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Articles tagged with: American Players Theatre

‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ at American Players: Rostand’s sad hero, captured in lyric depth

Aug 10, 2017 – 6:47 am
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Review: In a transcendent night under the stars in APT’s newly refurbished al fresco venue, the three-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago to the theater, nestled in rolling hills about 30 miles west of Madison, was repaid amply by James Ridge’s complex embodiment of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Here is Cyrano in his full flesh and spirit: lyric poet, matchless swordsman and, above all else, unrequited lover, a man whose many gifts stitched together cannot veil the defeating protuberance that is his formidable nose. ★★★★★

American Players set to dedicate a new stage after $8 million renovation of outdoor venue

Jun 17, 2017 – 11:55 am
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Preview: At the outset of its 38th season, American Players Theatre has the look of a company starting afresh. Its 2017 summer at Spring Green, Wis., about 30 miles west of Madison, opens on a brand-new stage, the centerpiece of an $8 million renovation of both production and public facilities. “Our theater was literally falling down,” says APT artistic director Brenda DeVita. “This renewal has given us, and our audience, a theater that is better is so many ways.”

Summer 2016 at American Players Theatre: It’s high drama, comedy where ardor meets Arden

Jun 16, 2016 – 7:55 pm
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Preview: It’s like seeing Shakespeare in the Forest of Arden, this bucolic Wisconsin festival that bears the name of American Players Theatre. Set in the rolling hills of Spring Green, just west of Madison, American Players has been producing stellar – literally star-covered – theater every summer since 1980. This summer APT juxtaposes Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” with Carlyle Brown’s “The African Company Presents Richard III.” Those timely spirits are already in flight, with many more plays to come. Here’s an overview.

American Players Theatre announces 37th Summer Festival June 3 – Oct. 16, 2016

Jan 27, 2016 – 5:00 pm
Up the Hill venue at American Players Theatre

This Just In: The following is from a news release written by an arts organization.
American Players Theatre announces 37th Summer Festival Season June 3 – October 16, 2016
Diverse lineup of eight classical and contemporary works
Return of …

Role Playing: Tracy Michelle Arnold debunks madness as force that drives Blanche DuBois

Aug 31, 2015 – 5:55 pm
Tracy Arnold

Interview: Tracy Michelle Arnold, who portrays a feisty and resourceful Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” at American Players Theatre, doesn’t buy the common perception of this embattled woman as “a crazy person.” Arnold sees Blanche as a scarred fighter who never gives up her struggle to survive, even at the end.

‘An Iliad’ at American Players Theatre: Of rage, ruin and the cherished legacy of endless wars

Aug 4, 2015 – 10:36 am
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Review: Rage, beyond expression or reason or appeasement, rips through the timeless modernity of “An Iliad,” the dramatic distillation of Homer’s epic by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare that now echoes against the near walls of an intimate space at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. This fraught opus of glory and gore bristles in the one voice but many personas of Jim DeVita, playing the Poet who frames the perpetual folly of war in the single appalling, ever repeating travesty that was Troy. ★★★★★

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ at American Players: Estwhile beauty meets beast, and he’s not kind

Jul 16, 2015 – 8:43 pm
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Review: She is a fascinating character, indeed one of the iconic personas in all of theater, Blanche DuBois, the fallen Southern belle of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The undying question is, Why? What’s so intriguing about this dame with the checkered past? Perhaps it’s her vulnerability, or her delusion, or her sheer refusal to go quietly into middle-aged oblivion. I think that’s the thing, her feisty pluck, that makes Tracy Michelle Arnold’s Blanche so compelling at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. ★★★★★

From al fresco staging of Williams’ ‘Streetcar,’ American Players promise summer of surprises

Jun 12, 2015 – 12:23 am
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Preview: In her second summer as artistic director of American Players Theatre, Brenda Devita can claim her fingerprints alone on the scheme of eight widely ranging plays that will run in repertory well into the autumn. And DeVita embraces that authorship with pride, starting with the company’s first go at Tennessee Williams’ monumental tragedy “A Streetcar Named Desire.” “We’re taking it outdoors,” she says, referring to the starry-domed 1,148-seat Up-the-Hill Theatre.

Oscar Wilde’s ‘Earnest’ at American Players: Much ado about manners, wit and attire

Aug 6, 2014 – 6:29 pm
John, aka Earnest (Matt Schwader) is smitten by Gwendolen (Cristina Panfilio). (Carissa Dixon)

Review: Perhaps it’s because theater companies and audiences have always taken to heart Oscar Wilde’s subtitle for “The Importance of Being Earnest” that this silly, precious comedy of manners has remained a repertory fixture since its premiere in the Victorian world of 1895. Wilde slyly dubbed his play “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” and its triviality is indeed embraced seriously in this summer’s amusing romp at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. ★★★★

Juliet shines sun-bright in American Players’ earthy view of Shakespeare tragedy

Jul 2, 2014 – 2:41 pm
It's love at first sight for Juliet (Melisa Pereyra) and her Romeo (Christopher Sheard). (Carissa Dixon)

Review: Care as we may for the oft love-struck young swain in Shakespeare’s great tragedy “Romeo and Juliet,” it is Juliet whose desperate predicament holds our hearts in thrall. A successful staging requires, above all else, an irresistible Juliet, radiant indeed as the eastern sun, and American Players Theatre’s affecting summer run boasts just such a blazing star in Melisa Pereyra. ★★★★

Under new director, American Players Theatre shows changed outlook with Mamet opener

Jun 14, 2014 – 8:07 am
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Preview: As if running up a banner announcing its annexation of the New World – where, of course, it is located – the classically oriented American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis., opens its 2014 summer with a new commitment to Americana, leading off with no less bracing a representative than David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.”

‘Hamlet’ at American Players Theatre: Agony and wit, and clear view of a timeless tragedy

Sep 1, 2013 – 5:49 pm
Matt Schwader is Hamlet at the American Players Theatre 2013 (Carissa Dixon)

Review: As summer turns into fall, it’s worth making time to catch Chicago actor Matthew Schwader as that restlessly inquisitive and acid wit, Hamlet, who comes magisterially unhinged in Shakespeare’s masterwork. “Hamlet” is enjoying a gloriously long reign at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI. ★★★★★

‘Molly Sweeney’ at American Players Theatre: From gentle darkness, a voyage to rough light

Aug 6, 2013 – 5:07 pm
Colleen Madden as a blind woman who sees differently in Brian Friel's 'Molly Sweeney' at American Players Theatre 2013 (Carissa Dixon)

Review: She is a perfectly happy lady, Molly Sweeney. Though blind since early childhood, she’s content in her soul, and wondrously in touch with the world, which she views – through the tactile, auditory and aromatic senses – as very much hers. Then her husband and a once-celebrated eye surgeon convince her that an operation could open up unimagined vistas of bliss. That’s the harrowing thrust of Brian Friel’s intimate tragedy “Molly Sweeney,” delivered with equal parts of sensitivity and irony and shattering impact at American Players Theatre.. ★★★★

‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ lights the open sky with crisp mirth at American Players

Jul 29, 2013 – 10:12 pm
Buddies Valentine (Travis A. Knight) and Proteus (Marcus Truschinski) become rivals in love in The Two Gentlemen of Verona at APT 2013 (Zane Williams)

Review: Traditional criticism hasn’t been altogether kind to Shakespeare’s early comedy “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” which is often portrayed as a workshop effort that set the stage for the Bard’s later, more sophisticated riffs on the madness of love. But this summer’s sharply drawn, energetic and sly production at American Players Theatre makes a savvy, satisfying case for a comedy worth catching. ★★★★

American Players Theatre offers Shakespeare, Friel, Stoppard in a festival mix in the woods

Jun 14, 2013 – 11:40 pm
Colleen Madden in Molly Sweeney at American Players Theatre credit Zane Williams

Preview: What’s in a name? American Players Theatre, which has been filling summers with drama since 1980 in the woods of Spring Green, Wis., doesn’t trade on the Shakespeare brand. But in every aspect of making theater, from staging to vocal delivery to its choice of plays, this ambitious enterprise hews to the Bard as its reference point. In the 2013 mix of eight plays, which opens June 15, APT includes a typical infusion of Shakespeare, a stylistic sweep from “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “Hamlet” to “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Role Playing: James Ridge thrives in cold skin of Shakespeare’s smiling serpent, Richard III

Aug 29, 2012 – 8:45 pm
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Interview: He’s the very devil in the guise of a cherub, this smiling and murderous Richard III embodied by James Ridge in the American Players Theatre production of Shakespeare’s royal tragedy. Ridge’s duplicitous Richard echoes Lady Macbeth’s cold counsel to Macbeth in his own bloody quest for a crown: “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.”

‘Richard III’ looses a venomous schemer on summer stage of American Players Theatre

Jul 9, 2012 – 4:21 pm
Richard III American Players Theatre 2012 James Ridge as Richard David Daniel as Buckingham credit Carissa Dixon

A snake in the palace. 4 stars!