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Lue Allen

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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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Strollers Theatre

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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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

A & E

The Fantasticks borrows from a hodgepodge of comic traditions: commedia dell'arte, vaudeville, mime. There's even a lighthearted twist on Shakespeare. Read more

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Choreographer Robin Fonfara fills the musical party scenes with shimmering costumed commotion that smoothly resolves to merry dancers. Read more

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The Last Five Years, a Four Seasons Theatre production at UW Music Hall, is a musical with a love knot at its center. But from there the story line unravels in two directions: yesterday and tomorrow, her story and his. The tricky plot device works for the most part because everyone knows this story so well. Read more

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University Theatre opens the season with The Beckett Project, a group of four remarkable one-act plays by Samuel Beckett. Best-known for"Waiting for Godot," the Irish playwright reflected the sense of intellectual despair and meaninglessness that followed World War II. Read more

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