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Friday, August 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

THEATER

American Players Theatre's Crime and Punishment doesn't live up to its potential

If you're like me, you're anxiously awaiting July's return of the TV drama Breaking Bad, about a high-school teacher turned meth cooker. Diagnosed with cancer, Walt resorts to crime so he can amass cash to leave for his wife and kids in the event of his death. >More
 American Players Theatre's hilarious The Critic spoofs the stage

Over years of theatergoing, I've seen some bad shows. But nothing, I fear, compares to the ludicrous, out-of-control spectacle I witnessed Saturday night at American Players Theatre. Let me clarify: I'm talking about The Spanish Armada, the play-within-a-play in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1779 satire The Critic -- and it's supposed to be terrible. >More
 Arts Beat: Bartell Community Theatre hosts 2nd annual Barties

The Bartell Community Theatre hosts its second annual awards ceremony, the Barties, on July 9 at 7 p.m. The event celebrates 2010-11 shows presented by member companies. The occasion re-creates a Hollywood gala, the better to appreciate the accomplishments. >More
 Arts Beat: Essen Haus launches production of Sure Thing

Longtime Madisonians will recall the 1970s dinner theater Wilson Street East, since displaced by Essen Haus. >More
 Arts Beat: Henry Vilas Zoo to stage The Zoo

Speaking of new venues, when is a zoo not a zoo? When it's a theater. >More
 American Players Theatre finds new heartbreak in The Glass Menagerie

Director Aaron Posner doesn't let the challenges of staging a storied play intimidate him in the new American Players Theatre production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. In the program notes, he likens his approach to how he'd react to spotting a famous person: "Be open to them, but be your best self, and meet them on their terms and your terms simultaneously." >More
 American Players Theatre's Blithe Spirit is a sharp summer farce

Two's company, three's a crowd, or so the old cliché goes. If that's true in our earthly realm, it seems especially true when the supernatural is involved, as in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit, which opened Saturday night in the American Players Theatre outdoor amphitheater. >More
 American Players Theatre deftly handles difficult themes in The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew has its detractors, who point to the premise of a man essentially breaking his wife's spirit in order to shape her into an obedient spouse. But in the capable hands of director Tim Ocel, we're able to see the relationship evolve in a way that somehow makes sense. >More
 StageQ's enjoyable Queer Shorts 6 emphasizes laughs

There's always something appealing about the smorgasbord approach to an evening of theater. Given the mix of 10 short plays in Queer Shorts 6 by StageQ, there's a briskness of pace and a lightness. Each short lasts no longer than 10 or 15 minutes. >More
 Physical contact causes illness in Peep

In Mercury Players Theatre's Peep, local playwright Douglas Holtz explores the genesis of an oddly symbiotic relationship between two young roommates, Billy and Summer, and then the fallout of 25 years of lies as we witness the near-implosion of a family. Billy suffers from haphephobia, a condition that means human touch makes him literally ill. When vivacious Summer moves in and the two develop tenuous feelings for each other, Billy's voyeurism and her willingness to accommodate him make for several sexy and funny moments. >More
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