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Sunday, April 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 71.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

THEATER

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
 Kids write for the stage: Young Playwrights prepare for Overture festival

It's last period at Waunakee Community High School, and the juniors and seniors in Jen Doucette's creative writing class are getting squirmy. Bruce Bradley, a teaching artist who has spent the last few weeks guiding them through the process of writing plays, is holding a stack of evaluations from theater pros -- and the students are eager to see how their scripts fared. >More
 Madison Theatre Guild's boom is a smart, witty comedy about sex, fate and the end of the world

boom by the Madison Theatre Guild (through May 4 at the Bartell Theatre) starts with a Craigslist ad in the personals section. Jo, a journalism student (Stacy DeGolier), advertises her desire for "sex to change the course of the world," which leads her into the underground laboratory of Jules, a marine biologist (Nate Peterson). She bursts onto the scene ready for earth-shattering intercourse, only to find a nerd obsessed with his apocalyptic theories. >More
 University Theatre's Cloud 9 is a funny, sophisticated farce about sex and politics

A UW student ahead of me in line at University Theatre's Friday-night performance of Cloud 9 (through May 4 at UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre) sold the show to his friends like this: "It's about cross-dressing, sex and politics," he said, eyes ablaze. Yes, all the implied luridness is there, but the play, a witty, sophisticated farce, is so much more. >More
 UW theater professor Patrick Sims urges Madison to confront issues of race, culture and class

UW theater professor Patrick Sims can't resist playing around with his students. While helping them organize a field trip, he sees an opportunity for a laugh. It's a gamble, though. The subject at hand is a veritable powder keg: how "driving while black" can get a person into some serious trouble. Sims goes in for the win. "I am driving a black car," he says with a sly grin, his eyes twinkling behind wire-rimmed glasses. "Can't a black man drive a black car?" >More
 Forward Theater's Good People addresses class-based privilege with vivid characters and laugh-out-loud humor

When it comes to poverty, Americans seem to have a particular obsession with luck versus choice. David Lindsay-Abaire's 2011 play, Good People, being staged by Forward Theater Company in Overture Center's Playhouse through April 21, mines this moral territory through the struggles of Margie, a middle-aged single mother of an adult daughter with special needs. >More
 University Theatre's Wondrous Tales of Old Japan II offers a glimpse into the Japanese kabuki tradition

University Theatre's annual Theatre for Youth production, Wondrous Tales of Old Japan II (through April 13 at UW Vilas Hall's Hemsley Theatre), illustrates the emotional power of storytelling by weaving together colorful tales old-world Japan. >More
 Strollers Theatre's Lobby Hero raises thorny questions about moral ambiguity

In 2011, The New York Times offered high praise for Kenneth Lonergan's dramedy Lobby Hero, calling it one of the best new American plays of the century. Strollers Theatre's production (through April 13 at the Bartell Theatre) shows why this play has earned such glowing reviews. >More
 Whimsy, irony and a bit of nostalgia help Broom Street Theater's Superhero Boogie soar

Superhero Boogie (through April 13 at Broom Street Theater) brings to life the stories of eight superheroes, pulling material from their glory days of comic books on tape. The play examines the line between childhood and adulthood, sticking to the audio script just enough to highlight the protagonists' adventures but also the nonsensical plots and scientific references that have long since lost their modern sheen. >More
 Forward Theater Company unveils lineup for 2013-14 season

Forward Theater Company announced Wednesday the works it will perform in its 2013-14 season. For its main stage series, the troupe will present three plays at Overture Center's Playhouse. >More
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