Arts and Culture

54 March events to welcome early spring

Music, theater, comedy, dance and more

Art
The Wisconsin Union Directorate Art presents "Where Tradition Meets the Unexpected" in the Class of 1925 Gallery at Memorial Union. The exhibit is a collection of historic posters from several past Wisconsin Union Theater productions and offers insight into prevalent graphic design choices throughout its years. Feb. 16-March 9

Theater
An American in Paris,” a blockbuster Tony-Award winning Broadway musical comes to Overture Center’s Overture Hall. Follow an American soldier as he meets a mysterious French girl in the city of love. The two absorb the sights and sounds of Paris in search of a new beginning after war. Feb. 27-March 4

Theater
The University of Wisconsin-Madison theatre and drama department stages Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” at the Ronald F. Mitchell Theatre. The play—a satirical allegory of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party during World War II—follows the rise of Arturo Ui, a fictional 1930s Chicago mobster, as he attempts to climb the ladder of authority in gangland Chicago. March 1-18

Art
The Garvey Gallery houses several works from H.M. Saffer II, a world renowned artist who first started exhibiting his work at the age of six. Saffer’s paintings are mostly inspired by nature, depicting scenes from forests, farms and fields of sunflowers. March 1-30

Special Event
Champions of Magic, a group of five world-class British magicians known for its mind-altering illusion, create a spectacle of disappearances, teleportation, levitation and more. Watch the seemingly impossible at Overture’s Center Capitol Theater. March 2

Music
As an American country singer-songwriter, Lee Brice has been charming large crowds for over a decade. His fourth studio album, which is self-titled, is 15 songs with "a sense of urgency about just how important life is.” Sing along with him at the Orpheum Theater. March 2 

Dance 
ARENA” in Overture Center’s Promenade Hall features the latest choreography by UW–Madison Dance Department chair Li Chiao-Ping. “ARENA” is abstract in that it is performed in the round, removing boundaries between the dancers and their audience. March 2-4

Theater
Rock of Ages,” a coproduction between Madison Theatre Guild and OUT!Cast Theater, is a jukebox musical comedy featuring your favorite 1980s classic rock songs. Watch a talented cast perform the hits of Styx, REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar and more at the Bartell Theatre. March 2-17

Art
The Abel Contemporary Gallery welcomes three new exhibitions. Ben Peyer’s first solo exhibition at the gallery entitled “Fool! I am the Fates’ lieutenant” is a three-part meditation inspired by a major theme in “Moby Dick”—the idea that chance and free will work together to produce our lives. The second exhibition is a group show entitled “Water” and works to explore water’s significance on Earth. And finally, “In the Cooler” by Lisa Gralnick is a collection of jewelry that might appear at crime scenes. March 2-April 15 

Music
The Charity Jamboree 2018 is a day-long music fest at High Noon Saloon and Brink Lounge featuring some of Madison’s biggest bands—The Grasshoppers, The Civil Engineers, The People Brothers Band —and others. All the proceeds go to three charities: The Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society, American Diabetes Association and UW Carbone Cancer Center. March 3

Theater
PostSecret: The Show” at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater is a journey into the personal stories we keep to ourselves and only on rare occasions, share with others. The abstract performance—utilizing projected images, video, three actors and a guitarist—is based on Frank Warren’s PostSecret blog, which has produced six best-selling books. March 3

Special Event
Dig into dinos at Madison Children’s Museum’s third annual Dino Day. Your little ones are invited to go back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Activities include stepping into the footprint of a dinosaur and unearthing take-home fossils. March 3

Music
Chicago-based musical sextet Eighth Blackbird—a contemporary instrumental ensemble featuring flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello—launched in 1996 and has gone on to earn many prestigious honors, including four Grammys and a MacArthur Award. Watch the talented group at the Wisconsin Union’s Shannon Hall. March 3

Music
At just 36 years old, Johnny Lang has already been a successful musician for over two decades, and the Grammy-award winning blues, gospel, rock singer and guitarist shows no signs of slowing down. Tony Lucca, a runner-up finalist on the 2012 season of “The Voice,” joins him at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. March 4

Film
The Fly Fishing Film Tour comes to the Barrymore Theatre. Now on its 12th trip around the globe, the 2018 film fest is packed with fly fishing stories and adventures that take viewers to the stunning landscapes of Wyoming, Honduras, Michigan and Greenland. March 6

Music
With a little help from your friends, head on down to Overture Center’s Overture Hall to see RAIN – A Tribute to The Beatles. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatle’s eighth studio album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The tribute band brings the historic album to life note-for-note with a multimedia performance. March 7

Music
Taylor Bennett, the younger brother of Chance the Rapper, is making a name for himself in the rap community. The 21-year-old lyricist from Chicago steps out of his brother’s shadow for a solo tour to promote his recent project “Broad Shoulders.” Artists Kami and Melo Makes Music are set to open for Bennett at the Majestic Theatre. March 8

Theater
Young Shakespeare Players presents Shakespeare’s “King Lear” at West Lawn Avenue’s Playhouse. When the aging king of Britain, King Lear, decides to step down from the throne and evenly divide his kingdom among his three daughters, chaos ensues. March 8-11, 16-18

Music
Madison-based queer artists DJ Boyfrrriend and DJ Sarah Akawa founded the Queer Pressure Collective, a group of gay, lesbian, transgender and gender nonconforming DJs, artists and activists who work to create nightlife for and by members of their community. They have partnered with The Frequency for an event that promises great music and an inclusive environment. March 9

Theater
Andrea Gibson is a poet and spoken word artist based in Boulder, Colorado. Their recent album “HEY GALAXY,” is a response to the presidential election. Gibson’s poetry is known to be political, critical of gender norms and supportive of social reforms and struggles in the LGBTQ community. Listen to their powerful words at the Barrymore Theatre. March 9

Art 
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates a solo exhibition in its Imprint Gallery—“ON EXILE,” the work of Portuguese visual-video artist José Carlos Teixeira. Teixeira, an immigrant in his own right, has produced a collection of video essays from interviews with people exiled from their communities. The interviews work to depict the challenges of assimilation and explore feelings of belonging and of exile. March 9-May 20

Music
Sixteen Candles is at the Majestic Theatre for an ultimate '80s dance party. Though established in 2003, the musical troupe lives and breathes your favorite music of a quarter century earlier than that. March 9

Music
The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra  presents four different performances as part of its Diane Ballweg Winterfest Concert series at Mills Concert Hall. Ensembles Opus One and Sinfonietta are set to perform first, and their repertoire includes “Fantasia on an Original Theme” by Joseph Phillips. The Harp Ensemble and Concert Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Youth Orchestra are set to perform, too. March 10

Special Event 
Jeannie McQueenie partners with Kids in the Rotunda at Overture Center’s Rotunda Stage. Join McQueenie and her puppet friends, Jimmy and Neil, on their adventure to start a rock band. Your little ones can help to choose a band name, sing along and dance. March 10

Music
The Oakland Chamber Players continue its 2017-2018 season with a concert titled “Soujourn” at the Oakland Center for Arts and Education. The performance features compositions from three different composers: French composer Mel Bonis, German composer Heinrich Hofmann and British composer, poet, writer, and pianist Cyril Scott. March 10-11

Theater
Celebrate diversity through the fascinating world of bugs in Children’s Theater of Madison’s musical production of “Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly.” Follow the critters as they deal with problems that aren’t too different from our own. March 10-25

Music
Con vivo! invites you to its winter concert at First Congregational Church. Kyle Knox leads the professional chamber music ensemble to Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” arranged for winds with narration by Anders Yocom from Wisconsin Public Radio. March 11

Theater
The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia returns to Overture Center’s Capitol Theater to present an adaptation of Sam McBratney’s beloved children’s book "Guess How Much I Love You." The adaptation, “I Love My Little Storybook,” finds a little bunny on the grass reading a book. As he reads, the story comes to life in great detail. It's a story of love and family and the joy of reading. March 11

Art
The Overture Center Galleries welcome three new exhibitions. Gallery I houses “Water is Life,” a collection of 16 different artists’ works that bring awareness to water crises, from pipeline protests to concerns about water quality for future generations. Gallery II’s “Redefining Narratives” explores cultural divisions and dualities through a contemporary lens. And Gallery III holds “Season of Shadows” by artist Alaura Borealis and community participants. Borealis interviews nonbinary and trans individuals about gender and creates works based on themes touched on in the participants’ interviews. March 13-June 3 

Theater
There’s been a murder, and the Sun Prairie Civic Theatre needs your help solving it. Bring your detective skills to its “Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre” at Buck and Honey’s. Justice must be served. March 14-15, 21-22

Theater
The Pirates of Penzance” comes to Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. Along the coast of Cornwall, Frederic is celebrating his coming-of-age with a band of pirates, who he was mistakenly apprenticed up until his 21st birthday. Frederic has sworn to kill all pirates, but an unfortunate event might keep him tied to them for life and hinder his goal. What will become of Frederic and the pirates? Set sail and find out! March 15

Theater
Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre presents its seventh annual “Wrong for the Part 2018” at the Bartell Theatre. Watch a cast of actors perform speeches and roles no director would ever cast them for. March 15-17

Theater
University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna Niccole Carner directs “Imogen(s)” at the Broom Street Theater, a new work to come from local playwright Christopher William Wolter. In a production that challenges the depiction of women in our society, “Imogen(s)” follows a young princess after she abandons her duties to reunite with her husband and a young common girl, who takes the throne and attempts to reorder a crumbling world. March 16-31

Music
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and the Harmonious Wail is celebrating. Known as a gypsy-jazz ensemble, the group—which travels to Ireland each year to perform—is playing the Brink Lounge for the holiday. March 17

Music
The Kissers are at the High Noon Saloon to celebrate the luck of the Irish, a 20th anniversary St. Patrick’s Day two-show celebration. The musical group’s sound is an ode to its traditional Irish roots and is blended with Celtic rock. March 17

Music
Walk off the Earth went big after its brilliant five people playing one guitar interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” garnered over 35 million views on YouTube in less than two weeks. Now, six years later, the unconventional, Ontario-based music group is taking its talent across the United States. Catch them at the Orpheum Theater. March 17

Music
“Beyond the Score® Elgar: Enigma Variations,” created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a performance with two parts. The first half is a multimedia examination (featuring American Players Theatre actors James Ridge, Brian Mani and Colleen Madden along with Normal Gilliland of Wisconsin Public Radio as the narrator) of the music. In the second half, conductor John DeMain leads the Madison Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Elgar’s famous “Enigma’s Variations.” The two-part performance takes place at Overture Center’s Overture Hall. March 18

Theater
In its final performance, “Winter Words”—a play reading series by Touchstone Theatre in partnership with artists from American Players Theatre—brings you “Knives in Hens” by David Harrower. A woman, once bound to a man in an impoverished life, goes on a path of self-discovery. March 19

Music
Curtis Harding has made a name for himself in both rock and R&B circles. After studying under Cee Lo Green, Harding released his debut solo album, “Soul Power” (2014), on Burger Records. He is now promoting his second studio album “Face Your Fear.” He stops at the Majestic Theatre to bring you a night of soulful R&B. March 21

Film
The Barrymore Theatre welcomes the 11th Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival “Where Activism Gets Inspired.” These award-winning and eye-opening films will inspire you to care more about the natural world around us. March 21

Art
The “Nevertheless, She Persisted” exhibition at Edgewood College Gallery is a collection of prints by contemporary women artists. The works, which vary in printmaking techniques, examine a broad spectrum of subjects from political issues to more personal concerns. March 21-May 13

Music
After Simon Cowell called his act “fantastically brilliant” on America’s Got Talent, Puddles—deemed the  “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice”—became a global hit. He brings his heartfelt anthems and Kleenexes to the Barrymore Theatre for Puddle’s Pity Party. It’s not all sadness, though, as his musical numbers are mixed with lots of humor and tender moments. March 22 

Music
The inDIGenous Jazz Series opens its four-part concert series over Madison’s spring season with the Jon Hoel Trio at the Madison Central Library. Hoel is a Madison-based saxophonist and composer who studied jazz theory and improvisation at UW–Stevens Point. He is joined by Ben Ferris on bass and Kelby Kryshak on drums. March 23 

Music
Edward MacDowell’s “Second Piano Concerto” is an American original, a true triumph of the late nineteenth century Romantic period. Brazilian pianist Alexandra Dossin, who won first prize at the 2003 Martha Argerich International Piano Competition, performs the "Concerto in D minor" with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. J.S. Bach’s “Suite No. 4” and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish” are also on the program. March 23

Music
Musician Emilie Brandt has been compared to Lorde and Lana Del Rey. Her blend of electronica and pop captivates, and her stage presence is real and raw. Find her in her element at The Frequency to promote her debut album "Freeform." March 23

Theater
StageQ celebrates queer diversity through theater written by and about the LGBTQ community. It partners with the Bartell Theatre for the production “Suddenly Last Summer,” a poetic work by Tennessee Williams. Set in New Orleans in 1936, a mother is determined to uncover the mystery behind her son’s tragic death. March 23-April 7

Theater
The Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre invites you to its production of “Body Awareness” by Annie Baker at the Bartell Theatre. Body Awareness Week falls upon a Vermont college campus and its organizer, Phyllis, and her partner, Joyce, have been given the task of hosting the event’s guest artist—Frank. Frank is famous for his female nude portraits, the value of which Joyce and Phyllis can’t agree on. Are they intriguing or disrespectful? Their debate sparks an important conversation. March 23-April 7

Dance 
Continue to celebrate Irish tradition with Kids in the Rotunda as it welcomes Trinity Irish Dance to the Overture Hall Lobby. Since its start 34 years ago, the Trinity Irish Dancers have become one of the most recognized Irish dance schools in the world. March 24

Music
It might not be September, but that won’t stop Earth Wind & Fire from performing at Overture Center’s Overture Hall. Enter the group’s boogie wonderland and groove to its legendary set list, sure to be a selection of the band’s 23-album career. March 24

Music
Join some of Madison’s favorite bluegrass bands for a Blue Grass Birthday Celebration at the High Noon Saloon. Northern Comfort Bluegrass is known for its heartfelt traditional bluegrass and country music. The group shares the stage with Mad City Jug Band and Bill and Bobbie Malone, a Madison-based husband-wife duo that play mandolin and guitar-based blues. March 25

Special Event
Madison Children’s Museum wants your little ones to get their hands dirty. Go behind the scenes of the museum’s gardens and plant seeds for the upcoming flower season. Learn how to design green spaces, cook with seasonal produce and make seed paper. March 29

Music
John Hiatt & The Goners is at the Barrymore Theatre for a two-set concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album “Slow Turning.” Hiatt is set to play that entire album start-to-finish and then draw songs from his long career. March 29

Music
DJ Phil Money partners with Olbrich Botanical Gardens for its “Cocktails in the Conservatory” concert series. Phil Money’s set includes a mix of different genres, from electronica to hip-hop to rare reggae tracks. Though he bridges genres, the vibes stay the same—carefree and fun. March 30

Dance 
W. Earle Smith, artistic director at Madison Ballet, says goodbye to the dance organization by overseeing one final performance—“Rise” at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. The production includes “One Waltz,” a new piece choreographed by Smith as well as two of his previously performed works. It is the perfect goodbye to nearly 20 years with Madison Ballet. March 30-31

Abigail Carpenter is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine. 


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