6 exceptional April performances and exhibits

6 exceptional April performances and exhibits
UW Band - Gary Smith
Bucky knows the University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band is No. 1.

On Wisconsin! April 20-22

If your favorite part of Badgers games is the Fifth Quarter, join the University of Wisconsin Marching Band for its annual Varsity Band Concert. The action-packed production combines the energy and school spirit of game-day performances with an eclectic lineup of guest artists and musical influences. This year at “Nobody Does it Better: 20 Years at the Kohl Center,” enjoy tunes from the Motown and Big Band eras, Gershwin’s “American in Paris” and hit musicals “The Lion King” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” But expect the unexpected, too: Band director and supreme showman Mike Leckrone always has some surprises in store!

“Martha Glowacki’s Natural History, Observations and Reflections” Through May 14

Martha Glowacki is renowned for work that melds history, science, the natural world and a distinct sense of mystery. Her sculpture and installations–particularly her “cabinets of curiosity”–provide drawers, shelves and nooks that beckon visual exploration. In this exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art, the Madison artist probes the history of science and scientific illustration, focusing on plant collecting, a 19th century French physiologist and more, all with her signature combination of beauty and morbidity.

The Flaming Lips April 21

Psychedelic rock outfit The Flaming Lips formed in Oklahoma in the 1980s, but the band has a serious penchant for ’60s subculture. The Grammy-winning group’s lush, experimental sound is best experienced live, as its elaborate shows are known to incorporate balloons, confetti, costumes, lights, video projections and a human-size plastic bubble, which frontman and guitarist Wayne Coyne gets inside to bounce above concert-goers. Who knows what tricks they’ll bring to the Orpheum Theater?

“Snapshots of Spain” April 7-9

Flamenco is as exciting, complex and diverse as the country that birthed it, and Kanopy Dance celebrates the rich tradition in “Snapshots of Spain.” This program at the Overture Center for the Arts highlights flamenco’s rhythms and flourishes, while also evoking Spain’s language, music, art, history and culture. New works and collaborations showcase Kanopy artistic directors and dancers, as well as guest artists Danica Sena of San Francisco and Tania Tandias of Madison, both highly regarded flamenco and Spanish dancers and teachers.

“The Magic Flute” April 21 and 23

Mozart’s final opera depicts a prince and a bird catcher setting off to rescue a princess from a high priest. An enchanting mix of opera and adventure, of fairy-tale love and the quest for wisdom, “The Magic Flute” premiered in 1791 and was a success from the start. Madison Opera presents this “singspiel” conducted by Gary Thor Wedow (with singing in German, dialogue in English and projected English translations) in Overture Hall at Overture Center.

“Geppetto” April 28-May 20

Broom Street Theater shifts the focus off of Pinocchio and onto his father, who created the puppet as a reprieve from his loneliness and darkness. When Pinocchio runs away, Geppetto’s search for his son leads them both on an incredible adventure. The world premiere of this play by Chicago’s Stephen F. Murray combines the classic children’s tale with other well-known myths and fables, bringing the story to life through puppetry, masks and music.

Katie Vaughn is a contributor to Madison Magazine. Find more can’t-miss arts and entertainment picks in the guides and blogs on madisonmagazine.com.