Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Noble Wray: The cop at the top

This past summer was one of high anxiety for Noble Wray. From muggings to sexual assaults, bar-time mayhem to Allied Drive fights, there was no shortage of problems hounding Madison's chief of police. On top of it all is Halloween, a black hole for an already strapped police department. >More


Devil's night

For years now, it has been the same irksome story. The Halloween revel on State Street ends in a melee, property is damaged, pepper spray is fired. Then comes the cleanup, and then come the recriminations. Could anything be more depressing? >More
 Budget cuts take human toll

Nobody chooses his words more carefully than Ludell Swenson. That's because, to communicate, the 47-year-old Madison man, who suffers (yes, that's the right word) from cerebral palsy has to summon all of his strength, between bouts of phlegmatic coughing, to direct his twisted left hand to words and letters on a wheelchair-mounted placard. 'This. Has. To. S-T-O-P. Now.' >More
 Not easy being a Green

Sen. Herb Kohl is a Democrat. But, given his voting record, Rae Vogeler wonders why any liberal would support him. 'He's let them down,' she says. >More
 A threat to Willy Street?

Arfan Mithu wants to make one thing perfectly clear: 'We are not trying to ruin the neighborhood. We're trying to enhance it.' It's been a surprisingly tough case to make. >More


Paying more for good teachers

If Wisconsin lawmakers ever get around to seriously pondering changes in K-12 education, they should ask UW-Madison professor Allan Odden about research linking teacher bonuses to student performance. >More
 Hypocrites with an agenda

Advocates of campaign finance reform insist they don't intend to curtail free political speech. They merely want to regulate the spending of money. Right. >More
 He's heavy, he's my brother

My younger brother Jack just turned 45. I'm concerned that he won't make it to 60, or even 50, but I don't know how to talk to him about it, or whether I can even bring it up with him. >More
 If the shoe fits

Many of us wax poetic about our Chuck Taylors, and for good reason. Simply put, they're damn cool. And Jack's Shoes ' a State Street institution ' is as cool a place as any to house one of the Midwest's largest selections of Chucks. >More


Andy AdamsWarming up the room

The album makes an especially strong case for the keyboard skills of Vincent Fuh, who penned five of the album's eight tracks. Whether he's offering up stabbing block chords, ruminating Bill Evans-style on his flamenco-flavored ballad 'Andalucia' or rolling through syncopated rhythmic figures on 'Salome,' Fuh is always impressive. >More
 Piano Fondue pits keyboard vs. keyboard

Something of a national cottage industry has emerged around the dueling-pianos format, whereby two performers entertain nightclub audiences in belting out songs and tickling the ivories of two grand pianos. To be certain, the spectacle turns certain expectations on their head. >More
 The good Dylan

Following the modern Dylan means that for everything good, something horrible must follow. For every Oh Mercy you get that 'Dylan and the Dead' tour. For every Traveling Wilburys (first album) there will be a Traveling Wilburys (second album). Luckily, we're on the good side of the cycle. >More



Art and drinks mix at First Fridays

We all know Jerry Frautschi wields a lot of influence, but is the local philanthropist able to control the twilight? On Oct. 6, the gloaming cast his baby, the Overture Center, in an impossibly flattering light, especially when the sunset was viewed from the glass prism at the western corner of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Overture's final addition. >More
 Lust or bust

Several actors show maturity beyond their years and fully inhabit their characters. Holtan, with her delicate features and mischievous performance, is the most comfortable with the language's rhythms. Bissen gives Willmore just the right amount of languid loutishness, making you root for him despite his randy behavior. >More
 The next stage

'The audience really is important to the festival,' says Corley. 'I can't tell you how hard the playwrights listen to them. And because the plays are works-in-progress, the writer and director can go back in and say, 'The audience said to try this ' let's do it.' These plays are clay on the potter's wheel.' >More
 A lost ballet

Don't be fooled ' this art-for-kids isn't just fluff. La boÃte, originally conceived on the eve of World War I, is a quintessential French response to the times. >More
 Haunted home sweet home

In The House Next Door (Monday, 8 p.m., Lifetime), the house in question is so beautiful ' not a creaky gothic manor, but a contemporary showplace with clean lines and stunningly lit interiors ' that you're almost willing to overlook the fact that it's festering with evil spirits. >More
 Stick it

In most hockey games, the skills of the players you control don't actually match up to those athletes' real-life stats. In NHL '07, however, the shooting stats finally make a significant difference. >More


Purple reign

That's the thinking behind Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, a movie that manages to be both tantalizing and tranquilizing, often at the same time. >More
Select a Movie
Select a Theater



Cosmopolitan menu

The menu seems to be the work of a committee, which it may well be, with four owners. There is a little of the old South here, a bit of Japanese, some traditional bar food, a couple of vegetarian items and a pinch of Italian. >More
 Bowls for sale

Thousands of us belong to community-supported-agriculture farms or shop at a co-op, while tens of thousands more attend one of the many farmers' markets around the city and in the area. With such an embarrassment of riches, we can easily forget that fresh local produce is not accessible to everyone. The Empty Bowls dinner on Oct. 28 is an annual reminder that food insecurity remains a persistent fact of life for too many Dane County residents. >More


Everything old is new again

'The truth is that in the beginning, every customer was a friend,' Harter remembers. 'We'd run with them, so it didn't seem to make sense to try to maximize your profit. It made sense to try to make a fair profit, so that you could have a decent living.' >More
Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar