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Sunday, April 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast

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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 works

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
 Victor Castro raids recycling bins to create 'social sculpture' in Madison

Victor Castro is proud to create art with "leftovers." Castro, who is known for his public art projects in Mexico and Peru, received a $10,000 grant from the Madison Arts Commission last year to create a site-specific mural at the new Meadowridge Library. >More
 Forward Theater Company's Red paints a vibrant portrait of artist Mark Rothko

A Mark Rothko painting isn't just a work of art. It's an event. With vibrant layers of color blocked in bold, rectangular shapes, Rothko's "multiforms" exude a radiant energy that many, including the artist himself, viewed as spiritual. Rothko is the protagonist in Red, the new Forward Theater Company production (through Feb. 2 at Overture Center's Playhouse). >More
 Cole Porter's brilliant tunes fire up the crowd at Madison Theatre Guild's Red, Hot, and Cole!

Imagine this: an invitation to Cole Porter's Paris apartment in the roaring '20s. The city is as fabulous as it will ever be, a veritable cocktail of music, poets, dancers and American celebrities. That's the intriguing setting for Red, Hot, and Cole! by Madison Theatre Guild. The production debuted at the Bartell on Jan. 10 and runs through Jan. 25. >More
 Nick Schweitzer's Love and Trauma asks tough questions about domestic violence

Madison playwright Nick Schweitzer's new Love and Trauma explores what happens when psychological abuse and violence are an ongoing part of a love affair. He also takes a look at what happens when the victim strikes back. Wilder Theater stages the play at the Bartell Theatre Jan. 10-12. >More
 Guys on Ice hooks audiences with its heartwarming depiction of Wisconsin fishermen

I've always wondered what goes on in those little, lit-up fishing shacks on frozen lakes. Ice fishing is an intrinsic part of Wisconsin culture, particularly for the men who wake up before dawn to trek over slick ice for a long day of watching tip-ups. Guys on Ice, a Wisconsin-made musical coming to the Barrymore this week, gives theatergoers a peek inside this phenomenon. >More
 TAPIT/New Works joins Ohio's New World Performance Lab for an unusual apocalypse tale

Add zombies to a tale about the apocalypse, and you're bound to attract an eager audience. But what happens if you add some classic Greek tragedy to the mix? TAPIT/New Works Ensemble Theater will reveal the answer at Edgewood College on Dec. 6 and 7. >More
 Echolocations shares poetry about Madison's nooks and crannies

Which local spots define Madison? Madison poets laureate Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse, along with local poet Shoshauna Shy, find answers through creative writing projects. A recent project called Echolocations has local writers compose poems about specific places in our city, to create a "map" of location-based reflections and observations. >More
 In The Woman in Black, Strollers and OUT!Cast Theatre bring a ghost story to life with brilliant acting

What could be better on the first brisk night of fall -- and under a full moon at that -- than to head to the Bartell Theatre for a spellbinding production of The Woman in Black? Described as a "ghost play," it is known as one of the longest-running non-musicals in West End history. Strollers Theatre and OUT!Cast Theatre chose it well, just in time for Halloween. >More
 StageQ's Much Ado About Nothing is a gender-bending take on the Bard's comedy

When a man dressed only in tight green briefs greets you at the door, you know you're in for an interesting night of theater. Call it Shakesqueer. >More
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