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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 70.0° F  Fair
The Daily


Mercury Players Theatre's Fat Men in Skirts goes for shock over insight

Though it's mainly a dark comedy, there's plenty in Nicky Silver's Fat Men in Skirts, presented by Mercury Players Theatre at the Bartell Theatre, to try to jolt audiences: mother-son incest, cannibalism, murder, a dim-witted porn star. (Everything, it seems, except actual fat men in skirts.) >More
 Family dysfunction is funny in Broom Street Theater's Cattywompus

In a week filled with much sadness because of the crisis in Haiti, Broom Street Theater's Cattywompus was a welcome escape into fun. Written by Broom Street regulars Justin Lawfer and Christina Beller, who also directs, Cattywompus gives the cast the opportunity to showcase their diversity and depth as actors. >More
 Melissa Gilbert plays Ma in a Little House musical

Melissa Gilbert is on the phone from Fayetteville, Ark., where she is starring as Ma in the Madison-bound touring production of Little House on the Prairie: The Musical. At the moment she is puttering in the kitchen, putting dishes away and listening to Alicia Keys, who can indeed sing. >More
 Tarantara! Tarantara! examines a stormy musical alliance

With Tarantara! Tarantara!, two staples of Madison theater join forces to tell the story of one of the stage's best-known partnerships. The musical, opening Friday at the Bartell Theatre, covers the lives and work of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. It is being staged by Madison Theatre Guild and Madison Savoyards. >More
 Life on the margins in Madison Theatre Guild's Hot l Baltimore

Madison Theatre Guild begins the new year with two shows running in repertory at the Bartell Theatre, Hot l Baltimore and Tarantara, Tarantara. I took in Lanford Wilson's Hot l Baltimore on opening night and came away disliking the play but admiring the performances. >More
 Allegory meets comic anarchy in Forward Theater's timely Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

With Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Madison's Forward Theater Company has taken its next big step. Torture is the Midwest premiere of Christopher Durang's acclaimed political comedy, and Forward's first fully-staged play. While it's not a perfect play (and what is?), the crowd on a frigid opening night clearly appreciated Torture's political relevance and sheer goofiness. >More
 Too many loose ends in StageQ's Random Harvest

It's hard to know how to characterize Richard Willett's play Random Harvest, now playing at the Bartell Theatre. It's described in the playbill as "a ghost story about living without fear," but it's also about the elusive butterfly called memory, as well as being a discourse on success and a meditation on that whole "Meaning of Life" thing. >More
 Forward Theater stages Christopher Durang's acclaimed political satire Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

This year, one of New York's theatrical success stories had one of the oddest titles in recent memory: Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, by Christopher Durang. >More
 StageQ actors find depths in Random Harvest

We'll soon put Scrooge and his spirits back in their Christmas closet, but we're not quite done with ghost stories just yet. The redemptive Random Harvest kicks off with a New Year's Eve opening. >More
 The elf works blue in Bricks Theatre's uncut Santaland Diaries

David Sedaris' hilarious Santaland Diaries is being produced twice in Madison this season. Laboratory Theatre ran a kid-friendly version of Sedaris' account of a gig as a Macy's elf. Now the Bricks Theatre brings the uncut version to a bar near you. As one might suspect, Santaland uncensored is way better. >More
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