Twelve Can’t-Miss Arts Events

By Jessica Steinhoff | Photography by Ty Helbach

THEATER, DANCE AND COMEDY

MADISON BALLET’S “TIMELESS”
April 11-14, Overture Center

Witness a world premiere by Artistic Director Ja’ Malik, who tackles the second act of “Giselle,” a touching tale of heartbreak and redemption. madisonballet.org

UNIVERSITY THEATRE’S “ORLANDO”
April 18-28, UW-Madison’s Vilas Hall, Mitchell Theatre

A poet travels through time, hopping continents and changing genders, in a quest for true love and the perfect verse. Are these goals realistic, and do they have to be to yield great art? Ponder these questions and more as Virginia Woolf’s novel comes to life on stage. theatre.wisc.edu

KANOPY DANCE’S “CONFLUENCE: A PRELUDE”
April 19-21, Overture Center

Madison’s modern dance troupe launches a multi-season collaboration with local composer Michael Bell, debuting works set to “Regeneration: A Pentology,” a symphony that celebrates the restorative power of connecting with the natural environment. kanopydance.org

CHARLIE BERENS: GOOD OLD FASHIONED TOUR
April 25 & 26, Orpheum Theater

The “Manitowoc Minute” creator’s funny videos are his bread and butter, but writing is also his jam (pardon the Charlie Berens pun). His New York Times bestseller, “The Midwest Survival Guide,” launched three stand-up comedy tours, including the one that brings him to the Orpheum this spring. madisonorpheum.com

MUSIC AND FILM

SLEATER-KINNEY: LITTLE ROPE TOUR
March 22, The Sylvee

After showcasing her comedic chops on “Portlandia” throughout the 2010s, Carrie Brownstein has pursued darker themes with her riot grrrl band in the 2020s. Their new album, “Little Rope,” explores her grief following the 2022 car accident that killed her mother and stepfather. thesylvee.com

IAN MASKIN: CELLO FOR PEACE TOUR
April 4, Art + Literature Lab

This Russian-born, Chicago-based cellist and composer has collaborated with artists ranging from Andrea Bocelli to Snoop Dogg. His Madison tour stop will raise funds for Ukrainian war-relief efforts. artlitlab.org

WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL
April 4-11, multiple venues

In the age of streaming video, a trip to the cinema is a rare treat for many of us. Here’s a chance to get your big-screen fix for an entire week. There will be at least seven spots to enjoy festival films in 2024, now that East Towne Mall’s Flix Brewhouse and UW-Madison’s Music Hall have joined the venue lineup. Double the fun by attending filmmaker talks and casting your ballot for the Audience Choice Award. wifilmfest.org

“HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF- BLOOD PRINCE” IN CONCERT
April 6, Overture Center

Grab your Gryffindor scarf and your favorite young filmgoers for an epic screening of the Harry Potter film, made extra magical by a Madison Symphony Orchestra performance. harrypotterinconcert.com

ALVVAYS
April 24, The Sylvee

This Canadian band pairs chiming guitars and dreamy, ’60s-esque pop melodies with thoroughly modern lyrics about messy relationships and the power of perspective. thesylvee.com

FIERCE, FUNNY FEMALES

Three of America’s most hilarious ladies are coming to town, and they won’t leave until you’re in stitches.

ILANA GLAZER
March 14, Orpheum Theater

A study in extroversion gone awry, Glazer’s “Broad City” character made her a star, led to scene-stealing performances on “Sesame Street” and helped her build Generator Collective, an Instagram-powered platform that helps people “talk about politics without feeling foolish.” Since then, she has also experienced the wonders and weirdness of pregnancy, a topic she explores in both her stand-up and “False Positive,” the 2021 horror film she starred in and co-wrote. madisonorpheum.com

JESSICA KIRSON
April 19, Barrymore Theatre

Kirson shines at creating over-the- top characters, several of whom appear on “The Call Girls,” an album of prank calls recorded during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Her talents also extend to the silver screen: She produced the FX documentary “Hysterical,” which explores the trials and triumphs of fellow funnywomen Margaret Cho, Chelsea Handler and Fortune Feimster. barrymorelive.com

KATHY GRIFFIN
April 21, Overture Center

As fearless as she is funny, Griffin pushes the envelope with her parodies of Hollywood divas and no-holds-barred cultural commentary. Though a controversial photo shoot with a Donald Trump mask cost her gigs such as co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration with Anderson Cooper, her “My Life on the PTSD-List” tour proves that no one puts her in a corner. overture.org

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