Cinemaphiles and science fiction fans, both budding and committed alike, will get the opportunity to indulge their passion this weekend with the Wisconsin Film Festival and Odyssey Con 13. The calendar also includes: a book reading by Nathan Englander; Duck Soup Cinema; ventriloquism by Jeff Dunham; productions of Real Life and Kindur: The Adventurous Life of Icelandic Sheep; performances by the WCO and Marc Fink; the Loving of the Land benefit; and, more live music from Twenty One Pilots, Basia Bulat, Oliver Mtukudzi, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Joey Bada$$, Sean Bonnette with Brett Newski & 2 Left Shoes, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Cat's Pajamas Vocal Band, Alesso, Sorne, Deastro, The Hussy, Hanah Jon Taylor Artet, Zolotoi Plyos, Willie Nelson & Family, Akron/Family, Trampled Under Foot, and Los Vigilantes with Las Ardillas.
NOTEWORTHY: Polio vaccine declared safe and effective, 1955.
Through April 18, Sundance Cinemas and UW Chazen Museum of Art, Cinematheque, Elvehjem Bldg. & Union South
The festival expands to eight days this year, showcasing American indie films, world cinema, classics, experimental work and homegrown stories. Check out the bursting schedule at Odyssey Con 13
Radisson, through April 14
The science-fiction and fantasy convention features panel discussions, gaming and music. Frodo 4-ever!
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The star author and part-time Madisonian follows in the tradition of Jewish storytellers like Bernard Malamud and Isaac B. Singer. He'll read from his dark, funny new short story collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.
Majestic Theatre, 6:30 pm
This Ohio duo infuse catchy pop songs with even catchier raps. They gained some polish when they teamed up with Adele producer Greg Wells for 2013's Vessel, but this performance will showcase their talent in a rawer form. With Five Knives.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
The Canadian folk musician's lush, evocative voice is an ideal complement to the sparkling timbre of her favorite instruments, the autoharp and hammered dulcimer.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The WCO concludes its season with music by a few gentlemen you may have heard of: Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. The special guest is the acclaimed soprano Susanna Phillips, winner of the Metropolitan Opera's Beverly Sills Artist Award, who will perform Mozart arias and Canteloube's "Songs of the Auvergne."
Mary Dupont Wahlers Theatre, 1480 Martin St., 8 pm. Also Saturday, April 13, 2 & 8 pm
In this original play, Encore Studio for the Performing Arts gets inside the heads of four people with autism and Asperger's syndrome.
UW Union South Sett, 8 pm
Blues-rock legend Bonnie Raitt adores this Zimbabwean artist's songs so much that she's recorded several of them. She's also compared his deep, soul-stirring voice to that of Otis Redding.
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
Hints of dub merge with breakbeats when this quintet hits the stage, but you're more likely to be dancing than dissecting the music's many influences. With Russ Liquid.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
Though this rapper's just 18 years old, he nails the sound perfected by '90s upstarts such as Nas and J Dilla. (See Tour Stop.) With Pro Era and the Underachievers.
Frequency, 9 pm
Bonnette, the frontman of folk-punk project Andrew Jackson Jihad, will present solo material, and Newski, a former Madisonian who now makes music in Vietnam, will open the show.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Critics like to compare this group to a weapon because of their fiery spirit and sonic punch. The Chicago Sun-Times called their shows "a bazooka assault of foot-stompin' blues and slow-burnin' knee-bucklers."
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm
Overture's family-friendly series brings back the long-lost vaudeville era with a snappy variety show and a silent film, accompanied live on the Grand Barton organ. This installment features 1924's Girl Shy, starring the incomparable Harold Lloyd.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Even if you don't remember this Missouri-based a cappella group from season three of The Sing-Off, you won't forget their vivacious live show anytime soon.
UW Music Hall, 8 pm
Two local ensembles -- Brazilian percussion project the Handphibians and "class-grass" outfit Graminy -- will perform at this fundraiser for UW graduate students researching sustainable agriculture. (See Music.)
Orpheum Theatre, 9 pm
Progressive house is the specialty of this Swedish DJ and producer, who landed on DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs list in 2012. With Palladium.
Frequency, 9 pm
This Austin, Texas, band combines apocalyptic poetry with entrancing projected images, Glassjaw-like vocals and unusual instruments such as a hollowed-out log. With Chants.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Expect the precocious Detroiter's live set to include a mix of dream-pop, gauzy folk, TV theme songs and robo-rock. With Lord Scrummage and Problem Child.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Bobby and Heather Hussy are constantly in the running for the title of Madison's most raucous rockers. They've funneled their psych-punk insanity into a brand-new LP, Pagan Hiss, which has already drawn praise from national publications such as SPIN. With the Mystery Girls, Fire Retarded, the Non-Travellin' Band and DJ 45 Freakout.
Mills Hall, UW Humanities Building, 2 pm
The talented UW oboe professor bids farewell at this free concert, with special guests and works by Mozart and Bartok.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 3 pm
Compagnia TPO makes use of digital technology in this ecological fairy tale about two sheep experiencing the seasons in the wilds of Iceland.
Brink Lounge, 3:30 pm
Taylor pushes the envelope on sax and flute with his avant-garde jazz quartet. Come for his mind-expanding improvisations at 3:30 pm, then stay for a free workshop at 6 pm.
Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 5 pm
The ventriloquist has become a comic sensation on the strength of his Comedy Central specials, featuring such characters as Achmed the Dead Terrorist and José Jalapeño. He's also been dogged by accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia.
UW Union South Sett, 7 pm
Equipped with traditional instruments such as the treshchetki and balalaiki, this folk trio perform music from remote Russian villages.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
One of country music's most famous outlaws is also one of its most passionate activists. Be among the first to hear live selections from Willie's 2013 album, Let's Face the Music and Dance, when his biodiesel bus pulls up at Overture Center. With Pegi Young.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This band puts the "freak" in "freak folk" with nonsensical lyrics and found sounds, which will wake up the left side of your brain like caffeine never could. With All Tiny Creatures and M. Geddes Gengras.
Frequency, 8 pm
This trio watched their career take flight when they won the International Blues Challenge in 2008. Expect haunting vocals and dizzying solos on a Hammond B-3 organ. With Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
At the 2009 Forward Music Festival, Davila 666 proved that garage-punk sounds even cooler in Spanish. The band's spinoff, Las Ardillas, and fellow Puerto Ricans Los Vigilantes will demonstrate this point live.