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Sunday, December 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

The once and future Orpheum Theatre

On the afternoon of March 31, 1927, while bands played under bunting outside, Mayor Albert G. Schmedeman walked onto the grandest stage the capital city had ever seen. "The new Orpheum Theatre is a conspicuous addition to Madison's civic assets. Everyone should see and appreciate this magnificent palace of amusement," he announced, officially opening the venue. >More

NEWS

Health parties for Latinas tackle important women's issues

It's an unseasonably warm Monday night, and nine women are gathered in a small living room on Madison's south side. They chat in Spanish, both with each other and their children, while water and snacks sit on the coffee table. Laughter fills the room as the kids energetically run around the house, largely ignoring their mothers. >More
 Sexual orientation a non-issue in Mark Pocan's historic congressional victory

Democrat Mark Pocan's victory over Republican rival Chad Lee was hardly unexpected, but it is remarkable in one way. Pocan succeeds Tammy Baldwin, and his win marks the first time a congressional seat has changed hands from one openly gay lawmaker to another. "The 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin is making history with Mark Pocan's election to Congress," confirms Paul Guequierre, spokesperson for Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group. >More
 Steve Gunderson bemoans the lost art of cooperation in Wisconsin politics

Steve Gunderson served as a Republican congressman in Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District from 1981 to 1997. There he focused on agriculture, education, health care and human-rights issues. He came out as a gay man while in Congress but won reelection nevertheless. >More
 Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi is 'seriously considering' a run for Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin voters may be weary of what seems like an endless election season in this politically divided state, but there is likely one more epic battle on the horizon. Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack is up for reelection in the spring, and a Dane County judge says she is "seriously considering" challenging her for the seat. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Obama wins smart as Romney and Ryan alienate average Americans

On Election Day morning, the bell rang and there was yet another volunteer for Barack Obama reminding me to vote. It was probably the fifth time in recent months that an Obama volunteer had stopped by to chat up me or my wife. I was starting to think they might move in with us. The explanations for Obama's victory are many, but arguably begin with his superior ground game. >More
 Tammy Baldwin wins Wisconsin's Senate race with progressive values

In so many ways, Tammy Baldwin's victory in the U.S. Senate race was the icing on the cake. The energy at the Baldwin victory party at Monona Terrace built all night long, as the Democrats racked up wins across the United States. Her win is historic, she acknowledged in her victory speech: She is both the first woman Senator from Wisconsin and the first openly gay member of that body. >More
 Moderate Wisconsin gets a conservative legislature again

How does a state that votes for President Barack Obama and elects its first woman -- and the nation's first gay woman -- to the U.S. Senate also elect an overwhelmingly conservative Republican state legislature? There are two answers: money and gerrymandering. The Democrats were badly outspent in legislative districts that were drawn behind closed doors to benefit Republicans. >More
 Tell All: Bikers jockey for position on the southwest path

Dear Tell All: I might be the "Blue Lycra Guy" that your letter writer Give Me a Brake complained about on the Southwest Bike Path. Yes, I wear blue biking clothes, and yes, I pass slower bicyclists on the way to and from work. But this doesn't make me "a macho man with a big ego." It just makes me a faster bicyclist. Is that a crime? >More

MUSIC

Madison's Little Legend look out for the little guy on a new EP

Madison has been rich in garage-rock and power-pop lately but lacks bands that follow the earnest, Gaslight Anthem school of rock revivalism. Enter the misfit crew Little Legend. >More
 A Place to Bury Strangers' shoegaze is both dark and light

Much like their heroes, the Jesus & Mary Chain, deafening shoegazers A Place to Bury Strangers smear a heavy coat of sonic mascara on their fans. The group get an extra layer of darkness from their name: A reference to a graveyard purchased with the silver Judas received for selling Jesus, it's a moniker from which no light can escape. >More
 Madison-raised pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton flaunt their technique and charm with the Madison Symphony Orchestra

"Twice as Nice," the Madison Symphony Orchestra's program for the first weekend of November, features a pair of soloists -- twins, in fact, and local ones to boot. I took in Friday night's performance at Overture Hall. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Kanopy's 'End Times' explores chaos and redemption through modern dance

"End Times," the newest Kanopy Dance Company production, is not all doom and gloom, despite what its name suggests. I caught the Friday-night performance at Overture Center's Promenade Hall, but the program continues through Sunday, Nov. 4. >More
 Wedding Band charts the pathetic path of aging rockers

Wedding Band is a wonderful new comedy series that combines Spinal Tap and School of Rock in a satire of the wedding-band biz. The band in question is made up of four aging musicians with day jobs and, in one case, a family, but the wedding circuit allows them to keep their rock 'n' roll dreams alive. >More

MOVIES

Skyfall proves that 007 is still relevant

The James Bond franchise seems to be feeling a bit defensive. After 007 (Daniel Craig) chases a killer through Istanbul to recover a hard drive containing information about undercover agents, M (Judi Dench) wonders if it's time for him to hang up his Walther PPK. Bond and the young tech wiz Q (Ben Whishaw) trade zingers about how espionage has changed into something that's not just about "exploding pens." And when M is called before a government committee, she has to explain why her field agents are still relevant. >More
 Compliance is a psychological thriller and a philosophical statement

Yes, writer-director Craig Zobel's unsettling drama Compliance provides a harrowing true-life demonstration of the infamous Milgram experiment, in which participants blindly deferred to an authority figure. But even though visceral unpleasantness often takes center stage, the film packs an even greater philosophical punch. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Veranda Restaurant's wide-ranging menu is most focused at breakfast

Among the major communities of the Madison metropolitan area, there is none with as low a population density as Fitchburg: one-fifth that of Madison, one-sixth of neighboring Verona. The Fitchburgers, they have space to roam. Maybe this explains the city's predilection for sprawling restaurants with wide-reaching menus. >More
 The North American Biodynamic Conference will focus on a sacred approach to agriculture

For those who have ever sensed the pulse of the Earth, or felt a sense of awe even in their own backyard, consider the 2012 North American Biodynamic Conference, Nov. 14-18 at Monona Terrace. This year's theme, "Sacred Agriculture: Creating a New Relationship with the Earth," centers on the idea that the Earth needs to heal from the effects of industrialized agriculture and that working with the land can be a sacred act. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Packers run for their lives

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was worried about an uninspired performance last Sunday due to an imminent week off and a lackluster opponent in Arizona. He expressed his concern with this entertaining, metaphor-mixing quote. "Any time you're on a long journey," McCarthy said in an interview with Milwaukee's WTMJ radio, "you have that one pit stop in the middle of the trip, when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you take your eye off the ball." >More
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