John DeDakis, Monday 9 May, Leopold’s Books Bar Caffe, 7 p.m.: Journalists and politicians in Washington, DC, seem to be able to mount thriving side careers as mystery writers. Is this something about DC politics? (It’s not a serious question. Of course it is!) John DeDakis, former White House correspondent and former CNN editor The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, has written five detective thrillers. He will be at Leopold’s Books Bar Caffe for cocktails with the author, a reading, a discussion and a book signing for his latest novel, Fake, about a White House correspondent in the era of #MeToo and “fake news”. The conference is at 7 p.m. and DeDakis will be signing books before and after.
Stand up and sing for the children, Tuesday May 10, Capital Brewery, Middleton, 6:30 p.m.: Who will sing at this annual Canopy Center fundraiser? It could be you on stage at this karaoke-style concert. There will also be food carts and a silent auction supporting Canopy Center’s advocacy and support for children and families facing adversity in Dane County. Watch for event updates on Facebook.
Kayla Bauer, until June 17, Chazen Museum of Art: The Panczenko Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding UW-Madison MFA graduate, and these artists never fail to amaze. Having their own gallery in the Chazen so early in their career is a rare opportunity. This year, Kayla Bauer created I left my heart… a love letter to San Francisco that’s a photographic essay of his own photographic prints, coupled with the impulses of a collector – there’s a curio cabinet of memorabilia from the city and a wall full of San Francisco-themed plates San Francisco.
Dear Evan Hansen, May 10-15, Opening Room: When bullied high school student and outcast Evan Hansen finally gets a chance to fit in, he seizes it — forging a friendship, lying to a family, and pretending to be involved in a world-wide tragedy. school. The Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen premiered in 2015 and on Broadway in 2016, to rave reviews and major success. Shows at 7:30 p.m., May 10-12; 8 p.m., May 13; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., May 14; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., May 15. Tickets here.
THE HUNT, From April 29 to May 22, throughout Dane County: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County hosts this scavenger hunt that doubles as a fundraiser for the organization’s programs. Teams use an app to post photos of locations both around the county and found at home, earning points to compete for prizes. Registration continues past the April 29 start date, so it’s never too late to do some catch-up hunting. Find all the details here.
Sprig of Oaks, Tuesday May 10, High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.: Strand of Oaks is the project of Goshen, Indiana native Timothy Showalter, now based in Austin, Texas. On stage, he appears as a mysterious man, a wandering soul who unravels the stories of his life before the eyes of the audience. And her life seems to have provided a lot of material over the years (a cheating wife, a burned down house). His seventh and final album, In Paradise, raises the bar with lush production behind its intriguing folk tunes. With Pat Finnerty.
Bird watching is for everyone, Tuesday, May 10, Pinney Library, 7 p.m.: Birdwatching, perhaps unfairly stereotyped as a nerd pursuit, has been at the forefront of getting a better cross-section of the population involved in its pleasures. Dexter Patterson, co-founder of the BIPOC Birding Club of Wisconsin, will talk about better birding – that is, how to actually see a bird, not a blur (and there are tricks). All birdwatchers are welcome, but space is limited; register on madisonaudubon.org.
Azar Nafisi, Tuesday, May 10, Crowdcast, 7 p.m.: Iranian author and professor Azar Nafisi examines the impact of reading in his new book, Reading Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times. Nafisi, who also wrote the award-winning 2003 novel New York Times Bestseller Read Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, approached his latest work by asking questions about the role of literature in a time of political conflict. The book is structured as a series of letters to Nafisi’s father, who taught him as a child that literature can provide comfort in times of trauma. All participants will receive a copy of read dangerously at this free Wisconsin Book Festival conference. Note: This event has moved from an in-person event to a Crowdcast live stream; RSVP here.
Rachel Werner, Wednesday, May 11, Crowdcast, 10:30 a.m.: A place like Madison didn’t worry much about flooding, but after the tragic August 2018 flood, we learned that someone could be swept away and drowned in a flash flood in a western suburban neighborhood. Climate change is recreating our world. Author and director of Little Book Project WI Rachel Werner will talk about her new children’s book, Floods, with Savannah Brooks, including how to stay safe. Copies of floods will be distributed free of charge to the first 100 virtual attendees of this Wisconsin Book Festival conference; register here for the Crowdcast link.
Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Thursday, May 12, Barrymore Theatre, 7 p.m.: An event devoted to reflections on nature and environmental activism, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is all about coupling cinema with action. The selection of films should range from close-up shots of certain species and landscapes, to documentaries about the people determined to save them. Find the list of films to be screened here.
Ready to wear, Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m., Majestic Theater: We at Isthmus I happen to love everything about the rock/paper/scissors concept, and especially about this fashion show – a form of entertainment that rarely appears in Madison. This fundraiser benefits the Madison Reading Project, a literacy group. Teams will compete by designing (and modeling) paper fashion clothes with this year’s theme in mind. Winners will be chosen by celebrity judges – not contestants playing rock/paper/scissors. Tickets here.
Kathy Mattea + Suzy Bogguss, Thursday May 12, Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 p.m.: Grammy and Country Music Association award winner Kathy Mattea is a pioneer of modern country music who not only attracted Nashville’s top pickers to her projects, but also collaborated with superstars such as Dolly Parton and Jackson Browne. His last album, beautiful bird, was produced by Tim O’Brien. The collection shows its range based solely on the covers, including songs by Joan Osborne and The Wood Brothers. It’s a power bill starring Grammy and CMA winner Suzy Bogguss. In 2014, Bogguss released an album of Merle Haggard songs because, as she said, “I watched the boys take her music back for so long. Why couldn’t a girl do that? Mattea and Bogguss playing together will be on top.
J.E. Sunde, Thursday, May 12, Le Chêne à gros fruits, 8 p.m.: JE Sunde has been making bizarrely beautiful pop music since his days with his brother Jason and Eau Claire-based The Daredevil Christopher Wright. It may surprise the uninitiated; a voice that can easily slip into a wacky falsetto that can’t come from a guy this tall. When combined with his guitars, delicate lyrics and offbeat ideas, it’s magical. With Bright Arcana.
The importance of being seriousuntil May 14, Bartell Theatre: If you’re surprised at the continued popularity of this prank, its author probably wouldn’t be. Oscar Wilde was ahead of his time in gender roles and wise in the ways of hypocrisy. Both are ongoing concerns, even though the base construction of The importance of being serious, a comedy about mistaken identities, could have come from Shakespeare’s workbook centuries earlier. Strollers Theater uses a “gender fluid” cast to make the story feel even more contemporary. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday (unless changed at 2 p.m. on May 14).
We hope it is convenient for you to find selections grouped together in one article. Individual picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected hereand sprinkled everywhere all events.
Note: Many locations and businesses may continue to maintain individual mask-wearing requirements, along with proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative entry test. Before attending an event in person, confirm that it’s still happening and check attendance guidelines on relevant company websites or social media accounts.