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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  Mostly Cloudy

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Four Seasons Theatre puts over songs by Kander and Ebb

Four Seasons Theatre has a stunning little musical revue at UW Music Hall - a jewel-box theater just the right size for The World Goes 'Round. A revue is a musical-theater genre with selected showstoppers from big Broadway hits, in this case Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and New York, New York, plus other shows created during the long career of the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. >More
 A Streetcar Named Desire: Beauty vs. beast

A Streetcar Named Desire was given a 30-minute standing ovation at its 1947 Broadway premiere, and in the 60 years since that night, Tennessee Williams' masterpiece has been in constant production. "Stelllaaah!!" has passed into the cultural lexicon, and some of our best actors have left their fingerprints all over the major roles: Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Vivien Leigh. It's nearly impossible to get these ghosts off the stage, but University Theatre gives it a go. >More
 The Lieutenant of Inishmore: There will be blood

Mutilated cats, blinded cows, a man's nose fed to his cocker spaniel; brace yourself. You might find PETA picketing the Bartell Theatre. The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh's boisterous send-up of feckless Irish terrorists and soppy Irish sentimentality, is an uninterrupted 85 minutes of bloody black comedy. Outrageous, but very funny. >More
 Strollers Theatre kills for fun in The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Mutilated cats, blinded cows, a man's nose fed to his cocker spaniel; brace yourself. You might find PETA picketing the Bartell. The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh's boisterous send-up of feckless Irish terrorists and soppy Irish sentimentality, is an uninterrupted 85 minutes of bloody black comedy. Outrageous, but very funny. >More
 Yellowman: Skin disease

An ambitious two-person play, Yellowman is about "colorism," a term defined as black-on-black discrimination based on skin shade -- or a form of intra-racial prejudice. >More
 Uncle Vanya: All is lost

There's a very satisfying production of Uncle Vanya showing at the Bartell's Evjue Stage. Anton Chekhov's Vanya is director Tony Trout's favorite because "It's a Chekhov play where something really happens." Like those pistol shots that interrupt Chekhovian soliloquies about life's missed opportunities. >More
 Ready to rumble

This weekend, Four Seasons Theatre celebrates the 50th anniversary of West Side Story with a gala production at Wisconsin Union Theater. When it opened on Broadway in 1957, Leonard Bernstein's transcendent musical translated the Romeo and Juliet story to the streets of gangland New York, with lyrics by a fledgling Stephen Sondheim and dances by Jerome Robbins. Today West Side Story is considered the ultimate collaboration of dance, music, and lyrics. >More
 Happiness is a '60s Peanuts musical

Good grief! It's Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in a delightful musical at Vilas Hall's Helmsley Theatre. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown reminds us why we don't outgrow some things. Charlie Brown is University Theatre's summer cabaret-style production - and that means lemonade and refills on the popcorn. >More
 Silent night, deadly night

Playwright Paula Vogel, whose How I Learned to Drive won a Pulitzer Prize, is known for her take on incendiary issues. Christmas Ride is no exception. Billed as a puppet show for adults, it's about gays, lesbians, AIDS, adultery and other facts of contemporary life: a good fit for the non-mainstream Mercury Players Theatre. >More
 Profiles in courage

CTM Madison Family Theatre's Mockingbird achieves a fresh vitality with no loss of the resonant elements that make this play an American classic. Much is due to director Roseann Sheridan'??s approach and much to the excellent cast. >More
 Proceed with caution

CTM Madison Family Theatre Company continues its comeback with To Kill a Mockingbird, opening May 18 at the Overture Center's Playhouse. CTM is taking no chances with Mockingbird, a proven crowd-pleaser based on the well-known novel by Harper Lee: a story about coming of age, prejudice, courage and hope in Depression-era Alabama. >More
 Beautiful dreamers

The sisters all give vivid, compelling performances, often matched by others in the cast. Jeff Godsey is particularly fine as the tenderly ridiculous Kulygin, Masha's cuckolded husband. David Wilson-Brown plays Masha's lover, Vershinin, with poetic elegance, and Josh Krevsky's cruel Solyony seems to stalk whenever he moves. >More
 Much ado about everything

It's like an English major's manic dream the night before the exam. Rollicking is probably the word, but ribald and zany work too. >More
 Creepy crawly

There are moments when it's hard to watch what's happening in the Mercury Players Theatre production of Bug (through Feb. 3, Bartell Theatre). But we do, just like we slow down when we pass a bad car wreck. This is not theater for the squeamish or the susceptible. >More
 Soul mates and strangers

Green Bay artist Carol Emmons explores our contemporary search for companionship as filtered through the personals. >More
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