A leap day gives Madison's winter arts season an extra little kick this week. The calendar includes: talks by Dana Priest and about It Started in Wisconisn; standup by Brian Regan; a show by the Grigorvich Ballet; performances of Celtic Nights: Journey of Hope and by Andrew Mac Namara with Orla Harrington and Ged Foley; and, more live music from Michael Armstrong, Memoryhouse, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Big Gigantic, and The Reverend Horton Heat.
NOTEWORTHY: People magazine debuts with Mia Farrow on cover, 1974.
NOTEWORTHY: Michael Jackson cops eight Grammys for Thriller, 1984.
UW Fluno Center, 6:30 pm
The UW's journalism and mass communication department hosts Pulitzer-winning reporter Priest, of The Washington Post. Her talk is called "Top Secret America: The Story Behind the Rise of the Post 9/11 Security State."
It Started in Wisconsin
Goodman Community Center, 7 pm
Paul and Mari Jo Buhle discuss their edited volume about last year's Capitol protests, It Started In Wisconsin: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest. They're joined by contributors Mary Bottari, John Nichols and Matthew Rothschild.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
The august Soviet/Russian choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, 85, brings his touring company to town for a program called Legends of Russian Ballet. It features dance from Swan Lake, Don Quixote and other classics.
NOTEWORTHY: Newspaper comic Family Circus debuts, 1960.
Redamte Coffee House, 7 pm
This local singer-songwriter kicks off Redamte's monthly acoustic series with an inventive fusion of folk-rock and pop.
Celtic Nights: Journey of Hope
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
It's an evening of Ireland-themed entertainment as singers, dancers and musicians present a spectacle about immigrants' trek to the United States.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Named for a work by Max Richter, the German neoclassical composer and artist, this duo aim to erase the boundaries between music and photography with a scintillating blend of visual art, pop music and classical compositions. Drink in their latest creations, including selections from their just-released Sub Pop album, The Slideshow Effect. With Tiny Fireflies and Land of Vandals.
NOTEWORTHY: June Carter marries Johnny Cash, 1968.
Andrew Mac Namara, Orla Harrington & Ged Foley
Brink Lounge, 7:30 pm
At this evening of Celtic music, Mac Namara showcases his signature single-button accordion stylings as Harrington and Foley play fiddles and guitars.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The talented comedian is a fixture on Comedy Central and the late-night talk shows. Expect keen observational humor, gentle absurdity and no raunchy stuff.
Béla Fleck & the Flecktones
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
The banjo master and his band are riding high after winning their 16th Grammy a few days ago. The award honors "Life in Eleven," a stunning instrumental piece on their latest album, Rocket Science. Hear it live at this show.
Barrymore Theatre, 9 pm
Electronic beats and live sax solos merge during this band's performances, which attract jam-band fans and folks who simply like to dance. With Minnesota.
The Reverend Horton Heat
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Punk, country and rockabilly converge when this Dallas-based trio rolls out tunes such as "Lie Detector," "King" and "Psychobilly Freakout." With Larry & His Flask and the Goddamn Gallows.