CELEBRATING THE ARTS FOR 20 YEARS Early Fall 2008
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Issue 1, Early Fall 2008 Published by Marcus Promotions, Inc. The content of any article in this publication is based solely on the opinion of its writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Marcus Promotions, Inc., Footlights, or its staff. The center program content is at the sole discretion of the performing arts group. Any errors, omissions, or inconsistencies are their responsibility. Inquiries or comments should be directed accordingly.
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CONTENTS State of the Performing Arts by Anne Siegel
ARTS SCENE Madison’s Performing Arts Guide
DINING & NIGHTLIFE
Cover photo by Tom Julio 5
State of the
Performing by Anne Siegel
There’s a kind of hush all over Madison these days, as the 2008-2009 performing arts season gets into full swing. It’s the hush that settles over an orchestra after the conductor taps his baton on the podium. Or the hush that silences an audience before the opening line of a play. It’s the anticipation and excitement that greets every fall season.
Maggie Lakis; Rod; Nicky; Robert McClure in AVENUE Q. Photo by Carol Rosegg. 6
The excitement is the same this season, but the tough economy is having an impact on some of Madison’s most prominent performing arts groups. Like businesses throughout Wisconsin, some groups have elected to scale back their product rather than risk over-extending themselves. That’s true at Madison’s gleaming Overture Center, the city’s crown jewel of the performing arts. Almost a dozen different professional companies—ranging from opera to ballet—call this space “home.” The trend of “scaling back” productions doesn’t apply to every group at the Overture Center. But it certainly applies to the Center’s Broadway series, perhaps the most visible barometer of the health of the performing arts. According to Tom Carto, the Overture Center’s president and CEO, the tough economy definitely figures into the group’s decision to cut back its offerings. Apparently, so does the November presidential election. “I have found over the years that people get distracted by election-year issues in late fall,” says Carto, who has more than 20 years of arts management experience. “So we weren’t going to offer a huge amount of programming for that time.” This season includes a diverse mix, from AVENUE Q to CAPITOL STEPS, DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY and SWEENEY TODD. Carto is “cautiously optimistic” that all of these shows will be hits, especially with Madison’s huge college student population. “These shows already have a ‘buzz’ among the student-age demographic,” Carto says. “Students typically don’t buy subscriptions, and they may not know even a week ahead if they are planning to attend a show. So I’m anticipating a lot of walk-up business from students,” he says. Subscription sales for the Broadway season remain strong. Although subscriptions are up incrementally by a modest two percent, the previous season saw a 20 percent bump in subscriptions. “This was mainly based on the appeal of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. People bought subscriptions in order to get good seats for SPAMALOT.” They may have been smart. SPAMALOT was sold out for its entire run. In fact, SPAMALOT was the highest-grossing week in the Broadway season’s history. Without a similar “blockbuster” to highlight the current season, Carto chose to budget conservatively. “We have to pick shows that are available, and that we can afford,” Carto notes. Among regular patrons, “everyone wants to see THE LION KING, WICKED and JERSEY BOYS. But they aren’t available to us as the moment.” (Not all is lost. Patient audiences can look forward to THE LION KING in the 2009-2010 season.) Another strategy for keeping the Broadway series in the black has been to shift ticket prices. A fourth pricing level was added last year. “We simply didn’t have enough of the best seats to meet the demand,” Carto said. “So we upped those prices slightly and made our upper balcony seats more affordable.” It proved to be a good move. “We still sell the top-selling tickets first,” 7
Carto notes. So while a show’s top ticket may sell for $70, budget-conscious patrons can still choose a $28 ticket to see the same show. Of all the groups that call the Overture Center “home,” perhaps none has had a more challenging recent history than Madison Repertory Theatre. In 2007-08, a number of extra “off-subscription” shows failed to meet expectations. As a result, the 2008-09 season has been trimmed from nine plays to five. This is not necessarily a bad thing, said Trevin Gay, acting artistic director. “Looking back, we didn’t realize how the extra productions would drain our staff and financial resources,” he said. This year, the Madison Rep is celebrating its 40th season. Its anniversary offerings include a pair of shows revived from past seasons. BUS STOP originally was done in 1979, and TRUE WEST was performed in 1986. “Of course, we selected shows that were among the most wellreceived in the past,” Gay said. “It will be fun to offer them again.” In general, Madison Repertory Theatre continues to receive “great community support,” said Julie Jensen, the company’s managing director. As a result of the current economy, fundraising has fallen short in terms of the overall number of contributions. However, Jensen reports that several new, larger gifts (some from anonymous donors) are compensating for the downturn in terms of overall dollars raised. She notes that the season’s final production, the musical MY FAIR LADY, is only possible due to the sponsorship of a large, unnamed contributor. In contrast to the companies mentioned above, Madison Ballet is not trimming its schedule this year. Instead, it is offering more affordable and flexible subscription options as incentives to keep
patrons happy. Last year, for the first time, Ballet subscribers were able to add additional tickets to THE NUTCRACKER and PETER PAN at a reduced price. This year’s goals include attracting new subscribers. They are being courted with a special subscription rate of half-off the traditional package price. They, too, are able to purchase discounted tickets to THE NUTCRACKER. New marketing programs also plan to emphasize ballet as “the affordable show,” with tickets available for $25, said Molly Matthees, the group’s marketing manager. So far, subscription sales are keeping pace with last year. Even though the Madison Symphony Orchestra management hasn’t scaled back their concert schedule—nine concert weekends with three performances each—they’ve changed their ticket prices in recent years to attract new people to their concerts. Director of Marketing Ann Miller says the Symphony has been courting new subscribers with a 50% discount off first-year subscriptions with positive results. “We’ve been doing this for a number of years now and we’ve been able to translate most of these people to permanent subscribers. We also offer senior discounts and a very inexpensive $10 student rush ticket available on the day of the concert as soon as the box office opens.” All of these behind-the-scenes marketing strategies matter little to fans of the performing arts, it seems. Madison residents generally have shown that they are not willing to give up their subscription packages as part of their entertainment programming. And arts groups are working hard to give patrons the best value for their dollar to keep it that way. ■ On the following pages are profiles of some of Footlights’ many performing arts clients. Take a look at their exciting upcoming season line-ups.
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Madison Opera Allan E. Naplan, General Director Allan E. Naplan became General Director of Madison Opera in June of 2005. Under Naplan’s leadership, Madison Opera has expanded its season from two operas to three, achieved record box office sales, increased fundraising and enhanced education and outreach programming to include the popular Opera Up Close series as well as other new initiatives. An active composer and former operatic baritone, Naplan previously held administrative positions with the Houston Grand Opera and Pittsburgh Opera.
2008-2009 Season OPERA UP CLOSE: MADAMA BUTTERFLY PREVIEW Sunday, November 16, 4-6 pm PUCCINI’S MADAMA BUTTERFLY Friday, November 21, 8 pm Sunday, November 23, 2:30 pm OPERA UP CLOSE: COSI FAN TUTTE PREVIEW Sunday, March 1, 4-6 pm MOZART’S COSI FAN TUTTE Friday, March 13, 8 pm Sunday, March 15, 2:30 pm OPERA UP CLOSE: FAUST PREVIEW Sunday, May 10, 4-6 pm
GOUNOD’S FAUST Friday, May 15, 8 pm Sunday, May 17, 2:30 pm OPERA IN THE PARK 2009 Saturday, July 25, 8 pm
608.238.8085 | madisonopera.org 9
Children’s Theater of Madison Roseann Sheridan, Producing Artistic Director
CTM Classes Imagine That! Beginning Acting for ages 5-12 A Suggestion, Please! Improv for ages 10-15 Lights! Camera! Action! Acting for the Camera for ages 12-18 Best of Broadway Musical Theater for ages 7-12 Tricks and Kicks Stage Movement and Fight Choreography for ages 10-15 Make a Spectacle! Clowning and Circus Techniques for ages 8-12
608.255.2080 | ctmtheater.org 10
Appointed as Producing Artistic Director in 2007, Roseann Sheridan has guided CTM’s reemergence as Madison’s premiere theatre for all ages, providing quality productions, acting classes, and educational outreach opportunities for youth and families. Roseann was the Associate Artistic Director and Producer at American Players Theatre where she worked from 1987-2003. She has directed for regional theatres and universities, and taught acting at the UW-Madison and other schools. She has named CTM’s 2008/09 season The Dream Season in honor of founder Nancy Thurow.
2008-2009 Season LOOKING GLASS LAND By James DeVita October 11-26, 2008 A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens, adapted by Romulus Linney December 12-21, 2008 DEGAS’ LITTLE DANCER By Wesley Middleton March 28-April 11, 2009
Verona Area Performing Arts Series Carolyn White, President, VAPAS Board of Directors
2008-2009 Season FIVE BY DESIGN November 8, 2008 "They provide a first class musical and stage experience."
When the curtain goes up this fall, Verona Area Performing Arts Series will be celebrating its 10th year of bringing national performers to Hometown, USA. This season promises to be the best yet! Our Performing Arts Center, with its free parking, reasonable prices, easy access and great sight lines, makes an attractive venue for Verona and surrounding communities to enjoy top notch concerts with world class entertainers. Check out the concerts on our website, www.vapas.org, where one can order tickets online. We look forward to seeing you at our concerts in Verona!
– Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York
STRINGFEVER from England February 28, 2009 "A band that exudes charisma and warmth, coupled with talent and humor, a rare find indeed." – Cait Chidget, Invester Holdings, Ltd.
AN EVENING OF GYPSY SWING Harmonious Wail and Caravan Gypsy Swing March 28, 2009 "Original, energetic and really talented. I love their sound."
FIVE BY DESIGN
– Jonathan Overby, WPR Higher Ground radio
DAVE BENNETT'S TRIBUTE TO BENNY GOODMAN April 25, 2009 "...the closest to Goodman's style and sound of all the major clarinetists of the past 40 years." – Peter Appleyard, member of Goodman's band 1972-1980
608.848.2787 | vapas.org 11
Overture Center for the Arts Tom Carto, President and CEO Joined Overture in 2007. Experienced in arts administration, facility management, programming and fundraising. Was President & CEO of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association, Mansfield, Ohio; Vice President for Development with the Pacific Symphony Association, in Irvine, CA. Has booked, produced and presented hundreds of diverse programs, including national Broadway tours, popular celebrity acts, symphonic programs, opera, ballet, modern dance, world music, comedy, country, rock and many other performing arts disciplines.
2008 Upcoming Events EVENING W/TRAVIS TRITT & MARTY STUART Saturday, September 20, 8 pm STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & FRIENDS Thursday, September 25, 7:30 pm MAX RAABE AND THE PALAST ORCHESTER Friday, October 3, 8 pm AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS Tuesday, October 7, 7:30 pm RICKY SKAGGS & BRUCE HORNSBY Thursday, October 9, 7:30 pm LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 pm AVENUE Q October 21-26 WAR OF THE WORLDS & THE LOST WORLD Tuesday, October 21, 7:30 pm DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY October 21-November 2
608.258.4141 | overturecenter.com 12
DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY
Madison Repertory Theatre Trevin Gay, Acting Artistic Director Trevin joined the Madison Repertory Theatre team in 2005. He has directed and performed internationally in England, Germany, France, Wales and stateside in Kansas City, Denver, Madison, and Chicago. He has an MFA from Naropa University in conjunction with the London International School of Performing Arts. He will direct Fully Committed, Bus Stop and co-direct My Fair Lady in Madison Repertory Theatreâ€™s 2008-2009, 40th Anniversary season.
2008-2009 Season FULLY COMMITTED A Comedy by Beck Mode September 19-October 5, 2008 1 trendy restaurant, 1 narcissistic chef, 8 million hungry New Yorkers, and 1 fed up reservationist. THE GREEKS By John Barton and Kenneth Cavender November 7-23, 2008 Bloody, Sexy, Provocative, Poetic. BUS STOP By William Inge January 16-February 1, 2009 8 people stranded in Mid-Western blizzard, what could possibly go wrongâ€Ś TRUE WEST By Sam Shepard March 6-22, 2009 An ambitious screenwriter, a hobo thief, and a bad case of sibling rivalry. MY FAIR LADY Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe April 24-May17, 2009 Experience the musical you know and love, re-imagined in the intimacy of The Playhouse.
Trevin Gay directs Amy J. Carle in Fully Committed.
6TH ANNUAL MADISON NEW PLAY FESTIVAL Various Playwrights selected from across the nation. May 2, 3 & 9, 2009 Expect the unexpected. Madison Young Playwrights Festival May 11, 2009 Students develop short plays which culminate with readings of selected works in the Madison Repertory Theatre Playhouse.
608-258-4141 | madisonrep.org 13
Madison Ballet W. Earle Smith, Artistic Director Artistic Director W. Earle Smith celebrates ten seasons with Madison Ballet this year. His career reflects his passion for passing on his knowledge and art through teaching and choreography. He actively teaches workshops, conferences, and master classes around the country â€“ choreography credits in New York, New Orleans, Hawaii, Seattle, Texas and Madison include Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Night Dances, Le Luce dâ€™ Amore, and Four Movements.
2008-2009 Season THE NUTCRACKER December 19-21 & 24, 2008 Artistic Director W. Earle Smith will refresh this timeless tradition with new story twists and choreography. The addition of a Christmas Eve performance makesit an even better way to celebrate the holiday spirit. AN EVENING OF ROMANCE February 14, 2009 Why not celebrate Valentine's Day by falling in love with ballet? Two performances of classic and original works will showcase the beauty and intimacy of dance. PURE BALLET April 17-18, 2009 From classical to contemporary, Pure Ballet! explores the essence of ballet to give audicences of all levels of appreciation an in-depth look at the astounding athleticism and grace of the art form.
608-258-4141 | madisonballet.org 14
Madison Symphony Orchestra John DeMain, Music Director Celebrating his fifteenth year as Music Director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra with a Signature Season, John DeMain is noted for his dynamic performances on concert and opera stages throughout the world, most notably for his unique productions of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. “A gifted orchestra builder,” according to The New York Times, Mr. DeMain has enhanced the quality of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, building it into one of America’s leading regional orchestras.
2008-2009 Season MENDELSSOHN, RESPIGHI & RACHMANINOFF Garrick Ohlsson, Piano September 26, 27, 28, 2008 COPLAND, ELGAR & HOLST Alban Gerhardt, Cello October 17, 18, 19, 2008 BARBER, BRAHMS, TORMIS & SHOSTAKOVITCH Sarah Chang, Violin November 7, 8, 9, 2008 CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Various Artists December 5, 6, 7, 2008
MOZART, SIBELIUS & PROKOFIEV Henning Kruggerud, Violin James DeVita, Special Guest January 16, 17, 18, 2009 BEETHOVEN Olga Kern, Piano February 6, 7, 8, 2009 BORODIN, STRAVINSKY & DVORAK Julian Rachlin, Violin March 6, 7, 8, 2009 WAGNER, SAINT-SAENS & BRAHMS Andre Watts, Piano April 3, 4, 5, 2009 VERDI’S REQUIEM Various Artists May 1, 2, 3, 2009
Single tickets 608.258.4141 | Subscriptions 608.257.3734 | madisonsymphony.org 15
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Arts Scene D A N C E | M U S I C | M U S I C A L | O P E R A | T H E AT E R | VA R I E T Y AN EVENING WITH TRAVIS TRITT AND MARTY STUART September 20, 2008, 8 p.m. Together, these two giants of country music— who teamed up to record the 1992 Grammywinning hit “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’”— represent the best of their genre. Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com HAYDN AND MOZART: HUMOR AND HEARTACHE – KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS® WITH JEFFREY SIEGEL September 23, 2008, 7:30 p.m. Jeffrey Siegel plays the music of—and talks about—two of the greatest composers of all time, giving you a glimpse into their personal and creative lives through their astonishing music. (See the Arts Briefs on page 25 for more information). Mills Hall 455 N. Park St., Madison Presented by Wisconsin Union Theater 608-262-2201 • uniontheater.wisc.edu
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ AND FRIENDS September 25, 2008, 7:30 p.m. This unforgettable evening of musical theater features Grammy® and Oscar®-winning songwriter Stephen Schwartz with Debbie Gravitte and Scott Coulter for performances of Schwartz’s songs from animated films like POCAHANTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, along with his musicals GODSPELL, PIPPIN, and the smash Broadway hit, WICKED. Capitol Theater Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com THE WAR OF THE WORLDS September 26, 27 & October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 2008 Terrifying chronicle of a martian invasion of Grover’s Mills, New Jersey that sent a nation into panic. Live broadcast at 8 p.m. on October 4 on WPR’s Old Time Radio Drama. (See the Arts Brief on page 24 for more information). Mitchell Theatre UW Madison University Theatre 821 University Ave., Madison 608-262-1500 • utmadison.com Continued on page 19
For up-to-date event listings, visit footlights.com 17
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Six year year-old -old Sora Baker B of Janesville has been coming c to the American Family Childr en’s Hospital H since being diagnose ed with cystic ﬁbr osis Children’s diagnosed ﬁbrosis as a newbor n. “So ora spends several weeks in th he hospital each year ,” newborn. “Sora the year,” says her mother L Baker n, Sora gets the best mother,, Laura Baker.. “Without question question, medical car e in the e ar s time, she is ea for her disease. At the same care area tr eated above all as a a little girl—not simply as a ‘cystic ﬁbrosis ﬁbrosis case.’ treated It might be a nurse e who sits and eats her lunch with Sora, or a volunteer who invites Sora to o do a craft pr oject in the play yroom. Seeing my project playroom. daughter warmly embraced e like this takes a lot of the anxiety out of being in the hospit tal.” hospital.” T o lear n how you can c support the To learn C en’s Hospital, American Family Childr Children’s please visit noﬁnergift.org noﬁnergift.org or call (608) 264-KIDS 264-KIDS..
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MAX RAABE AND THE PALAST ORCHESTER October 3, 2008, 8 p.m. Capturing the cosmopolitan feel of German cabaret in the ‘20s and ‘30s, Raabe and his 12piece ensemble “like to party like it’s 1929.” — New York Times Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS October 7, 2008, 7:30 p.m. By turns prickly, bruisingly honest, and poignant, the one constant is that Sedaris is always, well, hilarious. (See the Arts Brief on page 25 for more information). Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com RICKY SKAGGS AND BRUCE HORNSBY WITH KENTUCKY THUNDER October 9, 2008, 7:30 p.m. The duo, backed by Skaggs’ top-notch band, Kentucky Thunder, presents bluegrass classics, Hornsby tunes reworked as bluegrass, and other gems from this unexpected collaboration.
RICKY SKAGGS AND BRUCE HORNSBY Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com LOOKING GLASS LAND – The Misadventures of a Girl named Alice By James DeVita October 11-26, 2008 DeVita’s award-winning adaptation of the delightful story includes all the familiar characters and famous lines, and adds some contemporary twists to the tale. (See the Arts Brief on page 24 for more information). Continued on page 21
For up-to-date event listings, visit footlights.com
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Children’s Theater of Madison Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Andreas Delfs, Conductor October 10, 2008, 8 p.m. Milwaukee Symphony returns to Madison and the theater for the first time in 10 years, playing Brahms’ Third and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, along with Ravel’s Tzigane. Wisconsin Union Theater 800 Langdon St., Madison 608-262-2201 • uniontheater.wisc.edu LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY October 14, 2008, 7:30 p.m. Called “one of the ten best choreographers in the world” by The New York Times, Lar Lubovitch has been creating modern dance pieces of rare beauty and theatricality for four decades. (See the Arts Brief on page 25 for more information). Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com
THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE October 17, 18, 23-25, 26, 30,31 & November 1, 2008 An adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of the rape of Philomela, this powerful drama tells of sisterly love, revenge and the consequences of enforced silence. (See the Arts Brief on page 24 for more information). Hemsley Theatre UW Madison University Theatre 821 University Ave., Madison 608-262-1500 • utmadison.com AVENUE Q October 21-26, 2008 AVENUE Q is Broadway’s smash-hit 2004 Tony Award® winner featuring a cast of people and puppets who tell the story of the young, urban misfits living on Avenue Q in a smart, risqué and entertaining way. (See the Arts Brief on page 26 for more information). Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE LOST WORLD October 21, 2008, 7:30 p.m. Who needs special video effects when you can Continued on page 22
For up-to-date event listings, visit footlights.com
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recapture the unique magic and harrowing effects of radio drama when radio was the only source of on-air entertainment. Capitol Theater Presented by L.A. Theatre Works Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY October 21-November 2 Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm! “Not your grandmother’s Tupperware Party!”— NBC Today Show (See the Arts Brief on page 26 for more information). Promenade Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com GUARNERI STRING QUARTET October 23, 2008, 8 p.m. Haydn’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “The Rider,” Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K.421, and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 — the quartet’s final tour! (See the Arts Brief on page 26 for more information). Wisconsin Union Theater 800 Langdon St., Madison 608-262-2201 • uniontheater.wisc.edu PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1929) Duck Soup Cinema (Kid-friendly silent film series) October 25, 2008, 2 and 7 p.m. Classic film accompanied by live music played on the Grand Barton Organ, preceded by vaudeville style entertainment on stage. (See the Arts Brief on page 27 for more information). Capitol Theater Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com
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stories of the terrifying Gruffalo. Let your little ones be the judges. Bring them down to Overture for some songs, laughs and scary fun! Capitol Theater Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com THE CAPITOL STEPS October 29, 2008, 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Steps puts a hilarious musical spin on current events, proving once again that you can’t make up stuff that’s as funny as what takes place in our halls of government. Overture Hall Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com THE SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE OF WEST AFRICA October 30, 2008, 7:30 p.m. Two dozen singers, dancers and instrumentalists create a rhythmic feast drawing on a variety of influences blending traditional music with a contemporary flair. (See the Arts Brief on page 27 for more information). Capitol Theater Overture Center 201 State St., Madison 608-258-4141 • overturecenter.com
More up-to-date news online at footlights.com
Timberlake Wertenbaker, celebrated for her award-winning play, OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD, turns her talent to a Greek myth in THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE. As a London critic describes it, “With wit, economy, and a powerful theatricality, she offers us a rich retelling of the Philomela story. Her play passionately demonstrates the violence that stems from enforced silence: the dumb Philomela kills her rapist’s son in an awful act of violence.” Then, as the critic for the Daily Telegraph sums up, “A cycle of retribution begins which only ends when the gods transform Philomela into a nightingale…” Presented by the UW Madison University Theatre October 17 through November 1 at the Hemsley Theatre. For tickets call 608-262-1500 or visit utmadison.com.
In October 1938, millions of American radio listeners tuned in to Orson Welles’ seemingly factual account of a Martian invasion of Grover’s Mills, N. J. Marking the 70th anniversary of the legendary broadcast with a “radio performance” of the horrifying events that sent a nation into panic, UW Madison University Theatre presents THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by Howard Koch, adapted from the H.G. Wells novel, directed by Tony Simotes and produced in cooperation with Wisconsin Public Radio at the Mitchell Theatre September 26 and 27 and October 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11. For tickets, call 608-262-1500 or visit utmadison.com. Live broadcast at 8 p.m. on October 4 on WPR’s Old Time Radio Drama.
Award-winning playwright and renowned local actor James DeVita brings Lewis Carroll’s original “Through the Looking Glass” to new heights of fun and imagination with LOOKING GLASS LAND – The Misadventures of a Girl named Alice. Through a series of fantastic encounters, young Alice learns being Queen is not all it’s cut out to be…and that the real joy in life is the very adventure of life! Hold onto your (mad) hats while we take you on this zany ride up and down and back around. Even your teenager will be spellbound! Presented by Children’s Theater of Madison at the Overture Center October 11-26. For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
Called “one of the ten best choreographers in the world” by the The New York Times, Lar Lubovitch has been creating modern dance pieces of rare beauty and theatricality for four decades. The Overture Center presents LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY on October 14 at 7:30 p.m. Lubovitch’s work transforms visual images into moving sculptures onstage. His New York–based company has performed in more than 30 countries and has been featured many times on public television. Lubovitch has, according to the Village Voice’s Deborah Jowitt, a “gift for creating clever steps and filling the stage with patterns that swirl and reconfigure like an errant constellation viewed in speeded-up time.” For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
Photo by Jack Mitchell
Since first gaining national attention reading his original pieces on NPR’s “This American Life,” David Sedaris has established himself as one of America’s preeminent humor writers. Along the way, he has penned best-selling collections of stories and essays, including the wildly popular “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” His work appears regularly in such magazines as Esquire and The New Yorker. By turns prickly, bruisingly honest, and poignant, the one constant is that Sedaris is always, well, hilarious. Spend AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS at Overture Hall on October 7 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com
Jeffrey Siegel plays the music of—and talks about—two of the greatest composers of all time as he presents KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS® WITH JEFFREY SIEGEL — Haydn and Mozart: Humor and Heartache on September 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Mills Hall. You’ll hear Haydn’s rollicking C Major Fantasy; his exuberant D Major Sonata, and deeply personal, melancholy Andante and Variations, composed following the death of the woman who was his confidante and dearest friend; Mozart’s volcanic Finale from his C Minor Sonata – music of great internal suffering and rage; his blissfully lyrical Andante, K. 330; and the rambunctious Turkish March, one of the best known melodies of all time. For tickets call 608-262-2201 or visit uniontheater.wisc.edu. 25
The renowned GUARNERI STRING QUARTET has circled the globe countless times since its 1964 inauguration, playing in the world’s most prestigious halls. The quartet will retire at the completion of the 2008-09 season. This very special concert, scheduled for October 23 at 8:00 p.m., is dedicated to the memory of Fan Taylor, a former Wisconsin Union Theater Director and major arts world mover and shaker. The program includes Haydn’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 74, No. 3, “The Rider,” Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K.421, and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. For tickets call 608-262-2201 or visit
Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off Broadway by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’ fashioned Tupperware parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, free giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. See for yourself as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products! It’s DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY from October 21 through November 2 at Promenade Hall in the Overture Center. For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
Photo by Bradford Rogne
Avenue Q by Jim Cryns How do you convey the hopes, angst and learning experiences of life in a musical? It’s simple. Use puppets. AVENUE Q is the most blistering musical to storm out of New York in years. From the mouths of babes, (in this case young, urban, post-adolescent puppets) we quickly learn life isn’t always what you dreamt about in college. The hysterical, often crass show, tackles life head-on, leaving no stone or sensibility unturned. It fearlessly attacks social themes such as prejudice, sexuality and inflated dreams, AVENUE Q is as brash as it is sensitive, all from the perspective of puppet and actor duets. AVENUE Q is presented at the Overture Center from October 21 through October 26. For tickets, call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com. Photo by Carol Rosegg
Read the full article about this groundbreaking show at footlights.com 26
SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE OF WEST AFRICA
The diverse cultures of West Africa have contributed some of the most colorful and beautiful oral and musical traditions the world has ever heard. The two dozen singers, dancers and instrumentalists who make up the SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE OF WEST AFRICA (October 30, 7:30 p.m., Capitol Theater, Overture Center) create a rhythmic feast drawing on a variety of influences including traditional Griot songs, reggae, and the sounds of the kora, a 21-stringed instrument of the lute family used across West Africa. Blending the traditional music of Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Benin, the Ivory Coast and Mauritania with a contemporary flair, itâ€™s a show that will bring you to your feet. For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
Come As You Are: The Wisconsin Union Theater Offers Audiences New Kind of Nirvana by Brittany Jordt The Wisconsin Union Theater, ideally located next to Lake Mendota, has become an iconic symbol for the heart of the Madison experience. Since its opening in 1939, the theater has been dedicated to providing students, faculty and the Madison community with the best of the best in music and theater. Today, the Union Theater has found its niche in the community and it continues to outdo itself with great seasons, up and coming artists, and a continually increasing audience base. But it goes beyond that. People come from all over the state to hear music they love at an affordable price. They come to Savion Glover see artists that share their Photo by NiNa heritage while getting a taste of something they Visit footlights.com to read canâ€™t see anywhere else.
more about the Wisconsin Union Theater
Duck Soup Cinema is the Overture's kid-friendly, popular silent film series. These light-hearted presentations bring back the Capitol Theater's early years as a silent film era movie palace. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1929) will be presented on October 25 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. accompanied by live music played by organist Robert Israel on the Grand Barton Organ preceded by vaudeville style entertainment on stage; Ace Willie performing closeup magic in the lobby and audience; balloon twister Doc the Rube and a chance to win fabulous door prizes. For tickets call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.com.
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CAPITOL CHOPHOUSE - A downtown destination. Featuring delicious 28-day aged beef, fresh-line caught fish, an extensive wine list and much more! Our private room is available for parties up to 40 people. Complimentary parking available. Open for lunch and dinner inside the Hilton Hotel–just one block from the Square.
places to wine & dine before or after the show INKA HERITAGE - 602 S. Park St., 608-310-4282. Hours: Mon–Thur 11a.m.-3p.m, 5p.m.-9p.m.; Fri 11a.m.-3p.m., 5p.m.-10p.m; Sat 12p.m.-10p.m.; Sun 12p.m.-8p.m. Specials: Fri & Sat: live music 7-9p.m. Tues: Half-price of selected bottles of wine.
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