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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Fair
The Daily

THEATER

Ass backwards

Broom Street Theater has long been an advocate for new works by emerging playwrights, and for this it deserves kudos. The downside, of course, is that emerging playwrights (especially when they also direct) are often poor judges of their own work. Such is the case with Ethan Mutz's crime drama Funnel.

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 Rep's spare Death of a Salesman is an intimate, personal production

Arthur Miller's most celebrated play, Death of a Salesman, hasn't been performed in Madison for over 20 years. Director Richard Corley's decision to present Madison Repertory Theatre's version on a stark stage and allow the language and performances to dominate is a good one. >More
 Where there's smoke...

There is a moment in Reefer Madness: The Musical when dope-demented young rube Jimmy Harper is caught in a sweaty clinch with a sultry siren called Sally. As he eagerly gropes her body he pants into her ear: "I've almost got the catch." With a sly glance to the audience, Sally breathily quips: "I'm not wearing a bra." >More
 When paintings attack

The thought-provoking Art by Yasmina Reza won a Tony for best original play in 1998. The show examines the effect that an expensive piece of monochromatic contemporary art has on the tenuous bonds among a trio of friends. >More
 Higher education

Fun, funny, and outrageous, Mercury Players' Reefer Madness: The Musical is sure to put a perma-grin on your face. >More
 From the backyard to Off Broadway: Talking with the creators of Walmartopia

Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn are preparing themselves for a little bit of Empty Nest Syndrome. On Monday, September 1 -- Labor Day, of course -- their musical Walmartopia opens Off Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City. That's when they have to let go and just watch to see how the production plays in the big city. >More
 A friend in need

I didn't exactly run up the hill to American Players Theatre's production of Timon of Athens, having trepidation about insects and the questions surrounding this lesser-known work by Shakespeare. (When did he write it? Was it a collaboration? An experiment?) I was right to worry about the merciless black bugs but wrong to worry about the production, which is tautly directed by Kate Buckley. It's quite satisfying and well worth the trek. >More
 Ready to rumble

This weekend, Four Seasons Theatre celebrates the 50th anniversary of West Side Story with a gala production at Wisconsin Union Theater. When it opened on Broadway in 1957, Leonard Bernstein's transcendent musical translated the Romeo and Juliet story to the streets of gangland New York, with lyrics by a fledgling Stephen Sondheim and dances by Jerome Robbins. Today West Side Story is considered the ultimate collaboration of dance, music, and lyrics. >More
 Going down?

"Fast decay is a thing of hot climates," observes the Reverend Larry Shannon in the jumpy, quivering vocal rhythms of a man who is quickly unraveling. A disgraced minister-turned-tour guide at war with God, booze and sex, Shannon has come to find solace at the rundown resort of a friend off Mexico's west coast in 1940. >More
 Always in 'Vogue'

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