Josh Wimmer


Sharon Vanorny

At a signal from the teacher, the kids scurry into a circle formation. They put various appendages in, put them out, shake them all about. They hop up and down, singing, "La la la la la!" This is not my toddler's preschool. This is Rebecca Jallings' Theater 2 class at Madison West High School. more

Feb 28, 2013 3:00 PM Stage


Sharon Vanorny

Matthew Teague has a problem. In fact, the 28-year-old magician has a couple of them. First, it's loud. Presumably, the atmosphere at Nakoma Golf Club is more sedate most days. more

Jan 17, 2013 3:00 PM Stage


Michael Baird

Eric Larson wasn't at this summer's Renaissance fair for five minutes before strangers started approaching shyly, undeterred by his four-person "security detail." "There was an older couple, probably about mid-50s," Larson remembers. "He was straightening his hair, and I could tell he was very nervous. I turned, and I said, 'Can I help you?'" "A-a-a-a-are you Lord Bobbins?" the man asked. Ever magnanimous, Larson allowed that he was. more

Nov 29, 2012 3:00 PM A & E

I'm almost positive I hadn't heard a single song before trying it out on the headphones at a record store in Lincoln, Neb., in August 1995. Minutes later, I bought the CD. more

May 24, 2012 2:00 PM A & E


Charlie Powell

Here's the thing about Ira Glass: The host of public radio's "This American Life" seems to be exactly the same in real life as he is on his show. more

Feb 16, 2012 3:00 PM Stage


Eric Tadsen

Normally, I would not get up early on a Saturday, pile into my car and drive 30 miles through the freezing rain just for a beer. Extreme beers, however, call for extreme measures. And so it is that I find myself at Vintage Liquor in Black Earth, purchasing four bottles of Thermo Refur, made by Spring Green brewer Furthermore. more

Jan 19, 2012 3:00 PM Beer

Our local brewers tend toward the traditional, but you don't have to go to extremes to find something a bit more out there. These beers should be in stores now or soon. more

Jan 19, 2012 3:00 PM Beer

When it comes to television at this time of year, it's the Christmas specials that rule the scene. Spending an evening with stop-motion Rudolph and the Whos of Whoville is nothing less than sacred tradition in many households. more

Nov 17, 2011 3:00 PM Isthmus Giving


Carissa Dixon

We left Madison in a raging downpour Saturday night, but by the time we got to Spring Green, the only storm in evidence was the product of sound effects. And good thing, too, because "The Tempest" is a comic romance, and to have been deprived of the latest outdoor take on Shakespeare's play by American Players Theatre would have been a tragedy. more

Aug 14, 2011 1:10 PM Stage

If you've heard anything about Twitter, there's a good chance it involved the word "useless." And if you've heard anything about customer service at Charter Communications, Madison's primary cable television provider, there's a good chance it also in more

May 19, 2011 2:00 PM News

Kevin Henkes, Madison's Caldecott-winning children's author, is in fine form with his new picture book, "Little White Rabbit" (Greenwillow Books). The narrative is not complicated: We meet our protagonist, the titular little white rabbit, as he is hopping along. more

Feb 24, 2011 3:00 PM Books


American Folklore Theatre

The first American Folklore Theatre production at Overture Center, the musical comedy "Guys & Does", is exactly what you expect. There are guys. There are deer. And there are dad jokes and goofy songs. All in all, the two-hour show's opening performance Tuesday night was pretty good. more

Jan 12, 2011 2:02 PM Stage


Josh Wimmer

If, say, a pair of travelers had gotten completely lost Wednesday night and stumbled into the Dar Williams show at the Barrymore Theatre, seeking to orient themselves, all they'd have had to do was wait for a song to end to ascertain that they were indeed on the east side of Madison. more

Oct 28, 2010 3:30 PM MUSIC


Sharon Vanorny

The concert is memorable in many ways, but what really strikes me -- and what will linger in my mind long after -- is how the man who stamps my hand thanks me. All he says is, "Thank you for coming." But while the words are ordinary, his tone is unusually sincere. Genuine. Mindful. It doesn't sound like a rote courtesy, nor does it sound like he's trying to be sincere. It just sounds like he means it. more

Oct 21, 2010 2:00 PM MUSIC

Fans of fantastic fiction -- or just some of the finest damn writing to be put on paper -- take heed: If you've ever wanted to talk to Harlan Ellison, this weekend's MadCon 2010 is your last chance. more

Sep 23, 2010 2:00 PM Books

If you've got tickets to see Bill Maher perform his standup at Overture Center on Aug. 1, you probably have a good idea of what you're going to get. And yep, the Emmy-nominated host of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" says he'll be letting fly about Sarah Palin, "tea-baggers," the BP oil spill and, of course, religion. more

Jul 29, 2010 2:00 PM Comedy


Carissa Dixon

Big. Big, big, big -- "The Syringa Tree" is big. It's got white characters, black characters, men, women, old and young characters. It deals with racism, friendship, parenthood, honor, the meaning of home and more. It's big. And that's saying something, given that the American Players Theatre production has a cast of one. more

Jun 30, 2010 4:36 PM Stage


Carissa Dixon

Families are supposed to be places of refuge, sources of comfort and safety when you're feeling vulnerable. But as American Players Theatre shows with "Another Part of the Forest", if you're born into the wrong one, you can never let your guard down. more

Jun 27, 2010 1:20 PM Stage


Sharon Vanorny

"What the hell are you doing with a little boy!?" A friend asked me that a couple months ago, when I mentioned I'd spent the day with a child. She was joking, at least insofar as her horrified tone was concerned -- but she was genuinely curious, too. more

Jun 17, 2010 2:00 PM Isthmus Cover Stories

It's likely you know Henry Hill's story, but you might not recognize his face -- the mug most people associate with Hill's name is that of actor Ray Liotta, who played the mobster-turned-FBI informant in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas". more

May 7, 2010 1:18 PM NEWS