Winter may be bottoming-out in temperature readings, but the season is reigniting this weekend with plenty of opportunities for getting out of the house. The calendar includes: the Madison Auto Show and the Madfest Juggling Extravaganza; productions of Bus Stop, Disney's High School Musical, A Wake, and a performance by Lisa Williams; Last Band Standing V, and plenty more live music by the MSO, Pale Young Gentlemen, David Landau, Tret Fure, Paper Scissors Rocketpack, Houses in Motion, The Socialites with Cod Piece Party, the Madison Youth Choirs, Rust Belt Sermon, and Deleted Scenes.
Madison Auto Show
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 3-8 pm. Also Saturday (10 am-5 pm) & Sunday (10 am-4 pm), Jan. 17-18
Enjoy that new car smell as you look over automakers' latest offerings. Whatever you do, don't mention the bailout.
Steven Kozar: Realism
Robert Rae Gallery of Fine Art, Stoughton, 5 pm
The McFarland artist paints indelible images of the Wisconsin landscape, work that netted him a Best of Show award at last year's Art Fair on the Square. This show's opening is tonight, and Kozar will be around Saturday night at 5:30 to show slides and shoot the breeze about his work.
Presented by Madison Repertory Theatre in Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), Wednesday (7:30 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), Jan. 17, 18, 21 & 22
In the 1950s, Kansas-born playwright William Inge shone as brightly as Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams with works like The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Picnic, which won him the Pulitzer. In that period he also wrote Bus Stop, about eight passengers snowed in at a Midwestern diner, including an aspiring nightclub singer and the dim cowboy who loves her.
Disney's High School Musical
MATC-Truax's Mitby Theater, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Jan. 17, 2 & 7:30 pm
Could the braintrust at Disney have known they were launching a phenomenon when the television song-and-dance fest High School Musical first aired in 2006? Endless rebroadcasts followed (we caught one with sing-along subtitles), as well as sequels and a theatrical release -- and numerous local productions, including this one by Broadway Kidz Wisconzin.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Jan. 17-18
The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra's Daniel Hege conducts Mozart's "Symphony No. 31," a.k.a the Paris symphony, composed when the master was a tender 22; Sibelius' "Violin Concerto," featuring Norwegian Henning Kraggerud; and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet interspersed with readings from the Bard by James DeVita, familiar from American Players Theatre.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Jan. 17-18
The merry Willy Street troupe's latest, written by Callen Harty and directed by Matt Kenyon, unfolds at an Irish wake in a small Wisconsin town.
Pale Young Gentlemen
Cafe Montmartre, 9:30 pm
Madison's favorite indie band with Eastern European flair returns home from tour with tons of stories from the road and a brand-new cover of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" that's made a big splash in the blogosphere, beginning on Cokemachineglow. Read more about the cover in this week's MadTracks feature.
Last Band Standing V: The Motorz, The Runners-Up, Shazy Hade and Goat Radio
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
In the fifth year of Madison's most over-the-top battle of the bands, Shazy Hade takes the place of the Arkoffs, and Goat Radio emerges from a long and mysterious hiatus. Also playing: DJs Bob & Bootsy.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Majestic Theatre, midnight
To some it's just another science-fiction-horror-comedy-musical with cross-dressing, but for a dedicated following -- including Velvet Diamond, the local band of devotees -- Rocky Horror is an occasion to wear costumes and yell at the screen. Costume contest and music with Null Device at 10:30 pm.
High Noon Saloon, noon & 2 pm
The local picker presents his annual "Kids Day at the High Noon Saloon," giving new meaning to the term "all-ages show." Bring the wee ones for an afternoon of songs and fun.
Madfest Juggling Extravaganza
UW Union Theater, 7 pm
The annual gathering draws object manipulators from far and wide, some silly and some stunning. It's a variety show for the whole family, and the best part is you never know what's coming next. This year's special guests are New York's Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. MadFest is part of the free Juggling Festival held at the UW Field House (Jan. 17-18), with beginning workshops, games and competitions open to all.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7 pm
The Lifetime network clairvoyant talks to the dead in a live show. Maybe she can channel the spirit of our national prosperity.
Sun Prairie United Methodist Church, 7:30 pm
Since 1973, women's-music icon Fure has recorded a string of thoughtful albums, including her 1980s pop-rock releases and the quieter works she has put out more recently on her own Tomboy Girl label. She performs in the church's Java Notes folk series.
Paper Scissors Rocketpack
Cafe Montmartre, 9:30 pm
Pensacola, Fla.'s Paper Scissors Rocketpack describes what they do as "acousmatic," shorthand for a style of folk that incorporates synthesizers for a bit of a modern twist. Like-minded labelmates Josh Harty and the Get-Rites open.
Houses in Motion
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
It's the doldrums of winter and another year has passed. What better way to kick the deep-freeze blues than dancing like a maniac to the local Talking Heads tribute act's version of "Life During Wartime"? Plus, after a few vodka tonics, you'll swear that these guys are actually David Byrne and company -- or a very apt substitute.
The Socialites, Cod Piece Party
Glass Nickel Pizz-Atwood Avenue, 10 pm
Is ska making a comeback? The Magic 8 Ball isn't sure, but either way, the east-side Glass Nickel's basement is sure to be filled to capacity with skankin' kids, blastin' horns and maybe even a real rude boy or two.
Madison Youth Choirs
MATC-Truax's Mitby Theater, 3 pm
The young singers perform a program called The American Experience, featuring works of Gershwin, Bernstein and Copland, as well as forays into barbershop, shape note and jazz.
Rust Belt Sermon
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Rust Belt Sermon's just begun recording its first full-length album, but it's not slacking in the performance department, bringing its hard-edged post-punk to the High Noon this week, then to the Trek Bicycle Design Studio in Waterloo next Friday. Also: Beatallica, Seuss.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
The band is in town from Brooklyn, N.Y., to promote an excellent new CD, Birdseed Shirt, which combines Americana, psych-rock and a touch of the blues (see Tour Stop). Patchwork and This Bright Apocalypse open.