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Big anniversary events this weekend mark the release of The Beatles album "Abbey Road" 50 years ago and locally the establishment of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center 25 years ago. "Abbey Road" will be performed in full Friday night at the Barrymore Theater and the nature center will hold a fundraiser Saturday night for its environmental education efforts.
In addition, there are several other concerts and theater productions worth checking out this weekend.
Pipers in the Prairie & Festival Fire, Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Saturday, Oct. 5, 4:30-8 p.m.
Help raise awareness and funds for children's environmental education at Pipers in the Prairie & Festival Fire on Saturday evening at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. The event is a celebration of the center's 25th anniversary and an unveiling of the new Aldo Leopold Nature Preschool and the center's remodeled Discovery Wing. Come for the free drinks, hors d'oeuvres and desserts, live Celtic music and Irish dance demonstration.
Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, Play Circle, Wisconsin Union Theater
Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
The 24-piece jazz ensemble Neophonic Jazz Orchestra will pack the Play Circle in the Wisconsin Memorial Union. The orchestra — which is dedicated to the era of jazz composer and band leader Stan Kenton in the 1940s to 1960s — includes Madison jazz musicians such as drummer Rand Moore and vocalist Angela Babler.
Kittel & Co., Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts
Friday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m.
Jeremy Kittel — famous for his composition and arranging work for My Morning Jacket, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble and his Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet — will perform with his new traditional string ensemble Kittel & Co. at Overture Center for the Arts. Madison band The North Code won the opportunity to open the show by winning the grand prize at the 2018 Overture Rising Stars competition.
Madison Bach Musicians
Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m., Atrium Auditorium, First Unitarian Society of Madison
Sunday, Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m. Holy Wisdom Monastery, Middleton
The Madison Bach Musicians pay tribute to Georg Philipp Telemann with a program titled "Telemann's Tales Quixote, Gulliver, and a Canary" which will include pieces inspired by "Gulliver's Travels" and "Don Quixote." Arrive 45 minutes early to both concerts for a lecture about the musical selections.
"Abbey Road 50th Anniversary," Barrymore Theatre
Saturday, Oct. 5. 8 p.m.
As the Madison band has done on the 50th anniversary of each Beatles album, Madison Mystery Tour (formerly known as Get Back Wisconsin) will perform on Saturday night at the Barrymore the entirety of "Abbey Road." That includes songs such as "Come Together," "Octopus's Garden" and "Here Comes the Sun."
Kelly Hunt, Harmony Bar & Grill
Sunday, Oct 6, 8 p.m.
Kelly Hunt, an Americana and folk singer-songwriter and banjo player, has received considerable positive attention from critics since releasing her album "Even The Sparrow" in May. Hunt plays tenor and five-string banjo as well as acoustic guitar. She comes to the Harmony Bar & Grill with multi-instrumentalist Stas Heaney.
"Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead," Bartell Theatre
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-5, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 10-13 and 17-19
No longer suspended in innocent adolescence, the Peanuts characters — Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the gang — are reimagined as high schoolers in "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" opening Friday at the Bartell Theatre. While the play deals with adult themes (including abuse, addiction and suicide), young people are encouraged to attend. This darker twist on a light-hearted classic will be at Bartell Theatre.
"Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical," Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 4-5, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 11-13
Mary Poppins, Bert the chimney sweep, the dancing penguins and the rest of the cast of "Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical" will take to the Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center the next two weekends. Sun Prairie Civic Theatre is putting on this production based on the beloved Disney film.
Joel Patenaude is associate editor of Madison Magazine.