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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 72.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

THEATER

Magical costumes and other visual spectacles steal the show in University Theatre's kabuki-inspired Richard III

Shakespeare's plays have been translated, interpreted and reexamined on stages all over the world in the four centuries since they were written. In University Theatre's new production of Richard III, director David Furumoto infuses the bloody story of royal machinations and betrayals with elements of kabuki, incorporating traditional makeup, costumes, dance, music, vocal styles and staging. >More
 With Shorts on the 2nd Floor, Madison Theatre Guild shows that pint-size plays can bring about powerful performances

Madison Theatre Guild's Shorts on the 2nd Floor is an entertaining evening of seven short plays -- some ridiculous, some poignant, and several in between -- from a combination of unknown and iconic playwrights. Although the pieces don't coalesce around an obvious theme, they are well-executed snapshots of characters at a point of revelation. >More
 University Theatre heightens the drama of Richard III using elements of traditional kabuki

UW theater professor David Furumoto says his first exposure to traditional kabuki changed his life. It was the late 1970s, and he was a teenager growing up in Hawaii. One day, his mother insisted that he drive her to a performance -- and stay to see it. He had no idea what he was getting into. >More
 University Theatre's Yellow Boat is a magical tale of a young man who uses art to cope with hemophilia and HIV/AIDS

Many memorial services claim to be "a celebration of life." They try to turn a tragic event -- the death of a loved one -- into an occasion to share joyful, happy memories. The University Theatre production of David Saar's The Yellow Boat (through April 18 at UW Vilas Hall's Hemsley Theatre) actually succeeds at this task. >More
 Forward Theater finds farcical fun in Or, a tale about spy-turned-playwright Aphra Behn

The new Forward Theater Company production, Or, is set in Restoration England, but it's no fussy costume drama -- not by a long shot. Rather, it's a saucy and smart finish to the company's fifth season. During the opening night performance, the three-person cast quickly won over the audience with fine comic timing. The production runs through April 13 at Overture Center's Playhouse. >More
 Mercury Players and OUT!Cast Theatre turn Xanadu's sparkly '80s kitsch into irony-tinged gold

You may know Xanadu as the 1980 Olivia Newton-John movie featuring sparkly pop music, girls on roller skates and a hapless male lead in short-shorts. As of 2007, it's also a musical that includes all of the film's original songs, written by ELO, plus those trademark skates. Unlike the movie, the musical is a parody of the big, jukebox extravaganzas that all but dominate Broadway these days. >More
 Broom Street Theater's W8ing 4 G-Dogg is a fun, modern response to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

While philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre are known for their deep discussions of existentialism, existential crises affect the rest of us, too. Samuel Beckett knew that and presented a problem of this sort in his famous Waiting for Godot. The Broom Street Theater production W8ting 4 G-Dogg (through April 12) isn't quite a remake of Beckett's play, though it follows a similar plot with analogous characters. It's both accessible and enjoyable. >More
 Forward Theater Company announces intriguing 2014-15 season, full of dark humor and absurdity

Madison's Forward Theater Company is about to embark on its sixth season presenting contemporary plays featuring the talents of professional actors, directors and designers. This week it announced the lineup for its 2014-15 season. Here is a brief snapshot of each play the troupe has selected. >More
 Four Seasons Theatre displays charisma, charm and killer vocals in Great Dames

Four Seasons has consistently demonstrated a fervor to deliver Madison's best voices, and Great Dames is no exception. The company always looks like it's having fun, too, and that's important. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison creates an innovative version of Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for kids on the autism spectrum

For an autistic child, the theater can be challenging. Loud noises startle. Lighting changes overwhelm. Many things the average theatergoing public takes for granted, from waiting patiently in line to sitting quietly in one's seat, can prove difficult. But Susannah Peterson, executive director of the Autism Society's South Central Wisconsin chapter, knows that these kids love storytelling, too. >More
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