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

THEATER

The Miss Firecracker Contest won't win any prizes

I'd like to say the embattled Strollers Theatre have returned to the Bartell Theatre in fine form, but their production of The Miss Firecracker Contest doesn't put them in phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes territory. >More
 Spamalot: Knight moves

You can't help but laugh at Spamalot. Even those of you whose Monty Python knowledge is a bit rusty will be moved by this touring musical comedy, which is, according to the playbill, "lovingly ripped off" from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Mimes doing the Macarena, bad French accents, fart jokes aplenty - honestly, what's not to laugh about? >More
 Lost Track: Inside her head

Encore Studio's mission statement promises to "communicate, through the performing arts, a challenging and authentic message about disability and culture." In Lost Track, which addresses bipolar disorder, the company lives up to this claim in every detail. The cast is diverse. The audience was diverse. And KelsyAnne Schoenhaar and Wendy Prosise's smart, sensitive and nuanced writing cultivates greater understanding of bipolarity and, perhaps more important, of society's reactions to it. Co-directors Schoenhaar and Cara E. Peterson craft a thought-provoking production, sprinkled with moments of wit, about life with this brain condition. >More
 Monty Python meets Broadway in Spamalot at Overture

You can't help but laugh at Spamalot. Even those of you whose Monty Python knowledge is a bit rusty will be moved by this touring musical comedy, which is, according to the playbill, "lovingly ripped off" from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Mimes doing the Macarena, bad French accents, fart jokes aplenty -- honestly, what's not to laugh about? >More
 Sex isn't too sexy in Broom Street Theater's Multiple O

The phrase "Sex is nice and pleasure is good for you" is repeated so many times during Broom Street Theater's production of Multiple O that it's hard to know if this is to reassure the performers or if it's to remind the audience how they're meant to feel. Either way, the mantra should be supplanted with the observation that "Sex is really kinda funny." >More
 The Nerd: Be my guest

These days, the word "nerd" conjures up images of a gently inept dork, someone who enjoys Dungeons & Dragons or tinkering with computers a little too much. But in Larry Shue's The Nerd, now playing at Madison Repertory Theatre, the misfit of the title is really more of a jerk. He's clueless about other people's feelings, wipes his nose with toilet paper found stuck on his shoe - and he just might stay at Willum Cubbert's tasteful home for good, if Willum doesn't take serious action. >More
 Encore Studio's Lost Track puts bipolar disorder in a new light

Encore Studio's mission statement promises to "communicate, through the performing arts, a challenging and authentic message about disability and culture." In Lost Track, which addresses bipolar disorder, the company lives up to this claim in every detail. The cast is diverse. The audience was diverse. And KelsyAnne Schoenhaar and Wendy Prosise's smart, sensitive and nuanced writing cultivates greater understanding of bipolarity and, perhaps more importantly, of society's reactions to it. >More
 A Streetcar Named Desire: Beauty vs. beast

A Streetcar Named Desire was given a 30-minute standing ovation at its 1947 Broadway premiere, and in the 60 years since that night, Tennessee Williams' masterpiece has been in constant production. "Stelllaaah!!" has passed into the cultural lexicon, and some of our best actors have left their fingerprints all over the major roles: Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Vivien Leigh. It's nearly impossible to get these ghosts off the stage, but University Theatre gives it a go. >More
 Madison Rep's Richard Corley had his work cut out for him

Madison Rep was always a step up. If I learned anything during my tenure as a theater critic here at Isthmus, which ended a couple of years ago, I learned to look forward to reviewing plays at Madison Repertory Theatre, whose artistic director, Richard Corley, is leaving after this season. >More
 Strollers Theatre starts over

Strollers Theatre is back. The reborn theater company will not close this spring, and it will continue to produce at the Bartell Community Theatre. >More
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