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Summer Stages: BWW Top Summer Theatre Picks - A Sensational Madison Area Summer

Jim DeVita in An Iliad from the Milwaukee Repertory Run.
Photo by: Michael Brosilow

The greater Madison area has a host of summer theatrical offerings that provide entertainment for every member of the family. From all out Wisconsin Dells excursions, to evenings under the stars in Spring Green, or simply an evening out on the town in our state's capital, the summer heat does not stop these area artists. If you need a recommendation for some festivities, here are five shows that are sure to delight in the coming months.

5. Avenue Q by Middleton Players Theatre

June 25, 26, & July 2, 3 at 7:30pm

June 27 & July 5 at 2:00pm

Brought to life by the duo Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, the three time Tony award winning musical is a delight. Easily described as the young adult's Sesame Street, the show revolves around Princeton who is freshly graduated from college and determined to make a life for himself. Though he runs into a few problems that many young adults face, job hunting, bills, and temptation, he and the rest of the cast are able to play out even their most difficult moments in some of Broadway's funniest musical numbers.

Directed by Thomas J. Kasdorf and Matt Starika-Jolivet, Avenue Q is the chosen comedy to round out Middleton Players' 25th season. Although this show is undeniably funny, it is meant for adults and the theatre suggests that audiences be wary of bringing anyone under the age of 15.

For more information: http://middletonplayers.com/current-season/avenue-q/

4. A Streetcar Named Desire by American Players Theatre

June 12-September 5

Tennessee Williams is known for his ability to draw out the human condition in some of the most delicate works of American theatre. Streetcar is one of his most famous contributions to the stage and, despite its age, is still quoted on the sly in popular culture. The tale of Blanche DuBois who seeks refuge with her sister Stella in New Orleans is complicated when Stella's husband cannot control his temper or disdain for the new houseguest.

Filled with APT veterans such as Tracy Michelle Arnold as Blanche, Christina Panfilio as Stella Kowalski, and Eric Parks as the hot headed Stanley Kowalski - this show is bound to be a great success. After winning Broadway World Madison's 'Best Play of 2014' for their Importance of Being Earnest, APT has a title to uphold and the reputation to do so.

For more information: http://americanplayers.org/plays/a-streetcar-named-desire?/plays-and-tickets/a-streetcar-named-desire

3. Violet by Capital City Theatre

June 12 - 20

In their inaugural show, CCT is presenting the Drama Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award winning musical, Violet. The story of a young woman with a facial disfigurement who, in the image obsessed 1960's struggles to understand her own beauty. In an attempt to be healed, she seeks out a televangelist to intervene. This show is known for its powerful musical score as well as its well-developed characters.

Leigh Ann Larkin, Broadway's final Petra in A Little Night Music is starring as "Violet". Pulling out the stops by bringing in a cast with impressive resumes, CCT is determined to make its imprint on Madison's theatre scene and this show is sure to do so.

For more information: http://www.capitalcitytheatre.org/

2. The Little Mermaid by Palace Theater

May 21 - September 6

Kicking off the first summer season for the Wisconsin Dells' based theatre, Disney's The Little Mermaid is swimming up to shore. A fitting season capstone in "The Waterpark Capital of the World" - Palace's rendition of the Disney classic is already making a splash. With elaborate costuming, beloved childhood music, and a lovely mermaid, this family production is a must see. Paired with Palace's dining experience, an entire evening of fun is easy to come by right off of the Wisconsin Dells Parkway.

For more information: http://www.dellspalace.com/nowplaying/the-little-mermaid

1. An Iliad by American Players Theatre

June 6 - October 18

Following its monumentally successful run in Milwaukee this past year, Jim DeVita is resurrecting his Iliad in the intimate Touchstone Theatre at APT. Having won both "Best Actor of the Year 2014" as well as "Best Play of the Year 2014" in Milwaukee's Broadway World awards, DeVita's one-man show has become a triumphant work.

Transposed from Homer, An Iliad is an exploration of mankind's obsession with war. Starring DeVita as the storytelling poet, the show investigates the mechanisms of the Trojan War while trying to piece together what it is that keeps man from achieving peace. By pitting us against ourselves, the poet attempts to change the heart of man.

For more information: http://americanplayers.org/plays/an-iliad


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From This Author Amanda Finn

Amanda lives in Madison, WI and joined BWW in the spring of 2014. She has relished every moment spent in a theatre since then. She (read more...)