Arts and Culture

Two kid-friendly musicals (and one not for kids), plus tons of live music

Weekend 608 for Aug. 8-11

Quick, think of a musical named after its girl protagonist.


“Beauty and the Beast” and “Annie” come to mind, right?


How about “Carrie”? No?


Well, all three musicals — including one based on the Stephen King horror novel and film, both named “Carrie” — will be staged in Madison this weekend. Guess which one is not recommended for kids under 12. Nevertheless, “Carrie” set to music and performed by the students enrolled in the Capital City Theatre Conservatory sounds intriguing.


On the live music front, McPike Park hosts two nights of eclectic bands, there’s a heavy metal fest at the High Noon Saloon and new classical music compositions being showcased at various venues.


As usual, Madison offers something for everyone.




Beauty and the Beast,” Middleton Performing Arts Center

Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 8-10, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 10-11, 2 p.m.

Belle, a beautiful young woman, charms and tames the heart of the Beast, her captor, to transform him back into the prince he truly is. Meanwhile, a teapot sings and furniture dances in themuch loved Disney story “Beauty and the Beast.” Middleton Players Theatre stages the Broadway musical tonight through Sunday.


Annie Jr.,” The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts

Thursday-Friday, Aug. 8-9, 7 p.m.

The musical “Annie Jr.” will be performed by a cast of young actors enrolled in the Children’s Theatre of Madison Summer Stage Session. On the Overture Center’s Playhouse stage, the story of little orphan Annie making her way optimistically through 1930s New York City will be told.


Carrie: The Musical,” Madison College-Truax, Mitby Theater

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 9-10, 7:30 p.m.

Although based on the Stephen King novel and film, “Carrie: the Musical” is said to be “a newly reworked and fully reimagined” interpretation of the story of a bullied high school girl who uses her special powers to exact bloody revenge. This adaptation, complete with musical numbers, debuted off-Broadway in 2012. Performing will be the student actors of the Capital City Theatre Conservatory. The show is not recommended for children under 12.




The Sessions at McPike Park, McPike Park

Thursday-Friday, Aug. 8-9, 5 p.m.

Since 2014, The Sessions at McPike Park have brought stellar musicians to Madison’s near eastside. On Thursday night, the bill is headlined by The Bottle Rockets, stalwarts of alt-country/roots rock and based in St. Louis, Missouri. They will play an 80-minute set, as will the bands preceding them: Madison power pop band BingBong and the long-running rock band The Figgs. The session on Friday night starts with calypso and jazz from Madison’s steel drum ensemble Panchromatic Steel. Next comes The Iguanas, a roots-rock band from Chicago, before Lyrics Born, a rapper from San Francisco, closes the show.


Dave Cooper Quartet, Arts + Literature Laboratory

Friday, Aug. 9, 8 p.m.

Trumpet player John Coltrane intends to play jazz legend John Coltrane’s masterpiece “A Love Supreme” with the help of fellow Madisonians Chris Rottmayer on piano, Nick Moran on bass and Michael Brenneis on drums Friday night at the Arts + Literature Laboratory. The quartet’s second set will include other Coltrane-inspired compositions.


Mad with Power Fest, High Noon Saloon

Saturday, Aug. 10, 5:30 p.m.

The Mad with Power Fest at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday night will feature no fewer than seven power metal bands, including local organizer Ty Christian’s outfit Lords of the Trident. Theocracy from Athens, Georgia, headlines — but not until the roof is ripped off by Arizona’s Judicator, California’s Helion Prime and Novareign, North Carolina’s Widow, New Jersey’s Fiakra and the aforementioned Lords of the Trident. The head-banging crowd will make room for several free pinball and arcade games brought in for the occasion. And special guest Phillip Ahn — the real-life inspiration for a character in the arcade game “Mortal Combat II” — will also be on hand, presumably to virtually take on concertgoers.


Madison New Music Festival, various locations

Friday-Sunday, Aug. 9-11

Opening night of the Madison New Music Festival will feature a concert of “Music from Wisconsin” curated by pianist Robert Fleitz and performed at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. On Saturday Night, young and local classical music composers will premier new works at the First Unitarian Society. And on Sunday, SistaStrings a classical and R&B duo from Milwaukee will perform at Robinia Courtyard.




* Bird’s Eye, a Madison hip-hop fusion group backed by live instrumentation, plays the Majestic Theatre. This is a free concert in the Majestic’s SummerJam series. Thursday Aug. 8


* Skerryvore, an eight-piece that plays Scottish-style pop, rock and folk fusion — bagpipes and kilts included — plays the Memorial Union Terrace. Thursday, Aug. 8


* Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press, a high-energy cover band, play the second-to-last Live on King Street free concert of the season. Friday, Aug. 9 


* Forward! Marching Band, rooted in the Wisconsin’s recent past protest movements, comes in off the streets to street to host a “Mid-day Marching Band Party” at the High Noon Saloon. Forward! Is joined Saturday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m., by the Detroit Party Marching Band. Saturday, Aug. 10


* Nate Gibson & The Hi-Fly Rangers champions the music put out by Starday Records in the 1950s and 1960s which includes country, bluegrass, honky-tonk and rockabilly. Catch him at Barley Pop Live just off Capitol Square. Saturday, Aug. 10


* Sixgun 7, a Madison band blending electronica, rock and cowboy bluegrass, giddyups at the High Noon Saloon. Sunday, Aug. 11


Joel Patenaude is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

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