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Monday, September 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Overcast

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Four Seasons Theatre's Kiss Me, Kate is a joyful homage to Wisconsin Union Theater's first production

I'm always impressed with the crowd at Four Seasons Theatre productions. Friday night, every seat was taken at Wisconsin Union Theater, where the local troupe presented Kiss Me, Kate. It's the first theater production at the remodeled venue, which is about to celebrate its 75th year. >More
 Fermat's Last Theater Company sets a genderqueer Troilus and Cressida in a circus ring

War is a circus. So says Fermat's Last Theater Company in its production of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, which is set in a circus ring. The play -- part comedy, part tragedy, part historical drama -- is one of Shakespeare's lesser-known pieces. >More
 New mural by José Guadalupe Ríos Córdoba will illustrate Madison's human-rights milestones

What does Madison's soul look like? Mexican muralist José Guadalupe Ríos Córdoba has been asking himself this question since arriving in town last month from Madison's Mexican sister city, Tepatitlán. As part of an international artist exchange, he will soon begin working on a mural for the Madison Municipal Building. >More
 Baltimore artist Michael Owen funnels Willy Street's inclusive spirit into a mural for Plan B

Willy Street is getting a lot more love-ly this week. Baltimore artist Michael Owen is in town to create one of two new murals for Plan B, the LGBT nightclub on the 900 block. The work will consist of the word "love" spelled out in bold, graphic sign language on one side of the building. >More
 Art meets anthropology at Gallery 99

It was a wintry January night, and Lakeview Bakery & Deli was packed. People were there for bread, but not the kind traditionally sold at the Wilson Street shop. They came for an art show called Baked: Bread Sculptures on the Rise, produced and presented by Gallery 99, a pop-up gallery that organizes art shows around town. >More
 War Horse's puppeteers deliver a powerful message about love and conflict at Overture Center

War Horse rode into Overture Hall last night for its Madison premiere. The play, which runs through June 15, came before the 2011 Steven Spielberg movie of the same name, but both are based on a children's novel by Michael Morpurgo. The page is still ghostly present, providing both a literal and figurative backdrop for the story. >More
 Fat City Emporium offers Madison artists a new place to show their work

Fat City Emporium, a new gallery and retail space at 2716 Atwood Ave., opened its doors last Friday, giving local art lovers another place to admire, display and purchase pieces they love. Artist Ryan Robinson, who creates work under the name Rirostro, conceived of gallery after realizing that the near east-side building is unlike any other in town. >More
 Madison Symphony Orchestra's HeartStrings program brings chamber music to disabled audiences

This spring the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a $15,000 Art Works grant to HeartStrings, a Madison Symphony Orchestra program that brings classical music to people with disabilities throughout Dane County. MSO's professional chamber ensemble, the Rhapsodie Quartet, tours 10 sites between September and May, reaching more than 3,000 people who rarely make it to Overture Hall. >More
 Encore Studio's Different Dreams asks thorny questions about disabilities and happiness

Off the beaten path of Madison's traditional downtown theater scene lies a nontraditional company, Encore Studio for the Performing Arts. Encore is situated off the Beltline at the Fish Hatchery exit, but the location alone is not what makes it unique. The troupe is a professional theater company for people with disabilities. Its current show, Different Dreams (through May 17), is a series of loosely connected vignettes that explore the hopes and aspirations of the cast. >More
 Guts, grace and gratitude with JoJean Retrum and Dance Wisconsin

It's a very important day at Dance Wisconsin. A Regional Dance America representative is visiting to decide which of the company's routines will be performed in Chicago next month. She impatiently shushes the dancers, who talk, laugh and move about excitedly. The issue isn't that the dancers lack seriousness; it's that they're all between the ages of 12 and 18. But when the show begins, they bust out some very serious skills. >More
 Mercury Players and OUT!Cast Theatre turn Xanadu's sparkly '80s kitsch into irony-tinged gold

You may know Xanadu as the 1980 Olivia Newton-John movie featuring sparkly pop music, girls on roller skates and a hapless male lead in short-shorts. As of 2007, it's also a musical that includes all of the film's original songs, written by ELO, plus those trademark skates. Unlike the movie, the musical is a parody of the big, jukebox extravaganzas that all but dominate Broadway these days. >More
 Domestic Abuse Intervention Services wants to empower residents with locally made art

This summer Domestic Abuse Intervention Services will open a new shelter on Fordem Avenue. A safe haven for domestic violence survivors from Dane County, the facility should be fully operational by Aug. 1, says development director Jamie Quam. >More
 Four Seasons Theatre displays charisma, charm and killer vocals in Great Dames

Four Seasons has consistently demonstrated a fervor to deliver Madison's best voices, and Great Dames is no exception. The company always looks like it's having fun, too, and that's important. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison creates an innovative version of Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for kids on the autism spectrum

For an autistic child, the theater can be challenging. Loud noises startle. Lighting changes overwhelm. Many things the average theatergoing public takes for granted, from waiting patiently in line to sitting quietly in one's seat, can prove difficult. But Susannah Peterson, executive director of the Autism Society's South Central Wisconsin chapter, knows that these kids love storytelling, too. >More
 Creating the next great play with Forward Theater

Madison's Forward Theater Company often stages plays that have recently traveled through New York City's theater circuit. This has been a successful strategy for the four-year-old company, which sold 98% of its tickets for Red, a Tony-winning play about Mark Rothko that opened at Overture Center in January. But Forward also strives to produce work by Wisconsin playwrights. >More
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