5 Madison events worth seeing in February

Heavy metal dance performance among lineup

“Devil’s Night”
Feb. 8-10 and 15-17
For patrons seeking a feast for their eyes and ears, Kanopy Dance Co. offers scintillating dance performances set to heavy metal music and accented by brightly colored costumes and evocative sets. Every few years, Kanopy presents “Devil’s Night” using music from the Finnish cello quartet Apocalyptica as the soundtrack. The story sends the hero, Mohawk Man, stumbling down a rabbit hole only to meet Puppetmaster and his eerie china dolls. The tale reaches a frenzied section where the group crosses the River Styx. Kanopy co-artistic director Lisa Thurrell says the piece, which will be performed at Overture Center for the Arts’ Promenade Hall Feb. 8-10 and 15-17, is “otherworldly, creepy and fun.”

Rachael & Vilray
Feb. 145 Madison events worth seeing in February

It’s no stretch to say that Vilray whistles while he works. The composer and musician also shares a microphone with Rachael Price, whom he’s known since the pair met at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2003. Price, best known as the lead singer of Lake Street Dive, performs with Vilray at Stoughton Opera House on Feb. 14. The duo likes to keep things simple. Using a single guitar onstage, they collaborate on tunes from the 1930s and 1940s. Rachael & Vilray write their own songs, as well as perform music by big band jazz groups and western swing ensembles.

“How I Became a Pirate”
Feb. 16-17, 23-24 and March 1-25 Madison events worth seeing in February

Children’s Theater of Madison has young, swashbuckling children in mind for “How I Became a Pirate,” but parents and adults will utter “argh” in a positive way at this musical. The 60-minute show in Overture Center’s Playhouse tells the story of Jeremy Jacobs, who is recruited by Captain Braidbeard and his pirate cohorts to find the ideal location to bury treasure. Jacobs discovers that maps and adventures are fun, but home also is important. The production was adapted from the 2003 book of the same name by Melinda Long, with illustrations by David Shannon.

“Into the Woods”
Feb. 21-245 Madison events worth seeing in February
Two University of Wisconsin-Madison programs – University Theatre and University Opera – are collaborating to stage Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” Scott Shepley, publicity coordinator of the theatre and drama department, says the groups are “really excited to work on this venture.”5 Madison events worth seeing in February

Two people are cast in the same role and rotate performances, as student actresses Miranda Kettlewell and Elisheva Pront play the part of Cinderella. Mead Witter School of Music’s Chad Hutchinson will conduct the orchestra for the show, which is slated for Wisconsin Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall.

Marcia Ball and Sonny Landreth
Feb. 265 Madison events worth seeing in February
The Stoughton Opera House gets a visit from 2018 Texas State Musician of the Year Marcia Ball, who plays with Sonny Landreth in what the venue is calling “Two Great Bands, One Great Night.”5 Madison events worth seeing in February

Born in Texas and raised in Louisiana, Ball has been belting blues and pounding the piano for half a century in her inimitable honky-tonk style. Landreth returns to the Madison area for the second time in two years after playing with John Hiatt in March 2018 at Barrymore Theatre. Landreth has played steel and slide guitar with music icons such as Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler.