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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 21.0° F  A Few Clouds
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The Week: Madison calendar for March 28 - April 3, 2014
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Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.


Friday 3.28
NOTEWORTHY: Paris sacked by Viking raiders, 845.

A Rally to reMember
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 6:30 pm
MSNBC's Ed Schultz is the keynote speaker at this event dedicated to the working man and woman, organized by AFT Local 243. The rally is sure to recall Madison's massive labor solidarity protests on the Square; look for heart-shaped balloons.

The Second City
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
Chicago's iconic comedy troupe presents a best-of show, featuring sketches, songs and a bunch of young comedians who might just be the next Bill Murray or Tina Fey. The performance is a benefit for the cancer support group Gilda's Club.

Madison Hip-Hop Festival
UW Union South Sett, 7:30 pm
Celebrating local hip-hop culture, the fest features sets by Dada x Oppi, Flame the Ruler, Sincere Life and more.

Or,
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (2 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), March 27, 29, 30 & April 3. Through April 13
Forward Theater Company stages this farcical play about Aphra Behn, poet and spy who's about to become history's first-known female playwright. This production has everything you need for an exciting Friday night: sexy subterfuge, cross-dressing and a dastardly plot to murder the king.

Xanadu
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), March 29 & April 3. Through April 12
Out!CAST Theatre and Mercury Players join forces to present this Tony-nominated spoof of the campy 1980 movie. You'll find covers of Electric Light Orchestra tunes line "Strange Magic," belted out with a live band, plus roller skates, disco balls and Greek goddesses.

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), March 29 & April 3. Through April 12
StageQ shuttles the audience back to 1956, when the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is hosting its yearly breakfast. Centered on five self-described widows, the play puts a delightfully absurd spin on the era's social mores.

Drive-By Truckers
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The Southern rock and country act have a devoted following despite their many lineup changes. English Oceans, their first album in three years, has received excellent reviews from Isthmus and beyond. With Blitzen Trapper.

Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The jazz festival by which all others are judged, Newport deserves a memorable celebration for its 60th anniversary. Performers include saxophonist Anat Cohen; vocalist Karrin Allyson, a regular on A Prairie Home Companion; and trumpeter Randy Brecker, a five-time Grammy winner.

Scott H. Biram
Frequency, 9 pm
This one-man band from Texas explores evil, atonement and the dangers of alcohol on his strong new album, Nothin' But Blood. With Larry & His Flask and Whiskey Shivers.

Little Radar
UW Memorial Union-Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This garage rock band's first tour arrived in Brooklyn the day after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern seaboard. They subsequently performed their first New York show for a huge crowd at a Red Cross benefit. With Vic & Gab.


Saturday 3.29

Church Basement Ladies: A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm. Also Sunday, March 30, 2 pm
These rollicking, apron-toting ladies must be doing something right, as their touring musical comedy returns to Madison to serve up heapin' helpings of song, advice and Jell-O salad. Must be a Lutheran thing.

Phatcamp: 10 Years, 10 Hours
Atlas Theater, 4 pm-2 am
The always entertaining Atlas Improv Co. celebrates its 10th anniversary with a 10-hour improv marathon. Expect nonstop mayhem and amusement.

Wisconsin Chamber Choir
Grace Episcopal Church, 7:30 pm
The ensemble offers an admirably unified evening of choral music from Russia and former Soviet satellites. That's not to say there won't be a short break for Lennon and McCartney.

Zeke Martin & the Oracle
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
A native of Belgium, drummer Martin is known for his jazz, rock and funk beats.

Bear's Den
Frequency, 9 pm
The indie folk act from the U.K. bring elements of pop, country and bluegrass to their catchy tunes. With Jeremiah Nelson.

No Bird Sing
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This Minneapolis hip-hop trio combine gritty lyricism with well-placed production elements. With Dem Atlas.

Yellow Ostrich
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Wisconsin native Alex Schaaf returns to Madison with his experimental indie rock band and their new album, Cosmos. The group polished the new songs at South by Southwest, so brace yourself for a moving show (see Music). With the Fatty Acids.


Sunday 3.30

Maple Syrup Fest
Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 1 pm
Here's a chance for sugar lovers to learn how trees are tapped for maple syrup. There will be demonstrations, tastings and even a pioneer woman on hand to explain how it was done in the old days.

Warpaint
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This group whirl together post-punk, shoegaze and dream pop during live sets that are both heady and chilling. Hearing a live version of "Love Is to Die" is worth the price of admission. With Building on Buildings.


Monday 3.31
NOTEWORTHY: First WrestleMania takes place at Madison Square Garden, 1985.

Stephan Pastis
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
Pastis is the genius behind the wildly eccentric comic strip "Pearls Before Swine." He'll read from his latest collection, Pearls Falls Fast, which continues the cynical adventures of Pig, Rat and Zebra.

Movits!
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This funny Scandinavian group rap in Swedish over big-band-style horns while their topnotch beats beg the crowd to dance (see Tour Stop). With Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars.


Tuesday 4.1

Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
We can't imagine a better Monday night happy-hour show than this one, featuring cowpunk hero Escovedo. He was No Depression's pick for "artist of the decade" in the 1990s, and he's released loads of great tunes since then, including "We Used to Be Friends" on the Veronica Mars soundtrack. With Amy Cook.

Maria Bamford
Comedy Club on State, 8 pm. Also Wednesday, April 2, 8 pm
Bamford has an uncanny ability to draw humor from dark subjects like clinical depression, paralyzing anxiety and dysfunctional families. Whether you consider her show entertainment or therapy, you'll leave with a lighter heart (see Comedy).

Reckless Kelly
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Reckless Kelly perform meditative country rock that's both unbearably lonely and uplifting. Their 2011 album, Good Luck & True Love, received a Grammy nomination, and their follow-up, Long Night Moon, is a great soundtrack for an evening by the fire. With WheelHouse.

New Bums
Frequency, 8:30 pm
Composed of musicians from Skygreen Leopards and Six Organs of Admittance, this two-piece recently released Voices in a Rented Room, their first LP of twisted, bluesy folk featuring dual vocals and a slim layer of instrumentals. With Second Family Band, Spires That in the Sunset Rise and DJ Evan Woodward.


Wednesday 4.2

Har Mar Superstar
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This R&B artist is known for his flamboyant, scantily clad shows, which he backs up with a surprising level of talent. His skill really shines through on tracks like "Lady, You Shot Me." With Cowboy Winter and Annabel Lee.

Easy Star All-Stars
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
This reggae collective have performed in 30 countries, reflecting their penchant for reggae covers of classic albums on records like Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band and Radiodread. With John Brown's Body, DJ Trichrome and Tropical Riddims Sound System.

Wakey!Wakey!
Frequency, 9 pm
This indie pop act is fronted by singer Michael Grubbs, who's also known for his role on the CW show One Tree Hill, which featured the band's music. The group is best known for the 2010 album Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said the Last Time I Saw You, a Billboard Heatseekers chart topper. With Jillette Johnson.


Thursday 4.3
NOTEWORTHY: First successful run of U.S. Pony Express begins, 1860.

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Vincent received a snare drum for her sixth birthday and a mandolin for her eighth. Having since added fiddle and guitar to the list, she's been called "the new Queen of Bluegrass."

Marco Calliari
UW Union South Sett, 8 pm
The Italian-Quebecois musician rose to prominence in the thrash-metal group Anonymus and then did an about-face with his 2006 album Mia Dolce Vita, which presents his take on traditional Italian songs.

Against Me!
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The beloved anarcho-punk act recently released a concept album titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues in the wake of their singer coming out as a transgender woman and changing her name to Laura Jane Grace. Pitchfork praised the record, calling it "10 songs of slapdash glam punk that carry great urgency." With Laura Stevenson and Cheap Girls.

Adventure Club
Segredo, 9 pm
This impossibly attractive EDM duo hail from Montreal. Check out their excellent dubstep remix of Foxes' "Youth." With Teknicolor, Antics.


Edited by cat herders

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