2023-24 Arts & Entertainment Season Preview

Pictured: Madison Opera

Madison’s vibrant and diverse arts season is kicking off in full force.

THEATER

“THE GARBOLOGISTS”
Sept. 7-24, Overture Center

In this comedy’s Wisconsin premiere, two people who couldn’t be more different on the surface discover what unites them while working on a garbage truck. This season will be Forward Theater Company’s 15th year in action. forwardtheater.com

“THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP”
Oct. 13-28, Bartell Theatre

This horror-comedy fusion staged by Strollers Theatre, called “high camp humor and biting satire” by the Chicago Critic, first debuted off- Broadway in 1984. Strollers has been praised for various performances, including Taylor Mac’s “Hir” last season. strollerstheatre.org

“THE BIRDS”
Oct. 13-28, Bartell Theatre

Based on the short story by Daphne du Maurier, which inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary 1963 film, Mercury Players Theater’s performance emphasizes the feeling of the characters’ isolation. And, the audi- ence will be on stage with the actors in this performance. bartelltheatre.org

“TOSCA”
Nov. 3 & 5, Overture Center

Giacomo Puccini’s 1900 dramatic opera is bringing Rome to Madison with a tale of love and sacrifice in this Madison Opera performance. madisonopera.org

“THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME”
Nov. 10-18, Diane Ballweg Theatre (Edgewood College)

Edgewood College Theatre Arts students bring Mark Haddon’s mystery novel to life in this play, which follows detective Christopher Boone’s journey to investigate the death of a neighbor’s dog. theatre.edgewood.edu

“A CHRISTMAS CAROL”
Dec. 9-23, Overture Center

A Madison tradition, the Children’s Theater of Madison brings the story of Scrooge and Bob Crachit once again to Overture’s Capitol Theater for some holiday cheer. ctmtheater.org

“THE ANONYMOUS LOVER”
Feb. 2 & 4, 2024, Overture Center

A combination of French lyrics and English dialogue helps tell Madison Opera’s romantic and funny story of a young woman receiving anonymous love letters. Opera Wire called “The Anonymous Lover” “a truly wonderful piece of operatic art.” madisonopera.org

“LIFE DOESN’T FRIGHTEN ME: FEARLESS ROYALTY”
Feb. 3-18, 2024, MYArts

This Children’s Theater of Madison production is based on a poem by Maya Angelou and celebrates every child’s courage and strength in this interactive, upbeat performance. ctmtheater.org

“WINE IN THE WILDERNESS”
March 7-17, 2024, Ronald E. Mitchell Theatre (UW–Madison)

Writer Alice Childress tells a poignant story of race, gender and class set in 1964 Harlem, performed by UW– Madison’s theater and drama students. theatre.wisc.edu

ON BROADWAY

Love large-scale productions? Check out a Broadway at Overture performance. For details on these shows, visit overture.org.

DISNEY’S “ALADDIN”
Oct. 10-15

Experience all of the music from the beloved Disney film, plus new tunes from “Newsies” composer Alan Menken.

“MY FAIR LADY”
Nov. 21-26

This musical, performed by a Lincoln Center Theater cast, inspired the Oscar-winning 1964 film starring Audrey Hepburn.

“BEETLEJUICE”
Jan. 9-14, 2024

In what Stage Left calls a “ghoulishly good time,” this classic Tim Burton film about an eccentric ghoul named Beetlejuice is brought to life on stage.

“LES MISÉRABLES”
Feb. 14-18, 2024

A journey of struggle and sacrifice in 19th-century France, “Les Misérables” has consistently been dubbed the “world’s most popular musical.”

“MAMMA MIA”
March 19-24, 2024

In this hit Broadway musical set in a Grecian paradise, a daughter seeks to find her father, accompanied by a famous ABBA soundtrack.

DANCE

“SHADES OF LIGHT”
Oct. 20-23, Overture Center

Tadej Brdnik, who was a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, is directing and performing with Kanopy Dance Company in this exciting, innovative performance. kanopydance.org

“INNOVATION”
Oct. 26-Nov. 5, Overture Center

Madison Ballet’s choreographers and dancers, as well as “The Lion King” tour cast member Alia Kache, present new works inspired by the concept of innovation in every area, from music to movement. Madison Ballet says that this production upholds “their commitment to commission works by female-identifying artists and artists of color.” madisonballet.org

“THE NUTCRACKER”
Dec. 15-24, Overture Center

This holiday classic is one of Madison Ballet’s signature performances, choreographed by Sara Stewart Schumann and accompanied by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. madisonballet.org

DANCE FESTIVAL FOR A CAUSE
Jan. 27 & 28, 2024, Verona Area High School

This free festival will feature performances by local dance students and raises funds for the Madison Contemporary Dance Outreach Program, a program for dancers without resources. madisoncontemporarydance.com

UW–MADISON DANCE DEPARTMENT STUDENT CONCERT
April 11-13 & 18-20, 2024, Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall

UW–Madison student choreographers and dancers present solo and group performances at this end-of- year showcase. dance.wisc.edu

VISUAL ART

“RECOLLECT: SAM GILLIAM”
Through March 3, 2024, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

This exhibition celebrates internationally-recognized artist Sam Gilliam, who traveled annually to Madison for 40 years, serving as an artist-in-residence at UW–Madison and working with Tandem Press. His works were an important contributor to the city’s creative scene. mmoca.org

“INSISTENT PRESENCE: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART FROM THE CHAZEN COLLECTION”
Through Dec. 30, Chazen Museum of Art

This exhibition showcases a collaboration of 24 artists currently living in Africa and the diaspora. Its three sections explore the human body in all its forms, through sculpture, photography and more. chazen.wisc.edu

KELLI HOPPMANN AND THERESA ABEL
Nov. 10-Dec. 31, Abel Contemporary Gallery

This exhibit will showcase the decades-long creative relationship between these two artists. Both create detailed, narrative oil paintings, with Hoppmann showing allegories of love, lust and pathos, and Abel exploring art history and religion. abelcontemporary.com

LIVE MUSIC

“AMERICAN RHAPSODY”
Sept. 22-24, Overture Center

This concert commemorates music director John DeMain’s 30th anniversary with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and includes music from four American composers, along with the MSO debut of pianist Terrence Wilson. madisonsymphony.org

MAKAYA MCCRAVEN: “IN THESE TIMES”
Oct. 11, Memorial Union

Music producer and drummer Makaya McCraven is a self-proclaimed “beat scientist” — and for good reason — “In These Times” is his sixth self- composed studio album full of groovy, self-produced tunes and impressive drum skills. union.wisc.edu

MAMA DIGDOWN’S BRASS BAND
Oct. 14, North Street Cabaret

You’re going to want to dance to Mama Digdown’s New Orleans brass band music. North Street Cabaret offers seating — as well room to move. northstreetcabaret.com

“MONUMENTAL MOMENTS”
Oct. 20-22, Overture Center

MSO will perform a violin-centered concert with music from Leonard Bernstein, Dmitri Shostakovich and Johannes Brahms. Featuring Naha Greenholtz on violin and her husband, Kyle Knox, conducting, this performance is a must-see for strings lovers. madisonsymphony.org

“HASTA LA MUERTE: A DAY OF THE DEAD SHOW”
Nov. 1, Memorial Union

Chicano band Las Cafeteras is native to Los Angeles and fuses a blend of multiple genres to create an Afro- Mexican style that is all their own. “Hasta La Muerte” celebrates Day of the Dead with music, dance and theatrical performances. union.wisc.edu

“THE PERFECT PAIR: MOZART AND MAHLER”
Jan. 19-21, 2024, Overture Center

Pianist Joyce Yang returns to MSO with a Mozart piano concerto, followed up with what music aficionados consider Mozart’s perfect pair: Gustav Mahler. The orchestra will play Mahler’s fifth symphony in what is sure to be a majestic musical event. madisonsymphony.org

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF UKRAINE
Feb. 20, 2024, Memorial Union

This orchestra is one of Ukraine’s most well-known, and has received multiple Grammy nominations in the past few decades. union.wisc.edu

“MSO AT THE MOVIES: PIXAR IN CONCERT”
Feb. 24, 2024, Overture Center

For one night only, MSO will honor 25 years of Disney and Pixar films with music from 15 classic cartoons in this never before seen performance. From “Toy Story” to “Ratatouille,” this family-friendly concert is sure to lift your spirits. madisonsymphony.org

“REVELATION”
March 22, 2024, Overture Center

Overture Center has been home to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra since 2004, and its core ensemble of 34 musicians will debut the world premiere of Dr. Bill Banfield’s original “Symphony No. 14 Revelation” in the venue’s Capitol Theater. wcoconcerts.org

“FIESTA FINALE”
May 2-5, 2024, Overture Center

This joyful Cinco de Mayo-inspired concert is peppered with influences from various Mexican musicians. A mariachi band will finish the performance in a high-energy conclusion to MSO’s 2023-2024 season. madisonsymphony.org

CONCERTS

MISTERWIVES
Sept. 23, The Sylvee

Misterwives’ upbeat indie pop music once sent their hit song “Our Own House” to number 31 on the Billboard 200, and they are returning to touring this fall with up-and-coming alternative star Bishop Briggs as their opener. thesylvee.com

ERIC HUTCHINSON
Sept. 28, High Noon Saloon

Eric Hutchinson has been making feel-good pop music since the release of his first album in 2007. His 15th anniversary tour kicked off in May, and will continue until November throughout the U.S. high-noon.com

MAY ERLEWINE
Oct. 20, The Bur Oak

Erlewine, a Michigan folk artist, can rock out on instruments from the guitar to the violin, and has produced more than 10 original albums and EPs throughout her career. The Bur Oak’s intimate stage will allow an up close and personal look (and listen) at Erlewine’s discography. theburoakmadison.com

“MANIA: THE ABBA TRIBUTE TOUR”
Oct. 22, The Orpheum

This tour has been recreating the magic of ABBA since 1999. Beginning in London, this tour travels internationally and touches down in Madison this fall. madisonorpheum.com

LIL YACHTY: THE FIELD TRIP TOUR
Nov. 4, The Sylvee

Lil Yachty’s rap has been in the public eye for less than a decade, but he has skyrocketed to popularity with many of his songs having hundreds of millions of listens on Spotify. His recent album “Let’s Start Here” is more experimental, and he strays from hip-hop music into a psychedelic rock style that was referenced in Rolling Stone as a “second chapter in [his] career.” thesylvee.com

STEELY DANE HOLIDANE SHOW
Dec. 9, The Orpheum

The region’s premier Steely Dan tribute band brings a cheery touch to this holiday performance. madisonorpheum.com

STAYIN’ ALIVE: ONE NIGHT OF THE BEE GEES
Jan. 14, 2024, The Barrymore

Tribute band Stayin’ Alive brings the Bee Gees’ classic hits to The Barrymore. barrymorelive.com

STANDUP COMEDY

“TODD BARRY: HALF JOKING TOUR”
Oct. 4, The Majestic

Barry has voiced a variety of smaller characters on Fox’s hit animated comedy “Bob’s Burgers” and has comedy specials on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Comedy Central. majesticmadison.com

ARI SHAFFIR: THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY TOUR
Nov. 3, The Barrymore

Along with comedy, Ari Shaffir has his hand in acting, writing and producing as well as hosting his podcast, “The Skeptic Tank.” Catch him here during his nationwide comedy tour. barrymorelive.com

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