March 2013 Event Highlights
From the world premiere of 'Dracula' to the comedy of Tracy Morgan to an exhibit of local embroidery, it's another great month for arts in Madison
Madison Ballet steps into the dark side with the world premiere of Dracula. Artistic director W. Earle Smith indulged in a wide range of influences—from Bram Stoker’s classic novel to creative steampunk style—to create a ballet conveying the love triangle between English solicitor Harker, his fiancé Mina and the blood-thirsty vampire. Featuring a rock score by Madison composer Michael Massey and contemporary choreography by Smith, the ballet is edgy, sexy and like nothing you’ve seen from this company before! madisonballet.org
Artists in Residence
Absolutely Art highlights the work of its talented staff this month: Lead designer Phoebe Saunders displays her colorful and eclectic modern embroidery work, while graphic artist Jennie Nuese presents mask-inspired photography and large-scale woodblock prints. It’s a great chance to see the latest work by local artists. absolutelyartllc.com
Overture Center offers a smash Broadway musical in the most delightful way with Mary Poppins. Featuring all the fun of the classic Disney film—like the high-flying nanny and her fabulous songs—this production also boasts fresh dance numbers and exciting stagecraft. overturecenter.com
Got a hankering for Irish tunes this time of year? Satisfy and stretch it with the sounds of Karan Casey and John Doyle (at left). The Irish vocalist and guitar great come together to create beautifully stripped-down renditions of contemporary Irish and folk music. Catch ’em at The Sett at Union South. uniontheater.wisc.edu
A Day in the Life
March 22–April 13
Described as a “modern comedy about tragedy,” Lobby Hero follows four ordinary people caught in unusual circumstances. The lives—and loves— of clumsy Manhattan doorman Jeff, his supervisor William, rookie police officer Dawn and corrupt cop Bill collide in this play presented by Strollers Theatre. strollerstheatre.org
Life in Song
Featuring a cast of ten local singers and a jazz trio, The Gershwin Songbook employs the music of George and Ira Gershwin to trace their careers from the days in Tin Pan Alley to film and Broadway success. Four Seasons Theatre presents the program at Overture Center’s Promenade Hall. fourseasonstheatre.com
Inspired by the timeless words of Anne Frank, And Then They Came for Me tells the story of Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg, two of Anne’s childhood friends. In this multimedia production, presented by Children’s Theater of Madison, their true story of being teenagers during the Holocaust is told through acting, archival images, historical footage and videotaped interviews. ctmtheater.org
Rumor Has It
March 22–April 6
In Rumors, a Neil Simon farce staged by the Madison Theatre Guild, four couples arrive at a tenth anniversary party for the deputy mayor of New York, only to find the man covered in blood with a gun and a suicide note. With the wife missing—and the cook and food—the partygoers struggle to keep the mess away from the police and the press. madisontheatreguild.org
What a Character
Whether you love him best as Tracy Jordan on “30 Rock,” Hustle Man from “Martin,” or Brian Fellows, Astronaut Jones, Uncle Jemima or one of the other characters from his seven seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” you know Tracy Morgan (at right) is a very funny guy. It’s nearly impossible to predict what kind of hilarity he’ll bring to his show at the Barrymore—you just know you don’t want to miss it. barrymorelive.com
A contemporary, athletic style of dance fuses with an ethereal, neo-classical approach in Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and LINES Ballet Unite. The two venerated American dance companies join forces in an exciting collaboration that fosters experimentation, cross-company pairings and innovative movements. overturecenter.com
March 22–April 13
Relive the fun and excitement of 1970s children’s albums with Super Hero Boogie. In this inventive offering from Broom Street, written and directed by Madison’s Rob Matsushita, selections from children’s records are played and a group of actors bring the lyrics to life. bstonline.org
What a Doll
Fans of ballet classics, take note of Dance Wisconsin’s performance of Coppelia. This lively story about an eccentric toymaker and the very lifelike doll he creates is told through beautiful movement and the lovely score by Delibes. dancewisconsin.com
March 8–May 5
With the DIY movement and the focus on local going strong, the James Watrous Gallery celebrates Wisconsinites preserving traditional handiwork. In Vital Skills, get to know blacksmiths, papermakers, boat builders, weavers and cobblers and the role they could play in maintaining a sustainable local economy. wisconsinacademy.org
With Greg Hettmansberger
The calendar tells us that spring arrives this month, but the classical muse will be blossoming all around town weeks before the solstice arrives.
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra presents itself in both its new Wisconsin Pops series and in its Masterworks concerts. First up is former Beatlemania star Tony Kishman, headlining Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney (March 2, wcoconcerts.org). Later, Andrew Sewell accompanies Anne Marie McDermott in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 and adds the early Bruckner rarity popularly known as Symphony No. 0 (March 22).
John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra also feature a Mozart concerto, the Violin Concerto No. 4 with Henning Kraggerud. He has become a Madison favorite, and his appearance here two years ago is still a fresh memory. Throw in the sweeping dynamism of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 10, and it should prove another weekend to remember (March 8–10, madisonsymphony.org).
Pianist Christopher Taylor received rave reviews—again—in New York and Milwaukee last fall, and this month we have a chance to hear him free of charge … if you can get a seat in Mills Hall (March 14, music.wisc.edu).
When you’re drawing a thousand or more to Overture Hall, it’s hard to describe something as a well-kept secret, but the Organ Performances series presented under the auspices of the Madison Symphony still deserves wider appreciation. This month features the renowned David Briggs; aside from his credentials, it’s worth a trip to fully experience that marvelous organ that is more often seen than heard by most audiences (March 23, madisonsymphony.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.