Artful Ways to Usher in the Holidays

By Jessica Steinhoff | Pictured: “The Nutcracker”, photo by Darren Lee

THEATER AND DANCE

“COME FROM AWAY”
Nov. 15-20, Overture Hall

This Broadway musical based on real events highlights something we can all give thanks for: how human kindness can shine in utter darkness. These themes play out as a small Canadian town becomes the emergency landing site for 38 passenger planes in the days following Sept. 11, 2001. overture.org

“FEEDING BEATRICE: A GOTHIC TALE”
Through Nov. 20, Overture Center

Forward Theater stages the Wisconsin premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s creepy comedy about a haunted home-renovation project and the questions of race and class it brings up. forwardtheater.com

“A CHRISTMAS CAROL”
Dec. 10-23, Overture Center

American Players Theatre’s LaShawn Banks plays Scrooge in this Children’s Theater of Madison production, a new adaptation of Dickens’ tale of redemption in Victorian England. ctmtheater.org

“THE NUTCRACKER”
Dec. 16-24, Overture Center

Madison Ballet and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra team up to create Clara’s enchanted journey through the Land of Sweets, complete with waltzing flowers, a Sugar Plum Fairy and Tchaikovsky’s shimmering score. madisonballet.org

DANCE WISCONSIN PRESENTS “THE NUTCRACKER”
Dec. 17-18, Wisconsin Union

A 45-year Madison holiday tradition, Dance Wisconsin’s Nutcracker ballet is the only local performance that includes dancers, a live orchestra (the Dance Wisconsin Orchestra) and the vocals of the Monona Grove High School Singers. dancewisconsin.org

VISUAL ART

“DARK MATTER”
Through April 2, 2023, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

This selection of works by Faisal Abdu’Allah — a British artist, barber and UW-Madison art professor — is a fascinating exploration of privilege, exclusion and personal identity. One must-see is “Blu3eprint,” a towering limestone sculpture of the artist in a barber’s chair that’s counterpoint to the Lincoln statue atop Bascom Hill and an ode to the communal power barbershops cultivate among Black men. mmoca.org

“IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH”
Nov. 24-Jan. 8, Greenway Station

Step inside huge, animated projections of “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” and other Van Gogh paintings in this touring installation by digital artist Massimiliano Siccardi and composer Luca Longobardi. vangoghmadison.com

LIVE MUSIC

ALEA
Nov. 11, Overture Center

Born in Colombia and based in New York City, this dynamic singer-songwriter filters the traditional sounds of cumbia, vallenato and ranchera through a futuristic lens and a strong social conscience. overture.org

DEVOTCHKA
Nov. 11, Stoughton Opera House

The stars of a beloved indie film soundtrack — that of 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine” — put an Eastern European spin on folk-pop with accordions, strings and a mighty tuba. This performance may feature their moody 2019 single, “Give Me Something” — and, if you’re really lucky, their cover of Siouxsee and the Banshees’ “The Last Beat of My Heart,” a gem you won’t find on Spotify. stoughtonoperahouse.com

A MADISON SYMPHONY CHRISTMAS
Dec. 2-4, Overture Center

Gifted performers from Madison and beyond — including the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Mt. Zion Gospel Choir and Madison Youth Choirs, plus special guests Adriana Zabala and Nate Stampley — gather to make the season both merry and musical. Guests can carol with Madison Symphony Chorus singers 45 minutes before the show in Overture’s lobby. madisonsymphony.org

RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE
Dec. 4, The Sylvee

This band of harmonizing indie rockers lists Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse and Frank Ocean as influences. See how their new single, “Work Out,” and material from their 2021 live album sound on the Sylvee stage. thesylvee.com

HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”
Dec. 7, First Congregational Church

The Festival Choir of Madison and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra unite for a presentation of the Christmastime classic that has given audiences goose bumps for nearly 300 years. wcoconcerts.org

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