir up a crowd.

"Inherit the Wind" starred Frederic March and Spencer Tracy and it roared through America, adding fuel to the fire of the debate over the origin of the species.

Now comes along "How the World Began," a play by Catherine Trieschmann that opens Friday night at the Milwaukee Rep. The play had a nice run in New York just about a year ago.

Whereas "Inherit the Wind" delivered its debate with heft and unbridled passion, "How the World Began" takes a much quieter approach to the discussion, focusing on just three normal people who become embroiled in both sides of the issue. It's "science versus religion" portrayed in a quieter way than you might expect, but no less fierce.

Brent Hazelton, associate artistic director at the Rep, directs this play. He was responsible for writing and directing the smash hit "Liberace" at the Rep in 2010.

"How the World Began" seems like a good bet for a cold winter as the discussion it prompts will at least keep people in the same room.

"How the World Began" opens Friday night and runs until Feb. 24.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.