Making Maps, Mapping History
UW Memorial Library Special Collections, through June 29
This exhibition features original maps of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region, ranging from fanciful 17th-century creations to 21st-century satellite images. Christopher Baruth of the UW-Milwaukee's American Geographical Society Library will lecture on "The Early Mapping and Charting of the Great Lakes" (Thursday, April 5, 4 pm).
Overture Center, through June 13
In the new round of exhibitions, the local collective ArtsTribe shows works inspired by Carmina Burana; Cherokee Middle School students explore society's injustices; and UW MFA students roll out their self-portraits.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, through April 15. Gallery talk: 6:30 pm
Subtitled "A Closer Look at MMoCA's Permanent Collection," this exhibition emphasizes the museum's strengths in painting, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and sculpture. On Friday, UW art professor Michael J. McClure discusses Ed Ruscha and his contemporaries.
Amy Goodman/Jeremy Scahill
Barrymore Theatre, 7 pm
Goodman, host of the progressive radio show Democracy Now, discusses her book Static, which uncovers more outrages from the Bush era. Scahill discusses his book Blackwater, a look at a private military contractor that operates as a mercenary outfit.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (4 & 8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), March 29, 31 & April 1
The Madison Repertory Theatre presents a strong production of Lanford Wilson's play. Set in 1944, it's about a German-Jewish accountant and a nurse's aide who wonder whether they dare fall in love.
Dancing in Cleo's CafÃ
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm)
In Cassi Harris' play, the owner of a diner serves as a surrogate mother to a ragtag group of regulars. It could use some editing, but it does feature genuinely affecting monologues and some snippets of humor.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, March 31, 7:30 pm
Madison's Four Seasons Theatre presents a concert version of the intense Broadway musical, featuring a full orchestra. It transports Madame Butterfly to the Vietnam War, where an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl fall in love.
Gays of Our Lives
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (8 pm), March 29 & 31
StageQ presents Claudia Allen's hilarious soap-opera satire about a family mired in sex, murder and other delightfully tawdry plot points.
Wil-Mar Center, 8 pm
The engaging blues-rock pioneer will be doing some live solo recording, and you're all invited.
Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band
Brink Lounge, 8:30 pm
Who knows what'll happen when Andy and Mel play their ferocious shot-and-beer blues for the Brink's wine-sipping regulars? Hold that Shiraz tight, kids.
Planes Mistaken for Stars
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
A half-dozen years after forming, this group have developed a knack for metal-leaning hardcore that adds thick, effects-laden guitars to the usual troglodyte raging. Riddle of Steel, Ouija Radio and Call You Out complete the circle.
The Nervous System
King Club, 10 pm
A couple SuperEights alums and Vid Libert form the creative core of these '60s garage enthusiasts. They celebrate the release of a crafty new CD that'll please the paisley pants off Seeds and Chocolate Watchband fans. Local indie lights Sleeping in the Aviary and the Grizzlies open.
Max Wolf Valerio
A Room of One's Own, 4 pm
The poet and performer explores his change from female to male in the probing memoir The Testosterone Files.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday, April 1, 2 pm
Madison Ballet showcases artistic director W. Earle Smith's flamboyant take on George Balanchine's neoclassical style. Local-girl-made-good Genevieve Custer returns for the title role, the Madison Symphony Orchestra brings Prokofiev's lush score to life. (See article on page 16.)
Ubaka Hill & the Drumsong Orchestra
Monona Terrace, 7 pm
Hill is a hand-drummer who fuses various styles (Celtic, jazz, Latin) to create her own brand of inspirational music. Her performance caps the Everyday Goddess Festival.
Trinity James & Big Bad
King Club, 9 pm
These guys won the opening spot with Bon Jovi last time they were in town, and their tuneful hard-rock emoting surely had a lot to do with being tapped for the gig. Tonight, the local boys fete the release of a new CD. Sunspot and O'Neill & Wean play the support slots.
Worn Out Shoes
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The Iowa duo get a lot of mileage out of their primal John Lee Hooker-inspired blues and gap-toothed jug band music. The Habitual Line Steppers and elemental local rockers Cats Not Dogs join them at this post-match shindig hosted by the Mad Rollin' Dolls.
Bobby Bryan & the Original Downtown Players
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
When coming up in L.A., Madison-based bluesman Bobby Bryan got pointers from Albert Collins and played guitar behind Arkansas Larry Davis. A nimble player with a command of several styles, he moves easily from gutbucket grinding to dance-friendly funk.
Annex, 10 pm
The big, horn-powered local Latin band fires up a portable party with energizing takes on salsa, Bachata, merengue and Latin jazz. Expect them to draw a diverse crowd bent on dancing the night away.
Ballet Folklorico Mexico
Waisman Center, 1 & 3 pm
The kids will enjoy this colorful performance, featuring regional dances from Mexico and authentic costumes.
Opera Up Close
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 4 pm
This installment of Madison Opera's community-education series features the group's general director, Allan Naplan, discussing the upcoming production of Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. Opera-buff heaven.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Although he first made his name covering Robert Johnson and other Delta blues artists, Keb' Mo' reached an even broader audience with his own singer-songwriter-style creations. Last year's easygoing Suitcase includes light reggae, blues and some honeyed ballads.
Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun
CafÃ Montmartre, 8 pm
That's Kirchen's amped country-rock guitar work on Commander Cody's cover of "Hot Rod Lincoln." The King of Dieselbilly is a master of twangy Texas guitar, and he knows how to work a honky-tonk. Sean Michael Dargan opens.