On Stage

Music Theatre of Madison brings the beloved ‘La Cage’ to Five Nightclub

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:09

Music Theatre of Madison will present La Cage aux Follesat Five Nightclub.
—Photo: Music Theatre of Madison

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Music Theatre of Madison brings you La Cage aux Folles, the musical comedy about a gay nightclub owner and his flamboyant partner — who has to play straight.

Bronzeville Arts Ensemble grapples with loss in ‘The Mojo and the Sayso’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Staff writer
Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:36

A husband and wife (Gavin Lawrence and Marvette Knight) struggle with the loss of their 10-year-old son to a police shooting in The Mojo and the Sayso.
—Photo: Ross Zentner

An African-American family mourns the death of their 10-year-old son at the hands of a police officer, searching for a talisman of faith and the inner strength of family ties to keep them from being torn apart by the grief.

KRASS joins Bartell Theatre groups

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 17 January 2016 14:20

The performance companies sharing Madison’s Bartell Theatre have a new companion set to join them in 2016: Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre, a formerly itinerant company that will likely use its new home to enhance its reputation in Madison’s theater community.

Rep Lab plays with strangers for a successful one-act festival

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Saturday, 09 January 2016 13:47

Photo by Michael Brosilow.

The annual Rep Lab short play festival is a unique adventure — putting you in a room with a handful of strangers pulled from across the country to serve as actors, directors, designers and stage managers. This year’s run? An overall success, largely driven by an exploration of what happens when strangers open up, one interaction at a time.

Adamo’s landmark ‘Little Women’ comes to Madison Opera

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:54

When Mark Adamo sits down to write an opera, his methods are clear, concise and deliberate. But never for a moment think that the process is either swift or simple for the 53-year-old artist.

Rep actors talk ‘Of Mice and Men’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 16 January 2016 14:04

Scott Greer (back) and Jonathan Wainwright (right) rehearse for their roles as traveling companions Lenny and George in Of Mice and Men.
—Photo: Austin Bean

John Steinbeck’s 1937 novella Of Mice and Men captured the hearts of Depression-era America with its tale of George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant drifters and farm hands who formed an unlikely bond in their search for a home. A simple, poetic work, the book was intended to be what Steinbeck called a “play-novelette,” easily transferable from the page to the stage — a goal achieved with much success nationwide over the decades since its printing.

Locally grown baritone gets villainous in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 18 December 2015 18:30

From Beauty and the Beast. PHOTO: Matthew Murphy

Some performing artists find their career path through trial and error, but operatic baritone Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek knows exactly when and where he decided to become a professional singer.

‘Powder Her Face’ considers the fate of women of celebrity

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:48

Consider Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, the Kim Kardashian of yesteryear. 

'Agnes of God' is a glorious triumph for Renaissance Theaterworks

Written by Matthew Reddin,
staff writer
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 13:49

The setup of Agnes of God looks like your typical “angel on one shoulder, devil on the other” story. The play opens with a Mother Superior introducing herself to a psychiatrist. Each is prepared to wrestle for the soul of a young nun accused of murdering the baby she secretly carried and gave birth to, and each seems primed to unveil the other as an enemy in disguise. 

‘Starlings’ spreads its wings at Soulstice Theatre

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 14 January 2016 12:40

Playwright Ben Parman (right) plays the role of Neal, one of the four former friends who reunite at a gay Christian conference, in Starlings.
— Photo: Laura Heise

Can you be friends with people who don’t share your fundamental beliefs?

Holiday hits — that aren’t ‘Hamilton’ — on Broadway

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 December 2015 11:25

The cast of the Spring Awakening revival, a mix of deaf and hearing actors, signs lyrics throughout the show to create a bilingual production that gives its story of disaffected, inquisitive late-19th-century teenagers additional pathos.
Photo: Joan Marcus

New York beams a little brighter at holiday time. Spectacles pop up everywhere, such as the giant lighted tree outside Rockefeller Center. There are Rockettes kicking up a storm at Radio City Music Hall and Santa replaces the Naked Cowboy on Times Square.