Madison Holiday Market
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 10 am-6 pm. Also Saturday (10 am-6 pm) & Sunday (10 am-3 pm), Nov. 3 & 4
Madison Ballet's one-stop-shopping extravaganza features scores of vendors offering unique items, from jewelry to toys to gourmet foods.
Reception: 5-10 pm
The gallery shows two eccentric exhibits by local artists: photographs of weirdly shaped vegetables by Sarah Brooks and bra purses by Nancy Welch and Judy Landsman.
Competition and Collaboration
Chazen Museum of Art, through Jan. 6. Reception: 6-8 pm. Symposium: Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 am-5 pm
This exhibition features over 120 Japanese prints from the Utagawa School, drawn from the Chazen's Van Vleck collection. They detail the amusements of urban culture in 18th- and 19th-century Tokyo.
Grace Chosy Gallery, through Nov. 24. Reception: 6-8 pm
In an exhibit called "The Vanishing Season," the Lake Mills landscape painter shows rural views of winter that take global warming into account.
Tales from Planet Earth and Bill McKibben
Orpheum Theatre, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art & 4070 UW Vilas Hall, through Nov. 4
The free environmental film festival presents 22 works from around the world, each introduced by a special guest. Films include Flock of Dodos, Manufactured Landscapes and Bhopal Express. Environmental writer Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, opens the weekend with a lecture called "The Nature of Hope,' followed by the film Everything's Cool (Friday, Nov. 2, Orpheum Theatre, 6:30 pm).
Loft in the Lussier Teen Center, 7 pm
Thanks to the magic of multi-tracking and lots of grassroots promo, high-voiced romantic John Vesely has turned his one-man band into one of the most popular acts on MySpace. He's one of many reasons the established music industry is sucking wind.
Westgate Art Cinemas, 7:30 & 9:45 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (7:30 & 9:45 pm), Nov. 1 & 3
Winslow was the guy who made all those funny noises in Police Academy. He's still making them in his standup act, which bills him as "The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects."
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (2 & 8 pm), Nov. 1 & 3
A touring company presents the musical about a spunky orphan girl, her lovable mutt and the billionaire who wants to adopt her. Buy your ticket today and you're bound to be happy "Tomorrow."
Studio Theatre at MATC-Truax, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Nov. 3 & 4
MATC Performing Arts presents Arthur Schnitzler's scandalous play, a sequence of 10 scenes focused on pre- and post-coital conversations.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Nov. 1 & 3
Strollers Theatre presents Anton Chekhov's bittersweet masterpiece. The title character runs an estate and clashes with his pompous brother-in-law, a professor he's supported for years.
Night of the Dead
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Local jammers Run Side Down and Baghdad Scuba Review occupy the east side's favorite venue for a masked Halloween ball that should give party-primed Deadheads plenty to be grateful about.
Annex, 9 pm
The atmospheric Californians follow the lead of Jesus and Mary Chain and other U.K. shoegazers as they float through oozing guitar tunes that suggest both depression and bliss. Land of Talk and Eulogies open.
Last Comic Standing
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7 & 10 pm
This novel booking for the Overture Center features the top five finalists from NBC's standup-comedy competition. Jon Reep, Lavell Crawford, Gerry Dee, Ralph Harris and Amy Schumer were voted the best comics in the world, so laughing is all but guaranteed.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Without question, Hitchcock is the surrealist's singer-songwriter. Since his years with the Soft Boys, he's created a huge body of work that's cheeky, often psychedelic and just plain different.
Three Tenors of Pop
Verona Area High School, 7:30 pm
Former lead singers of the Association, the Four Preps and the Diamonds put their own spin on the Three Tenors concept, reviving ancient hits like "Windy" and "Cherish."
The Merchant of Venice
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
Spring Green's American Players Theatre brings its compelling Shakespearean production to Madison, telling the story of the merchant who owes a pound of flesh to a Jewish moneylender. APT confronts the play's anti-Semitism head-on, tempering the romantic comedy with poignant questions about mercy and justice.
Parry Karp and Eli Kalman
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 8 pm
The accomplished cello-piano duo (joined on one work by violinist Suzanne Beia) eschew Bach and Beethoven for less familiar work by Louis Vierne, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Robert Kahn.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Having survived a violent carjacking that left him with a gunshot wound to the head, the throaty singer returns with an album that finds him drawing inspiration from Van Morrison, the Band's Levon Helm and the music of New Orleans. Amy Correia opens.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
The blues vet plays his big catalog of classic and obscure country blues tunes with an ear toward how they were originally performed. He's one of the best finger-style blues pickers around.
King Club, 9 pm
Now a New Orleans/Madison band, the Infantry Rockers have developed into a very skillful reggae/Latin hybrid. They celebrate the release of an excellent new CD.
The Von Ehrics
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Texas' Von Ehrics offer wired honky-tonk for six-pack-sucking punks everywhere. The rest of the five-band bill, which includes the Skintones and Brainerd, is pretty stompin' too.
Crystal Corner Bar, 4:30 pm
The irreverent cover act are certain to smile their way through a few sets tonight. After all, they'll be celebrating the Crystal Corner's 60th birthday party.
High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm
On this year's NeGrass, the adventurous folk-funker emphasizes her folk side and makes a link between African American music and bluegrass.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
The violinist is a Grammy-winning phenom: a major recording star who was anointed America's best young classical musician by TIME magazine. She'll wow us with works by Franck, Mozart, Ives and Brahms, accompanied by the similarly impressive pianist Valentina Lisitsa. (Lisitsa performs a solo concert at Farley's House of Pianos on Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 pm.)