Arts and Culture

32 arts and entertainment events for May

Check out the many season-closing events

Art
The First 100 Days Exhibition invited artists from the greater Madison area to create pieces that express feelings about the president’s first 100 days in office. Visual art, poetry and creative writings represent the overall community’s feelings about Donald Trump. May 1-22 

Theater
Star of “Good Eats,” “Iron Chef America” and “Cutthroat Kitchen,” Alton Brown comes to Madison for a live performance. The TV star is bound to entertain with comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations, music, puppets and more interactive fun. May 2

Music
With the title of their new album “The World’s Best American Band,” White Reaper is comes with something to prove at the Frequency. The Louisville band is joined by No Parents and Clean Room. May 2 

Music
The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s students from the Black Music Ensemble will perform the music of black artists from the 1930s to the present—everything from swing and funk to bebop and hip-hop. May 4 

Theater
From Edgewood Theatre Arts three nights of “Student Directed One Acts.” Many of the pieces bring to the stage fresh, funny and smart perspectives from talented students. May 4-6 

Art
Join the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for Gallery Night. Art lovers alike can walk through a wide variety of exhibits, opening receptions and special events. Hop from venue to venue to get a full glimpse of the Madison arts scene. May 5

Music
With four guest artists, the last concerts of the Madison Symphony Orchestra's season promises to be outstanding. The focus is Brahms’ Requiem, a powerful choral piece of music. Guest artists include Nathan Laube on organ, Devon Guthrie a soprano, Timothy Jones, a bass-baritone and the Madison Symphony Chorus. May 5-7 

Art
Local Madison artist Lee Weiss brings his artwork to the Garver Gallery in a show titled “The Legacy Paintings.” The exhibit features over a decade of the artist’s work. On the first day of the show, the artist will be present at the gallery. May 5-June 3

Art
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art brings a brand new exhibit from Brooklyn native Kambui Olujimi. In Zulu Time, the artist looks at power hierarchies through a wide range of artistic mediums and approaches. May 6-August 13 

Film
As you wished. "The Princess Bride" comes to the Majestic for “Brew ‘n View: The Princess Bride.” Join Inigo Montoya for fun drink specials, too, such as the six-fingered man, fire swamp shots and tall boys of unusual size. May 11 

Theater
A work of poetry, comedy and music, Frandutopia’s Frandú à Trois at the Bartell Theater features Frandú, a finalist for funniest Madison comic in 2015, and Nick Hart, 2017's funniest Madison comic. May 11-13 

Theater
Frog and Toad, two old storybook friends, take you on a journey through A Year with Frog and Toad. Young audiences will be delighted with this three-time Tony Award-nominated musical. And adults will love the performances of the young actors of the Children’s Theater of Madison. May 12-21 

Music
Pop-funk music icon and legend Prince benefited from an amazing backing band. That band, The Revolutioncome to Madison a little over a year since the death of its frontman. Join its tribute to Prince at the Barrymore Theatre. May 12

Festival
For the second year in a row, join 100 makers at Madison's Mini Maker Faire. Described as "part science fair, part county fair," the event will be full of local food cart eats, live music, hands-on workshops and special exhibits. Enjoy wandering the fair, celebrating Madison's maker scene. May 13

Music
After the recent death of former Madison resident Clyde Stubblefield, University of Wisconsin-Madison will bestow an honorary degree for the funky drummer. The Clyde Stubblefield All-Star Band will take to the Memorial Union Terrace to play James Brown tracks and original songs Stubblefield once played and recorded. May 13 

Music
For the final performance of the Oakwood Chamber Players “Perspective” season features Joan Timble’s "Phantasy Trio" and Luise Adolpha Le Beau’s "Piano Trio." Two other pieces focus on the wind instruments—Vincent d’Indy’s "Chanson et Danses" and Joachim Raff’s "Sinfonietta." May 13-14

Music
During the Madison Youth Choirs Spring Concert Series, take time for three different concerts in one day. The first concert features the groups Choraliers, Con Gioia and Capriccio. The boy choirs are sure to shine during the second concert. The last concert presents Cantilena, Cantabile and Ragazzi. May 14 

Music
From The Minimalist Podcast come Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus to talk in-depth about minimalism. On this stop of their "Less is Now" tour, The Minimalists will record a live version of “Ask The Minimalists” for the podcast. May 19 

Theater
The Young Shakespeare Players will perform George Bernard Shaw’s "Great Catherine." This one-act play looks at the story of a British military attaché working at the Imperial Russian Court during the rule of Catherine the Great. Free and open to the public, young people are particularly encouraged to attend the show. May 19-27

Theater
Get ready for a light-hearted experience through “Of Dice and Men.” Get a glimpse of real-world gamers, not their stereotypical “Cheetos-stained, acne-blighted geek” image. After the May 20 performance, hear from Matt Forbeck, a New York Times-bestselling author. May 19-June 3 

Music
Celebrate Norwegian Heritage with the Syttende Mai annual folk festival in Stoughton. The Stoughton Opera House will not only be open all day for tours, it will host musical groups Fendrick & Peck and the Edvard Grieg Chorus. May 20 

Theater
Join Madison Shakespeare Company at an undisclosed location. For one night only, the players will turn up at Vignette Dining Club’s secret hideaways and perform “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” See them act out scenes from various Shakespeare plays and enjoy appetizers and a light beverage service. May 21

Music
Two top Madison groups—The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra— will perform “Side by Side.” They're repertoire includes Vaughan Williams’ “Tuba Concerto: Movements I & II” and Rimsky Korsakov’s “The Snow Maiden Suite: Movements I-IV.” May 21 

Music
Enjoy con vivo’s spring concert at the First Congregational Church, featuring Louis Spohr’s “Nonet in F Major, Op. 31,” Bohuslav Martinu’s “Nonet Nr. 2 H. 374” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Serenade for winds, Op. 44.” May 25 

Music
Rock out to Boston when the band lands its Hyper Space Tour at Breese Stevens Field. Ride a free shuttle from the downtown Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. An after party with SIMO and Gabe Burdulis will be free for those with a ticket stub. Tickets for both or either shows are still available. May 26 

Festival
While Wisconsinites love their cheese and beer, what they love equally as much are brats. During Memorial Weekend, eat some brats, listen to live music and enjoy a four-day line-up of events for the World's Largest Brat Fest. May 26-29

Art
Come see a few of the sets of prints from the Chazen’s permanent collection in “Sets: Printed Variations.” Many of the pieces stand alone, but through the exhibition, create a story. May 26-August 20 

Music
For the seventh year in the row, the Wurst Times Festival will bring together 16 bands on two stages. Here local bands Distant Cuzins, Squareware and Oh My Love. Apart from the music, there will be locally-sourced brats and beers. Bring a food donation for a cheaper suggested donation entrance fee. May 27 

Music
Celebrate the start of the summer season and Memorial Day Weekend with local band Madison Country. Visit The Edgewater's plaza for live music, craft beer and great food. The music is free and open to the public, so grab the kids to celebrate Memorial Weekend the right way. May 27

Film
Movies on the beloved Memorial Union Terrace are back every Monday until summer's end. This year's theme is "15 Degrees of Samuel L. Jackson." Watch some great movies while enjoying Babcock Ice Cream and a pitcher of beer. May 29-September 4

Music
Free Throw comes from Nashville to Madison to deliver killer guitar licks. The band's signature three-guitar attack blends abrasive and nuanced sounds behind the vocals from Cory Castro. May 30 

Comedy
Come see Patton Oswalt only a month after the release of his newest comedy special “Talking for Clapping” on Netflix. This Critics Choice Award winner, comedian and writer brings his comedic genius to the Orpheum Theater. May 31


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