October A&E: 25 events to welcome in fall

Musicals, storytelling and Halloween fun
October A&E: 25 events to welcome in fall
Photo by Hedi Rudd
Dina Nina Martinez, a transgender standup comedian and actor (and former Madison resident), told stories at two recent Moth Madison StorySlams—another of which takes place tonight, Oct. 9, at the High Noon Saloon. That is also where the inaugural Madison GrandSLAM Championship will be held on Oct. 27.

Unique musical acts, musical theater, readings of musicals yet to be made and music to the ears of comedy fans–October in Madison is where all that and more can be heard.

Music
Wisconsin-raised Zola Jesus performs her heavy, dark and experimental music–evident on her latest album, “Okovi”–at the Majestic Theatre. The former University of Wisconsin-Madison student fuses electronic, industrial, classical, and goth music to explore feelings of loss, reconciliation and sympathy. Oct. 9

Open Mic
In light of Halloween, The Moth Madison StorySLAM is calling for performers to share creepy, five-minute stories. They could be anything from terrifying haunted house experiences or inappropriate workplace incidents. Come prepared to hear the gamut. Oct. 9

Music
Pickwick brings its groovy sonics to The Frequency. Expect a night of future funk that combines old soul, sleek pop and slow jams. Oct. 11

Music
Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell brings her folk ballads and poetic lyrics to the Wisconsin Union Theater. Her album “Hadestown” has been turned into popular off-Broadway musical, so expect powerful messages from the musician who has previously collaborated with Bon Iver and Ani DiFranco. Oct. 12

Comedy
You may have seen them on Comedy Central or their Netflix special. The Lucas Brothers are regarded as one of the most dynamic duos on the comedy scene, so get down to the Comedy Club on State for a night of hearty laughs. Oct. 12-14

Theater
Award-winning satire, “The Mineola Twins” will probably remind you of a couple of things about our current political climate. The production follows a pair of twins–one a leftist, the other a conservative–through the women’s movement in a divided post-World War II America. Oct. 13-28

Theater
A “hilariously neurosis-infused musical,” Falsettos at the Bartell Theatre will narrate a story of Marvin when his lover, Whizzer, is diagnosed with AIDS. How will the whole family set aside their differences to come together? There’s only one way to find out. Now through Oct. 14

Art
MoMCA is wrapping up Taking Sides this month. The works showcased at the exhibition are drawn from the museum’s permanent collection and seeks to explore the role of art in expressing political statements. Consider it a commentary on the world’s current political climate of unrest and social injustice. Now through Oct. 15

Theater
Madagascar: A Musical Adventure is what happens when your favorite DreamWork blockbuster hits theaters. Join your fluffy friends on an escapade of self exploration from New York’s Central Park Zoo to Madagascar–it’s perfect for adults and children alike. Now through Oct. 22

Art
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is offering visitors a way to see the venue in a new way GLEAM: Art in a New Light will showcase site-specific outdoor art installations by professional artists and lighting designers. The exhibition is open to the public Thursdays through Saturdays after sunset, during extended hours. Now through Oct. 28

Theater
Produced by UW-Madison’s University Theatre,Our Townfollows the lives of George Gibbs and Emily Webb and taps into all the timeless, central themes of life–new love, coming of age, marriage, death and loss. Be ready to watch the cycle of life unfurl before your eyes. Oct. 12-29

Art
Chicago-based artist Dan Ramierz is bringing his work to the Chazen Museum of Art with “CERTAINTY and DOUBT.” A minimalist artist, Ramierez’s collection will combine his interest in various media to explore abstractions, religion, music and play in paintings, prints, drawings and digital media. Oct. 13-Jan. 7

Art
An exhibition held in conjunction with the the Latino Art Far, “¿Quienes somos? (Who Are We?)documents artists J. Leigh Garcia and Evelyn Galindo’s explorations of their cultural identity. Whereas the former is a seventh-generation Texan and Mexican-American looking to shed light on the Tejano culture and on contemporary issues confronting Latinx in the U.S., the later is a first-generation Salvadoran-American who have made her home at Wisconsin. Through Oct. 15

Art
Self taught artist Shelbee Matis was making “wearable” art for men and women in New Mexico before starting her collage series Dresses for Women three years ago at the age of 85. This collection and exhibition being displayed at the Edgewood College Gallery will chronicle her transition from creating “wearable” to “unwearable” art. Oct. 15- Nov. 12

Film
If you celebrated recent Emmy Haul of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Birthright: A War Story is for you. The feature-length documentary, playing one night only at the Barrymore Theatre, examines how women are being incarcerated, physically violated and put at risk injury and death as a result of campaigns that seeks to take control over women’s reproductive health care. Oct. 17

Theater
The 2017 Festival of New Musicals is giving a platform to new, developing musicals. “The Puppet” is among the three musicals carefully selected from some 100 submissions to get a staged reading at the festival. The comedic, acerbic musical makes predictions about the 2020 presidential election. Oct. 19

Music
Singer-songwriter Amos Lee produced his own record for the first time in his career, and he’s bringing his labor of love, “Spirit,” to Madison this month. Expect Amos to fuse folk, rock and soul music. Oct. 19

Dance
Are you a ballet connoisseur? Because Madison Ballet is ready to challenge your boundaries with “Push.” The three performances Friday and Saturday will bring the precision and drama of classical ballet and the athleticism and allure of contemporary ballet–it’s the best of both worlds. Oct. 20-21

Music
Russian-American Pianist Olga Kern is the first woman to win a gold medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for more than 30 years. She has performed in the famed Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Chatelet in Paris. This month she’ll solo in “From the New World” with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Oct. 20-22

Music
Oshkosh native John Harmon is perhaps one of the most prolific composers in contemporary jazz. The titles of his pieces often reflects his admiration for the outdoors, Native American folklore and twentieth century literature. The John Harmon Trio will play his jazz and blues tunes at Brink Lounge. Oct. 22

Music
Jazz, street blues–and country swing? You heard that right. Bumper Jacksons blends all three of these sounds to create vintage-sounding melodies. Sheck them out at Overture Center. Oct. 26

Open Mic
The Inaugural Madison GrandSLAM Championship is bound to be an entertaining war of wit and words. Ten finalists will share their heartbreaking, raw and hilarious stories in five-minute bites. Oct. 27

Music
Remember Will McAvoy from The Newsroom? That’s right, Jeff Daniel is also a prolific folk singer who has just released his eighth record–and he’s coming to Stoughton Opera House to showcase his talent this month. The Ben Daniels Band, led by the son of the actor/musician, will open the show with a mix of Americana, blues, jazz and rock. Oct. 28

Special Event
The annual Freakfest is back this Halloween. Among this year’s performers are D.R.A.M. (think the summer hit “Broccoli”) and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Go to see the UW students in their Halloween costumes and stay for the music. Oct. 28

Art
Although Writing in Stone, the collaborative installation showcasing monuments and ideas from Wisconsin’s past, has been on display at the James Watrous Gallery for a little more than two weeks now, the informal Halloween tour will draw you even deeper into the art–and the ancestral spirit of Wisconsin’s past. Oct. 31

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