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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


Drama in the West High theater department

On July 14, about 500 locals received an email message with a dramatic subject line: "West Theater Program in Jeopardy!" The message came from Friends of West High Drama, a booster organization for parents of students who've participated in the school's theater programs. It asked recipients to contact administrators and express concerns about proposed cuts to theater classes for the 2014-2015 school year. >More
 Music Theatre of Madison's Bonnie & Clyde is a magnetic tale about two lawbreaking lovers in 1930s America

As part of the infamous Barrow gang of robbers and outlaws, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow basked in the media spotlight, drew the ire of law enforcement, and captured the American imagination in the early 1930s. In the midst of the Great Depression, this handsome young couple eluded police during a three-year crime spree that fascinated the public. >More
 Two actors play 20 eccentric Texans in University Theatre's Greater Tuna

The UW Hemsley Theatre has been transformed into a little bit of Texas with the University Theatre production of Greater Tuna. A satire of rural life in the Lone Star State, the play features 20 eccentric residents of a town called Tuna, all of whom are portrayed by only two performers: Kailen Fleck and Trevor Rees, both students in the university's MFA program in acting and directing. >More
 Sarah Day grapples with grief as Joan Didion in American Players Theatre's The Year of Magical Thinking

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends," writes Joan Didion in her arresting 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. She returns to these phrases over and over throughout the book, as if by repeating them she can ultimately accept them. Through plain yet penetrating language, Didion explores both the rawness and the very ordinariness of grief. >More
 Swathed in moonlight, American Players Theatre's Romeo and Juliet enchants with passion, humor and tragedy

While pop culture is currently enthralled with a pair of young, doomed lovers in The Fault in Our Stars, the hearts of theatergoers around the world have remained true to William Shakespeare's tragic couple for more than 400 years. The new American Players Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet is proof that audiences will care about this couple's story for years to come as well. >More
 American Players Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing shows how bickering can be a beautiful and hilarious expression of love

In his director's notes for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing at American Players Theatre, David Frank argues that Shakespeare's renowned comedy is more than an amiable but ultimately empty, even nihilistic play, as its title might imply. And the production certainly bears that out. >More
 American Players Theatre's American Buffalo peeks inside a pawn shop where three men are plotting a robbery

When David Mamet's American Buffalo burst onto the theater scene in 1977, it was hailed as a triumph of the vernacular and pronounced an instant classic. Mamet infused Buffalo's dialogue with caustic profanity and the stark rhythms of a struggling, disillusioned class one that had rarely been represented with such searing clarity. >More
 American Players Theatre's The Importance of Being Earnest is a fun, frothy start to the 2014 season

Oscar Wilde's biggest hit, The Importance of Being Earnest, might seem sexist to modern viewers if the men weren't every bit as foolish as the women. As it is, Wilde skewers both sexes in his takedown of the social pretensions of the English upper classes. The play is the first to appear on the outdoor Up-the-Hill stage at American Players Theatre this summer. >More
 War Horse's puppeteers deliver a powerful message about love and conflict at Overture Center

War Horse rode into Overture Hall last night for its Madison premiere. The play, which runs through June 15, came before the 2011 Steven Spielberg movie of the same name, but both are based on a children's novel by Michael Morpurgo. The page is still ghostly present, providing both a literal and figurative backdrop for the story. >More
 Broom Street Theater's Civil presents an intriguing vision of the future justice system

Red, a character in Rob Matsushita's Civil, voices a common complaint about the American court system: It isn't the greatest at keeping up with the times, especially when it comes to technological innovation and relationship norms. But progress tends to happen eventually, as we saw yesterday in federal judge Barbara Crabb's decision to overturn Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage. >More
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