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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

THEATER

Entrances and exits: 2014 is a season of change for American Players Theatre

This is the time of year that Spring Green's American Players Theatre awakens after its winter hiatus. Actors and technicians assemble. Rehearsals begin. Scene and costume shops bustle with activity. People learn their cues. As the company begins its 35th year, there are almost as many notable entrances and exits behind the scenes as there are on the two stages. >More
 Mercury Players Theatre's Skin Tight paints an evocative picture of a couple's complicated relationship

The Mercury Players Theatre production of Skin Tight (through May 24 at the Bartell Theatre) opens with a woman's scream piercing the dark. As the lights come up, we see a couple lunging at each other from opposite sides of the stage. Grabbing, scratching, punching and flailing, they pause only long enough to catch their breath, then re-engage. >More
 Million Dollar Quartet fills Overture Hall with inspired tributes to early rock 'n' roll stars

There was a little bit of rock 'n' roll history, a little bit of Las Vegas spectacle, and a whole lot of shakin' going on at the opening performance of Million Dollar Quartet at Overture Hall on Tuesday night. The touring cast performs the show in Madison through May 18. >More
 Strollers Theatre's Jerusalem is a complex journey into an Englishman's wild and wayward existence

I had never received a vocabulary sheet upon entering the doors of a theater, not until attending the Strollers Theatre production of Jerusalem, a much-lauded play by English writer Jez Butterworth (through May 31 at the Bartell). The three-act, three-hour-long show is full of humor and drunken antics, with a smattering a literary allusions to boot. >More
 Encore Studio's Different Dreams asks thorny questions about disabilities and happiness

Off the beaten path of Madison's traditional downtown theater scene lies a nontraditional company, Encore Studio for the Performing Arts. Encore is situated off the Beltline at the Fish Hatchery exit, but the location alone is not what makes it unique. The troupe is a professional theater company for people with disabilities. Its current show, Different Dreams (through May 17), is a series of loosely connected vignettes that explore the hopes and aspirations of the cast. >More
 For Musical Fantasy, Are We Delicious? has crafted six tales of improbability in a near-impossible time frame

Tony Trout doesn't believe in fate. Despite this, the impresario of Are We Delicious? Ensemble Theatre chose to helm a production about magic and the uncanny ability to defy human logic. It's called Musical Fantasy, and its concept sounds slightly nuts: Six actors who can write and sing team up with six musicians who can compose and teach, and together they create a half-dozen mini-musicals in less than a week. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison celebrates Fiddler on the Roof's 50th anniversary with a satisfying production

Children's Theater of Madison ends its 2013-14 season with a fine production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof (through May 11 at Overture Center's Playhouse), the beloved musical by Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, which debuted on Broadway 50 years ago. >More
 In Glasshole!, Broom Street Theater uses comedy to examine potential consequences of a new technology

Selfies aren't just harmless fun anymore. They've even gotten President Obama in trouble recently, after Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a photo of himself with the world leader and shared it online for what turned out to be a Samsung promotion. Broom Street Theater explores similarly troubling intersections of virtual and actual reality through the lens of Google Glass in a collection of comedy sketches titled Glasshole! (through May 17). >More
 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
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