Performing Arts Season Preview

The 2011–2012 season brings milestones, debuts and exciting performances

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Arts for All

Wondering what to see at Overture Center? Allow publicist Rob Chappell to make a few suggestions. Here’s what he recommends for:

A date night: Cabaret—dine on the stage at the historic Capitol Theater serenaded by a cabaret singer (November 10, February 9 and May 3).

An outing with the kids: ImaginOcean (October 16), a crazy undersea puppet show from John Tartaglia, a Muppet Show alum who also helped create Avenue Q.

A girls’ night out: Straight No Chaser (October 26), the ten-man a cappella group.

The Broadway lover: The Addams Family (May 1–6), if only because it’s on its first tour.

The person who dislikes musicals: Blue Man Group (January 24–29).

Those who like art with an edge: Radio & Juliet (October 24), a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet set to Radiohead music. The company is Ballet Maribor from Slovenia.

The world traveler: Ballet Folklorico Antioquia de Colombia (February 21) [pictured above]. Very popular in South America, this is their first U.S. tour.

The movie star-obsessed: For people who dig old-school movie stars, An Evening with Groucho (April 21).

A person looking to laugh: Whose Live Anyway (May 19). The stars of Whose Line Is It Anyway take the show on the road.

The budget-minded: Luma Theater (April 15), a show that uses light as its medium (and started in Madison!), has ticket prices that top out at $20.

Find all of Overture Center’s offerings—from Broadway hits and concerts by major music stars to contemporary dance, comedy and theater—at


In a Word

We asked local theater groups to describe their new seasons in a single descriptor

Broom Street Theater: Revolutionary.

The Lamentable Tragedie of Scott Walker Governour of Wisconsin, July 29-September 4
A Broom Street Halloween, September 23–October 30
The Ghosts of Christmas Past, November 11–December 18

On the Corner of Clark and Vine, January 13–February 4
Splendor in the Math, February 17–March 10
Clause 9, March 23–April 14
900, April 27–May 19
Tracks: A Cycle in Two Plays, June 1–23
Rubbery with Violets, Or, If You Can See This, Thank Your Optician, July 6–28
Pericles, August 10–September 1
The Bottom of the Sea is Cruel, September 14–October 6
Svengali's Follies, October 19–November 10
Tales for Another Milennium, November 30–December 22

Children’s Theater of Madison: Vibrant.

The American Girls Revue, October 8–23
A Christmas Carol, December 9–23
Bunnicula, February 11–19
Lord of the Flies, March 24–April 1
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, May 5–23

Encore! Studio for the Performing Arts: Original.

Acts to Grind IV, September 23–October 8
You Name It, January 5–14
The Gentlemen, April 13–28

Forward Theater Company: Portraits.

The Farnsworth Invention, November 3–20
A Thousand Words, January 19–February 5
Love Stories, April 12–29

Four Seasons Theatre: Eclectic.

Rent, December 2–18
Great American Songbook Cabaret, March 2–4
A Little Night Music, August 2012 (exact dates to be determined)

Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre: Participatory.

New season information is not yet available. Please check the theater’s website for updates.

Madison Savoyards: Celebratory.

Pirates of Penzance, July 20–22, 27–29
Additional events to be announced.

Madison Theatre Guild: Quirky.

Three Tall Women, September 23–October 8
Rent, December 2–18
Yankee Tavern, February 24–March 10
Up, May 4–19

Mercury Players Theatre: Scrappy.

Talking Out of School:
Short Plays by Wisconsin Teachers, January 6–21
Becky Shaw, May 4–19

Music Theatre of Madison: Ambitious.

Songs For A New World, June 14–16
Parade, July 26–28 and August 2–4

StageQ: Funny.

Ghost of a Chance, October 21–November 5
Scrooge in Rouge, December 1–17
This Beautiful City, March 30–April 14
Queer Shorts 7, May 31–June 9

Strollers: Riveting.

Rabbit Hole, August 26–September 17
The Good Doctor, October 28–November 19
Black Comedy, January 20–February 11
Beautiful Bodies, April 6–28

University Theatre: Connections.

[title of show] a musical, September 9–18
Ti Jean and His Brothers, October 28–November 12
Bat Boy: The Musical, November 18–December 10
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, March 2–17
Pedro and the War Cantata, March 23–31
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, April 20–May 5

– Katie Foran-McHale


Step to it!

Madison boasts an impressive array of dance companies that dazzle audiences with innovative, beautiful, moving and thought-provoking performances throughout the year. Go online to check out what’s coming up at Madison Ballet (, Li Chiao-Ping Dance (, Kanopy Dance (, TAPIT/new works ( and Dance Wisconsin (


WANT MORE ARTS? Find arts and entertainment coverage all year long in in profiles, monthy event highlights and the Liberal Arts and Classically Speaking blogs.




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