Aaron R. Conklin

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Aaron R. Conklin has been a contributing writer to Madison Magazine since the early 2000s. He’s the author of Madison Magazine’s award-winning Stage Write blog on local theater and also writes about food for the magazine. In his free time, Conklin enjoys spending time with his family and pets, live music and video games.


Duo expands its local business scale with a new family-friendly restaurant

Kyle Johnson and Gwen Shales are pulled in a lot of directions these days. But luckily for this husband-and-wife restaurant team, two of those directions are only about a block away from each other.

Capital City’s latest is a tightly packaged experience

You really have to admire the artistry Capital City Theater has used to fit “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” into the confines of a Fitchburg barn.

Capital City Theatre’s latest production, ‘Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,’ provides an immersive experience

Capital City Theatre chose a Fitchburg agricultural community center to stage its latest, sold-out show.

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ soars and sours at Overture

Madison premiere is a reminder that while the show’s songs pack power, the plot’s painfully problematic.

3 wine bars that let you pour your own wine

There’s also something to be said for the simple joy of pouring it yourself.

Casem AbuLughod on upcoming role in “Russian Troll Farm,” his first big show and that time he felt like Mel Brooks

As local actor gears up for Forward Theater show running April 21-May 8, he looks back on a few stage memories.

Take a short drive to one of these 21 area wineries

There are a proliferating number of wineries in the area.

American Players Theatre closes in on winner of Ides of March Madness bracket

Aaron Conklin provides updates on the theater-themed showdown, a last-call for 'Prom,' birthday shoutouts and his suggestion on what to watch next

University Theater’s ‘Heathers’ could be beautiful

American Players Theatre's Jake Penner takes on a dark cult classic.

Actor sees herself in Forward’s ‘The Mytilenean Debate’

Samra Teferra, lead of Forward Theater Co.'s production running through March 13 at the Playhouse, shares Stage Right/Stage Wrong moments.

Aaron’s one-minute read: ‘Hairspray’ loses some of its hold

Theater reviewer gives his take on the touring production at Overture Center, plus upcoming must-sees

Quick look: Big show postponed plus upcoming must-sees

This one-minute read gives you the top headline in local theater and reviewer Aaron R. Conklin's performance picks

Children’s Theater of Madison’s ‘Stellaluna’ director plays with movement, then and now

Brian Cowing, whose upcoming show uses puppeteers and artistic sign language, remembers an early-career mishap that was less than graceful.

Andrew Abrams on a dream realized and his next Madison show

Capital City Theatre's artistic director to stage "But I'm a Cheerleader!" in London, then return to Madison for next local show: “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.”

10 steakhouses that turn prime cuts of beef into masterpieces

Steaks can be complex, even for those who enjoy them regularly, so we’ve identified both the signature and most popular cuts at each location.

American Players Theater announces 2022 season, welcoming full audience

Nine shows include five reschedules from the canceled 2020 docket; official summer 2022 schedule coming early January

Q&A with the hauntmaster who’s dished out a decade of scares at Screamin’ Acres

As the Stoughton haunted house wraps up its 10th anniversary season this weekend, we look back on a decade of terror with hauntmaster Jacob Eugster.

Capital City Theatre launches its new season with a musical revue after an 18-month hiatus

When it came to deciding which show to stage after sifting through more than 20 possible shows, the answer proved to be simple and straightforward: Go with a musical revue.

Home sweet (new) home for Children’s Theatre of Madison

The 56-year-old theater company debuts its space in the new MyArts Center.

8 craft cocktails to try on a night out

Local purveyors excel at these alcohol-based works of art, which elevate both familiar liquors and less familiar aperitifs to new heights

The state of restaurant 107 State

Nathan Mergen’s restaurant finds a new way forward by staying hyperfocused on two elements of its original menu.

11 standout Madison burger restaurants

Start here to explore Madison’s stacked burger scene.

Cozy up with these 12 comforting local soups

When the weather’s cold, these local offerings will warm your stomach — and your soul.

10 Madison restaurants serving up backyard favorite: fried chicken

Elevate your summertime picnic with an offering from a local spot.

American Players Theatre goes digital with film ‘Talk to Me: Love in the Time of COVID’

Short film came together quickly over Zoom

Overture Center unveils 2020-21 Broadway shows

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ among the musicals coming to town

8 places to get delicious dumplings

Grab your utensils and let’s get dippin’.

A ‘Wicked’ pleasure

A bit of surreal escapism before the coronavirus boom drops

Forward Theater Co. unveils 2020-21 season of plays

Company to tell 'The United Stories of America' on stage

Play about a serial killer challenges morbid fascination

Two Crows’ ‘Down the Road’ peers inside the mind of a monster

Colleen Madden puts on spooky holiday solo show

APT alum adapts another Charles Dickens story

10 Madison-based food gift ideas for the holiday season

Plus two different gift box ideas

13 places you might be surprised to find out deliver in Madison

Plus most-ordered from places through EatStreet

The ‘Wizard of Park Street’ still sells difficult-to-find comic books

20th Century Books is hidden in plain sight

Actor deals deftly with onstage beer bottle, buckets of blood

Stage Right/Stage Wrong with Anna Pfefferkorn

‘The Book of Mormon’ is still good

Touring production continues to mine the laughs

APT’s Jamal James endures broken knee, hand

Actor shares past with ‘Stage Right/Stage Wrong'

Go ahead, be salty with these 14 giant soft pretzels

What could be better than a salty, fluffy pretzel?

Local theater companies stage newer works in lieu of the classics

Bartell Theatre companies take chances this season

APT’s ‘Book of Will’ a gift to theater’s loyal audience

Production is full of Core Company star power