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Dennis Sullivan ’75, JD’80

Annie Hall character Alvy Singer might’ve entertained a UW-Madison audience, but it seems Woody Allen never did. He is not listed among the many artists who have performed at the Union Theater over the decades.

The scene you’re remembering takes place when the neurotic comedian is on a campus tour and stops in Wisconsin to visit Annie Hall’s family in Chippewa Falls. If you look closely, you’ll see that the stage on which Alvy performs and the curtain in front of which he stands do not appear to be in the Union Theater.

Annie Hall was released in 1977. Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman ’61, the screenplay goes like this:
The darkened auditorium is filled with college students applauding and cheering, excited, as Alvy stands on spotlighted stage holding the microphone.
ALVY
(Gesturing)
W-where am I? I-I keep ... I have to
reorient myself. This is the University
of Wisconsin, right? So I’m always ...
I’m tense and ... uh, when I’m playin’ a
col- I’ve a very bad history with colleges.
You know, I went to New York University and,
uh, tsch, I was thrown out of NYU my freshman year ...
for cheating on my metaphysics final.
You know, I looked within the soul of the
boy sitting next to me —

(The audience laughs; they're with him)

— and when I was thrown out, my mother,
who’s an emotionally high-strung woman,
locked herself in the bathroom and took an
overdose of mah-jongg tiles.

It’s not uncommon for film producers to pass off one location for another. For example, scenes in the upcoming film Public Enemies (2009), starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, were shot at the Madison Capitol, standing in for the U.S. Capitol.

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