Wicked Wit

Catherine Capallero and Andrew Rohn take on religious intolerance

Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn are no strangers to provocative topics—or theatrical success. The wife-and-husband duo (she as writer and director, he as music director) met at Broom Street Theater and have worked together for the past sixteen years.

A short work they wrote for Mercury Players’ tenth anniversary in 2004—Walmartopia, the tale exploring the future in which a major corporation has overtaken the world—was a hit from the start. It evolved into a full-length musical performed in Madison and at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2006, where it was lauded for its timely subject and real (read: Midwestern) actors, and an off-Broadway production.

Capellaro and Rohn are happily returning to their Madison roots this month with Blasphemy: An Unholy Trinity of Musicals, a trio of one-act musicals at the Bartell Theatre. Two are revamped works from Mercury Players’ annual Blitz events, yet all three are satires on religious intolerance.

Paradoxically, the musical format allows for edgier and more thought-provoking content, they say. “I think we get away with more because they’re musicals and fun,” Capellaro says. “There’s more latitude when there’s song and dance.”

Blasphemy: An Unholy Trinity of Musicals runs January 9–31 at the Bartell Theatre. walmartopia.com/blasphemy

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine. Read her A&E blog Liberal Arts.

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