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Sunday, December 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  Fair
The Daily

THEATER

Music Theatre of Madison's Parade is an ambitious exploration of an infamous lynching

Parade, which opened Thursday night at the Bartell Theatre, is a musical about the most unlikely of subjects: the wrongful conviction and lynching of a Jewish man in Georgia in 1915. Accused of killing a 13-year-old girl who worked in the factory he ran, Leo Frank was dragged from jail and murdered by a mob. No, this isn't Annie, but it's just the kind of show that Music Theatre of Madison was formed to do. >More
 Bartell Theatre improves fundraising, pursuing more support

The Bartell Theatre is doing somewhat better. It won't close due to lack of funds until July 2014. >More
 University Theatre's The Mousetrap is a classic whodunit

This year marks not one, but two, Diamond Jubilees in Britain. For sixty years, Queen Elizabeth has held the throne, and The Mousetrap has been running in London's West End. Agatha Christie's mystery is the longest continuously running play on the globe. University Theatre now offers its take in a production that opened Friday night in Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre. >More
 In Overture Hall, Billy Elliot: The Musical brims with heart

Solidarity was in the air Tuesday, as two English Billys arrived in Madison: political folk-rocker Billy Bragg and Billy Elliot: The Musical. While it was hard to pass up one for the other, I opted for the long-awaited musical in Overture Hall. >More
 American Players Theatre's Skylight takes an unflinching look at a troubled relationship

David Hare's Skylight is one of those plays that fit a dense web of ideas into a seemingly simple package: three characters, one night and morning, one drab London apartment. Yet the unexpected encounters between young teacher Kyra and (separately) her ex-lover's son and the lover himself probe all sorts of questions about moral compromise, value systems, and to what degree we can redeem the past. >More
 American Players Theatre's Richard III revels in bloody ambition and glorious villainy

American Players Theatre core acting company member James DeVita directs a stylish Richard III, in which Shakespeare gives us one of the most famous villains in theater: a man who manipulates all those around him by tailoring and twisting the truth to further his ruthless ambitions, methodically clearing his path to the throne by killing family members and trusted associates. >More
 American Players' The Royal Family sets a low bar with predictable script, familiar setting

George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's The Royal Family has many ingredients familiar at American Players Theatre, at least in its non-Shakespeare mode: a posh Jazz Age setting, witty banter, and laughs mixed with poignancy. But that's part of the problem: The Royal Family, which opened Saturday night in the Spring Green company's outdoor amphitheater, feels like a predictable choice. It stretches neither its cast nor its audience, and, for a company of APT's caliber, that's a disappointment. >More
 Hijinks, confusion and weddings in American Players Theatre's Twelfth Night

I look forward to American Players Theatre's season every year. I know that the productions will be carefully crafted, and it's satisfying to see favorite company members in new roles -- and to see freshly recruited talent for the first time. Twelfth Night, which opened APT's outdoor season Saturday night, touched me and made me laugh. >More
 The veterans of American Players Theatre's funny Heroes talk (and talk)

American Players Theatre's Heroes, directed by James Bohnen, is funny and, at times, tragic. Unfolding on the terrace of a French veterans' home in 1959, Heroes centers on a trio of aging World War I vets. >More
 American Players Theatre's Brenda DeVita is poised to take over

If anything is ideal training for running a theater company, it might be growing up in a very large family. The parallels are numerous, from the range of personalities to the hard work and the complicated scheduling required to make everything click. No one knows this better than Brenda DeVita, associate artistic director of American Players Theatre in Spring Green. DeVita is slated to succeed artistic director David Frank upon his retirement in 2014. >More
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