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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


Pretty-good Guys & Does sets deer hunting to music

The first American Folklore Theatre production at Overture Center, the musical comedy Guys & Does, is exactly what you expect. There are guys. There are deer. And there are dad jokes and goofy songs. All in all, the two-hour show's opening performance Tuesday night was pretty good. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison's A Wonderful Life delivers redemptive message, despite script woes

The 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life used to be in constant rotation on television at this time of year, and if you were like me, you ended up watching so many clips of it that by the time Christmas rolled around, you'd seen nearly the entire film, only out of order. That's exactly how the Children's Theater of Madison production of A Wonderful Life -- a musical based on the beloved movie -- feels: a little mixed up. >More
 Peter Hunt's irreverent elf brings down the house in the Bricks Theatre's Santaland Diaries

"I'm not a good person," says David the Elf. "I have never even been mistaken for a good person." The Bricks Theatre production of The Santaland Diaries is a one-elf show based on the David Sedaris story of the same name. This is not a Christmas cup of cocoa. It is, as the show's tagline has it, "a Christmas martini...shaken and dirty." >More
 Small-town Wisconsin beckons in charming musical The Spitfire Grill

Watching The Spitfire Grill is like reading a small town newspaper, if you can manage to find one these days. It's quaint and a little unpolished, but there's something so genuine that it nearly breaks your heart. >More
 Sick love quadrangle yields disaster in StageQ's The Dying Gaul

The year is 1995 and Robert (Michael Portman, on loan from New York) is a gay screenwriter whose lover has just died of AIDS. Jeffrey (Richard Ganoung) is a Hollywood executive interested in Robert's screenplay...and in Robert. >More
 Bricks Theatre brings Santaland Diaries to a much bigger stage at the Barrymore

The Bricks Theatre's letter to Santa this year asks for a bigger audience. A much, much bigger audience. The company returns to familiar holiday ground with The Santaland Diaries, but in a much larger venue, the Barrymore Theatre. It opens Dec. 9. >More
 American Players Theatre's sweet Gift of the Magi lacks drive

The American Players Theatre production of The Gift of the Magi is a departure for a number of reasons. It's the acclaimed Spring Green company's first cold-weather show, made possible by the indoor theater christened last year. It's the only musical I can remember APT doing. >More
 University Theatre's well-intended Yum Yum Room doesn't connect

The Yum Yum Room centers on 17-year-old Tom (Arthur Noble), a young man grappling with the usual teenage issues of first love, first heartbreak and the pain of asserting independence. >More
 Broom Street Theater names Heather Renken new artistic director

Broom Street Theater has a new creative force behind the curtain. Heather Renken is replacing Callen Harty as artistic director of Broom Street. Harty served in the position for five years before announcing his resignation in April. He plans on pursing other creative opportunities. >More
 Forward Theater Company's In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) is poignant and funny -- and charged

At the very beginning of Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, the electric lights in an upper-class, 1880s home gracefully switch on and off by themselves. No one is on stage yet, making the brief moments of light in the darkened theater both cozy and eerie. >More
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