What To Do in October

Twenty can't-miss events, from a rock ballet to a Broadway hit to classical concerts

Madison Ballet's

Madison Ballet's "Dracula"


Twice Bitten

October 23–26
When Madison Ballet premiered Dracula last March, audiences cheered for the sexy, edgy take on the classic horror story, enhanced by artistic director W. Earle Smith’s athletic and dynamic choreography and an original score by Madison composer Mike Massey. The company brings the rock ballet back to Overture Center this month. madisonballet.org

Oh, What a Night

October 4
On one special night, more than fifty galleries, museums, businesses welcome in arts lovers for Gallery Night—a tradition twenty-five years strong. Find art, entertainment, refreshments and more on the west and east sides as well as downtown—and don’t pass up the after-party celebration at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Visit mmoca.org for a list of participants. mmoca.org

The Dude Abides

October 11
Spend an evening with the Dude, Walter, Donnie and the gang as the Majestic Theatre screens The Big Lebowski. A favorite of its Brew ’n View series, the flick inspires a costume contest between two showings, Creedence on the jukebox and plenty of Caucasians to sip. majesticmadison.com

All that Jazz

October 1–6
Overture Center brings the razzle dazzle of Broadway to the stage with Chicago, a Tony- and Grammy-winning musical set in the jazz age. After chorus girl Roxie kills her lover, she’s sent to the slammer, where she meets nightclub star Velma. A rivalry begins and intensifies when they compete for the help of slick lawyer Billy Flynn—and the media frenzy and career bump his legal aid provides. This song- and dance-filled showstopper stars John O’Hurley of Dancing with the Stars and Seinfeld fame. overturecenter.com

On the Move

October 3–5
Following years of traveling, Jin-Wen Yu of the UW–Madison Dance Department presents Transit, a contemporary and world dance concert exploring modes and meanings of movement. Other works featured include Yu’s award-winning group piece Passage and Thirst, a solo work by guest artist Collette Stewart. dance.wisc.edu

Piano Man

October 18–20
Join maestro John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra as they welcome back pianist Philippe Bianconi for a performance of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Works by Debussy and Britten round out the concert. madisonsymphony.org

Child’s Play

October 12–27
Come to Overture’s intimate Playhouse Theatre as Children’s Theater of Madison offers the musical adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a book that’s been beloved since the early 1900s. Audiences can watch the misadventures of independent and spirited orphan Anne brought to life on stage. ctmtheater.org

Black Out

October 18–November 2
In The Woman in Black, junior solicitor Arthur Kipps spies a mysterious woman at a funeral and works to discover her dreadful secret. Strollers Theatre stages the Gothic horror play at the Bartell Theatre. strollerstheatre.org

Starting Strong

October 11
For its first Masterworks concert of the season, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra welcomes pianist Bryan Wallick for a concert highlighting works by Britten, Saint-Saens and Beethoven. wcoconcerts.org

Better Together

October 5
Songwriters and friends Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin headline Overture Center to perform material spanning their long and impressive careers and catalogues, plus some of their favorite songs. overturecenter.com

A Sweet Spot

October 25–November 16
In The Sweet Lowdown, Broom Street presents a play about diabetes in two one-acts. Two Diabetics by Matt DeFour relays the story of a Type 1 and a Type 2, while Mary Fairweather Dexter’s The Sweet Lowdown combines music, comedy and dance to debunk stereotypes and myths about diabetes. bstonline.org

Getting Crafty

October 3–30
In celebration of American Craft Week, taking place October 4–13, Absolutely Art showcases fiber tapestries and wearable art by Madison artist Jaroslava Sobiskova, plus vibrant watercolor and acrylic paintings by Larry Price. absolutelyartllc.com

Family Matters

October 11–19
Crimes of the Heart, a tragicomedy presented by Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre, centers on the three MaGrath sisters who have reunited in their grandfather’s Mississippi home after one of the siblings has shot her abusive husband. madwomenstage.org

Inspired Design

October 1–31
Ceramic artist Lisa Hepburn creates pieces informed by loves of pre-Columbian Mexican pottery and all things midcentury modern—an aesthetic a friend describes as “Mixtec meets Mad Men.” Find her sculptural forms and vessels on display at Hatch Art House. hatcharthouse.com

Tune In

October 5–6
The Madison Bach Musicians mark their tenth anniversary season with two concerts of chamber music featuring guest violinist Marilyn McDonald. Performances take place at the First Unitarian Society and Madison Christian Community Church. madisonbachmusicians.org

Hogwarts Express

October 18–20
Relive the magic of Hogwarts with Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, a playful parody that condenses and covers all seven Harry Potter books into seventy minutes of songs, props, costumes and jokes. overturecenter.com 

Inside and Out

October 4–31
Pop into Fanny Garver Gallery to see Interiors/Exteriors, a two-person exhibition showcasing etchings by Art Werger and paintings by Jessica Polzin. fannygarvergallery.com

Sounds from the Past

October 23
Music lovers of all ages won’t want to miss the 1st Brigade Band, a Civil War era-style brass band, as it plays a family concert in the Madison Ballroom at Monona Terrace. mononaterrace.com

Double the Fun

October 17
The Barrymore Theatre is the place to catch storied musicians Leo Kottke and Loudon Wainwright III in special concert. barrymorelive.com

The River Wild

October 25–December 6
In Seasons of the Sugar River: Lower Sugar River Watershed, an exhibition at the Monroe Arts Center, artists working in a variety of media have created works that are “representational of the annual, seasonal cycle of nature, of the wildlife that inhabits the varied upland and wetland settings of the watershed landscape, and of human enterprise and relationship with the land and the river.” monroeartscenter.com

Katie Vaughn is managing editor of Madison Magazine. Read her visual arts blog and find additional and continuous arts coverage in our classical music blog, popular music blog and theater blog



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