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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 37.0° F  Fair

The Daily

A Book A Week: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

World-building is one of the trickiest parts of writing fantasy and science fiction. Books are often front-loaded with detail, and sometimes this detail is essential for understanding later plot developments. But sometimes it's just there because the writer was so enamored of her own creativity that she wasn't a good judge of which elements were ornamental rather than strictly necessary. Bee Ridgway, in The River of No Return, walks a fine line between these two extremes but in the end succeeds nicely. >More
382 Pixel LineA talk with filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya

In A Drop of Life, Shalini Kantayya's award-winning 2007 short about the impact of water scarcity and water privatization in India, the filmmaker and eco-activist imagined a "near future" in which prepaid water meters determine how much drinking water individuals receive. "Water meters did not exist in India at the time of my film's production, but they do now," Kantayya says. "This is not a film I meant to be a prophecy, but it ended up being a dark one." >More
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The Paper

Urban theorist Naomi Davis seeks to revitalize African American neighborhoods

The last time urban theorist Naomi Davis visited Madison, in the early 2000s, she was in search of communities that would help her create a model for revitalizing African American neighborhoods. Eventually, she came up with Blacks in Green, a national network advancing what she calls "green-village-building" in violent neighborhoods haunted by dilapidated housing, vacant lots, a hollow economic corridor and low median household income. >More
382 Pixel LineWrite-in election rules changed under new Wisconsin law

For poll worker Larry Nelson, Election Day's most irritating hour -- or hours -- arrives after the polls close, when the write-in votes are counted. "Here you are, on your feet after working 14 hours, and now you have to sort through the ballots looking for Mickey Mouse," he explains. >More
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Relax, it's okay to pack a rosé

April is synonymous with rosé wine season. It's when pink juice begins arriving on store shelves in the same way smelt appears at fish fries and crocuses pop in sun-drenched lawns. While it may still seem a bit cold to enjoy wine that is best suited for warm summer afternoons, rosé-heads can't help themselves; they're already pulling corks to see what the 2013 harvest is/was all about. >More
 Brews Brothers pairs an ample tap list with big burgers

The corner bar doesn't have to look like Cheers. Heck, it doesn't even have to be on a corner. What it has to have is a welcoming vibe, staff who make an effort and at least a decent tap list. Brews Brothers has all of these things, and the big menu of burgers doesn't hurt, either. >More
Lydia Loveless stands up to the man

When 23-year-old country punk Lydia Loveless recorded a single for Record Store Day 2014 -- a nationwide event happening this Saturday, April 19 -- she shocked some fans by releasing a cover of Kesha's "Blind." In addition to identifying with the pop star's irreverent spirit, Loveless wants to show her own music's great variety of influences, many of which come from the pop world. >More
 Vinyl Cave: Neil Young by Neil Young

Buffalo Springfield may have had a short life as an active band, but it launched the careers of a number of musicians who have remained active in the business since the '60s. The roster included one major 20th-century legend still shaking things up in the 21st: Neil Young, who released nearly as many albums in the first decade of the new century as he did in the 1970s. >More
With Shorts on the 2nd Floor, Madison Theatre Guild shows that pint-size plays can bring about powerful performances

Madison Theatre Guild's Shorts on the 2nd Floor is an entertaining evening of seven short plays -- some ridiculous, some poignant, and several in between -- from a combination of unknown and iconic playwrights. Although the pieces don't coalesce around an obvious theme, they are well-executed snapshots of characters at a point of revelation. >More
 Overture Center announces a 2014-15 season filled with Broadway blockbusters and music from around the world

Overture Center has unveiled its 2014-15 season, and it's a doozie. Filled with live music from around the world, innovative takes on dance and circus arts, and musicals that range from charming classics to irreverent new hits, there are tons of opportunities to get your fill of culture between August 2014 and June 2015. >More
The Lunchbox glimpses a charming mealtime tradition in modern Mumbai

The last place one might expect to find the Lubitsch touch would be in The Lunchbox, Indian writer-director Ritesh Batra's debut film. Yet if you disregard the sights and sounds of modern Mumbai for just a moment while the story unfolds, you might imagine yourself in Manhattan during another era, watching as James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan exchange notes in The Shop Around the Corner. >More
 Scarlett Johansson morphs into a sexy, unknowable alien in Under the Skin

Scarlett Johansson is occasionally nude: That's all some moviegoers need know about Under the Skin. They're in for a surprise, though: This is easily the most unique science-fiction movie to hit theaters in years. >More

THE GUIDE

Wednesday, April 23
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Lydia Loveless, The Rodeo Bums High Noon Saloon, 8:00pm
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University Theatre's "Richard III" UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre
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Line Breaks UW Lathrop Hall-H'Doubler Performance Space
Thursday, April 24
3Lau, Antics  Segredo, 9:00pm
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University Theatre's "Richard III"  UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre
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Sister Helen Prejean & Jake Heggie  First Congregational United Church of Christ, 7:00pm
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Line Breaks  UW Lathrop Hall-H'Doubler Performance Space
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Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznick  UW Union South-Varsity Hall, 7:30pm
Friday, April 25
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The Mascot Theory (CD release)  Fisher King Winery, Mount Horeb, 6:30pm
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CRITICS' CHOICE

The Week: Madison calendar for April 18-24, 2014

Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. >More

TELEVISION

In 700 Sundays, Billy Crystal explores the forging of a Jewish comedian's soul

Billy Crystal performs his Tony-winning one-man play 700 Sundays before a live audience, telling the story of his wonderful, horrible Long Island childhood. He stands in front of a brick façade that evokes his modest abode, with home movies and photos from the 1950s and '60s flashing on the walls. >More

ISTHMUS GREEN DAY

A talk with filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya

In A Drop of Life, Shalini Kantayya's award-winning 2007 short about the impact of water scarcity and water privatization in India, the filmmaker and eco-activist imagined a "near future" in which prepaid water meters determine how much drinking water individuals receive. "Water meters did not exist in India at the time of my film's production, but they do now," Kantayya says. "This is not a film I meant to be a prophecy, but it ended up being a dark one." >More

TELL ALL

Tell All: I'm dating a 12-year-old

Dear Tell All: A few months ago I met a guy through a dating website and have been seeing him regularly. We have many things in common, are physically attracted to each other, and get along well in person. The problem comes when we communicate via texting or Facebook. >More

ISTHMUS PARENTS

Mama Madison: When mom gets a new roomie

This past week, against both my will and better judgement, I accompanied 50 or so middle school kids to the Future Problem Solvers Wisconsin State Bowl, a popular academic and skit-writing competition. >More

MADISON SNAPS

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COVER STORY

Eldonna Hazen emphasizes tolerance as a pioneering minister at First Congregational Church
On a frosty winter morning, Eldonna Hazen was preparing to do something she had postponed for years: lead Sunday morning worship service. "I felt a call to the ministry my sophomore year in college. But I thought that, as a gay woman, it was not possible for me," says Hazen, who was recently installed as the senior minister at First Congregational Church. She is the congregation's first woman minister and its first openly gay one. >More
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CITIZEN DAVE

Citizen Dave: Some misconceptions about golf
Finally, the courses are open and we can get back to suffering. But there's trouble on the horizon. The grand old game of golf is losing players. Every day adherents die, and they're not being replaced by young people. In order to reverse the trend, radicals and heretics are proposing various ways of defiling the game. >More

BEER

Madison Craft Beer Week 2014: Five breweries create special releases for Tex Tubb's
Last year for Madison Craft Beer Week, Tex Tubb's Taco Palace did a collaboration beer with House of Brews featuring agave. This year, they're creating not one, but six brews with five different breweries. "Bigger is better," jokes bar manager Will Mueller. >More

EDUCATION

MADLAND

Madland: Is the Madison school district's behavior plan enough?
Recently, the Madison Metropolitan School Board adopted a pair of new behavior plans meant to reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions in the district, particularly the punishments that are disproportionately handed out to students of color. I'd like to applaud the school board for taking a serious look at the district's expulsion rate. However, I wonder if these new codes will be enough. >More

NEWS

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