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Thursday, July 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 82.0° F  Partly Cloudy
Arts

THE PAPER / ARTS

ARTS

Music Theatre of Madison's Miscast challenges age, gender and race expectations with lovely singing and lots of humor

The annual performance of Miscast by Music Theatre of Madison asks questions like "Are eight year old girls with red hair and freckles the only ones who get to sing songs from Annie?" The answer, according to executive director Meghan Randolph, is no. At least once a year, the role is open to anyone with the nerve and talent to take the stage. >More
 Drama in the West High theater department

On July 14, about 500 locals received an email message with a dramatic subject line: "West Theater Program in Jeopardy!" The message came from Friends of West High Drama, a booster organization for parents of students who've participated in the school's theater programs. It asked recipients to contact administrators and express concerns about proposed cuts to theater classes for the 2014-2015 school year. >More

ARTS

Baltimore artist Michael Owen funnels Willy Street's inclusive spirit into a mural for Plan B

Willy Street is getting a lot more love-ly this week. Baltimore artist Michael Owen is in town to create one of two new murals for Plan B, the LGBT nightclub on the 900 block. The work will consist of the word "love" spelled out in bold, graphic sign language on one side of the building. >More
 Sarah Day grapples with grief as Joan Didion in American Players Theatre's The Year of Magical Thinking

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends," writes Joan Didion in her arresting 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. She returns to these phrases over and over throughout the book, as if by repeating them she can ultimately accept them. Through plain yet penetrating language, Didion explores both the rawness and the very ordinariness of grief. >More

WORDS

Jordan Ellenberg, the math evangelist

Jordan Ellenberg really wants you to like math. Not math in the sense of calculating a tip or doing your taxes, but math as the path to understanding, math as evidence, math as truth. Hence the title his new book, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, which Penguin Press released this week. >More
 Chloe Benjamin explores the dark side of sleep research in The Anatomy of Dreams

The UW's creative writing MFA program has been a shot in the arm for Madison's literary scene, launching the careers of authors like Lauren Groff and Emma Straub. This story's latest chapter concerns Chloe Benjamin, who'll release her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, through Simon & Schuster in September. >More

ARTS

Fabulous Farm Babe Pam Jahnke is a bold voice for Wisconsin agriculture

On a soggy spring morning Pam Jahnke greets me from the top of the stairs at Mid-West Family Broadcasting's west-side office. A broken foot bone makes walking up and down steps painful for her. Her tennis shoes are loosely laced. "Boot cast?" I suggest, having fractured a few metatarsals myself, and she scoffs at the idea. >More
 Madison Central Library's bold new Media Lab has free tools for budding artists, animators and videogame designers

If you've visited the new Central Library, you might have noticed a mysterious room near the teen section that resembles a TV studio, complete with computers, cameras and a green screen. It looks like some kind of secret workshop where the staff makes library propaganda. >More

ART

20th-century art stars are the subjects and creators of the Chazen Museum portrait exhibition A Passion for Photography

Artists, like writers, often work in solitude. Sure, there are larger-than-life, highly public personalities (think Andy Warhol), but there are also plenty who are happy to hunker down in the solace of their studios and let their work do the talking. That's why it's all the more fascinating to see famous artists in their studios or living spaces, a subject that occupies much of the newest Chazen Museum exhibition, A Passion for Photography: The John W. and Carol L.H. Green Collection. >More
 Goodbye Absolutely Art, hello MadCity Bazaar

Madison will lose Absolutely Art, 2322 Atwood Ave., at the end of the month when the show "A Discourse on Love" concludes. But it will gain another creative project: a pop-up flea market called MadCity Bazaar. It's a new venture helmed by Absolutely Art owner Meghan Blake-Horst and collaborator Joe Mingle. >More

THE GUIDE

Thursday, July 31
Turn Turn Turn Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
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Diane Hammer Sunroom Cafe
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Wisconsin Visual Artists-South Central Chapter BioPharmaceutical Technology Center-Promega Gallery
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Smokey Joe's Cafe Fireside Dinner Theatre
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Jeremy Pinc Mother Fool's Coffeehouse
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Artisan Gallery Exhibits Artisan Gallery, Paoli
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Photo Town Chocolaterian Cafe
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CLASS FULL: Zentangle Sequoya Library, 7:00pm
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Madison Socrates Cafe Michelangelo's Coffee Shop, 7:00pm
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S.V. Medaris & Alicia Rheal Overture Center-Gallery I
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Michael Knapstein Capitol Lakes
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American Players Theatre's "American Buffalo" American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 7:30pm
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Jose Guadalupe Rios Cordoba Madison Municipal Building
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School of Human Ecology: Past & Future UW Nancy Nicholas Hall-Ruth Davis Design Gallery
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EcoSculpt Art Show Hatch Art House
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Derrick Buisch Little Monroe Gallery
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American Players Theatre's "The Importance of Being Earnest" American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 7:30pm
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Judy Pfaff, Patrick Ireland, Alan Shields, David Klaman Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research
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Opera House Art Gallery Debut Show Opera House Art Gallery, Mount Horeb
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Brent Nicastro Tamarack Studio & Gallery
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Melanie Treuhaft Good Style Shop
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Off-the-Beaten-Path Film Series Stoughton Village Players Theater, 7:30pm
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A Steady Program of Art UW Memorial Union-Class of 1925 Gallery
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Batik Paper Workshop Hawthorne Library, 6:00pm
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Emily L.R. Adams UW Memorial Union-Porter Butts Gallery
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Tom Griffith Gallery at Yahara Bay
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Duane Brissette River Arts on Water, Prairie du Sac
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James Krysan UW Memorial Union-Lakefront on Langdon Gallery
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A Steady Program of Art UW Memorial Union-Class of 1925 Gallery
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VSA Art Center Open Doors Studio Class Capitol Lakes-Atrium Galleria
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Elizabeth K. Winters Yellow Rose Gallery
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MORE ARTS

THEATER

American Players Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing shows how bickering can be a beautiful and hilarious expression of love

In his director's notes for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing at American Players Theatre, David Frank argues that Shakespeare's renowned comedy is more than an amiable but ultimately empty, even nihilistic play, as its title might imply. And the production certainly bears that out. >More
 American Players Theatre's American Buffalo peeks inside a pawn shop where three men are plotting a robbery

When David Mamet's American Buffalo burst onto the theater scene in 1977, it was hailed as a triumph of the vernacular and pronounced an instant classic. Mamet infused Buffalo's dialogue with caustic profanity and the stark rhythms of a struggling, disillusioned class one that had rarely been represented with such searing clarity. >More

THEATER

Entrances and exits: 2014 is a season of change for American Players Theatre

This is the time of year that Spring Green's American Players Theatre awakens after its winter hiatus. Actors and technicians assemble. Rehearsals begin. Scene and costume shops bustle with activity. People learn their cues. As the company begins its 35th year, there are almost as many notable entrances and exits behind the scenes as there are on the two stages. >More
 Mercury Players Theatre's Skin Tight paints an evocative picture of a couple's complicated relationship

The Mercury Players Theatre production of Skin Tight (through May 24 at the Bartell Theatre) opens with a woman's scream piercing the dark. As the lights come up, we see a couple lunging at each other from opposite sides of the stage. Grabbing, scratching, punching and flailing, they pause only long enough to catch their breath, then re-engage. >More

DANCE

Li Chiao-Ping's Rise Over Run fills the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery with intriguing movements and questions

Surprises abounded at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on Friday as Li Chiao-Ping and her dance company presented a program of modern dance set in more than a dozen sites throughout the building. A complex undertaking in a complex that's a mixture of public and private spaces, Rise Over Run: Off the Wall Dances, invites audiences to view dance by moving through WID, guided by ushers. >More
 Guts, grace and gratitude with JoJean Retrum and Dance Wisconsin

It's a very important day at Dance Wisconsin. A Regional Dance America representative is visiting to decide which of the company's routines will be performed in Chicago next month. She impatiently shushes the dancers, who talk, laugh and move about excitedly. The issue isn't that the dancers lack seriousness; it's that they're all between the ages of 12 and 18. But when the show begins, they bust out some very serious skills. >More
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