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The Daily


Trouble at the Bartell

Strollers Theatre performed Noises Off at the Bartell Theatre on Jan. 31. Afterwards, producer Leo Cooper complained to director Jewell Fitzgerald so loudly backstage that it disrupted a Mercury Players Theatre performance also being held in the Bartell. Then all hell broke loose in local community theater. >More
 More resignations at Strollers Theatre

On Feb. 6, Leo Cooper resigned from the Strollers Theatre board after a backstage argument during the run of Noises Off at the Bartell Theatre. Since then, three more board members have resigned, including the nonprofit's president. Over the weekend Leo Cooper returned to the Strollers board. >More
 Trouble at the Bartell Theatre

Management of the Bartell Community Theatre is being called into question following the abrupt resignation of Leo Cooper from the board of Strollers Theatre. Cooper's wife, Lee Ann, the Bartell's managing director, predicts "an end to community theater in Madison" as a result of the controversy that is embroiling three nonprofits. >More
 The Maple Bluff Mystery: Fare play

Broom Street Theater opens its 2008 season with much anticipated (and appreciated) new seating and The Maple Bluff Mystery, a comedy/mystery hybrid that is not so much a whodunit as a whosawit. >More
 Muskie Love: Bass desires

From the children's storybook set, to the full moon projected onto the star-glittered ceiling of the Barrymore Theatre, everything about Madison Repertory Theatre's Muskie Love is a little bit hokey. But given the warm-hearted nature of the musical and the charming performances of the cast, the result is as satisfying as a Friday night fish fry on a crisp Wisconsin winter's evening. >More
 The Pillowman: Cruel and unusual

At a time when the very definition of torture is being debated at the highest levels of government and the political atmosphere is seething with paranoia, Mercury Players Theatre could not have chosen a more opportune moment to present Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's nightmarish The Pillowman. >More
 The Diary of Anne Frank: The new breed

"How much could a 13-year-old have to say?" asks an exasperated Mr. Van Daan, one of eight people hiding in the famed Secret Annex during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Van Daan simply can't imagine what occupies the curious, hyper-literate Anne Frank, forever scribbling in her diary. >More
 Noises Off: What a farce

Frank Rich, erstwhile theater critic of The New York Times, wrote of Michael Frayn's farce Noises Off that it "is, was, and probably always will be the funniest play written in my lifetime." >More
 The Duck Variations: Conversation piece

With David Mamet's plays one ordinarily associates four-letter words ending in "uck" with the sixth letter of the alphabet. Some might say it's a relief that he backed off a little and chose a d-word for The Duck Variations, currently being produced by the Madison Theatre Guild. But the occasional f-bomb might have livened up this very slight comedy. >More
 My top Madison actors' performances of 2007

In his autobiographical tome On Acting, Sir Laurence Olivier stressed the importance of learning solid technical discipline. "Every time an actor goes on stage," wrote the great man, "he hopes the gods will be with him. Technique is for the times the gods don't show up." As far as Madison theatre was concerned, the gods seem to have been quite active in 2007. >More
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