Overture Center Galleries
The current cycle of exhibitions includes Firecracker Studios' showcase of pop and underground art, mixed-media collages by Amy Newell and Jason Ruhl, and neighborhood images by the Northside Artists Group.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
The Wisconsin reggae vet doesn't play local shows very often, let alone solo ones. He's dipped into many genres during his long career, so expect some excursions into blues, calypso, funk and more.
The Diary of Anne Frank
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), Wednesday & Thursday (7:30 pm), Jan. 12, 13, 16 & 17
The Madison Repertory Theatre presents a newly revised version of the Tony-winning 1955 play, which captures the fears and hopes of a girl hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam annex. The play includes material from the recently unedited edition of Anne Frank's diary, relating to her conflict with her mother, her loneliness and her curiosity about boys. The result is an even richer portrayal of one of the 20th-century's most vivid historical figures. "The Anne Frank Story," a related exhibit in the Overture Playhouse lobby, features photos from the Franks' family album along with historical images.
Cystic Fibrosis Improvfest
Coliseum Bar, 7:30 pm
Two local improvisational comedy troupes, Spin Cycle and Monkey Business Institute, team up with Madison boy-made-good Chris Tallman, from the NBC improv series Thank God You're Here.
Loft at the Lussier Teen Center, 7:30 pm
Part of the time, the punk refugees in Chicago-based Sundowner come off as smart, saturnine folkies. But the moody introspection also gives way to something far more rousing. Another example of how indie-rock and the singer-songwriter scene have begun to express similar DNA. Marty Finkel and Dan Collins open.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Jan. 10 & 12
Strollers Theatre presents Michael Frayn's 1982 play, one the best backstage comedies ever written. It's about a theatrical production undermined by feuds, romances and mishaps.
La Hesperia Benefit
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The jam audience gets a chance to support everything from reforestation to organic farming as Eugene Smiles Project, Baghdad Scuba Review, Elf Lettuce, and Good Time Camper Band raise some dough for the Ecuadoran conservation reserve La Hesperia.
The Midwest Beat
King Club, 9 pm
Jangly Byrds- and Kinks-influenced rock doesn't get much better than the Midwest Beat, whose 2007 EP made a number of local best-of-the-year lists. They're joined by glockenspiel enthusiasts El Valiente, whose accomplished, atmospheric post-rock can be both lulling and vivifying. The National Beekeepers Society and Rob Oman One Man Band also appear.
Kids in the Rotunda
Overture Center Rotunda, 9:30 am, 11 am & 1 pm
The free series resumes with a musical beach party featuring singer Dave Rudolph. He'll sings songs by Jimmy Buffett and Harry Belafonte, inviting kids to dance along. Beachwear is encouraged.
Paradise Lost? Climate Change in the North Woods
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, through Feb. 8. Reception: 10 am-1:30 pm
Artists, scientists and educators created this environmental exhibition to raise awareness of climate change. It features sculpture, painting, quilting, poetry, essays and music, along with an action-packed opening reception. Kanopy Dance premieres "Dancing in the Greenhouse: Come Heat or High Water" (10:30 am), followed by an artist and scientist panel (11 am), information on statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (11:30 am), and a reception (noon).
Booked for Murder, 3 pm
The best-selling mystery author is known for his Joe Pickett series, but his latest novel, Blue Heaven, is a stand-alone thriller. He'll read from the tale of two Idaho children who witness a murder by L.A. cops.
Making a Scene!
TAPIT/New Works Studio, 8 pm
Jodi Cohen, artistic director of Spin Cycle Improv, teams with ex-troupe member Eric Stein to create a series of improvised scenes based on one audience suggestion. Let's hope the suggestion is a good one.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Gomers cement their status as the city's number-one feel-good rock 'n' roll freaks by feting the release of a new CD with a tribute to The Midnight Special, the TV music show from the '70s and early '80s emceed by the incomparable Wolfman Jack.
Grupo Candela and El Clan Destino
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Salsa, merengue and more are on tap at this winter-defying dance party. DJ Papi Love joins Grupo Candela and Afro-Cuban jazzers El Clan Destino for a full night of syncopated heat. Pre-show salsa lessons will be offered at 8 pm.
Club Tavern, 9:30 pm
All the guitar magazines have recognized Montgomery multiple times for his unique approach to acoustic guitar. Blues, rock, deft pop material -- he does it all. Plus, he has a pretty fair voice. Lucas Cates Band opens.
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
With its greasy, Jack White-esque blues-rock and softer balladry, the Treats' Reservoir Tales was one of 2007's best local recordings. For this show, crunchy-granola funsters the Buffali help out in full band form, and the Shabelles, another refreshing pop thing, open.
Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
Restaurant Magnus, 9:30 pm
The local instrumental group explores the swinging Gypsy jazz tradition mapped out by guitarist Django Reinhardt, sampling Parisian waltzes and Latin styles along the way.
The Bean, 9:30 pm
John Mellencamp canceled his Madison concert last fall. Here's the consolation prize: a night of Mellencamp-style rocking by the local tribute band.
Charles Walker Band
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
The Milwaukee saxophonist has jazz roots, but he concentrates on hard, roadhouse-worthy blowing during his band's danceable takes on R&B and Chicago-style blues.
Tim Schweiger & the Middlemen
Cafe Montmartre, 10 pm
When the Neenah band aren't giving way to the mellow, they offer up raw blues-rock reminiscent of the Black Keys. The Grizzlies open.
Hansel and Gretel: A Puppet Operetta
Waisman Center, 1 & 3 pm
MadCap Theatre presents an adaptation of the charming Engelbert Humperdinck opera for young children, with marionettes singing their wooden hearts out.
Booked for Murder, 2 pm
The mystery writer is best known for her dozen V.I. Warshawski novels. Here she reads from Bleeding Kansas, set in the small farming community outside Lawrence, Kan., where she grew up. It delves into a culture clash between evangelicals, orthodox Jews and Wiccans.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The hard-rocking AC/DC cover act tops an eclectic bill that also includes '80s-shaded dance rockers the Body Thief and contemporary punkers Dagger Mouth.