6 events you need to attend this month
"Hamilton" will be in Madison for three weeks
Through Feb. 16, 2020
“Wisconsin Triennial,” a survey of Wisconsin contemporary art that opened in October, is one of the most highly anticipated exhibitions on the arts calendar each year at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. This year’s triennial highlights 32 individuals and two collaborations selected through a rigorous curatorial process. Established and emerging artists are featured in the large-scale show. “You’ll see photography, painting, sculpture, video work — and it addresses many different subjects,” says Erika Monroe-Kane, MMoCA’s director of strategic communications and engagement. “It’s the kind of thing that you can come in and experience and really get a sense of what’s happening in contemporary art in the state,” Monroe-Kane says.
Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
Rhiannon Giddens has had a creative and busy 2019. Giddens wrote the theatrical score for the ballet “Lucy Negro Redux”; recorded and released “Songs of Our Native Daughters,” a collaborative album with three other black, female musicians and songwriters; and also recorded “there is no Other” with Italian jazz musician Francesco Turrisi. Giddens, who is widely known for her banjo skills, performs a pair of shows this month with Turrisi at Stoughton Opera House. On “there is no Other,” which was released in May 2019, Turrisi plays drums, piano, accordion, tamburello, lute and cello banjo.
Singer-songwriter Steve Earle released albums to commemorate the two biggest influences in his music career: folk singers Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. At a pair of solo concerts at Stoughton Opera House, Earle will play cover songs from “Guy,” an album released last March. Clark, who died of lymphoma in 2016, taught Earle how to write songs and recruited him to play bass in Clark’s band. Earle won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 2009 for “Townes,” a collection of the namesake guitarist’s tunes.
Nov. 19 to Dec. 8
Madison theatergoers likely aren’t throwing away their shot at seeing the hottest musical in recent history. Since the Overture Center for the Arts announced last April that “Hamilton: An American Musical” would be included in the lineup this season, the venue sold some 4,100 ticket packages for Broadway shows, nearly double previous season sales. Undeniably, with 24 performances in Overture Hall, “Hamilton” is a huge get for Madison. The hip-hop musical — based on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton — covers 30 years of history in 46 songs and 25,000 words over the course of nearly two hours and 45 minutes, making it one fast-paced musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the book and score and originated the title role on Broadway, isn’t in this touring production but his genius is.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters
British musician Elvis Costello didn’t wait as long as last time to return to Madison. Costello & The Imposters are back to perform at Orpheum Theater. When Costello performed at Overture Center for the Arts’ Overture Hall in 2015, he said it had been more than 30 years since his last visit. Costello, 65, is on the road for his second U.S. tour this year. He’s in remission after undergoing cancer surgery in the summer of 2018.
The title of Cristela Alonzo’s comedy tour — ”My Affordable Care Act” — is an indication that she’s tuned in to the nation’s current political climate. At the Barrymore Theatre, Alonzo, a first-generation Mexican American who grew up in Texas, will discuss her struggle to become a comedian. Her stand-up is based on her new book, “Music to My Years: A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up.” Alonzo became the first Latina to conceive, write, produce and star in her own television show, “Cristela,” which aired on ABC in 2014.
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