A&E Guide: 54 things to do in May

A&E Guide: 54 things to do in May
Have the time of your life with Overture’s Broadway season closer, Dirty Dancing, showing May 26–31.

Art
Matthew Bindert explores globalization and consumerism through wood work at Edgewood College Gallery. Bindert’s Large Scale Woodcuts combine textiles, DNA structures and corporate structure patterns to create unique, thoughtful pieces. Through May 8, ecgallery.edgewood.edu

Theater
Get meta with Madison Theatre Guild’s [title of show]. A musical about writing a musical, the show follows two guys submitting a yet-to-be-written show to a musical theater festival. Bartell Theatre hosts this exploratory performance with questions of joy, collaboration and creativity. Through May 9, madisontheatreguild.org

Art
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young at Art is a biennial celebration of the importance of art education and creativity, featuring work by students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Through May 10, mmoca.org

Theater
Broom Street Theater’s The Point of It All deals with the real life intersections of addictions and love. This late-night, adults-only show is written and directed by Madison local Dan Myers (of Finding Human). Through May 10, bstonline.org

Art
Wisconsin is marked by water: our lakes, rivers and streams have spent centuries carving our land to be as it stands today. In Waterways at the James Watrous Gallery, three Wisconsin artists examine the nature and messages of our water. Madison locals Sarah FitzSimons and John Miller join their work with Milwaukee’s Marsha McDonald to convey the importance, significance and history of the water that surround us. Through May 10, wisconsinacademy.org

Theater
Step back to a different time before advertising on the internet reigned, when selling door-to-door put food on the table for families. Willy has been a traveling salesman all his life, but his dues have not come up due yet. After an economic shift, Willy must find new employment and continue searching for his family’s “big break.” Strollers Theatre presents Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Bartell Theatre. Through May 16, strollerstheatre.org

Art
Artists Eric and Heather ChanSchatz have created large-scale paintings on American soldiers in Iraq, coal miners in Pennsylvania, Cairo citizens in the Arab Spring and stateless children in Thailand. The duo works within communities to create artwork that emblemizes key social issues and events of our time. Their first major museum survey, 22nd Century at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, features a work based on Madison’s “collective yet layered identity.” Through May 17, mmoca.org

Art
Inspired by the Reverend Alex Gee’s 2013 essay “Justified Anger,” Justified Art! combines creative expression and social justice. Artists’ pieces examine personal experiences with discrimination and oppressive practices to promote conversation around racial disparities in the Madison community. Curated by Simone Doing and Max Puchalsky and featured at Overture Center Galleries, Justified Art! looks at the past, present and future of race relations in Dane County. Also on display are Linked Roots: Exploring Traditions featuring the artwork of Poonam Rao and Michael Rausch and Degrees and Kinds of Solitude by Yang Chen, Heather Baker and Benjamin Peyer. Through May 31, justifiedart.com

Art
Visual artist Kay Brathol-Hostvet’s expansive work explores landscape tradition and human expression. Her show Still joins Victoria Nieman’s extraordinary mixed media sculptures and a group show, Sterling, at Artisan Gallery. Through May 31, artisangal.com

Art
Glass, neon and cast aluminum may be unconventional artistic media, but Rory Erler Wakemup combines them all to become Darth Chief, hunter of offensive Indian “mascots” at sports events and cigar stores. Through the strange combination of materials, Kill the Idiot, Save the Fan draws on Wakemup’s Native American background, pop culture and humor to create an intense message for his audiences. Through June 7, chazen.wisc.edu

Art
On a journey to reimagine their home, contemporary Cuban artists capture the history of photography on the island at the Chazen Museum of Art with Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today. The artists seek to explore how photography has followed the country in times of transition over the last two decades. A combination of photography-based installations, digital photomontages and “intervened photography,” the works examine new Cuban photography-based art’s process of shaping reality and creating aesthetic openness. Through June 21, chazen.wisc.edu

Art
Personal, political and social narratives unfold in the long term StoryBook: Narrative in Contemporary Art exhibition at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Artists draw on well-known myths and tales as well as invented narratives, demonstrating the diverse array of narrative threads woven into contemporary art. Through July 1, mmoca.org

Art
Explore modern Chinese expression through Tradition and Innovation: The Human Figure in Contemporary Chinese Art. Featuring notable artists Liu Xiaodong, Su Xinping, Ma Shulin, Chi Peng, Li Xiangqun, Xiang Jing and Geng Xue, experience a snapshot of the body that will challenge your preconceptions about Chinese art. Through July 5, chazen.wisc.edu

Art
An exciting month for visual arts kicks off with Gallery Night. At the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s biannual event, more than sixty museums, galleries and other venues offer art along with entertainment for a citywide gallery hop. May 1, mmoca.org

Theater
A short series of vignettes covers a wide variety of topics in Encore Studio’s Not Always A Parent. As guardians of children and adults with disabilities, parents and supporters tend to take on the blame of their behaviors. Encore adds a touch of humor to the story in their exploration of personal experiences in their home studio space. May 1–16, encorestudio.org

Music
Guest pianist Bryan Wallick joins the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra for an all-Beethoven showstopper at Overture Center. Closing out their Masterworks series for the season, the concert features Leonore Overture No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” and Symphony No. 7. May 1, wcoconcerts.org

Music
A fiddle, an upright bass and a guitar meet at an opera house. What do they make? Hot Club of Cowtown digs deep into folk history to blend gypsy jazz and American songbook tunes at the Stoughton Opera House. May 1, stoughtonoperahouse.ticketforce.com

Art
All month long, Hatch Art House showcases Lesley Anne NumbersSolstice Sketches series, for which the Madison screen printer made a pen and marker drawing of a local plant almost daily between the summer and winter solstices. May 1–31, hatcharthouse.com

Art
Georgene Pomplun and Lee Kimball may work in different media—oil paint and pastels, respectively—but both bring a sense of atmosphere to the landscapes they depict. Fanny Garver Gallery presents new work by both artists. May 1–30, fannygarvergallery.com

Music
UW Symphony Orchestra and Choral Union join together for a night of classical community music. James Smith and Anna Volodarskaya direct and conduct Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, better known as the melodic “Hymn of Praise,” at Mills Concert Hall. May 2, music.wisc.edu

Music
Madison natives Mama Digdown’s Brass Band brings a taste of the deep South to the Stoughton Opera House stage. The eight-member group features big band sounds of trumpets, trombones and saxophones while giving a nod to traditional New Orleans jazz. May 2, stoughtonoperahouse.ticketforce.com

Music
KWT4‘s exceptional band members have gained them recognition worldwide. Coming together for a night at the Brink Lounge, the quartet swings between genres, touching on Latin, jazz, blues and rock. May 2, thebrinklounge.com

Art
Celebrate the diverse artistic culture of Madison with STRUT!, a parade to showcase artistic expression and collaboration. With more than thirty local creative and cultural groups, the parade will feature stilt-walking, dancing, music-making, puppetry and more. Individuals and families can join the Capitol Square procession and close with a dance-off at the Madison hildren’s Museum Funkyard. May 2, madisonchildrensmuseum.org

Art
Now in its second year, the pop-up outdoor flea market MadCity Bazaar takes place the first and third weekends of the month, from May to September. The market has grown and is now held in the parking lot of the Fiore Shopping Center at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and First Street. Shoppers can find locally made art, crafts, collectibles, clothing, vintage furniture and more, as well as food carts, music and kids’ activities. May 2–3 and 16–17, madcitybazaar.com

Theater
Theatre for Young Audiences teaches students at Edgewood College to research, write, rehearse and tour an original show geared toward younger viewers. This year, TFYA brings their show Shadow in the Sea to the Anderson Auditorium in the Predolin Building to explore ocean life and coral reefs. May 5–7, theatre.edgewood.edu

Music
Saxophonist Tom Guillion’s specialized techniques give his performance a soulful, sophisticated quality. While writing and producing his latest album, Carswell, he worked with notable percussionist Ernie Adams and the soft rock legends of Chicago. The Tom Gullion Quintet visits The Brink Lounge to perform his inventive compositions and fancy finger work. May 7, thebrinklounge.com

Music
Composer and lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver found inspiration for his latest show in his partner, performing arts photographer Matthew Murphy. The pair teamed up professionally to produce 35MM, a series of Oliver’s songs written in response to Murphy’s photos. In this related collaboration, Music Theatre of Madison’s show will be performed at the Goodman Community Center with photos taken by Madison-based photographers inspired by Oliver’s original songs. May 7–16, mtmadison.com

Music
The JACK Quartet is known for their innovative, aurally-intriguing performances and a mission to explore old work in new ways and present new work. For their first performance, the quartet performs Hass’s String Quartet No. 3 in complete darkness at Union Theater. Their second performance debuts work by UW–Madison’s own Laura Schwedinger. May 7-8, uniontheater.wisc.edu

Music
The High Noon Saloon ushers in the warm months with its Summer Patio Series. Held every Thursday, this ongoing outdoor event highlights such bands as The Wells Division (May 7), Gin Mill Hollow (May 14), the Oak Street Ramblers (May 21) and BingBong (May 28). May 7–September 24, high-noon.com

Music
The Madison Symphony Orchestra continues its season with Beethoven’s classic choral masterpiece “Ode to Joy” at the Overture Center. The program also includes Bernstein’s “Serenade” featuring Naha Greenholtz on violin and Beethoven’s choral “Symphony No. 9.” May 8–10, madisonsymphony.org

Theater
Presented as the feature production of TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater Company’s thirtieth anniversary at their home studio space, Work the Act follows the Rolling Bag Players. A struggling theater company, they are working their way out of a Holiday Inn in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, when comedic mishaps ensue. After being fired from the hotel, they must reinvent themselves as an avant-garde performance group with a new show, Take the Spanish Civil War, Please. May 8–16, tapitnewworks.org

Theater
The adventures of The Velveteen Rabbit close Children’s Theater of Madison season. With the help of the magic Toy Fairy, the rabbit learns about love, trust, friendship and authenticity. With humor and heart, relive your favorite story or introduce your kids to the tale of your childhood. May 9–17, ctmtheater.org

Music
Percussionist Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band lend a Latin touch to traditional jazz in the style of Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie. Mixing dance beats with smooth swing, the “King of the Conga” creates an exciting blend of tradition and flavorful beats. May 9, uniontheater.wisc.edu

Music
Virginian natives The Steel Wheels are known for their high-energy performances and pitch-perfect harmonies. The four-piece, string-based group features guitar, fiddle, upright base and mandolin in conjunction with lead singer Trent Wagler’s twangy folk voice. Join the group at the Stoughton Opera House. May 9, stoughtonoperahouse.ticketforce.com

Theater
In 2010, Ann Imig was a parenting blogger extraordinaire slated to lead her first show on the Barrymore stage. Five years, a few national tours and a handful of awards later, Imig’s pride and job Listen to Your Mother returns to its home stage for another round. LTYM celebrates, validates and shares motherhood experiences through a series of vignettes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll relate. May 10, barrymorelive.com

Music
Overture stage welcomes the internationally renowned quartet The Empire Brass. The evening’s set includes Telemann’s Concerto in G Major, Fantasia in G Minor and “Amazing Grace.” Nationally recognized organist Douglas Major joins the group to showcase their diverse repertoire. May 12, overturecenter.org

Music
As the legendary musician of the dark, Marilyn Manson shook the foundation of the rock world in the 1990s. Nearly two decades later, his cover of the Eurythmics single “Sweet Dreams” can still be heard on film soundtracks and ranks as the scariest music video ever made by Billboard. His anarchist spirit visits Madison for a night of mayhem and memories. May 12, majesticmadison.com

Music
Catch local rockers Dolores and Buildings on Buildings and Milwaukee’s Surgeons in Heat for a night of alt-indie jamming at the High Noon Saloon. May 13, high-noon.com

Music
A collaboration that the mid-2000s dreamed of, Chevelle and The Used team up for a rock-filled night celebrating their new albums. Chevelle’s latest, La Gárgola, features an alternative, intimate look into the band’s world, while The Used’s Imaginary Enemy rails against modern technology and challenges mainstream media. The collaborative night opens with special guests Marmozets at the Orpheum. May 16, majesticmadison.com

Theater
It’s 1979 and the world is changing. But in the basement of First Cornucopia Lutheran, the church basement ladies remember times of old and look on to day anew. Overture Center hosts the humorous Church Basement Ladies in the Last (Potluck) Supper. May 16–17, overturecenter.org

Art
Wisconsin landscapes find a renewed brightness with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Pastorale: The Early Paintings of Lois Ireland. After spending the majority of her life in the dairy state, Ireland studied under UW–Madison’s first artist-in-residence, John Steuart Curry. Her work continues to depict the rural fields and barns of Wisconsin through today at eighty-six years old. May 16–July 19, mmoca.org

Music
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra joins the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra for a late afternoon Side by Side concert. The repertoire for the evening includes Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture,” Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and more. May 17, wcoconcerts.org

Festival
The World’s Largest Brat Fest hosts more than a hundred bands, from local talent to national headliners, on five main stages. And bring your appetite! Brats, hot dogs, Italian sausage and veggie brats are just the start—this event, which began in 1983, also serves up roasted corn, ice cream, beer and more. May 22–25, bratfest.com

Festival
The Wurst Times Festival celebrates local flavors and sounds. Now in its fifth year, this event showcases more than forty bands on five stages at the High Noon Saloon, the Brass Ring and the Brink Lounge, plus plenty of Wisconsin-made brats and brews. May 23, wursttimes.com

Art
Everyday objects with a spin present themselves in Craig Clifford’s exhibition, Fragments. The James Watrous Gallery hosts this exhibition of three-dimensional ceramic collages along with Rafael Francisco Salas’ reflections on identity and conflict in rural Wisconsin landscapes in Wasted Days & Wasted Nights. May 22–July 5, wisconsinacademy.org

Music
St. Vincent took the alternative world by storm in the late 2000s with her techno-pop sound and airy voice. Her self-titled fourth album is a “charming and alarming” compelling piece of art that tours to the Orpheum. May 26, majesticmadison.com

Theater
Relive the love story of Baby and Johnny in live action with Dirty Dancing. Have the time of your life with Overture’s Broadway season closer. The show features the movie’s classic songs and rhythms with all the passion of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. May 26–31, overturecenter.org

Music
Nearly three decades after its founding, the Madison Jazz Orchestra continues to swing the night away. Known as Southern Wisconsin’s finest repertory large jazz ensemble, the group performs work from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maria Schneider and more at the Brink Lounge. May 28, thebrinklounge.com

Music
Madison’s professional chamber music ensemble con vivo…music with life closes its season with a spring concert before jetting abroad to Kassel, Germany, for a summer tour. The First Congregational Church hosts selected pieces from the group’s popular repertoire, featuring a blend of recognizable tunes and alternative, engaging mysteries. May 28, convivomusicwithlife.org

Music
Distinctive harmonies and soft lyrical combinations come to mind when thinking about The Weepies. The duo, made up of husband and wife team Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, have fought through a great deal of life together, including three children and a cancer diagnosis. They came out together on the other side and released their latest album, SIRENS, chronicling the last two years of their life. The Majestic stage welcomes them with opener Kristina Train. May 29, majesticmadison.com

Festival
Festa Italia returns to McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg. The Italian Workmen’s Club honors Italian culture with live music, folk dances, pasta dinners and a pasta-eating contest, cooking demonstrations, bocce and baseball and even a Mass. May 29–31, iwcmadison.com

Music
Music is more than a pleasurable aural experience; for many, it’s a cultural tradition. The Stoughton Opera House sets its stage for Wisconsin Folks: Masters of Tradition, a folk arts concert showcasing blended Wisconsin tradition. Performances include West African drumming, Hmong qeeg, South Indian singing and Ojibwe Woodland flute. May 30, stoughtonoperahouse.ticketforce.com

Theater
With a life full of love, laughter and exploration, transgender comedian and actor Dina Nina Martinez comes to Broom Street Theater to share Confessions of a Wannabe Soccer Mom: An Unconventional Journey Into Womanhood. Dina shares her humorous and real moments in her lifelong journey that landed her in Madison. May 30–31, bstonline.org

Music
Farley’s House of Pianos opens their doors for Dick Hyman as a featured player in their Salon Piano Series. Enjoy the classic sound of a perfectly tuned instrument with a well-practiced artist. May 31, madisonjazz.com

Please confirm dates before attending events, as details are subject to change.