Madison Symphony Orchestra
A Madison Symphony Christmas
December commences with a mirthful lineup of holiday shows and festivities this weekend, including A Madison Symphony Christmas show and the Community Christmas Carol Sing; The Knotcracker dance performance; a production of The Holiday Stops; and, the Fair Trade Holiday Festival. The calendar also includes: a book reading by Bill Povletich; productions of Next to Normal and Tales for Another Millennium; shows by Redefined and the Wisconsin Singers; a new Songwriters in the Round, the opening Heat Aid benefit, and WORT's 37th Birthday Party; and, more live music from The Hussy, Meshell Ndegeocello, Deal's Gone Bad, Main Street Wisdom, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, Rob Reid, Figure, New Breed Quartet with Rob Dz, and Tim Bang and the Dream Sisters.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Dec. 1 & 2
Li Chiao-Ping Dance presents a funny, poignant, family-friendly mix of dance and theater about a young girl trying to solve a puzzle. The production mixes professional and community dancers, and emphasizes the theme of accepting differences. (See Dance.)
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (3 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), Dec. 1, 2 & 6
Madison Theatre Guild presents the rock musical that's gotten a lot of buzz since it opened on Broadway in 2009, winning three Tonys and a Pulitzer. It follows the life of a mother with bipolar disorder.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Dec. 1 & 2
Mezzo-soprano Emily Fons and tenor David Portillo join the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Madison Youth Choirs and the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir for a joyful program of holiday music from centuries of yore.
UW Music Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Dec. 1, 7:30 pm
The UW's coed a cappella group will share seasonal songs and tunes from their new album, Inside Out.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, Dec. 1 & 6, 8 pm
A man arrives in heaven only to find it empty in the final installment of Brian Wild's Millennium trilogy.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Nov. 29, Dec. 1-2
The yuletide gets a little gayer in StageQ's production of Eric Lane Barnes' sequel to Stops, which introduced audiences to the songs and silliness of the North American Lady Organists Guild. Now the ladies, played by men, are presenting a Christmas show.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Dec. 1, 8 pm
The UW's Broadway-style singing and dancing troupe celebrates 45 years of razzle-dazzle with a family-oriented show called "Can't Stop Us Now!"
Revolution Cycles, 8 pm
The noisemakers will rock the Atwood Avenue bike shop with four other punk- and garage-rock bands: Madison's Poney, Dharma Dogs, and New Years Gang and Cleveland's Wooly Bullies.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The singer and bassist will pay homage to one of her biggest inspirations, Nina Simone, at this show featuring songs from Pour Une me Souvraine (see Tour Stop). With Brandon Beebe.
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
Local tunesmiths Beth Kille and Anna Vogelzang will team up with Chicago's Heather Styka and Emily Hurd, who've earned top honors in a variety of high-profile songwriting competitions.
Frequency, 9 pm
Rocksteady, reggae, ska and soul music converge in this Chicago octet's sound, which AllMusic has dubbed "one of the most intriguing on the scene." With the Projection People, Echo Island, Chants and adoptahighway.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
This country band offers a chance to see two local TV news personalities, Carleen Wild and Dan Smith, trade their newsboy caps for cowboy hats. With Oak Street Ramblers.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
This New York City band's klezmer-fueled rock has earned some intriguing descriptors, including "punk cabaret" and "circus punk." Their latest album, The Anarchy and the Ecstasy, got a thumbs-up from PunkNews and eMusic. With O'Death and Wild Yaks.
NOTEWORTHY: Draft lottery begins for Vietnam War, 1969.
Monona Terrace, 9 am-4 pm
Give the gift of fair wages by doing your holiday shopping at this Community Action on Latin America event, featuring artisan food, clothing and arts and crafts from around the world.
Overture Hall, 11 am
Dust off your hallelujahs for this free holiday sing-along led by Madison Symphony Orchestra's principal organist, Samuel Hutchison.
Wisconsin Historical Museum, 11 am
Jonesin' for a little more of the green-and-gold? Get your fix at this lecture and book-signing by the author of Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition.
MadCity Music Exchange, 2 pm
Local podcast Arts Extract kicks off a series of benefit concerts for the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund with this in-store performance by old-timey jug band Boo Bradley.
High Noon Saloon, 5 pm
At this anniversary bash for the community radio station, guitarist Louka Patenaude, timbales player Meraj Mehta and flutist Nic Cowles will turn Tony Castañeda's Latin Jazz Sextet into a supergroup, and the Dang-Its will perform toe-tapping western swing and harmony-laden alt-country.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
Reid weaves together African and American musical traditions with an Andrew Bird-esque looping station. At this show, he'll release a solo album, Prairie Shanties of the Landlocked Mariner, which includes songs written from the perspectives of horses and songbirds.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
After getting his start as an electro-house DJ, Figure plunged into bass-heavy electronica with 2011's Monsters of Drumstep, a series of ghoul-themed tunes laced with fantastically spooky beats. With Chris V, Vinnie Toma and MrHorror.
NOTEWORTHY: Environmental Protection Agency begins operations, 1970.
Brink Lounge, 3:30 pm
This event sprang from performances at the Cardinal Bar and the Isthmus Jazz Festival, where Dz layered off-the-cuff spoken-word poetry atop New Breed's improvised jazz.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Bang and his band fear no musical genre, boldly delving into folk and flamenco while channeling hints of punk, surf, jazz and garage rock. They'll fete the release of Peaks and Troughs.