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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


john & jen: My sibling, my son

Sometimes, as with many an opera, big emotions and big production values go hand in hand. With Music Theatre of Madison's john & jen, big emotions must be conveyed through simple staging in the modest environs of the West Side Club. While it's a bit of a gamble, MTM pulls it off admirably. >More
 Henry IV: The Making of a King: Here comes the son

American Players Theatre's Henry IV: The Making of a King compiles William Shakespeare's two plays about King Henry IV's struggle to wield authority over the rebellious factions of his kingdom and his own rogue son, Hal. Much to Henry's woe, the young heir to the throne prefers carousing to matters of state, hanging out at the local tavern with Sir John Falstaff, the surrogate father figure to the pack of ruffians with whom Hal consorts. >More
 For What It's Worth: Blow up

The title of Broom Street Theater's current offering, For What It's Worth, is taken from the old Buffalo Springfield song, which has, as its opening stanza: "There's something happening here, What it is ain't exactly clear." Unfortunately, those words turn out to be somewhat prescient of playwright Cassi Harris' attempt to explore the cultural mayhem that was the '60s. >More
 Musical of Musicals (The Musical!): Dancing, singing, snickering

In recent years, Broadway musicals have made a resurgence in pop culture, from successful film adaptations like Chicago and Dreamgirls to shows that spoof musicals even as they indulge in their conventions. Urinetown and Spamalot, both of which have graced Madison stages within the last year or so, are prime examples of this genre. >More
 Ah, Wilderness!: O'Neill in love

I hope that by describing the opening-night performance of American Players Theatre's Ah, Wilderness! as pleasant I don't sound too much like Kevin Costner telling Madonna that her concert was "neat." >More
 Lovers leap in StageQ's Queer Shorts

The third edition of Queer Shorts, presented by StageQ, is subtitled All You Need Is Love, a fitting epithet for the 11 brief comedies and dramas that constitute a most enjoyable evening's entertainment. >More
 A Midsummer Night's Dream works its magic

Something magical happened in the woods at American Players Theatre's opening-night performance of A Midsummer's Night Dream. It wasn't just that torrential rains paused, nor was it that the cloud of hovering mosquitoes didn't seem to be biting. It was that William Brown's deftly directed production was as inspired and beautiful as it was funny. >More
 Celeste and Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day:That's crazy talk

Francesca Sanders, author of Celeste and Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day, writes in her program notes for the production that "of one thing I am certain -- a good time will be had by all." When you make a claim like that, you'd better have the goods to back it up. At the inaugural show for the new Mercury Players Theatre space on Fair Oaks Avenue, Sanders fell a long way short of her boast. >More
 Four Seasons Theatre puts over songs by Kander and Ebb

Four Seasons Theatre has a stunning little musical revue at UW Music Hall - a jewel-box theater just the right size for The World Goes 'Round. A revue is a musical-theater genre with selected showstoppers from big Broadway hits, in this case Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and New York, New York, plus other shows created during the long career of the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. >More
 Multiple O: Swing your partners

The phrase "Sex is nice, and pleasure is good for you" is repeated so many times during n 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
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