The Madison Winter Festival and Polar Plunge are looking to make the most of the mild season this weekend. The calendar also includes: stand-up by Kate Clinton; performances by by Kanopy Dance; productions of Twelve Angry Men, Splendor in the Math, and A Brown Bear, a Caterpillar and a Moon; a talk by Ira Glass; two nights of Carnaval parties and the Local Love Fest; and, more live music from the Ryan Korb Trio with Greg Abate, Lizz Wright, Gaelic Storm, Yacht, Soja, DrFameus, David Francey, The Dream Songs Project, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Night Moves, Star Persons, Juniper Tar, Andrew D. Huber, and Shearwater.
NOTEWORTHY: Former Milwaukee resident Golda Meir sworn in as Israeli prime minister, 1969.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
It's a night of lefty yocks as Clinton, the self-styled fumerist, which means feminist humorist, makes an east-side stop on her All Fracked Up tour. Public radio funnyman Michael Feldman opens. The show benefits The Progressive, for which both comics write.
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7 & 9 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Feb. 18 & 19
Kanopy, a resident company at Overture, presents its take on Baba Yaga, the figure from Slavic folklore (see Dance).
Farley's House of Pianos, 7:30 pm
Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Abate careens through bebop numbers Charlie Parker-style, with a little help from percussionist Korb, pianist Mathew Buchman and bassist Charles Ledvina.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Blessed with a smooth, silky voice that seamlessly blends jazz and R&B, Wright has earned comparisons to Norah Jones while carving out a style all her own.
Marquis Ballroom, Fitchburg, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 16, 18 & 19, 7:30 pm
Meghan Randolph directs Reginald Rose's classic jury-room yarn, which began life as a Golden Age of Television drama. The production is presented by Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre, and proceeds benefit the National Alliance for Mental Illness-Dane County.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
This sprightly ensemble has lugged its accordions, bodhrans and fiddles across the country to entertain fans in Madison with traditional Irish ditties and contemporary Celtic-rock tunes.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, Feb. 17 & 23, 8 pm
Broom Street veteran Scott Feiner wrote the east-side troupe's latest comedy, which explores what the heck mathematics has to do with the rest of us.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm. Also Saturday, Feb. 18, 9 pm
Local percussion ensemble the Handphibians have organized a two-night tribute to Carnaval season, Brazil's version of Mardi Gras. Friday night's performers include Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Grupo Um Dois Tres, Evolucao Dance Company and a nimble capoeira crew, and Saturday's festivities feature sets by the Handphibians, Metabaque and Grupo Balanca.
Frequency, 9 pm. Also Saturday, Feb. 18, 9:30 pm
The first night of this two-day valentine to Madison's live-music scene boasts a bill filled with local rockers Droids Attack, Helliphant and the Motorz, plus the crazy, experimental hip-hoppers of Fambly Fun. On day two, Big Fat Ass, Subatomic and Sons of Atom set hearts ablaze at the Crystal Corner Bar. The first 100 fans to arrive score a copy of the fest's mix tape, on which local bands like the Hussy cover other local bands like the Midwest Beat (see Music).
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
Yacht's Jona Bechtolt juggles visual art and music-making with astounding ease, bounding from exhibitions at New York City's New Museum to concerts with his recently recruited vocalist Claire Evans. Revel in his creativity at this free show. With Asobi Seksu.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
This uplifting reggae ensemble from Washington, D.C., wow the crowd with sounds from their newest album, Strength to Survive, and with glimpses of singer Jason Hemphill's luxurious dreadlocks. With the Movement and Kids These Days.
Inferno, 10 pm
Allen Aucoin trades his Disco Biscuits bandmates for his trusty MIDI controller to lead a rousing set of dubstep, drum-n-bass, breakbeats and live drumming. Learn more about his solo act in this week's Tour Stop. With DireWolf and Teknicolor.
NOTEWORTHY: Chicago 7 acquitted of conspiracy charges stemming from riotous 1968 Democratic convention, 1970.
You can't beat the cold, so join it. Along with races featuring elite skiers, the festival offers public skiing, snowboarding, ice-sculpting and other family events.
Olin Park, 10 am
You can support the Special Olympics by taking a dive into the frigid lake. On the other hand, you can also just write them a check.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 11 am
What do kids love more than an Eric Carle story? Three Eric Carle stories, drawn from the picture books The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; and Papa Please Get the Moon For Me. Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia mirrors Carle's unique style in its production design, which makes use of puppets, black lights, animation and music.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
Organized by the Madison Folk Music Society, this concert is an opportunity to hear the tuneful story-songs of the Scottish-Canadian musician, who won the grand prize at the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2010.
Farley's House of Pianos, 7:30 pm
The west-side piano showroom is a special place, and tonight it hosts a concert by the Minneapolis-based duo of mezzo-soprano Alyssa Anderson and guitarist Joseph Spoelstra. They perform music of Schubert, Giuliani, Dowland, Seiber, Mozart, Puccini and Scarlatti.
Stoughton Opera House 7:30 pm
Catch the spirit of Mardi Gras with a performance by this New Orleans jazz band, which has been preserving the city's musical culture since the early 1960s.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
The host of public radio's indelible This American Life talks about the program, plays clips and fiddles with an iPad. If the show is anything to go by, it will all be droll and quietly revelatory (see Performance).
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
This trio of thoroughly modern Minnesotans recently signed with Domino Records, the label that Animal Collective and Arctic Monkeys call home, after their novel combination of country-tinged psychedelia began pulsing through the Twin Cities music scene. Celebrate their success with a free show. With Kane Place Record Club.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The local electro-rap-pop stars launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a debut album and fill the stage with a colorful show of videos, lights and original tunes. With Kyle & Keem.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Over the past year, these Milwaukee folk-rockers and South by Southwest veterans have starred in a documentary about life on the road and made headway on a new album, which they're likely to preview at this show. With Chaperone.
NOTEWORTHY: President Roosevelt orders 120,000 Japanese-Americans interned on West Coast, 1942.
Indie Coffee, 7 pm
The front man of Chicago's Gecko Club shows off his new, acoustic solo album, Days Amidst the Dust, which melds Midwestern folk-rock with hints of the Emerald Isle.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Dubbed a "sonic thrill ride" by NPR, the live shows of this Okkervil River offshoot brim with vibrant, experimental pop and dark, orchestral flourishes. Check out selections from their Sub Pop debut, Animal Joy, tonight. With All Tiny Creatures and Coo Woo.