Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 

Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 31.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Hot hangouts, cool retreats: Embrace or escape summer's swelter at these Madison haunts

The sun doesn't set until almost 9 p.m. right now, which means nightlife takes place in the light and the dark. For some, this means more time to work on a tan while sipping a cocktail at a rooftop cafe. For others, this means 100-degree days are just around the bend, along with the urge to crawl into in a cool, shady cave. For most of us, it's a bit of both. >More


The downtown hotel boom: Should Madison chip in to add more rooms for Monona Terrace?

The way Sanford DeWitt sees it, there are two kinds of travelers. There are the "spreadsheet guys," who "have to have everything planned out, have to have an itinerary." "They're going to stay at a Hyatt," he says. The other type of traveler is the "adventurer." This kind of person might book a hotel just a couple of hours in advance. They wouldn't be caught dead in any sort of organized tour, and they hate chain restaurants. The adventurer wants to get out and explore a city, ideally on foot or bike, to see what the homegrown culture has to offer. >More
 Where have all of Wisconsin's jury trials gone?

Daniel Moeser retired in 2011 as the longest-serving judge in Dane County history. He says that in his time on the bench, which spanned 32 years, there was a dramatic change in the types of cases that came to trial. "We've had an obvious increase in the number of juvenile, criminal and family law cases, while the personal injury and civil cases have almost dried up," he says. "Some day soon you may see no more civil cases; they will all be handled out of the courtroom. >More
 Mike Tate faces challenge for Wisconsin Democratic Party chair

Democratic Party elections are usually internal affairs, but this year's ballot is generating an unusual amount of interest, particularly among critics who blame party leaders for the brutal electoral defeats sustained in recent years by Wisconsin Democrats. Since 2009, Democrats lost control of both houses of the state Legislature and the governor's office; failed to oust Gov. Scott Walker in an expensive and exhausting recall election; and were unable to unseat two Republican-backed incumbents on the state Supreme Court. >More
 Bad news for bats: White-nose syndrome approaches Wisconsin's border

A disease that has caused devastating mortality in bats is now poised to make its way into the state. "The most recent unnerving news is that in LaSalle County, in northeast Illinois, they found white-nose syndrome in a mine," says Paul White, conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "That's roughly 100 miles from our border." >More


The UW tuition freeze is false populism

Why is it that the only thing state Republicans and Democrats can agree on is a bad idea? When the University of Wisconsin System was discovered to have a healthy, but not excessive, reserve account, legislators of both parties tripped over themselves calling for a tuition freeze that will last at least two years. When it comes to mindless pandering, we are all one party. >More
 Tell All: Call off your dogs!

Dear Tell All: You've been running letters on noisy nuisances in Madison neighborhoods. No one has mentioned the noisiest nuisance of all, worse than boom cars or loud music. Barking dogs! >More


Paulie Fest fosters hope and healing following the loss of beloved Madison guitarist Paul Heenan

Many of Paul Heenan's friends and loved ones wish the focus would shift back to the high points of his life, not the circumstances of his death. One of those friends is Kevin Pellerin. He's helped organize Paulie Fest, a fundraiser and tribute concert at the High Noon Saloon on May 31 and June 1. >More
 How Michael Massey gave teeth to Madison Ballet's Dracula score

Filled with libidinous dancing and steampunk costumes, Madison Ballet's Dracula was one of the most provocative works to hit local stages this year. It's also one of the most inventive, even though it's based on Bram Stoker's well-known vampire novel. Much of the production's impact stemmed from an original rock score by local composer Michael Massey. >More
 Son Volt channel country music's past through a pedal-steel guitar

Jay Farrar has been dwelling on the past, but not in a crying-over-spilled-milk way. The Uncle Tupelo alum has been busy with Honky Tonk, the seventh album by his current band, Son Volt. Instead of revisiting the alt-country trail Uncle Tupelo blazed, he revels in the boisterous spirit of old-fashioned piano bars and the early days of the Grand Ole Opry. >More



Lisa Frank and Nova Czarnecki reanimate ailing ecosystems in new works at James Watrous Gallery

Wisconsin artists Lisa Frank and Nova Czarnecki share an interest in the natural world's frailty. Their side-by-side solo exhibitions at the Wisconsin Academy's James Watrous Gallery (through June 30) explore this theme with digital photography and visionary painting. >More
 Talented cast buoys so-so script in Wicked at Overture Hall

Wicked has been seen by millions of people and continues to break records in the ticket-sales department. Last night's show at Overture Hall drew many repeat viewers, some who saw Broadway Across America's last iteration in Madison in 2010 and some who've seen productions in New York or Chicago. The show's Overture run continues through June 9. >More
 The Fosters offers an alternative vision of a TV family

Social conservatives will not be happy with ABC Family's new series The Fosters, which lays down a challenge to the Ozzie and Harriet paradigm. The rest of us will appreciate it as a reflection of modern-day reality, featuring characters familiar from our own lives. >More


In Frances Ha, a dancer's romantic moves are delightfully awkward

Noah Baumbach specializes in character studies, and Frances Ha's Frances Halliday -- portrayed and co-conceived by Greta Gerwig, who shares screenwriting credit -- is a study in contradictions. >More
 Epic is a witty, complex fairy tale about conflict and change

In the 3D animated fantasy Epic, teenager MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) sets off to visit her eccentric father (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) at his home in the woods. Dad comes across as a bit daft when he says he's spent years looking for elaborate kingdoms hidden deep in the forest, but one day MK shrinks down to the size of the forest creatures. >More
Select a Movie
Select a Theater



Alterra captures the Capitol Square with more than coffee

When you order a coffee from the coffee bar portion of Alterra, where fresh cups are produced one at a time like all the cool coffeehouses do it now, you sort of hover near the bar and wait. When you order food and choose to sit at a table outside, your food is brought to you by table number. But when you do both? Well, you figure it out, because I had to ask. (There's no good way.) >More
 Three new cookbooks help transform the bounty of CSAs and farmers' markets

Let's figure you already have a pile of fresh vegetables and are interested in cooking them. Even well-intentioned seasonal cooks can fall into a rut with vegetable preparation. This season, new market-based cookbooks aim to make sure that won't happen to you. >More


Milwaukee Brewers' new lows

The Milwaukee Brewers finished April at 14-11 and just a half-game behind St. Louis in the National League's Central Division standings, leading many to believe the 2013 campaign would be competitive and fun. They went on to win just five of their next 24 and are now 13½ games out of first. Only two major league teams -- Miami and Houston -- are playing worse. >More
Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar