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The Week: Madison calendar for February 28 - March 6, 2014

Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.

Friday 2.28
NOTEWORTHY: Aztec king Cuauhtémoc executed by entourage of explorer Hernán Cortés, 1525.

Dead Man's Cell Phone
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, March 1 & 6, 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild stages Sarah Ruhl's play about a woman who answers an abandoned cell phone, only to discover that its owner is deceased. This sets off a chain reaction of absurd events that should have the audience in stitches.

An Evening of One-Acts
UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (2 pm) & Wednesday (7:30 pm), Feb. 27, March 1, 2 & 5). Through March 14
University Theatre presents Beth Henley's Am I Blue, about a college student who meets an intriguing high school girl during a trip to a brothel, and Christopher Durang's 'Dentity Crisis, about a woman who finds nearly every aspect of her life confusing.

Flashdance: The Musical
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (2 & 8 pm) & Sunday (1 & 6:30 pm), Feb. 27, March 1 & 2
The 1983 film, about a welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, was one of the first to present its songs in a music-video-style format. A touring company presents the glitzy 2008 musical version, with all your favorite tunes. Legwarmers optional.

Alan Kelly Gang
UW Union South Sett, 8 pm
Polish your jig before St. Patrick's Day arrives: One of the world's foremost piano accordionists, Kelly has an equally accomplished band to support him during a set of Celtic fusion music.

Carnaval 2014
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm. Also Majestic Theatre, Saturday, March 1, 8 pm
Celebrate Mardi Gras season Brazilian-style with a rhythm-fueled dance party. Percussion group the Handphibians join forces with Ótimo Madison Brazilian Dance for a Friday-night event at the High Noon that also includes Samba Novistas, Metabaque, Mama Digdown's Brass Band and the Madison Choro Ensemble. Saturday's event at the Majestic features music and movement from Grupo Balanca, Capoeira, Drum Power and David Irwin.

Christopher Taylor
UW Humanities Building-Mills Hall, 8 pm
The UW's acclaimed pianist performs Prokofiev's Sonata No. 6 and Liszt's lovely transcription of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony.

Johnny Cash Birthday Bash
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Earl Foss & the Brown Derby, Liam Ford Band, Nellie Wilson, Corey Hart, Little Legend, the Traveling Suitcase, Robby Schiller and Barry Wayne Callen perform songs by the Man in Black on the eve of what would've been his 82nd birthday.

SPANK! Harder: The Sequel
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm. Also Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:30 pm
Mills Entertainment's touring satirists aim their barbs at Fifty Shades of Grey for a second time, finding new ways to turn erotic bondage and role-playing into over-the-top humor.

Bobby Bones & the Ragin' Idiots, Maggie Rose
Gray's Tied House, Verona, 9 pm
Bones, a rising country-radio DJ, visits Verona with his comedy band to celebrate his first year on the air in Madison. He's also bringing Rose, whose Cut to Impress shot up the Billboard Heatseekers chart last year (see Music).

Davey Dave Mason
Inferno, 9 pm
The longtime DJ and promoter is also the director of the House Preservation Society, a DJ collective that ushered in Chicago's second wave of house music. In other words, this show's a great opportunity to get better acquainted with electronic music's history. With Russoul, Spike Jones, X the Owl and Tre Ginjahvitiz.

Saturday 3.1

Madison Reads Leopold
UW Arboretum Visitor Center, 9:30 am-4 pm
Rise and shine with words from A Sand County Almanac at the ninth annual celebration of Aldo Leopold, the Arb's inaugural director. Readers include former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and retired UW music professor Douglas Hill, who'll narrate a symphonic composition titled Scenes from Sand County.

Duck Soup Cinema
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm
Douglas Fairbanks is the ne plus ultra of swashbuckling in the 1920 silent film The Mark of Zorro. You'll also find vaudeville acts, door prizes and, of course, live accompaniment on the Grand Barton Organ.

The Stray Birds
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
NPR named this act's eponymous debut album to its 2012 list of top folk and Americana releases.

Cloud Cult
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
After several intense years of childrearing, film scoring and tree hugging, Craig Minowa and his arty pop band have created Unplug, a live LP set to drop in April. They'll play an acoustic set and an electric one to welcome this bundle of sonic joy.

Pro Arte Quartet
UW Humanities Building -Mills Hall, 8 pm
Catch the world premiere of Belgian composer Benoît Mernier's String Quartet No. 3, which was commissioned for the UW's Pro Arte Quartet as part of its centennial celebration. Another highlight is Bruckner's stunning String Quartet in F Major with special guest Samuel Rhodes, the Juilliard String Quartet's violist. Mernier will speak at 7 pm.

Noah Gundersen
Frequency, 9 pm
This Seattle-based singer-songwriter's debut LP, Ledges, is filled with beautiful harmonies and introspective lyrics that prove he's an old soul in the body of a 24-year-old. (See Tour Stop.) With Armon Jay.

Sunday 3.2

Babel: How It Was Done in Odessa
UW Lathrop Hall-H'Doubler Performance Space, 2 pm
Actor Andrei Malaev-Babel, grandson of the great author Isaac Babel, performs short stories from Babel's Odessa Stories, Di Grasso and Red Cavalry series, considered masterpieces of Russian literature.

Kipp Friedman
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The author reads from Barracuda in the Attic, his zany memoir about growing up in a family of artists in New York City in the 1960s and '70s.

Con Vivo
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2:30 pm
The local chamber group presents seldom-performed works by German composers, including Robert Schumann's Fairy Tale Trio.

Monday 3.3
NOTEWORTHY: Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia, 1938.

The Promise Hero
Frequency, 8 pm
These pop-rockers from Cleveland sold their first album, Wait for the Sun, to fans waiting in line to get into the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. Expect emo-punk tunes that are cleaner and catchier than most. With Farraday.

Tuesday 3.4

Jared & the Mill
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
This band from Arizona have performed their blend of rock and folk at South by Southwest and toured with Flogging Molly. Get a taste of their sound with "Love to Be Found" off their latest album, Western Expansion. With Hugh Bob & the Hustle.

Beyond the Invisible: Secrets of the Blue Holes
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The "blue holes" of the Bahamas are among the most beautiful and dangerous underwater caves in the world. You can explore them while staying safe and dry at this National Geographic presentation by veteran adventurer Kenny Broad.

Wednesday 3.5
NOTEWORTHY: President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares "bank holiday," freezing all financial transactions, 1933.

Re-emerging Superpowers?
UW Elvejem Building, Room L140, 5:30 pm
UW history professor Andre Wink discusses how Turkey, Iran, India and China lost their status as world superpowers in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Lorrie Moore
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The rave reviews for Moore's new story collection, Bark, have reminded us how sad we are that the literary star left her longtime job in the UW Creative Writing Program to teach at Vanderbilt University. But we'll be less sad tonight when Moore returns to read and, with hope, let hometown fans know how things are going in Nashville.

Cheryl Strayed
UW Union South Varsity Hall, 7:30 pm
The author of the best-selling memoir Wild, which recounts her impulsive solo hike up the Pacific Crest Trail, and Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her "Dear Sugar" advice columns, should have buckets of hard-won wisdom to impart in this presentation.

Thursday 3.6

Jeff Austin & The Here and Now
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Though this Chicago-based mandolinist grew up listening to country legends Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, he studied musical theater in school and set his sights on Broadway. Then, after an epiphany at a Grateful Dead concert, he turned to bluegrass and never looked back.

Pink Martini with the Von Trapps
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
Pink Martini's cocktail of pop, jazz and classical music has only grown better with age -- 20 years, to be exact. Their collaborators at this show will be the Von Trapps, a sibling quartet whose great-grandparents inspired The Sound of Music.

Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The L.A.-based producer and DJ duo have built an impressive following among club kids with their remixes, including a popular version of the Ting Tings' "Shut Up and Let Me Go," but their remix of De Lux's "A Stranger Love" is an even better example of their mix of electro, disco and post-punk. With GEMS.

Segredo, 9 pm
This producer from San Diego recently grabbed the limelight with his remix of "Boneless," a track by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake and Tujamo. With Von Foil and DJs Britt and Jean Le Duke.

Bitchin' Bajas
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
This band's 2013 album, Bitchitronics, feels like a journey to the moon thanks to ambient synths and spacey, Krautrock-inspired guitars. With Watchout and Baird, Adcock & Devereaux.

Edited by Dr. Egon Spengler

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