6 can’t-miss February events
Seinfeld, Portugal. The Man and more
During comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s 2005 trip to Madison to perform at the Overture Center for the Arts, he told his limo driver he wanted a good cheeseburger. That’s how he ended up at the Village Bar on Mineral Point Road, autographing a menu seven years after leaving the hit sitcom that bore his last name–a show famously “about nothing.” The New Yorker returns to Overture Center this month for a pair of solo shows to share the carefully crafted, nonconfessional, PG-rated shtick for which he’s known. Seinfeld signed a reported $100-million deal with Netflix to carry episodes of his web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and to produce two new stand-up specials for the streaming service. Last September, Netflix released the first special, “Jerry Before Seinfeld”–a look at his career before he achieved fame on television. Maybe when he’s back in Madison he’ll order another Village Bar burger.
Dublin Irish Dance
St. Patrick’s Day comes early with the precise footwork of Celtic dance. Dublin Irish Dance performs “Stepping Out” at Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall with a talented ensemble executing Dublin native Anthony Fallon’s captivating choreography. Through the show, relive the historic evolution of Irish dance and Celtic culture that started in pre-famine Ireland and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to New York’s iconic Ellis Island.
Portugal. The Man
There’s little doubt that Portugal. The Man–the rock band with a punctuation mark in its name–produced an earworm last summer. The opening bass line of “Feel It Still” and lead singer John Gourley’s falsetto blends beautifully on the surf-rock tune, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart and, on Jan. 28, earned the band a Grammy in the “Best Pop/Duo Group Performance” category. The Portland-based band makes a stop at Overture Center’s Overture Hall on Feb. 11. Band members will draw from their new album, “Woodstock”–named for the original concert ticket found in a tool box owned by Gourley’s father–and a song catalog that includes seven other albums released over the last 14 years.
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Banjo-playing married couple Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Folk album for their 2014 self-titled disc, but they’re now promoting their latest, “Echo in the Valley,” released in 2017. A monumental life experience prompted their first duet banjo album. Washburn–a singer, clawhammer banjo player and Illinois native–said during her Grammy acceptance speech, “When we found out we were pregnant, we realized we should make an album together.” Their son, Juno, was born in 2013, and is along for the tour, which makes a stop at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater.
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
The Stoughton Opera House becomes the Grand Ole Opry of the Midwest for a day when Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives take the stage for two country music shows at 3 and 7 p.m. Stuart has performed at the Stoughton venue for three straight years, including at a sold-out show in 2015. He has also performed at the real Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The five-time Grammy Award winner’s career spans four decades, including a six-year stint playing guitar in Johnny Cash’s band. Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives released its album “Way Out West” in March.
Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection
Through April 22
This significant and dramatic exhibition shows the cultural shift in indigenous Australian art since it started incorporating Western and modern techniques in the mid-20th century. The 50-piece exhibit of paintings and sculptures showcased in the Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries at the Chazen Museum of Art were painstakingly compiled by Seattle-based collectors Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi. The works share a glimpse of the aboriginal community that, at one time, had no desire to interact with outsiders on any level.
Tamira Madsen is a Fitchburg-based writer.
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