Who says professional theater in Madison is dead?
"I am a huge fan of Four Seasons Theatre!" exclaims Ralph Russo, director of the Union Theater, where the company often performs. "I have spoken with dozens of people who attended one or more performances, and everyone speaks in glowing terms about the professionalism of the performances. Some even compare the shows favorably with professional touring productions they've seen in Overture Hall."
To celebrate its history, Four Seasons will present a benefit cabaret Saturday, May 9, at the Majestic Theatre. Four Years of Four Seasons will include songs reprised by performers from every past production.
The company's first musical, Ragtime in 2005, met instant acclaim, and was followed by shows including Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and Miss Saigon. This fall the company performs Evita.
Right now, Four Seasons is the closest thing to a professional theater Madison has, mixing Broadway guests with area amateurs. The company is being cautious about the recession, but it's negotiating a possible co-production at Overture.
Four Seasons' odd niche, straddling both professional and amateur worlds, presents a management challenge. "We really try to work with other organizations in town, and to be honest, we're putting this together on a shoestring budget," says managing director Sarah Marty. "But I am really proud of the quality of work we do, and we are aspiring at some point to become a [solely] professional theater company."