Welcome to the heart of spring in Madison, the first in a string of overbooked weekends. The calendar includes: Terrace Town, UW Science Expeditions, and the Wunk Sheek Spring Pow-Wow; productions of Narnia, The Butcher of Baraboo, The Flying Dutchman, Man of La Mancha, and The Man Who Planted Trees; performances by Fundamentally Sound, American Bluegrass Masters with Bobby Osborne, Henry Rollins, and Madison Bach Musicians; and, live music by Kitty Rhombus, Patty Larkin, Mission of Burma, Rust Belt Sermon, Pnuma Trio, Tyvek, Clutch, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and Trampled By Turtles.
NOTEWORTHY: Soviet Georgia votes to secede from the U.S.S.R., 1991.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7 pm
The UW's all-male a cappella group performs the sort of pointedly screwy repertoire (Steve Miller, Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo) we've all come to expect from college a cappella groups. Come for the laughs, stay for the expert singing.
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 7 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), April 10 & 11
Roseann Sheridan of Children's Theater of Madison directs the musical version of the beloved C.S. Lewis classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Kids help a talking lion fight evil.
Kitty Rhombus release party
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Making noisy, chaotic music isn't that tough, but making noisy, chaotic music you can dance to is a feat, and this local band does it with dorky charm and loads of musicianship, especially on the new CD, Lips and Arms, which will be unveiled at this show. With Blackwell Beauties and the No & Maybe Game.
Brink Lounge, 7:30 pm
Larkin is a masterful singer-songwriter as well as a legitimate guitar hero. She's in town for this intimate show benefiting Habitat for Humanity.
American Bluegrass Masters
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Grand Ole Opry favorite Bobby Osborne will prove why he's bluegrass royalty and introduce you to some of the fastest-rising -- and fastest-picking -- stars of the genre in a show that's sure to get your hands clapping and your toes tapping.
The Butcher of Baraboo
TAPIT/new works, 8 pm. Also Saturday, April 10, 3 & 8 pm
Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre, new this season, presents Chicago-based playwright Marisa Wegrzyn's work about a Wisconsin butcher whose husband goes -- ulp -- mysteriously missing.
The Flying Dutchman
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Sunday, April 11, 2:30 pm
For the first time in its history, Madison Opera stages a work by Richard Wagner. This 1843 opera retells the myth of the ghost ship doomed to sail the ocean forever.
Man of La Mancha
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (4 & 8 pm), April 8 & 10
Strollers Theatre presents the musical warhorse that notched five Tonys after it opened on Broadway in 1965. Derived from Cervantes' proto-novel about the windmill-tilting title character, the show will have everyone singing "The Impossible Dream."
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The hardcore punk-turned-raconteur grapples with the issues of the day and other stuff that bugs him in his latest spoken-word tour.
Mission of Burma
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Few band reunions have pleased post-punk fans more than that of Mission of Burma, which burst onto the scene in 2002 after almost 20 years in hibernation, revitalized and full of new, crazy chord progressions and time signatures. This performance will likely highlight 2009's solid The Sound the Speed the Light, and hopefully 2006's stellar The Obliterati. With Surfer Blood and Turbo Fruits.
Rust Belt Sermon
Frequency, 10 pm
The local quartet blends old-school emo, hardcore and post-punk in a way that's inspired many other bands and made fans out of those who love At the Drive-In, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles and, of course, Fugazi. Though this show marks the release of a new album, it's also the musicians' last official show together, so be sure to high-five them before you leave. With Things Fall Apart and Evenstar.
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
The Memphis-based three-piece are popular among both electronica lovers and jam-band fans thanks to their inventive fusion of IDM, acid jazz, hip-hop and funk, which is even better live than it is on their 2007 album, Character. With Big Gigantic.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer Shemekia Copeland, 1979; actor Haley Joel Osment, 1988.
The Man Who Planted Trees
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 10 am & 12:30 pm
For the kids, Scotland's Puppet State Theatre Company presents this eco-fable, an adaptation of Jean Giono's 1953 short story about a French shepherd who, with his dog, goes about planting a forest.
Monona Terrace, 10 am
On April 9, 1,200 Dane County grade-schoolers set up small-scale cardboard cities in Monona Terrace, making use of sustainable principles. Today the public can tour Terrace Town for a glimpse of our architectural future.
UW Science Expeditions
UW Stock Pavilion and other campus sites, from 11 am
The UW invites budding scientists of all ages to a free afternoon of hands-on activities and demonstrations. Programs include "The Wonders of Physics" and "The Combustion Show." See science.wisc.edu for details.
Wunk Sheek Spring Pow-Wow
Kohl Center, 1-9 pm
The annual celebration of Native American culture features music, a traditional feast and hundreds of dancers in full regalia.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
The Motor City lo-fi rockers shocked Pitchfork last year by putting out a self-titled album with decent sound quality and some pretty tight tracks, such as the garage-rock celebration "Building Burning (Re-Edit)," which buzzes and rattles with energy without losing its composure. With Awesome Color and Hair Police.
Madison Bach Musicians
Trinity Lutheran Church, 8 pm
The ensemble of local early-music don Trevor Stephenson performs Bach's indelible "Brandenburg Concertos" 4, 5 and 6.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Clutch has aged gracefully over the past two decades, transitioning from metal and hardcore sounds to a more open-ended form of hard rock while making its lyrics more erudite and humorous. With Danko Jones and Caverns.
Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
This nine-member ball of energy seem to spend more time making wearable, shareable stage props than fine-tuning their sound, but the body armor of stuffed animals that ringleader Neil Fridd wears onstage is quite a sight to behold. With the Shakes and the Show Is the Rainbow.
NOTEWORTHY: Allies liberate Buchenwald, 1945.
Trampled by Turtles
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The bluegrass five-piece will swing by from Duluth with a new album, Palomino, which hits stores April 13, and, if all goes well, inspire a hoedown at the High Noon. With the Devil Makes Three.