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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

THEATER

University Theatre's The Grapes of Wrath is exhausting

Director Norma Saldivar makes both odd and interesting choices with the University Theatre production of The Grapes of Wrath. Much of the staging involves stylized tableaus, with actors facing the audience instead of each other, and the effect undermines a show that already struggles to emotionally connect. >More
 The past shines darkly in Madison Theatre Guild's The Glass Menagerie

The greatest strength of Madison Theatre Guild's production of The Glass Menagerie is that it allows Tennessee Williams' classic play to stand for itself. On the page, Williams' writing is lovely and poetic; performed, it will make you shiver with delight. >More
 Broom Street's Invisible Boy explores childhood sexual abuse

Broom Street Theater often takes on difficult topics, but its latest play comes with a "mature audience" warning and opportunities for counseling after the show. Invisible Boy, written and directed by Broom Street artistic director Callen Harty, explores childhood sexual abuse. Using narrative and poetry, the play traverses time and memory as its central character fuses the broken pieces of his past to become a survivor rather than a victim. >More
 Broadway's dazzling Wicked triumphs at Overture Center

We seem to be in the thick of a pop-culture moment fascinated by all things magical and monstrous. From Harry Potter to vampires, even adults have been captivated by spells and superpowers. Wicked, the Broadway smash that nabbed a 2004 Tony nomination for best musical, is another link in this trend. >More
 University Theatre's Across a Distance is challenging, unconvincing

Across a Distance by University Theatre is a multimedia performance piece that tells the story of Man, a deaf storyteller, and Woman, a scientist and operatic soprano, moored on separate islands in the sea, within sight of each other but unable to communicate. >More
 Sibling rivalry devolves into chaos in the Bricks Theatre's fine True West

The Bricks Theatre continues to build a solid reputation with True West, the company's first show of the 2010-11 season. Director R. Peter Hunt offers a few new twists on Sam Shepard's 30-year-old play. >More
 Arts Beat: Anarch City Theatre Company launches

Madison has a new drama troupe. Anarch City Theatre Company debuts at the Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnson St., with a program at 8 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9. >More
 Strong cast lifts Strollers Theatre's heartwarming 84 Charing Cross Road

The year is 1949. Helene Hanff is a hotheaded New York writer on the hunt for a rare book. Decades before Amazon or even Google, Helene is left to comb the dog-eared pages of a catalog from Marks & Co., a bookseller in far-off London. She sends a letter with her request, but in return she receives more than she bargained for. >More
 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
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