Bartell Theater, 9 am, 12:30 & 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (3:30 & 8 pm), Oct. 23 & 25
Madison native Anthony Lamarr wrote this stage musical about a high-school election and the accompanying drama. Elections can be so trying, can't they?
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945
UW Memorial Library, through Dec. 10
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum presents a traveling exhibit about atrocities perpetrated by the Third Reich against homosexuality. In conjunction with the exhibit, CUNY Graduate Center history professor Dagmar Herzog speaks at noon Friday in the Wisconsin Historical Society's auditorium on "Sex in Crisis: Sex, Politics & the Religious Right in the Bush Years."
Badger Homecoming Parade
Gilman and State streets, 5 pm
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, of course, but that won't prevent UW alumni from coming together for the annual frenzy of football and reminiscing. The parade will be followed by a pep rally and fireworks at Memorial Union. We've got spirit. Yes, we do.
The Merry Widow
UW Music Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday (3 pm) & Tuesday (7:30 pm), Oct. 26 & 28
University Opera presents Franz Lehár's famous 1905 operetta about the Pontevedrian widow whose money the Pontevedrians desperately hope stays in Pontevedria. Performed in English, the production is the MFA thesis project of director Sheri Williams Pannell.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (1:30 & 7 pm), Oct. 23, 25 & 26
Broadway's smutty puppets have arrived.
The Spinto Band
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The Spinto Band began writing pulsing, poppy indie rock after singer Nick Krill found song lyrics scrawled on a stash of Cracker Jack boxes in his attic and set up a makeshift recording studio on his bed. Watch for a cover of "I Think We're Alone Now," a highlight of their live shows and the song Lester Bangs referred to as "the bubblegum apotheosis." Also playing: Frightened Rabbit, Saber-Tooth Man.
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Chicago's Occidental Brothers Dance Band International has a list of influences that's even longer than its name. Traditional African music, alt-rock and jazz are all part of a mix that's earned them gigs with Andrew Bird and rave reviews at last summer's Pitchfork Music Festival.
Houses in Motion
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Houses in Motion's covers of Talking Heads classics are nothing to sneeze at. The band made an all-ages crowd dance like maniacs at Madison's Favorite Block Party this past summer. Paulie opens.
Meenakshi Ganesan & Kalaanjali School of Dance
Overture Center's Rotunda Stage, 9:30 & 11 am, 1 pm
This week's Kids in the Rotunda event features local practitioners of classical Indian dance, or Bharatanatyam. Kalaanjali founder Ganesan knows her stuff: she has been performing in the discipline since age 6.
Madison Horror Film Festival
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, noon
Scheduled to last 12 hours, this extravaganza's debut features screenings of shorts and full-length films, including Massacre (The Musical) and the cricket-themed I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer. Look also for appearances by Puppet Master creator and special-effects man Kenneth J. Hall, and by Dick Flanigan and John Sveum, remembered by Madisonians of a certain age from the late-night Lenny's Inferno television show.
Duck Soup Cinema
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm
To commemorate the spooky season, this season opener of the silent-film series features The Phantom of the Opera, the 1925 Lon Chaney classic that did nothing to improve the reputations musicians have for dissolute behavior. Also on the docket are live entertainers Meenakshi Ganesan, Truly Remarkable Loon and K.G. and the Ranger.
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
Williams' marvelous Deep South drawl, which rocketed her into the mainstream on 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, is second only to her tremendous gifts as a songwriter. She hits the road in support of her new album, Little Honey. Buick 6 opens.
Secret Machines and The Dears
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The Secret Machines call themselves a space rock band, but they've added a heavy dose of shoegaze and Can-style krautrock to their psychedelic soup. Montreal's the Dears put an '00s indie spin on the dark sounds of Morrissey and Joy Division with beautiful, complex arrangements and an affecting live show. Also playing: Freshwater Collins.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
Steve Jobs himself reportedly chose Yael Nam's single "New Soul" for the TV commercial that launched MacBook Air. The singer-songwriter's songs, which blend bits of jazz, folk and pop with mysterious lyrics sung in French, English and Hebrew, have won her critical acclaim, but she's not afraid to cover Britney Spears' "Toxic" either. Jentri Colello opens.
The Rumble Strips
UW Memorial Union's Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
The indie-pop band from Devon, England pays a call.
Overture Center's Capitol Theatre, 1 pm
Here's one for the kids, a staging of the picture-book favorite about a mouse who keeps fearsome predators at bay by fabricating an even more fearsome predator. Schemes like this, of course, have a way of backfiring.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Take away the Indigo Girls association and Amy Ray busts out a hard edge that channels a bit of The Detroit Cobras and even some L7. Arizona opens.