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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 58.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

THEATER

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
 University Theatre's Evening of One Acts show that coming of age in chaos can be both challenging and hilarious

Presented by University Theatre, An Evening of One Acts (through March 14 at Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre) is a showcase for early-career talent. Shannon Davis and John Cooper, a pair of acting and directing MFA candidates, direct these projects, and the roles are filled mostly by university students. The plays themselves are works by acclaimed playwrights Christopher Durang and Beth Henley, from when they were starting their writing careers. >More
 In Dead Man's Cell Phone, Madison Theatre Guild explores the discomfort that comes with adopting new technology

Remember when cell phones were still called "cell phones," not "smartphones" or just "phones"? Madison Theatre Guild takes us back to those not-so-long-ago days with Dead Man's Cell Phone (through March 15 at the Bartell Theatre), directed by L.M. Attea. >More
 Creating the next great play with Forward Theater

Madison's Forward Theater Company often stages plays that have recently traveled through New York City's theater circuit. This has been a successful strategy for the four-year-old company, which sold 98% of its tickets for Red, a Tony-winning play about Mark Rothko that opened at Overture Center in January. But Forward also strives to produce work by Wisconsin playwrights. >More
 Flashdance: The Musical fills Overture Hall with '80s-style breakdancing and lots of wisecracks

I rewatched Flashdance, the 1983 movie starring Jennifer Beals, on Monday. Last night I saw Flashdance: The Musical, the latest touring production at Overture Hall (through March 2). My expectations were modest since the movie doesn't have much of a plot. >More
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