The winter arts scene in Madison hits the first of several consecutive peaks this weekend. The calendar includes: the Lake Home & Cabin Show; the Folk Ball Festival; productions of Fat Men in Skirts and Little House on the Prairie: The Musical; the "Apple Pie" exhibit opening at MmoCA; the Polar Dash; the Mad Rollin' Dolls season opener; the kickoff to Restaurant Week, a reading by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek; a Stand With Haiti musical benefit; and, more live shows by the Emerson String Quartet, the WCO, Decibully, Tea Leaf Green, Meteorade, Yo La Tengo, The Hood Internet, Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble, Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Set Your Goals, Bolth, and Reverend Deadeye.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. Supreme Court hands down Roe v. Wade decision, 1973.
BIRTHDAYS: Exorcist star Linda Blair, 1959; actor Balthazar Getty, 1976.
Lake Home & Cabin Show
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 2-9 pm. Also Saturday (9 am-7 pm) & Sunday (10 am-4 pm), Jan. 23 & 24
Summer can't come soon enough, especially if you're the lucky owner, or would-be owner, of your own cabin getaway. Meet 150 vendors who will tell you all about how to finance, furnish, decorate, remodel and otherwise make perfect your cozy haven.
Folk Ball Festival
UW Memorial Union, through Jan. 24
The folk extravaganza includes three dance parties on Friday, featuring live music (8 pm); workshops on Saturday (10 am-5 pm) and Sunday (10 am-3 pm); and the blowout Folk Ball Dance Party on Saturday night (Great Hall, 7 pm), with music by Reptile Palace Orchestra, Orkestar Bez Ime and others.
Emerson String Quartet
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
The storied New York ensemble got started in 1976 and have brought home enough Grammys to fill a sack. Tonight they perform music of Charles Ives, Antonin Dvorak and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Fat Men in Skirts
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Sunday, Jan. 23 & 24, 8 pm
Mercury Players Theatre presents provocative playwright Nicky Silver's 1991 story of a mother and son who, stranded on a desert island, love each other very much, too much, and eat people -- while, back home, Dad dandles a mistress.
Little House on the Prairie: The Musical
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 8 pm) & Sunday (1 & 6:30 pm), Jan. 23 & 24
The traveling musical's run concludes. You knew Melissa Gilbert as freckle-faced Laura on the TV show, but all these years later, she's on stage playing Ma.
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The group kicks off its winter Masterworks series performing 20th-century music of Grazyna Bacewicz, Alberto Ginastera and, with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Joaquín Rodrigo (see preview).
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
One of Milwaukee's favorite indie supergroups, which once included Jason Gnewikow of the Promise Ring and now features two former members of Camden, is set to space out and rock out for its Madison fans. With Indianapolis' Jookabox and Eau Claire's the Daredevil Christopher Wright.
Tea Leaf Green
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The San Francisco jam band know how to transform classic-rock sounds into instant classics for the newest generation of concertgoers, whether they're playing a festival like Wakarusa or a bricks-and-mortar venue like the High Noon. With Elmwood.
Frequency, 10 pm
The band, which just might be Madison's best 1990s outfit of the 2010s, release their debut, Shaking Strangers, a disc chock-full of songs Stephen Malkmus, Ted Leo and their fans would dig.
BIRTHDAY: Cheap Trick singer-guitarist Robin Zander, 1952.
Apple Pie: Symbols of Americana
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, through April 11
This show of works from the museum's permanent collection gathers 80 paintings, photographs and prints that capture archetypal images of this nation of ours. There are works by Romare Bearden, Larry Clark, Thomas Hart Benton, Jim Dine and more.
Olbrich Gardens, 10 am
Physicians Plus is sponsoring this kids event, which has youngsters running a winter race course as they pull sleds bearing plush polar bears. The lesson is that outdoor recreation is fun and healthy in winter, something we can all stand to remember.
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 6 pm
Yo La Tengo
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The alt-rock and indie-rock trailblazers -- and Matador Records poster children -- will likely play a mix of clever covers, '90s and '00s favorites and classics-in-the making from their well-received 2009 release, Popular Songs. Times New Viking will start the show with their post-punk take on noisy, lo-fi indie rock (see Tour Stop).
Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
Brink Lounge 9 pm
The local group of vintage-jazz aficionados celebrate the 100th birthday of gypsy-swing god Django Reinhardt and the release of their new live CD, An Evening at the Brink Lounge. Get a taste of the album's Latin-flavored single, "Caprihina," in a new MadTracks review.
Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Butt Funnel
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Two of the leading local purveyors of silly, over-the-top rock compete to see who can get the most laughs -- and devil-horn hand gestures -- from the crowd.
Though it's billed as an after-party for the big Yo La Tengo concert, this show will stand on its own with the Hood Internet's crazy hip-hop mashups, plus super-catchy electro tunes from Milwaukee's the New Loud, who are so sonorous that they were shut down mid-set by the NYPD at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon. With DJ Vinnie Toma.
NOTEWORTHY: Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill, 1848.
BIRTHDAYS: Excitable boy Warren Zevon, 1947; comedian/actor/Blues Brother John Belushi, 1949; snake charmer/actress Nastassja Kinski, 1961.
Restaurant Week Partners in Health Benefit (Haiti Relief) Set Your Goals Bolth Reverend Deadeye
Local restaurants, through Jan. 29
Foodies on a budget love this event, wherein eateries like L'Etoile, Lombardino's and Samba Brazilian Grill offer special three-course dinners for $25. There are 30 participating restaurants (see
Barrymore Theatre, 3 pm
Local musicians Tony Brown & the 608 Riddim Section, Piper Road Spring Band members, the Stellanovas, Sean Michael Dargan Band, Honor Among Thieves and the Gomers perform to benefit Haitians struggling in the aftermath of the horrible earthquake.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
New Found Glory's 2009 tour mates hit the Majestic to showcase their own blend of pop-punk and melodic hardcore from last July's Epitaph release, This Will Be the Death of Us. Flint, Mich., punks the Swellers open the show.
Frequency, 9 pm
Their drummer has been recovering from a nasty arm fracture, depicted in gory detail on the band's MySpace blog, but the Indianapolis trio are back on the road, satisfying Bad Brains lovers and other hardcore fans with loads of mosh-worthy melodies. With the Gusto and soihadto.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Reverend is truly the son of a Pentecostal preacher, but he's not the kind of holy roller you might expect. With songs like "Fuck the Devil" and a microphone made out of a beer can, this dude is starting a gospel-blues revival among barroom brawlers, apathetic agnostics and others who mutter his Myspace motto: "Where I sit on my ass is my church." Local singer-songwriter Owen Mays will open the show with some vintage country tunes.
Partners in Health Benefit (Haiti Relief)
Set Your Goals