Folk Ball Festival
Winter is hitting its halfway point, and along with seasonal celebrations centered on Jimmy the Groundhog and the Super Bowl, this weekend also serves up the Hoofers Winter Carnival, the Folk Ball Festival, and Orchid Quest. The calendar also includes: the Kids Rock! benefit party and the Frostiball; art exhibitions by Lia Cook and Dagny Quisling Myrah; a talk by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick; productions of Circle Mirror Transformation and The Little Prince; a show by Diavolo Dance Theater; performances by Oakwood Chamber Players; the Bob Marley Birthday Bash concert and the All-Ages Jazz Jam; and, more live music from The Growlers, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Fort Wilson Riot, One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk, Wet Hair, Czarbles, and The Big Payback.
NOTEWORTHY: First edition of Oxford English Dictionary published, 1884.
UW Memorial Union, Union South and Observatory Hill. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, Jan. 31, Feb. 2-3
Staying indoors huddled under a blanket is not an option when the UW Hoofers put on this winter funfest. Events include the All Hoofer Spring Kickoff & Social (Thursday, Great Hall, Memorial Union, 7 pm); an "iceless" 3-v-3 Pond Hockey Tournament (Saturday, Union South, 10 am-6 pm); and an ice-diving show (Sunday, Memorial Union, noon).
UW School of Human Ecology-Design Gallery, 1300 Linden Dr., through April 6. Reception: 5:30-8 pm
In a show called "Digital Fibers Converse with Neural Networks," Cook combines weaving with painting, photography, video, digital technology and even neuroscience.
Grace Chosy Gallery, through Feb. 23. Reception: 6-8 pm
In an exhibition called "River Ramblings," the painter evokes bridges and small river towns around Wisconsin.
UW Memorial Union, through Feb. 3
The folk extravaganza includes two dance parties on Friday, with live music (7:30 & 8 pm); workshops on Saturday (10 am-5 pm) and Sunday (10 am-3 pm); and the blowout Folk Ball Dance Party on Saturday (Great Hall, 7 pm), with music by Reptile Palace Orchestra, Orkestar Bez Ime and more.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, Feb. 2 & 7, 7:30 pm
Mercury Players Theatre presents Annie Baker's story of a community acting class in small-town Vermont, exploring the personal transformations of its members. The New York Times calls it an "absorbing, unblinking and sharply funny play."
Overture Hall, 8 pm
In this super-kinetic extravaganza, gymnasts, dancers and actors jump over, climb up or slide down surrealistic sets and everyday structures. Bring liniment.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
What on earth is "beach goth"? Thankfully, it's not Trent Reznor in a bikini, at least according to this California band. They define the term as a combination of reverb, voice effects and surfy, '60s-inspired pop, which just happens to be their specialty. With Jaill and Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This jamtronica troupe don't just want to make your feet move; they want to expand your mind and fill your entire body with positive vibes. With Dopapod and Red Rose.
NOTEWORTHY: First Groundhog Day observed in Punxsutawney, Pa., 1887.
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 10 am-5 pm. Also Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 am-4 pm The Madison Orchid Growers Guild features seminars, artwork, a raffle and some of the prettiest petals you'll see before spring.
High Noon Saloon, 2 pm
This benefit for the Madison Children's Museum is a kids-entertainment blowout, featuring karaoke with the Gomers, face painting, crafts and performances from area children's groups.
Oakwood Village, 7 pm. Also Sunday, UW Arboretum Visitor Center, 1:30 pm
The local ensemble will perform works from North, Central and South America. The featured composers include Paquito D'Rivera, whose music ranges from bebop to symphonies, and Antonin Dvorak, whose "American" string quartet was likely influenced by Midwestern folk tunes.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
Provocative director Oliver Stone (JFK, Platoon, Nixon) joins historian Peter Kuznick to discuss their new Showtime series and book project, The Untold History of the United States, in this fundraiser for The Progressive magazine. They'll air and discuss a segment from that series, and then Progressive editor Matt Rothschild will interview Stone on stage.
Orpheum Theatre, 8:30 pm
This acoustic quartet have been uniting fans of jam bands and bluegrass for nearly 15 years. They can almost read each other's minds by now, which comes in handy at their improv-heavy live shows. With Lake Street Drive.
Overture Center, 9 pm
The annual gala gives Madisonians a rare opportunity to glam it up. The high-ticket event features hors d'oeuvres, desserts, drinks, dance music and schmoozing galore.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
This talented Twin Cities duo can mix together almost any musical genres, from gloomy dance-pop to sunny folk-rock, with the finesse of a master chef and the power of an industrial-strength blender. With Dharmonic Deluxe.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
If appearing beside Katy Perry in a Just Dance videogame indicates one's status in the world of mall-friendly jams, Daft Punk are too cool for middle school. Celebrate their adventures in tweendom with Ubisoft's robot-inspired moves as DJ Wyatt Agard spins the band's slickest examples of synthy French house.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Local reggae crew Natty Nation will perform two sets of the regal Rastafarian's most memorable material at the fifth edition of this wintertime party. Tropical Riddims Sound System will throw some dancehall, ska and rocksteady into the mix as well.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
In addition to founding the Night People label, Shawn Reed contributes vocals and keyboard textures to this krautrock-meets-drone project. Ryan Garbes' percussion cuts through the haze just enough to remove the crowd's heads from the clouds and make them bob to the rhythms. With Tenement and Samantha Glass.
Frequency, 10 pm
Lyrics? You won't miss them one bit when this local band unleash their captivating, highly technical prog-rock tunes. With Spires That in the Sunset Rise, Control and Noxroy.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. severs ties with Germany during World War I, 1917.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 1 pm
This local nine-piece of James Brown aficionados features four piping-hot horns and a vocalist with soul to spare. With Music Con Brio students.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 3 pm
The Little Prince is a tale of love, loss and regeneration in which a pilot meets a young prince who's fallen to Earth from outer space. Bristol Riverside Theatre reimagines the book with an innovative stage set, puppets and live actors.
Fountain, 4 pm
Looking to escape a frightful Super Bowl party? Grab your guitar, bass or bongos and hit the Fountain for a jam session that includes David Cooper, John Christiansen, Michael BB and John Lombardo.