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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 51.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

THEATER

Chicago presents a tuneful indictment of sensationalism at Overture Center

Overture Center kicked off its Broadway Series with a solid and sexy production of Chicago (through Oct. 6), the glitzy celebration of media frenzies, sensational trials, and the public's insatiable appetite for tawdry crime. As the well-connected Matron "Mama" Morton remarks astutely in the first act of the award-winning musical, "Murder is a form of entertainment." >More
 StageQ's Much Ado About Nothing is a gender-bending take on the Bard's comedy

When a man dressed only in tight green briefs greets you at the door, you know you're in for an interesting night of theater. Call it Shakesqueer. >More
 Seinfeld's John O'Hurley leads a touring production of Chicago to Madison

Like Billy Flynn, the character he plays in Chicago (Oct. 1-6, Overture Hall), John O'Hurley is known as a suave silver fox who razzle dazzles. Isthmus spoke to the actor, who Seinfeld fans know as Elaine Benes' eccentric boss J. Peterman, and discovered that being in a Broadway production is just one item on his to-do list. >More
 An ex-minister faces his demons in Madison Theatre Guild's The Night of the Iguana

The Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon is at the end of his rope. Arriving in a small town in Mexico in the off-season, the former minister-turned-travel guide has a fever, a bus full of irate Texas teachers on holiday, and a sinking feeling he's about to suffer another nervous breakdown, if he's not arrested first. These desperate circumstances open the admirable but uneven production of Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana by Madison Theatre Guild (through Oct. 5 at the Bartell Theatre). >More
 Broom Street Theater's The Waiting Room peeks behind the scenes of a concert venue

It's a familiar pattern: Set a goal, try to reach it, struggle, become bitter and maybe try again. At some point it becomes clear that some dreams aren't very achievable and others aren't worth the trouble. Michael Tooher's The Waiting Room, which just finished its run at Broom Street Theater, illustrates these points through stagehands at a concert venue. >More
 Strollers Theatre's The Madwoman of Chaillot is a timely critique of capitalism

Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot (through Sept. 21 at the Bartell Theatre) began as a thinly veiled commentary on fascism, according to the director's notes for the new Strollers Theatre production. Rather than write actual Nazi characters, the playwright chose to illustrate their cruelty in the form of industrialists willing to exploit anything and anyone for profit. >More
 Playtime! Madison theater troupes offer all sorts of fun in 2013-14

Madison's 2013-14 theater season offers an incredibly diverse selection of shows. It's impossible to describe them all in a single phrase, but one thing is clear: This art form continues to thrive in Madison. >More
 American Players Theatre questions the American dream with All My Sons

Spending an evening at American Players Theatre each summer is a beloved tradition for many, including me. I love arriving well before the show starts to have a leisurely dinner as the sky gradually goes dark. Recorded trumpets call the audience to their seats and then, as bats fly overhead and whippoorwill and crickets sing, the lights come up. This is what we've been waiting for. Many of the characters in APT's production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons (through Sept. 28) are waiting, too. >More
 American Players Theatre's Antony & Cleopatra takes creative risks in the indoor Touchstone Theatre

When American Players Theatre, beloved for its open-air amphitheater, opened an intimate, indoor stage in 2009, company leadership gave several reasons for the new direction. It wasn't only about staging plays that would likely draw smaller crowds, but also about keeping core company staff creatively engaged and able to take risks. You could say that the Spring Green theater's new adaptation of Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra (through Oct. 20) is one of those creative risks. >More
 American Player Theatre's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead attacks thorny questions with humor and verve

"We are entitled to some direction," says Guildenstern, one half of a tragicomic duo, in the first act of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The American Players Theatre production of Tom Stoppard's existential riff on Hamlet (through Oct. 5) opened Saturday night in the Spring Green company's outdoor amphitheater. >More
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