November A&E: 41 events to start off the holiday season

Live theater, music, comedy and art openings
November A&E: 41 events to start off the holiday season
World renowned opera "Carmen" comes to Overture Center this month.

Film
What does it really mean to be a Wisconsinite? Follow director John Mitchell on his quest for an answer at a screening of “Cheeseheads: The Documentary” at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. After 20 years away from his home state, Mitchell meets with hundreds of Wisconsinites, some of whom have helped transformed the nation, to rediscover his roots in America’s Dairyland. A Q&A session with Mitchell will follow the screening. Nov. 1

Music
British electronic duo Snakeship is hits the Majestic Theatre on their All-Star North American Tour early this month. Oliver Lee and James Carter have collaborated with artists such as Chance the Rapper and done remixes for Bank and The Weeknd, but it is perhaps their breakout singles “All My Friends” and “Dímelo” that amped up their popularity since debuting even years ago. Nov. 2

Special Events
The four-day Wisconsin Book Festival is back for its 15th year with more than 60 book authors. This year’s lineup of books include “Janesville: An American Story” by Washington Post staff writer Amy Goldstein, who will appear at the festival to talk about the people she talked to–the auto workers, job retrainers and others affected by the closing of General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville. The Wisconsin Book Festival “is Wisconsin’s premier literary event, drawing thousands of people every year. Nov. 2-5

Comedy
Kick off the first weekend of November with some comic relief. The second annual Lady Laughs Comedy Festival will bring together more than 80 comedians of diverse backgrounds to crack jokes– ncluding Mary Kennedy from Showtime’s hit show “Shameless.” Nov. 2-5

Theater
American Players Theatre debuts “Creditors” this month, rounding up its 2017 season. Don’t expect APT to end its season on a light note, though. This psychological thriller follows Adolph and Tekla’s marriage starting from its tipping point. Their marriage starts to crumble slowly as Adolph’s new friend and confidante, Gustav, enter their lives. Nov. 2-19

Theater
Forward Theater brings premieres “I and You.” Caroline is as unknown as Anthony is popular, but an urgent assignment by their high school literature teacher causes their paths to cross and an unraveling of secrets that connects the two. Nov. 2-19

Performing Arts
Chicago’s Pyrotechniq has a flair for the dramatic, and they’re returning to Madison this month for Luminescence: A Spectacle of Fire and Light after performing her in August. Count on being wowed by an act that fuses fire, costuming, dramatic sounds and energetic choreography. Nov. 3

Theater
“Carmen” has steadily risen to fame since the opera premiered in Paris in 1875. No it’s coming to town this month, thanks to the Madison Opera. Don Jose falls in love with free-spirited Carmen only to find out that she belongs to a group of smugglers. What will the soldier boy do now? The opera is a story of seduction, love, loss, danger, jealousy and everything in between. Nov. 3 and 5

Theater
At the Bartell Theatre, “Rhinoceros” follows the people in a small French town as they undergo sudden metamorphoses into, well, rhinoceroses. One man, though, struggles to make sense of his place, morality and humanity amid the mass transformation. Nov. 3-8

Music
Get groovy for a good cause at Funk Out Cancer. Phat Phunktion and Mama Digdown’s Brass Band will bring the beats for the benefit of the Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in memory of Kate Falaschi, late wife of founding Phat Phunction member Al Falaschi, who died of colon cancer at the age of 32 in 2009. Expect soul, rock, jazz, R&B–as requested by Kate before she passed. Nov. 4

Music
English rock band Slowdive is making a comeback after a two-decade-long break. The group has spent the past three years rediscovering and reinventing their sound, and the result is self-evident in their 2017 self-titled album. Their music is, in the true spirit of their shoegaze roots, still hazy and dreamy. But the band’s lively sounds is also a breath of fresh air. They’ll be joined by Cherry Glazerr at Barrymore Theatre this month. Nov. 4

Film
After you have checked out A History of Black Aviators, head over to Duck Soup Cinema to see “The Flying Ace,” a film documenting the African-American experience during World War I. The film, with an all African-American cast, follows the story of a fighter pilot who fought racial barriers to serve his country. What was his experience like during and after the war? Watch to find out. Nov. 4

Art
The Overture Center of Arts will be highlighting the history and achievements of African-American aviators with A History of Black Aviators Gallery Reception, held in conjunction with its screening of “The Flying Ace.” The exhibit will entail displays of various flight pioneers and contemporary leaders whose stories speak to African-American’s past and current struggle against racial discrimination. Nov. 4

Music
Don’t take off your fall flannel so quickly yet, since you’ll want it for Flannel Fest at the High Noon Saloon. You’ll fit right in as you listen to the breezy folk of Lillie Mae and The Mascot Theory and the easy-listening sound of Queen Hilma and Lost Lakes. Nov. 4

Art
November marks the beginning of another six-month-long exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. BIG will showcase more than 30 large-scale, modern and contemporary artworks– by Robert Rauschenberg, Jennifer Steinkam and Sam Gilliam–which are in the museum’s permanent collection. Each of these large pieces will beg for viewers’ attention. Nov. 4 through May 6

Art
Maria Sibylla Merian was a pioneer in natural history illustration, and her observational skills revolutionized the fields of botany and zoology. The Suriname Expedition 1699-1701 celebrate Merian’s accomplishment in light of the 300th anniversary of her life. Marvel at reproductions of her hand-colored engravings in the company of some of the tropical plants she studied in Suriname. Nov. 4 through March 4

Art
Madison’s most iconic building is nigh on 100 years old, and The Capitol at 100: Playhouse Gallery Reception and Panel is celebrating just that. The exhibition will showcase a series of artwork created by Madison artists to explore and comment on the history, architecture and symbolism underlying the State Capitol building. Nov. 5

Comedy
Some familiar faces are coming to Barrymore Theatre this month, as Ilana Glazer & Phoebe Robinsonof Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and the podcast “2 Dope Queens” respectively–include Madison on their 11-city stand-up tour, YQY (short for “Yaaas Queen Yaaas”). You will definitely recognize Glazer. Robinson, too, if you’re familiar with her book, “You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain.” Together they unleash liberal and feminist humor on their mission to fight the patriarchy. Nov. 5

Music
Bully, the rock band fronted by Alicia Bognanno, rolls into the High Noon Saloon with an album’s worth of new material–“Losing.” Bognanno channeled a lot of anger and other emotions into that record, so get ready to scream along with her. Bully will be joined by Big Ups from NYU.

Music
Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl may have founded Foo Fighters as a one-man project in 1994, but the rock band has rounded out its arena rock sound. The band continues to chart hits 23 years later. In June, their single “Run” topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Foo Fighters’ new album, “Concrete and Gold,” has the usual touchpoints, from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, yet has a sound all its own. They’ll be joined at the Kohl Center by The Struts. Nov. 7

Music
ODESZA‘s dreamy, wavy sounds and spaced-out beats eclipsed on the American electronic scene in 2012. The duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight from Seattle enjoyed success early on with three of the five tracks on their debut EP, “My Friends Never Die,” hitting the top of the Hype Machine charts. Since then, they have have risen to global prominence and have continued to produce hit songs like “Sun Models” and “Say My Name.” Nov. 10

Comedy
After seeing her stand-up, Jimmy Kimmel personally approached Beth Stelling to perform on his late night TV show. So head over to Comedy Club on State to see her set, too. Stelling’s got a laundry list of achievements as a comic and an entertainer: She has one of 2015’s most popular Comedy Central half-hour specials, she writes for the HBO series “Crashing” and has appeared on Conan O’Brien, too. Nov. 10

Music
The Wisconsin Singers Celebrate 50th Anniversary Season this month. UW-Madison’s only stage production ensemble head down memory lane and revisit half a century of popular music. Actually, pop, classic rock, Broadway, swing and jazz. You name it, the Wisconsin Singers do it. Nov. 10-11

Dance
Kanopy Dance’s Beautiful Isolation this month will feature both original pieces and masterworks from famous American choreographer Anna Sokolow. Let the performance help you grapple with the anguish of the human condition, especially meditation and alienation. Nov. 10-12

Music
Feeling lucky? Then you’re in good company with country music sensation Jon Pardi who is bring his “Lucky Tonight Tour” to the Orpheum Theater. Songs from his latest album, “California Sunrise,” include the hits “Heartache on the Dance Floor” and “Cowboy Hat.” Nov. 11

Dance
Know an aspiring young ballet dancer? Then bring him or her to meet members of the Madison Ballet at Kids in the Rotunda this month. Boys and girls alike can slip on ballet slippers and join School of Madison Ballet students in a warm-up and a sneak peak at a rehearsal. Nov. 11

Music
The ’60s psychedelic-folk-rock band Love may not have made it big outside their hometown of Los Angeles, but their acclaimed sound and innovation has withstood the test of time. Four Love fans from the Madison-based band Low Czar knows it, too. At Love Czars: Forever Changes 50th Anniversary Tribute will be undertakent by a quartet–plus a couple more to recreate Love’s musical palette on its album “Forever Changes.” Love Czars will be joined by soul/rock and roll band the Congregation a High Noon Saloon. Nov. 11

Art
Over 135 artists and craftspeople from Wisconsin will be gathering at the Winter Art Fair Off the Square at Monona Terrace this month. The fair will showcase a plethora of paintings, sculptures, woodwork, glasswork, photography, jewelry and fiber arts. If you’re looking to spend some money for a good cause, consider purchasing one of the many hero beads as 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Badger Childhood Cancer Network. Nov. 11-12

Music
A Night with Janis Joplin will transport you right back to Woodstock during the Summer of Love. In addition to celebrating Joplin, whose raw emotions and raspy voice continue to amaze listeners, the show will celebrating the rock and roll queen’s biggest musical influences–Etta James, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin. Nov. 12

Music
On saxophone and clarinetist, brothers Peter and Will Anderson have headlined at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Now they’re adding a Madison venue to their long list of places with a receptive audience. They’ll be joined by guitarist Alex Wintz at the First Unitarian Society’s Landmark Auditorium. Nov. 12

Music
If you’re a die-hard Beatles fan, then The Fab Four: Tribute to the Beatles is as close as you’re going get to hearing your idols live. The quartet has toured globally and is known for its uncanny renditions of some of the Beatles’ most legendary songs, like “Here Comes the Sun,” “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday.” So, “Twist and Shout” your way to the Barrymore Theatre this month. Nov. 17

Music
Since its start in 2013, Chicago-based electronic duo Louis the Child has had it songs streamed on Spotify 50 million times. Now Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren are bringing their beats to the Orpheum. Their versatile sound strikes just the right balance between tenderness and liveliness–a good mix for a live show. Nov. 17

Music
Sharon Isbin has served as artistic director for music festivals held at Carnegie Hall. More importantly, the multiple Grammy-winning guitarist has appeared as a soloist with more than 170 orchestras–and she’s joining the Madison Symphony Orchestra this month at Troubadour: Two Faces of the Classical Guitar this month. If you’re a jazz and/or classical Spanish guitar connoisseur, you won’t want to miss hearing Isbin’s proficiency at playing both. Nov. 17-19

Theater
“Is He Dead?”, a Mark Twain play, remained unpublished for over 100 years. The only play he wrote is coming to life on stage this month at the University Theatre. Painter Millet is young, talented and romantic, but his lack of status has often gotten in the way of love. In a desperate attempt to rise to fame and success, Millet fakes his death. Will that be enough to secure his fortune and get him the girl of his dreams? Attend the play to find out. Nov. 17- Dec. 10

Art
Following the birth of her two sons, artist Letha Kelsey has channeled her creative instincts on the importance of home. By weaving fragmented elements in with patterns and objects, Kelsey seeks to showcase in Homing, in the James Watrous Gallery of the Overture Center, spontaneous moments that comprise everyday life. Nov. 17 through Jan. 28

Art
Inspired by Wislawa Symborksa’s poem “Sky,” artist Holly Cohn explores the mystery of loss and connection, also at Overture Center’s James Watrous Gallery. Her inquiry is manifested in a series of paintings and sculptural constructions, which Cohn creates by combining landscape fragments with deep space imagery using etched metal elements and found objects. The exhibition of her work, titled The Endless Unbegun, opens this month. Nov. 17 through Jan. 28

Art
It’s science fiction, it’s fantasy and it’s Stephen Korshak’s orginal artwork. The Chazen Museum of Art will be showcasing Fantastic Illustration from the Korshak Collection. Some of these works are inspired by the stories of Don Quixote and Tarzen, and their vividness transport viewers to fantastical realm worthy of spiritual exploration. Nov. 17 through Feb. 4

Music
After performing with Ravyn Lenae at Memorial Union earlier this year, Noname is returning to Madison for a second performance at Majestic Theatre this month. Also a slam poet, Noname (aka Fatimah Nyeema Warner) is among the bigger names in the booming alternative R&B genre. Her hit songs include “Diddy Bop” and “Sunny Duet.” Nov. 20

Theater
The Grinch may not be happy to hear this, but “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” embraces the holiday season with open arms this month at Overture Center. The story behind this musical requires little to no introduction with a movie, a classic animated TV series and over 1,000 successful performances on Broadway. In any case, it’s always nice to hear from Max the dog about how the Grinch plans on stealing the joyous holiday from Christmas-loving Whoville. Nov. 21-22, 24-26

Music
America lost one of its most iconic rock artists and singer-songwriters early last month. This Thanksgiving, an all-start cast of Madison musicians are paying tribute to him and his timeless wonders at A Celebration of Tom Petty. By serving as a fundraiser for the Madison Area Music Association, the event will also honor Petty’s legacy of supporting youths in music. Nov. 24

Art
Elaine Daily-Birnbaum and Quenten Brown’s work has been on display at Overture Center for more than two months now. If you’re still struggling to make sense of Birnbaum’s abstract interpretation of personal and environmental relationships and Brown’s metamorphic forms, check out Artist Talk: Elaine Daily-Birnbaum and Quenten Brown in Overture Center’s Promenade Lounge. There, the Wisconsin visual artists will discuss their work. Nov. 28

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