Madison Young Playwrights Festival
Overture Center Playhouse, 7 pm. Reception: 5:45 pm
In the Madison Repertory Theatre's free event, professional actors and directors present staged readings of plays by East High School students. The kids have been working at it all year under the supervision of Rep staff.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm The Austin folk-rocker plays from his hot-selling new album, Just Us Kids, which bristles with anti-Bush commentary. The Dedringers open.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
The UW psychology professor is an authority on forgiveness, studying its healing powers in troubled environments like Northern Ireland. If you can't make his lecture, he'll probably forgive you.
Monty Python's Spamalot
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, May 14 & 15, 7:30 pm; through May 18
A touring company presents the Tony-winning musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, that sublimely silly movie masterpiece. Comedy pro Mike Nichols directed, with book, lyrics and music by Python madman Eric Idle. King Arthur and his knights seek the Holy Grail, a quest made more difficult by flying cows and killer rabbits.
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The publisher of feisty Bitch magazine leads a discussion about feminism's future. (Rasmussen also appears at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse on Thursday, May 15, in a Bitch benefit featuring music and performance art.)Utah Phillips Birthday Benefit
Barrymore Theatre, 7 pm
Phillips is an old-school folksinger/activist who's got big hospital bills. His musical friends in Madison come to the rescue with a benefit concert featuring Lou & Peter Berryman, Ken Lonnquist, Anne Feeney and others.
Tom Farley Jr.
Barnes & Noble West, 7 pm
Farley discusses his new biography of his brother, the late comic genius (and Madison native) Chris Farley. The Chris Farley Show covers Chris' stint on Saturday Night Live, his Hollywood career and the addictions that finally brought him down.
Borders Book West, 7 pm
The Oprah-approved novelist reads from her woman-centric short-story collection, The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation.
The Miss Firecracker Contest
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), May 15; through May 31
Strollers Theatre presents Beth Henley's Southern-fried comedy, chock-full of quirky characters. It's about a woman seeking to win a local beauty pageant to redeem her reputation.
Enter the Haggis
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Bagpipes don't appear often enough on Madison stages, so welcome the Canadian quintet for piper Craig Downnie alone. But don't necessarily expect endless choruses of "Bonnie Lassie" -- the group plays buoyant pop- and jam-inflected music, with liberal Celtic touches. Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons open.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
The Idaho singer-songwriter has built a reputation here and abroad on a series of thoughtful albums that mine Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. He's blogging about his tour on Huffington Post, so after the show check in to see what he thinks of you. Dawn Landes opens.
First Congregational Church, 7:30 pm
The local chamber ensemble obsesses on the letter "M" with music by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Martinu, not to mention Marin Marais and Marius Monnikendam.