A week of arctic chill will make Madison ready for a hot weekend of cabaret and concerts, what two nights of the Fire Ball: A Masquerade of Ice & Fire and three nights of FRZN Fest. The calendar also includes: International Fest; a production of Going to Temple; a staging of A Prairie Home Companion Late Show; performances by Stefano Gueresi, Daniel del Pino, and the Madison Savoyards; more live music from Graminy, Jake Miller, G-Scott, Kopecky Family Band, Sixpence None the Richer, Chris Pickering, Ginuwine, Trampled by Turtles, and ITAL; and, the Listen to Your MAMA, Lily's Luau, and Camp Bingo benefits and Our Lives/Our Stories/Our Celebration fundraiser.
NOTEWORTHY: First Emmy Awards presented at Hollywood Athletic Club, 1949.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 4:30 pm
This Italian pianist and composer imbues his music with the technical rigor of the classical tradition and the glamour and romance of the places it's presented, which range from ballet performances to international fashion shows. Free!
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
A growing number of musicians travel the country in biofuel-powered tour vans, but this local ensemble goes green by penning tuneful homages to the Earth. At this show, they'll release Germinations: A Bluegrass Symphony in D, an album that honors the life cycle of Midwestern prairie plants with a blend of grassroots and classical music.
Loft, Goodman Community Center, 7 pm
After winning Samsung's "Kick It With the Band" competition in 2011, this 20-year-old rapper became a full-blown YouTube sensation and landed on E1 Music's roster. (See Tour Stop.)With Nick Luebke and Dieter Schaaf.
Farley's House of Pianos, 7:30 pm
This award-winning Spanish pianist will perform a program of dance-themed works, including Manuel de Falla's "Ritual Fire Dance" and Franz Liszt's "Totentanz."
First Unitarian Society Auditorium, 7:30 pm
The local ensemble performs operatic works by Gilbert & Sullivan, including excerpts of last summer's production of The Pirates of Penzance. Warm up your pipes before the show, as there will be a chance to sing along.
This celebration of indie music has grown to four days in its second year. Friday night's lineup includes Minneapolis' Now, Now, which Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla lured onto his record label last year, and powerpop purveyors Free Energy. Saturday features the jazz-loving, New York Times-lauded Kids These Days and master rapper Astronautalis, among others. Kelly Hogan and the Pines will conclude the fest with back-to-back sets on Sunday evening. Visit Going to Temple
Mary Dupont Wahlers Theatre, 1480 Martin St., 8 pm. Also Saturday, Jan. 26, 2 & 8 pm
In this original production from Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, a woman with autism and her sister go on an emotional cross-country journey in search of their hero, autism activist Temple Grandin.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 pm
Baby, it's cold outside, but who cares? Winter's worst is no match for this Dane101 soiree. Two nights of cabaret, burlesque and carnival include performances by Fresco Opera, Ashar Dance Company, Cycropia Aerial Dance, Peach Pies Caburlesque, DJ Wyatt Agard and Miss Tamale.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
This 21-year-old student from Gary, Ind., layers party-ready raps atop lush melodies by indie bands like Phoenix and the Antlers. Recently signed to Freddie Gibbs' Str8 Slammin' label, he'll test-drive material from a new mixtape at this show. With 3rd Dimension.
Frequency, 9 pm
Savor this Nashville sextet's sweet Southern folk-rock in a small venue before they perform with Garrison Keillor at Overture Center on Saturday. With the Eastern Sea.
Saturday 1.26 NOTEWORTHY: U.S. Congress establishes Rocky Mountain National Park, 1915.
Wilmar Center, 6 pm
This variety show benefits Madison Action for Mining Alternatives, which is supporting the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe in their fight against the state Legislature's proposed mining bill. It features dinner, belly dancing and music by Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars and others.
UW Union South-Varsity Hall, 6:30 pm
The annual charitable event creates a Hawaiian oasis amid the January chill to raise funds for UW epilepsy research. Expect tropical food and music, plus leis galore.
Frequency, 7 pm
Though this trio's tunes are best known in the Christian music community, singer Leigh Nash's voice sounds heavenly no matter what spiritual tradition you embrace. Expect to hear their '90s hits -- "Kiss Me" from the movie She's All That and a dreamy cover of the La's "There She Goes" -- as well as some new material. With Ikarus Down.
Redamte Coffee House, 8 pm
This Aussie singer-songwriter infuses country songs with hints of blues and psychedelia. Last spring, No Depression dubbed his latest LP, Work of Fiction, "a seamless work of art." With Aaron Schauer and Blair Clark.
My Buddies Bar, 8 pm
Even if the temperature outside dips below zero, prepare to shed a few layers of clothing if this R&B singer performs his steamy 1996 hit "Pony," which has experienced a second wave of popularity thanks to a sample on Rihanna's Unapologetic. With Boo Veli, Ray Nitti and DJs Craig McNeal, Vicious Vega and Speakerboxx.
Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm
In addition to toting their blend of bluegrass and alt-country to high-profile fests like Bonnaroo and Coachella, these musical Minnesotans have carried their latest album, Stars and Satellites, to number 32 on the Billboard 200 chart. With Carl Broemel and Brown Bird.
Overture Hall, 9 pm
Lake Wobegon fans, rejoice! The afternoon show may be sold out, but they've added a late-night version, so you won't have to miss one second of Garrison Keillor, the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, sound effects man Fred Newman and the motley crew of Lake Wobegonites. With special guests the Krause Family Band.
UW Union South Sett, 10 pm
Though he got his start on Washington, D.C.'s hardcore scene, and then in raucous dance-punk band Miami, this NYC tastemaker has shifted his focus to electronica, building intricate soundscapes with sliced and diced techno and house music. Visual artist Aurora Halal will tickle the crowd's synapses with a series of trippy projections. With Lies and Tolerance.
NOTEWORTHY: Western Union discontinues telegram service, 2006.
Overture Center, noon
Overture stages its free, wonderful annual event, which celebrates Madison's diverse cultures with food, a craft bazaar and performances that represent world traditions. Local acts range from the Taiwan Puppet Troupe to the Cajun Strangers to the UW Russian Folk Orchestra to the Swiss Alphorn Group, and an art exhibit will feature work from Madison's six sister cities. At 6 pm, pianist Stefano Guerisi from Madison's sister city of Mantova, Italy, will perform original compositions in a free Capitol Theater concert.
Sheraton Hotel, 2:30 pm
This AIDS Network benefit features bingo, celebrity callers and (taking it delightfully over the top) a pirate theme.
Majestic Theatre, 6 pm
Join emcee Ruth Conniff at this Planned Parenthood fundraiser commemorating the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. In addition to readings by Wisconsin writers about access to reproductive, sexual and abortion care, there's music by Anna Vogelzang and Corey Hart.