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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

WUD Performing Arts is setting the stage for your enjoyment

Even with the many magnificent theater venues found in Madison, The Union Theater still manages to stand out as a historic presence because of the famous acts that have been selected to perform there by WUD Performing Arts.

Just last weekend, two performances including Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Gabriel Iglesias sold out at the box office at The Union Theater. Incredible as that sounds, the acts were even more outstanding. The comedian Gabriel Iglesias decided to use new material on the Madison audience and left the crowd begging for more.

Part of that crowd was a University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Karlie Tetschlag, who explained “it was that laughing [where] you slap your knee, you lean forward, and you look at the person next to you with the biggest smile on your face.”

Topics included personal family stories along with jabs at fellow comedians. More specifically, Tetschlag mentioned “that Wisconsin was the first place that he had to be carried home from a bar and ended up having us vote on Twitter which bar they should go to [afterwards].”

Tetschlag was thankful WUD Performing Arts helped bring such a performer to the community.

“It was amazing; after 90 minutes of telling jokes the crowd was still into him, cheering louder than ever and yelling out jokes we wanted him to tell,” she said.

Starting with both of these talented acts sets high standards for the clover-filled month of March. However, WUD Performing Arts does not disappoint.

Since 1992, The Annual Marcia Legéré Student Play Festival has given students the opportunity to write and direct plays for a live audience. This year, on March 21, this annual festival returns giving three plays a chance to show their worth. Selected directly by WUD Performing Arts, the plays are “100% directed, acted, produced and written by UW students,” according to the WUD Performing Arts website. Chances are you might just recognize the student you sit next to in discussion on stage.

Even if you don’t see them on stage, you may see them in the audience alongside you during the Cuban-inspired group, Sierra Maestra. I’m sure others share my obsession with the 1920s and 30s, and can appreciate instruments such as the guitars, bongos and trumpets that bring this era to life. WUD Performing Arts said Sierra Maestra were nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2010, and insisted they have remained the best in the Cuban mainstream genre since.

On the complete opposite side of the music spectrum, March 24 will feature Pro Arte Quartet—William Bolcom Piano Quintet No. 2. The classical string music created by Pro Art Quartet started in the early 1900s and first visited Madison in 1938. It was a struggle in the 1940s to even view this performance because Belgium was being invaded by Hitler’s invasion at the time. A treat to the ears, this quartet could not be lost due to war, and so it resided permanently with the Chancellor of UW-Madison. Today, a little history is embedded with each performance giving every audience a unique experience.

Continuing to broaden our cultural knowledge, WUD Performing Arts has booked the Travel Adventure Series: Egypt’s Treasures and Cruising the Nile with Clint and Sue Denn on March 27. Any adventurous soul will appreciate a film that illustrates the many ancient ruins found in these areas. Egypt itself has been going through many drawbacks in their country, and understanding their own history can only help us comprehend the events taking place.

It is not often that college students can afford to see a live performance or film because of their standard costly price. Nevertheless, with the help of WUD Performing Arts, we can not only view these brilliant acts, but also keep our piggy banks intact.

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Any WUD Performing Arts acts you cannot wait to see? Alert Erin at eberge@wisc.edu so she can check them out!

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