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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 13.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

THEATER

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
 Compleat Female Stage Beauty: Boys will be girls

Mercury Players Theatre's Compleat Female Stage Beauty is a comedy that looks at serious issues. In typical Mercury Players fashion, this show is sans taboos. Jeffrey Hatcher's R-rated script contains its fair share of fun innuendo, but the play's true value is found in its social commentary. >More
 Madison Theatre Guild finds heartbreak and hope in The Laramie Project

It's heartening to see the beleaguered Madison Theatre Guild returning to the Bartell Theatre in impressive form with The Laramie Project. The stirring play explores the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, the openly gay University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped, robbed, severely beaten and left for dead tied to a fence post by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, two men he met in a local bar. >More
 Esperanza Rising: Hard labor

Esperanza Rising, presented by Children's Theater of Madison, is the story of a privileged Mexican girl who lives on her family's ranch. When bandits kill her father, she and her mother are left destitute. Next, fire destroys their house, and Esperanza's mother is forced to send her daughter with their former servants to a migrant labor camp in California. Through these experiences, Esperanza learns, as director Roseann Sheridan puts it, how to live up to the meaning of her name - "hope." >More
 Leprechaun: Road to nowhere

Playwright and director Callen Harty throws a lot at us in Broom Street Theater's Leprechaun, which follows an American couple touring Ireland in celebration of their first anniversary. Some of it is crazy fun, but some of it is crazy annoying. At points during the performance I had to shut my eyes for a few seconds to steal a little peace and quiet. >More
 Pulp: Hot lesbian action

Crushes, skeet shooting, drag performances, lesbian comedy and music abound in StageQ's production of Pulp. This musical satire of 1950s lesbian novels shows what happens when Terry Logan (Sue Carnell), a former pilot in the WACs, hotfoots it to Chicago in 1956 to work at a lesbian bar called the Well. The production is most fun when director Tara Ayres' cast surrenders to the play's arch campiness, making lifted eyebrows, double entendres and puns work. But it gets a little dull during long stretches where it's played (pardon the expression) straight. >More
 The Lieutenant of Inishmore: There will be blood

Mutilated cats, blinded cows, a man's nose fed to his cocker spaniel; brace yourself. You might find PETA picketing the Bartell Theatre. The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh's boisterous send-up of feckless Irish terrorists and soppy Irish sentimentality, is an uninterrupted 85 minutes of bloody black comedy. Outrageous, but very funny. >More
 Wisconsin Union Theater serves up a feast in 2008-09

The Wisconsin Union Theater has planned an impressive smörgsbord for the 2008-09 season. The season is divided into several series, each with its own highlights. >More
 Broom Street Theater goes over the top in Leprechaun

Playwright and director Callen Harty throws a lot at us in Broom Street Theater's Leprechaun, which follows an American couple touring Ireland in celebration of their first anniversary. Some of it is crazy fun, but some of it is crazy annoying. At points during the performance I had to shut my eyes for a few seconds to steal a little peace and quiet. >More
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