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Thursday, April 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 44.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

THEATER

American Players Theatre's Molly Sweeney shows what's lost when a blind woman gains sight

Even if Hamlet isn't your thing, this season's Molly Sweeney (through Sept. 28) just might be. This play by Brian Friel is composed of monologues written for three actors, which tell the story of a blind Irish woman rendered mostly sightless at a young age. Molly (Colleen Madden) is far from discouraged by her blindness. She's confident, ebullient and bold, sucking up life's tactile wonders with every pore. That is until her husband, the overly enthusiastic Frank (David Daniel), decides she’d be better off with sight. >More
 American Players Theatre in transition: The Spring Green troupe prepares for new directions in 2013 and beyond

For many local theatergoers, summer means grabbing the sunscreen and bug spray, packing a picnic basket and heading to American Players Theatre in Spring Green. While theater options are plentiful year-round, outdoor shows are a fleeting pleasure here in the frozen North. And though APT opened an indoor stage in 2009, its 1,148-seat, open-air amphitheater is still an integral part of the experience. >More
 Broom Street Theater's Lekker Mann is drenched in drama, disease and desire

Tracy M. Smith is a microbiologist at UW-Madison, but she hasn't traded experimental theater for Erlenmeyer flasks. She drew upon both of her careers when writing Broom Street Theater's Lekker Mann (through June 22), which is billed as a "visceral disaster drama." >More
 Music Theatre of Madison's Nevermore offers a glimpse into Edgar Allan Poe's tortured mind

The phrase "Once upon a midnight dreary" immediately conjures up images of darkness and despair. This famous opening line to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" draws readers into the poet's melancholy world. Music Theatre of Madison's production of Nevermore (through June 1 at the Bartell Theatre) offers a glimpse into Poe's tortured mind by depicting his relationships with women. >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
 Mercury Players Theatre considers a Wisconsin town's reactions to Ed Gein in The Arsonists

I've probably seen the same portrait of Christ in hundreds of Wisconsin homes and churches. Dated and pastel, with a white Jesus beaming at the sky, it tells me a lot about the place I'm visiting and the people who congregate there. Seeing the same picture in Mercury Players Theatre's The Arsonists (through May 25 at the Bartell Theatre's Evjue Stage) helped me figure out exactly where I was. >More
 Strollers Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a confusing yet engaging take on Shakespeare's comedy

The Strollers Theatre production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (through May 25 at the Bartell Theatre's Drury Stage) brings to mind psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung says dreams have logic, and Shakespeare seems to agree. The Bard set Midsummer in a dream world filled with kings, courts and mischief, all of which seem to function as symbols. Strollers gets the dreamy vibe right, but the dreamworld itself is far too complicated. >More
 Tara Ayres to step down as artistic director of LGBT theater troupe StageQ

Though Tara Ayres will relinquish StageQ's reins at the end of the 2012-13 season, she's nowhere near the end of her run with the LGBT theater company. In fact, you might now see more of her than you did during her past eight seasons as artistic director. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison explores love and language barriers in a magical Aladdin

Children's Theater of Madison has been on quite a journey this spring. To challenge their audiences and actors, the troupe chose to present a dual-language version of Disney's Aladdin (through May 19 at Overture Center's Playhouse). Spanish infuses the dialogue, song lyrics and plot, helping the performers tell a story about cultural literacy and language barriers as well as young love. There are a few bumps in the production, but overall, the experience is as fun and exciting as a magic carpet ride. >More
 Broom Street Theater's Orphan Train is a tender tale of kids struggling to survive on the brink of the 20th century

In the late 1800s, before there was foster care, orphans were thrown into jail or locked away in "educational asylums." Some remained hopelessly entangled in crime and low-wage jobs. Others headed west in search of opportunity. Broom Street Theater's Orphan Train (through May 18) offers a tender portrayal of New York City children who hopped a westbound train, hoping for a better life. >More
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