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Monday, December 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

THEATER

Avenue Q has lessons to teach, despite itself

You know you're not in Oklahoma! anymore when the Broadway hit you're watching includes songs about Internet porn, racism and sex noises. Yet, for all of its gleeful raunchiness and un-P.C. attitude, Avenue Q has a sweetness at its core. >More
 Avenue Q at Overture has lessons to teach, despite itself

You know you're not in Oklahoma! anymore when the Broadway hit you're watching includes songs about Internet porn, racism and sex noises. Yet, for all of its gleeful raunchiness and un-P.C. attitude, Avenue Q has a sweetness at its core. >More
 Rich textures in The Love of the Nightingale by University Theatre

Centuries after its creation, Greek legend still has a remarkable power to affect us. The dreams and desires, fears and follies of those long-ago people in faraway places have stood the test of time astonishingly well, not least because, while circumstances may change, human nature does not. >More
 Neil Simon's sentimental journey

Madison Theatre Guild's production of Brighton Beach Memoirs tells the story of Eugene and his Jewish American family in the Depression years. Eugene lives in Brooklyn with his mother, father and brother Stanley, as well as his widowed aunt Blanche and two cousins, Nora and Laurie. >More
 Go ask Alice

James DeVita, of American Players Theatre fame, has taken Lewis Carroll's already trippy tale Through the Looking Glass and made it even kookier. Children's Theater of Madison's production of DeVita's Looking Glass Land (in Overture Center's Playhouse) is a bit messy, but it is also spirited entertainment, and director Rosann Sheridan has coaxed good performances out of the cast of adults and children. >More
 Tales of Poe sets a macabre stage in Stoughton

Tales of Poe by Royal Oak Productions is full of heart (buh-bum, buh-bum), but weakened by a few flaws of light and sound. This theatrical adaptation of five of Edgar Allan Poe's works, including The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven, is being produced over two weekends this October at the Stoughton Center for Performing Arts. >More
 Madison Rep's Fully Committed is funny, if thin

Playwright Becky Mode's background in TV writing may not surprise theater-goers who see Fully Committed, Madison Repertory Theatre's season opener. While it's fast and funny, the story is a bit thin and lacks a strong sense of forward propulsion. And Sam, an aspiring actress doing time in the trenches of the restaurant biz while waiting for her big break, feels like a character we've seen before. >More
 Musical au naturel

The first act of Mercury Players' production of The Full Monty is so limp it appears to be suffering from a bad case of erectile dysfunction. Fortunately there seems to be some Viagra backstage, and the second act springs to life before achieving a boisterous climax. >More
 Strollers succeeds with Doubt: A Parable

"Innocence can only be wisdom in a world without evil," Sister Aloysius cautions her younger counterpart, Sister James. Both nuns teach at a Catholic school in the Bronx, and the year is 1964 -- only a year after the country as a whole, through the assassination of President Kennedy, was dealt a shocking lesson in the loss of innocence. >More
 Intricate machinations in The Belle's Stratagem at American Players Theatre

I took a break from my obsessive Olympics viewing to see American Players Theatre's production of The Belle's Stratagem. First performed in 1780, the play is the best-known work of Hannah Cowley, the successful female playwright. There is probably a performance studies graduate student at NYU who is working on a dissertation about the impact of Cowley and other female dramatists, so I won't go into that. >More
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