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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


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
 The Madison Theatre Guild: Back from the brink

Once it was the largest and most powerful theater in town, perhaps in the state. It was courted by the city. It was the critics' darling. And it had a near-monopoly with an astounding 4,500 season ticket holders. >More
 A Christmas Carol: Ghost with the most

Don't be surprised to see misty-eyed theatergoers at A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens' classic is all about redemption and transformation, and Children's Theatre of Madison delivers an affecting experience that had me dabbing away a few tears. >More
 Tidings from the Seasonally Affected: A group-home Christmas

It's become a contemporary truism that the "most wonderful time of the year" really isn't so wonderful for a lot of people. From shopping stress to fractious family visits, the holiday season can test even the most placid. >More
 Rug rats

I took my 7-year-old daughter with me to opening night of Madeline's Christmas, MadCAP Theatre's holiday offering at the Bartell Theatre, secretly hoping that she would write the review for me. But she wasn't very forthcoming with her critique. >More
 Dickens in America opens at the Madison Rep

Opening night of Dickens in America got off to a slightly rough start. Snowy roads kept some theater-goers home and a half-empty house is never a great confidence builder for an actor. When he first walked onstage as a wild-haired Charles Dickens, James Ridge seemed to need a little convincing, but sometime between The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations, Ridge completely disappeared. There stood Charles Dickens himself, decked out in a 3-piece suit complete with a red carnation telling stories with the eyes of someone not quite crazy, but not quite sane either. >More
 Yellowman: Skin disease

An ambitious two-person play, Yellowman is about "colorism," a term defined as black-on-black discrimination based on skin shade -- or a form of intra-racial prejudice. >More
 Dork Side of the Moon: Nerds in space

I've never seen an episode of Star Trek. There, I've said it -- and I'm damn proud of it. So while I may be a nerd, I'm not a dork, at least in the sense of dorkitude that fills Broom Street Theater's new comedy, Dork Side of the Moon. >More
 Lombardi: Winning a squeaker

In the final scene of Eric Simonson's Lombardi/The Only Thing, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers delivers a speech in which he says: "It takes a special person to love someone who is imperfect." That is also true of Madison Repertory Theatre's production. There is much to love, but it is anything but perfect. >More
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