What To Do in January

Warm up with these thirty-six events

Contemporary photographer Alec Soth captures narrative moments in the lives of American people. From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America is a survey of fifteen years of the prolific photographer’s career from 1995 to 2010. On display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, From Here to There is an expansive collection of over one hundred photographs, with scenes from the shores of the Mississippi to Johnny Cash’s childhood home. The exhibition also includes Soth’s Lothlorien Series, which the artist photographed at the Lothlorien cooperative on the bank of Lake Mendota. Through January 4, mmoca.org Read more about From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America .

American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection explores the popularity and history of the monotype in America. The exhibit examines the medium in a historical context at the Chazen Museum of Art. Through February 15, chazen.wisc.edu

Madison native and award-winning photographer Narayan Mahon journeyed through unrecognized countries for Lands in Limbo, a new exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The photographer traveled to Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Trandsniestra, Nagorno Karabakh and Somaliland to photograph the day-to-day life. Through March 15, mmoca.org Read more about Lands in Limbo .

A glorious and monumental work, Illuminating the World: The Saint John’s Bible is the first hand-written Bible that interprets scripture from a modern perspective. Famed calligrapher Donald Jackson, along with a team of artisans, compiled this Bible over fifteen years, and the work is on display at the Chazen Museum of Art. Through March 15, chazen.wisc.edu

Personal, political and social narratives unfold in the long term StoryBook: Narrative in Contemporary Art exhibition at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Artists draw on well-known myths and tales as well as invented narratives, demonstrating the diverse array of narrative threads woven into contemporary art. Through July 1, 2015, mmoca.org

Good things come in all shapes and sizes, but especially square at this month’s EcoSquared show at Hatch Art House. The annual juried exhibition features small square works by Wisconsin artists using recycled materials. January 2-31, hatcharthouse.com

At the Madison Bubbler at the Madison Public Library’s central branch, local artist Kim Benson showcases paintings in which natural, human, atmospherical and technological elements mix. January 2-February 19, madisonbubbler.org

The most successful movie musical of all time comes to life with Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music. Remember all of your “favorite things” while you sing along with Maria and the von Trapps. January 3, overturecenter.org

Adapted from one of the most beloved television shows in history, I Love Lucy gives audiences a chance to see the hilarities of Lucky, Ricky, Fred and Ethel up close and personal. January 6-11, overturecenter.org

Popular Madison-area Latin band Orquesta De Kache gives audiences a taste of salsa, merengue, cha-cha-cha and cumbia. Arrive early to this free show at Overture Center for a salsa lesson and get ready to groove! January 8, overturecenter.org

Comedy Central ranked Jerry Seinfeld as the twelfth best comedian of all time. One of America’s favorite entertainers, Seinfeld hosts two standup shows at Overture Center. January 9, overturecenter.org

Why? It’s the question asked in Finding Human, a show about the last week of a man’s life before he is scheduled to die on death row. James was sentenced ten years earlier for the murder of a priest in this Broom Street Theater production. January 9-31, bstonline.org

New year, new art! Local ceramicist Joanne Kirkland offers brand new pottery pieces that portray different cultures in her community. Also at Artisan Gallery is the group show Wild/Domestic that focuses on our relationships with animals. January 9-February 22, artisangal.com

Thomas Gaudynski: Object Syntax and Brandon Norsted: The Purchase of Deep Water present two different narratives at the James Watrous Gallery. Gaudynski uses items to create “object salads,” whlie Norsted utilizes domestic objects for sculptural inspiration. January 13-March 1, wisconsinacademy.org

Patton Oswalt has spread himself far across the entertainment industry. The entertainer has been in over eighty TV shows and over thirty movies. But his career began in stand-up comedy, which is exactly what he presents at the Orpheum Theater. January 14, madisonorpheum.com

Nothing is what it seems in Sharr White’s The Other Place. The play revolves around Juliana Smithton, a genius research scientist whose life is unraveling right before her own eyes. The character’s struggles and secrets are exposed in this haunting mystery presented by Forward Theater. January 15-February 1, forwardtheater.com

Tracy Grammer is known for her folk musical talents as well as her masterful storytelling. The musician has recently started songwriting as a part of RealWomenRealSongs. She shares those efforts at the Brink Lounge. January 16, thebrinklounge.com

Modern musician Jose James infuses his music with influences from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and electronica. The artist pays tribute to Billie Holiday, whom he calls “the finest interpreter of the human heart.” Bring your own instruments along for a post-show jam session at Overture Center. January 16, overturecenter.org

The Oakwood Chamber players unite for RECAPITULATE, a performance of classical works by Bedrick Smetana, Leos Janacek and Adolf Schreiner. January 17-18, oakwoodchamberplayers.com

Hailing from Brattleboro, Vermont, The Devil Makes Three has accrued quite a following. The indie folk band has toured with the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Trampled By Turtles. Special guest Joe Pug makes this concert at the Barrymore Theater a must-see for fans of folky music. January 21, majesticmadison.com

A terrible secret lurks in the background of Mercury Players Theatre’s The Beautiful Dark. When Jacob, the oldest son of a divorced couple, is asked to leave college unexpectedly, the family is left with burning questions. The drama is mixed with a series of monologues that exposes the tragedy of Jacob’s soul. January 23-February 7, mercuryplayerstheatre.com

The second event of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra‘s Masterworks series features pianist Ilya Yakushev. His fingers will be put to the test with a keyboard concerto by Bach and Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. January 23, overturecenter.org

Christopher Taylor is no stranger to the global stage. The UW-Madison piano professor has become one of the nation’s most praised musicians, with The New York Times deeming him “astonishing.” January 23, music.wisc.edu

The Blue Man Group offers one of the most popular theatrical shows and concerts around. In a combination of comedy, music and technology, this famed group has created its own unique style of entertainment. January 23-25, overturecenter.org

Innately decorated rugs are just part of the story at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery’s Woven Gardens of Hope: Afghan Women’s Carpets. The exhibition of handmade carpets features the work of craftswomen working with ARZU Studio Hope, an organization aiming to combat poverty. January 23-March 1, designgallery.wisc.edu

Not many people can claim to perform more than two hundred nights a year to sold-out audiences around the world, but comedian Lewis Black is one of them. Black combines anger and disillusionment with hilarity in a performance at the Orpheum Theater. January 24, madisonorpheum.com

Southern Wisconsin’s own Capitol Chordsmen Chorus has been entertaining for more than fifty years. The a capella singers perform choruses, quartets and barbershop arrangements in a plethora of styles–from John Denver to Elvis Presley and beyond–at the Stoughton Opera house. January 24, stoughtonoperahouse.com

UW-Madison musical standout Les Thimmig performs his own composition, “Cerulean Traces: 24 Angles of Vision on the Blues,” twenty-four four-minute pieces that showcase blues music through every key of the bass clarinet, at Mills Concert Hall. January 25, music.wisc.edu

One of the most important scientists of our time, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been awarded eighteen different honorary doctorates, is the host of FOX’s popular Cosmos show and heads to Overture Center for a night of intellectual conversation and exploration. January 26, overturecenter.org

Indie rock band Cold War Kids brings tunes from their new album Hold My Home to the Majestic Theatre. January 27, majesticmadison.com

The time before electricity, when farmers milked cows by hand, is the backdrop to A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps. The award-winning writer and historian talks about his childhood, giving audiences a glimpse into Wisconsin farm life during the Great Depression, at the Stoughton Opera House. January 29, stoughtonoperahouse.com

Are you the next great American musical theater talent? Do you have a passion for wielding the microphone? Show it off with Musical Theater Open Mic with Four Seasons Theatre. This free event at UW’s Wisconsin Union Theater provides the pianist for any and all interested vocal talents. January 30, uniontheater.wisc.edu

Fans of Franz Shubert rejoice! The UW School of Music presents Schubertiade, a collaboration of pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes, UW musicians and guest cellist Norman Fischer performing work by the Austrian composer. January 30, music.wisc.edu

Madison’s signature gala, Frostiball boasts a dance band, DJ and cirque performers, with a plethora of scrumptious drinks and hors d’oeurves. This unforgettable night at Overture Center helps provide support for the center’s many programs. January 31, overturecenter.org

Kazoo, oboe, bottlophone, bagpipes, harpsichord–the list of instruments the St. Luke’s Bottle Band plays goes on and on. The world-famous bottle band offers a one-of-a-kind comedic musical show. The twenty-five-piece band performs its unique melodies at the Stoughton Opera House. January 31, stoughtonoperahouse.com

Black Star Drum Line has performed more than four hundred times in the Madison area since the group’s creation back in 2008. The musical ensemble focuses on “street beats” featuring local dancers, singers and rappers and stars in Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda series. January 31, overturecenter.org

Please visit art organizations’ websites in advance of their events, as dates and details are subject to change.

Phebe Myers is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.