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Sunday, November 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 46.0° F  Light Rain Fog/Mist

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Greater Madison Senior Softball keeps guys running the bases

There are some sports you play when you're young that you know you'll grow out of and never do again. Baseball always seemed like one of those sports, but apparently the players in the Greater Madison Senior Softball (GMSS) league didn't get the "You're Too Old" memo. >More
 Cheap feats

The enormity of just how much needs to be done to spruce up your digs can freeze you in your tracks. Paralysis sets in, then depression. Tweaking the interior suddenly seems futile, hopeless. It's an impossible mission you do not want to accept. >More
 Some small businesses fare better, others don't in transition to Obamacare

Norma Smith vividly remembers the day Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, effectively rewriting the rulebook for health insurance coverage in the United States. "I thought, 'This is going to put me out of business!" says Smith, an account executive for the Murphy Insurance Group who works as a broker between businesses and insurance companies. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival returns to downtown Madison with Capitol Theater screenings

The Wisconsin Film Festival heads back to State Street this year after limiting screenings to the UW and Sundance Cinemas in 2013. April 6 features events at Overture Center's Capitol Theater, which offers the festival's largest screen and seating area. When festival coordinator Ben Reiser and his colleagues went to look at the theater's capabilities, they came away impressed. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2014: Sabbatical writer-director Brandon Colvin discusses the pain of returning to one's hometown

Produced in Madison, Sabbatical follows professor Ben Hardin (Robert Longstreet) to his rural hometown to care for his dying mother, who has suffered a stroke. The home and hometown he knew have changed. As he interacts with his mother, brother, old girlfriend, and hometown buddy, Ben's journey "home" grows more painful. He really doesn't know them anymore, small talk is strained, and the ties to the past that bind them together either threadbare or broken. >More
 Wisconsin Film Fest's Dostoevsky Behind Bars explores book groups in a local prison

Dostoevsky Behind Bars, a Wisconsin's Own selection at the Wisconsin Film Festival, informs through osmosis. It does not preach, judge or pretend to be anything more than it is: a marvelous and assured documentary about graduate students who volunteer to discuss literature with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Oregon, Wis. >More
 Wisconsin Film Festival 2014: Dostoevsky Behind Bars director Marc Kornblatt discusses learning grace in prison

Dostoevsky Behind Bars, a Wisconsin's Own selection at the Wisconsin Film Festival is that rare film that informs through osmosis. Screening Saturday, April 5, it does not preach, it does not judge, nor does it pretend to be anything more than it is: a marvelous and very assured documentary about university graduate students who volunteer to discuss literature and writing with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Oregon, Wis. >More
 Chewing the fat with Bobby Bones

Station-surfing in my car recently, I stopped at 96.3 FM, Star Country. The DJ was talking about growing up as a "food-stamp kid" in a trailer park. He had a soft Southern drawl and recounted details about his mother's substance-abuse problems, explaining why he'd never had a single alcoholic drink in his life -- and might never have one. >More
 July 21, 1992: Madison's Butch Vig: How He Did It

Nirvana's producer is Butch Vig, who co-owns Madison's Smart Studios. Vig became the producer of Nevermind through a series of lucky coincidences, and he was shocked when his first project for a major label ended up selling nearly 2.5 million records and hit number one on the Billboard pop album chart. >More
 June 14, 1991: Is He 'Bottom Line Bob'?

Reaction in the Madison arts community to new Civic Center director Robert D'Angelo's 1991-92 season varies widely from enthusiastic support to extreme disappointment. D'Angelo himself admits that the new season is more conservative and less risky than past ones because of the economic times. Although he's bringing in innovative acts like the American Indian Dance Theatre and Reduced Shakespeare Company, a hefty chunk of the season is filled with proven-though-tired perennials, Broadway road shows and middle-of the-road balladeers like Maureen McGovern, John Gary and the Fifth Dimension. >More
 Feb. 8, 1985: The Mystery of the Oscar Mayer Acoustics

Call me Melville. Some weeks ago-never mind how long precisely-I was in my office smoking my favorite Italian cigar when the phone rang. I was still recovering from a very ugly divorce case, and the shrill ring felt like an attack on my life. For a moment, I thought about poor Owen Groit and the death in his face when I showed him the photos of his beautiful but unfaithful wife doing things he'd probably never even dreamed of. I almost didn't have the heart to answer the call. But in the end I always answer them. >More
 Playhouse follies

Staff writer Phil Davis reports that local promoters have come to view the Madison Civic Center's Isthmus Playhouse as too expensive for concerts. Unless the shows are underwritten, he explains, the 330-seat venue is not viable due to the costs of sound and lighting equipment, hall rental and other fees. >More
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