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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 76.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


Audience calls the shots in Mercury Players Theatre's successful You've Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery!

Even though the totally-not-Sherlock Holmes protagonist would rail against the very thought, the truth is that the mystery isn't the most important part of the newest original play at Mercury Players Theatre, You've Ruined A Perfectly Good Mystery!. This adventure is less about making audience members work out a convoluted plot than it is about getting them to laugh. It succeeds admirably. >More
 StageQ's Last Summer at Bluefish Cove delivers warmth, authenticity

In the winter of 1980, Jane Chambers' Last Summer at Bluefish Cove was a canary in a coalmine. It was brought to stage by New York's The Glines, one of the first gay theater companies formed after the Stonewall riots. Chambers' bittersweet lesbian love story was a test to see if a queer play could make it in mainstream theater. It did. >More
 Music Theatre of Madison's Yours, Anne entertains despite problematic book and score

When you think of topics for musicals, I don't imagine that the Holocaust springs to mind. Other than the over-the-top satire of Mel Brooks' Springtime for Hitler from The Producers, few shows have succeeded at putting the absurdity and atrociousness of World War II to song. Yet that's just what Enid Futterman and Michael Cohen did when they wrote Yours, Anne, a musical originally staged in 1985 and based on the famous diary of Anne Frank. >More
 Four Seasons Theatre and Tom Wopat revive an American classic with South Pacific

You know Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein whether or not you think you do. That legendary team gave America some of its best-known musicals (Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music) and catchiest songs. They've permeated the culture to such a degree that, even if you've never seen South Pacific on stage, you can probably hum a few bars of "Some Enchanted Evening" or "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair." >More
 Broom Street Theater depicts the life of Georgia O'Keeffe in A Woman on Paper

It's a challenge to distill a famous artist's life down to a few hours and I'm not sure that the current Broom Street Theater production, A Woman on Paper, succeeds in illuminating the life and times of Georgia O'Keeffe, but her story is fertile soil for writer/director Heather Renken. >More
 American Players Theatre's Major Barbara is sharp, roundly entertaining

It takes a playwright the caliber of George Bernard Shaw to make a self-described "manufacturer of mutilation and murder" sympathetic, but, incredibly, that's what he does in Major Barbara. American Players Theatre opened Shaw's 1905 play, a heady mix of ideology and comedy, as its last new show of the season. >More
 Arts Beat: Laboratory Theatre drops out of Bartell Theatre's 2010-11 season

The brochures have already been printed for the 2010-11 season at Bartell Theatre, set to start next Thursday, Aug. 26. But Laboratory Theatre, one of Bartell's resident companies, has suspended operations, leaving open slots in November and February. >More
 Provocative, intimate Exits and Entrances ideal for APT's Touchstone stage

As directed by Kate Buckley, Exits and Entrances is intimate, affecting, and another excellent example of the sort of fare that is well-suited to the 200-seat, indoor Touchstone Theatre.As we see these men in two encounters several years apart, we can't help but feel the weight and turbulence of history outside the world of the theater, yet those themes are handled deftly through the lens of a single human relationship. >More
 Arts Beat: The Bricks Theatre offers community 'shares' for its new season

C.S.A. shares are no longer reserved for locavores alone. The Bricks Theatre has announced the availability of Community Supported Arts "shares" for its 2010-2011 season. Instead of the weekly boxful of fresh produce that comes with the more familiar community-supported agriculture subscription, the bounty here is theatrical. >More
 Class privilege and lost love churn in American Players Theatre's The Circle

Superficially, The Circle has more than a few things in common with Noël Coward's Hay Fever, which APT staged last summer. You've got two plays by British playwrights, written just a few years apart in the 1920s. Add in unconventional families, stately upper-class homes, quotable quips and romantic dalliances. Even many of the cast members are the same between the two shows. >More
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