Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Bartell Theatre, 9:30 am. Also Thursday (9:30 am) & Saturday (1 & 4 pm), May 1 & 3
MadCAP's production for young children adapts Judith Viorst's terrible, horrible tale.
Going Green Wisconsin Expo
Alliant Energy Exhibition Hall, 2-7 pm. Also Saturday (10 am-5 pm) & Sunday (noon-5 pm), May 3 & 4
This showcase for eco-friendly businesses features exhibitors, seminars and kids' activities.
The semiannual showcase for Madison's visual-arts scene includes exhibitions and special events at a record 58 galleries, museums, coffee shops and businesses. Highlights include music by Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; and a mobile exhibition in a U-Haul truck by the Curved Artists, traveling to three locations (200 block N. Henry St., 5-6 pm; 800-900 block E. Johnson St., 6:30-7:30 pm; and 100 S. Baldwin St., 8 pm).
Dan Zanes & Friends
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7 pm
Zanes spreads smiles throughout the land with his children's music, heard on the Disney Channel and Grammy-winning albums. In this pajama party, he performs music from across the map.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
The Brooklyn singer-songwriter made his name with the web project Song A Week. The results included the inspired "Code Monkey," about the quiet desperation of software programmers.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), Wednesday & Thursday (7:30 pm), May 3, 4, 7 & 8
Madison Repertory Theatre presents a comedy classic by Wisconsin playwright Larry Shue. Lee Becker (Guys on Ice, Muskie Love) stars as the socially challenged geek who stays -- and stays -- with his old army buddy.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
This Afro-Latin spoken-word troupe channels urban energy in its exuberant mix of poetry and socially engaged storytelling. The audience is likely to be packed with young folks cheering and talking back.
Lost Track,br> Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, 8 pm, May 3 & 8
Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, a professional theater company for people with disabilities, presents an original, mostly comic play about bipolar disorder.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), May 3 & 4
Adapted from the book The Ethical Slut, John Sable's erotic comedy portrays a married couple trying to create a healthy non-monogamous lifestyle.
Bach's Mass in B Minor
First Congregational Church, 8 pm. Lecture: 7:15 pm
Madison Bach Musicians and the UW Madrigal Singers combine for a period-style performance of Bach's masterwork, one of the greatest compositions on this or any other planet.
The Annex, 8 pm
They must have eaten lucky cheese curds, because the West High grads have made good in New York with their 1960s-inflected power pop. Yes, that was Locksley's "Don't Make Me Wait" you heard in a Payless Shoes ad.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The pummeling Detroit garage band is the acknowledged king of basic, punky, guitar-driven rock.
Mifflin Street Block Party
400-500 blocks of Mifflin Street
The annual party began as a political rite back in the Vietnam era and is now just an excuse to have fun -- at least as much fun as you can have with three police cameras trained on you at all times.
Martin Espada & Friends
Escape Java Joint, 7 pm
Espada is an American Book Award-winning poet inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage. He'll read along with Fabu Carter-Brisco, Eric Mata and Josh Healy.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
What do you call Americana music played by a Canadian? Joining a tradition that includes Cowboy Junkies, k.d. lang and even Joni Mitchell, Edwards sings straightforward songs with a twang-free voice.
Festival Choir of Madison
First United Methodist Church, 7:30 pm
A program called "Celebration of Spring" features modern madrigals, flower songs and other vernal gems by such composers as Samuel Barber and John Rutter.
Wil-Mar Center, 8 pm
Francey is a Juno Award-winning folksinger with a social conscience and a storyteller's gift.
Alvin Chow & Angela Cheng
Morphy Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 8 pm
The husband-and-wife duo, faculty members at Oberlin Conservatory, are great pianists in their own right. Together, they'll burn up the keyboard in four-hand works by Schubert, Brahms and Milhaud.
Crystal Corner, 9:30 pm
If you missed their reunion tour last summer, the Americana veterans are back for an encore with the classic lineup of Hudson, Stirratt & Coutch. Also on the bill are Brooklyn-based cartoonist & songwriter Andy Friedman (with his rockabilly-folk band the Other Failures) and locals Brown Derby.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Black leather jackets, snide narcotized vocalists and wall-of-sound guitars are rock cliches, but somehow BRMC make the familiar new again. Baby 81 saw them return to form with a strong set of molasses-thick psychedelia that at times conjures the heavier side of the Beatles.
Club 770 in UW Union South, 9:30 pm
Club 770 is in full indie glory for this 18-and-up show featuring Owen, the solo project of Chicago's Mike Kinsella, who has been associated with Maritime, Owls, Aloha and several other bands.
Harmony Bar, 4 pm
The Madison chanteuse has perhaps the best country-music singing voice in town. She celebrates the release of Honky Tonk Trio.
UW Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The ensembles form a mighty combo in a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "A Sea Symphony," inspired by Walt Whitman and featuring soloists Janet Brown and Paul Rowe. The symphony also performs "Five Variants on 'Dives and Lazarus.'"
Ra Ra Riot and The Little Ones
Annex, 8 pm
The much-praised Ra Ra Riot play lo-fi, up-tempo indie rock that blends of strings, keys, guitar and soft vocals. The Little Ones chime in with catchy guitar pop.