April 2013 Event Highlights
Madison’s own Garbage is back, plus the film festival, local art exhibits and great music this month
Arguably the biggest rock band to form in Madison and burst onto the international scene, Garbage is back with a new album, Not Your Kind of People. And Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and Shirley Manson are back on a North American tour—which includes an April 7 stop at the Orpheum. Welcome home! theorph.com
Form and Function
Combining aesthetics and usability, Madison ceramic artist Jackie Matelski is a “maker of considerate things.” Her mugs, bowls, plates and more are works of art intended to bring joy to meals and coffee breaks. hatcharthouse.com
Sorrow and Hope
In an eclectic collection of works titled Antigone, Kanopy Dance retells a Greek tragedy and offers a dance of spring, a new ballet-infused work and a premier by guest choreographer Maureen Janson. kanopydance.org
A Better Life
Margie Walsh, a single mother and resident of Boston’s tough Southie neighborhood, has just been fired from her dead-end job. Desperate to catch a break, she’s tempted to reach out to an old fling who’s moved on to a better life. Forward Theater presents Good People, a comedy-tinged drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. forwardtheater.com
Absolutely Art celebrates its eighth birthday by featuring the art of Luke Mosling in Change Without Warning. Mosling explores the human form, light and geometry in his fantastical works. Also on display are mixed-media works by Lapham Elementary second graders. absolutelyartllc.com
Night and Day
At Grace Chosy Gallery, David Niec showcases his paintings depicting the colorations and contrasts of the night world, while Amy Arntson offers new watercolors reflecting the rhythms and movements of water. gracechosygallery.com
April 14–May 19
Every other year, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art taps into youthful creativity with Young at Art (pictured left). The exhibition showcases works of art by Madison Metropolitan School District students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The show is a bold, colorful and eclectic testament to the importance of art education and personal expression. mmoca.org
One of Madison’s best traditions, the Wisconsin Film Festival offers 150 films screened at seven local theaters. Founded in 1999, the festival presents a wide range of films, from international features to innovative shorts, with a special focus on Wisconsin works. More than 28,000 film fans attended last year’s festival, so check out the robust schedule and get your tickets quick! wifilmfest.org
With the Band
It’s impossible to anticipate the spectacles in store at the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert. Band director Mike Leckrone packs the concert with rousing songs, football-game traditions, guest artists and fun, over-the-top antics. badgerband.com
Madison Ballet continues its innovative season with Exposed, featuring the company’s first performance of a George Balanchine work—“Valse-Fantasie”—as well as artistic director W. Earle Smith’s pas de deux to “Ave Maria” and “Swan” by UW Dance’s Marlene Skog. madisonballet.org
From an outlaw country singer to an outspoken activist, Willie Nelson is an independent spirit. Don’t miss the chance to hear him live in Madison. overturecenter.com
April 26–May 18
Orphan Train tells the story of homeless orphans who left the mean streets of New York City in the late 1800s by jumping on trains heading west. Broom Street Theater stages this play written and directed by Madison’s Deanna Reed. bstonline.org
All That Jazz
Music lovers won’t want to miss the Capital City Jazz Fest, which celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary by highlighting artists from around the country—including the versatile Titan Hot Seven. madisonjazz.com
Touting a unique blend of jazz, swing and gypsy music—and of mandolin, bass and vocals—Harmonious Wail has been entertaining Madison audiences for more than twenty years. Catch the award-winning trio in a free concert at Overture Center. overturecenter.com
with Greg Hettmansberger
As this month unfolds, Madison’s major resident ensembles offer season-closing programs … and the lineups might make you want to go and hear them all.
The Madison Symphony Orchestra gives concertmaster Naha Greenholtz her first opportunity as concerto soloist in the great Mendelssohn Violin Concerto—but equally intriguing are the rarely heard choral works: Rachmaninoff’s “The Bells” (to the Poe poem) and Vaughan Williams’s haunting “Toward the Unknown Region” (April 5–7, madisonsymphony.org).
As the Union Theater continues its major renovation, keyboard fans need to know that Jeremy Denk—who floored local audiences and critics alike two seasons ago—returns with a recital at Mills Hall (April 11, uniontheater.wisc.edu).
Andrew Sewell ends the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Masterworks season with a typically stimulating program of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The real spice of the evening, however, is soprano Susanna Phillips’s return. She closed Concerts on the Square two summers ago with a radiant interpretation of Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” This time brings an even lesser-known delight: selections from Joseph Canteloube’s arrangements of the “Songs of the Auvergne” (April 11, wcoconcerts.org).
Kathryn Smith has gone two for two at the helm of Madison Opera, with exciting performances of repertoire slightly off the beaten path. The company closes the season with her first go at one of the towering challenges for any company: Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Joseph Mechavich guest conducts and Elise Sandell directs the celebrated “dramatic joke,” as Mozart dubbed it (April 26 and 28, madisonopera.org).
Want more classical coverage? Find Greg Hettmansberger’s Classically Speaking blog.
Katie Vaughn is managing editor of Madison Magazine. Check out her arts and entertainment blog.