March is ending, spring is finally arriving, and Madison is coming alive this holiday weekend with all manner of arts, including performances by Cycropia Aerial Dance, the Majestique! variety show, a Protest Polka Party with the Forward! Marching Band, the Word is Bond Poetry Slam, and the Fela!Bration dance party. The calendar also includes: an Easter egg hunt; the Drawings from the Joseph McCrindle Collection exhibit at the Chazen; a talk by Bernad Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne; a production of Lobby Hero; a Second Harvest Foodbank benefit concert; and, more live music from Lou & Peter Berryman, Jesse Saunders, Har Mar Superstar, Sincere Life, Bobby Long, Sexy Ester, Family Groove Company, Bryan Lee, Cash Box Kings, Paranoid Social Club, Sky Ferreira with How To Dress Well, and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.
NOTEWORTHY: Republic of Ireland becomes first country to ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, 2004.
Chazen Museum of Art, through May 26
This exhibition features more than 150 English, Italian and French drawings from the 16th through the 20th centuries, exploring the way styles transform from one generation to another.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 7 pm
Monetary expert Bernard Lietaer and journalist Jacqui Dunne discuss their book Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn ScarcityIinto Prosperity. It's a critique of the monetary system that advocates "cooperative currencies."
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, 2001 Taft St., 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, March 30, 2 & 7:30 pm
The local troupe presents a show of aerial artistry, taking modern dance techniques airborne on low-flying trapezes and other apparatus. The performance is named for a kind of moth: Saturniidae.
Brink Lounge, 7:30 pm
The local folkies will perform two sets of tunes from 1977-1986, the years they called Club de Wash their stomping grounds.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday, March 29 (7:30), Saturday, March 30 (4 & 8 pm) & Thursday, April 4 (7:30 pm)
Strollers Theatre presents Kenneth Lonergan's philosophical comedy-drama about a Manhattan doorman, the cop he loves, and the other cop she loves. The New York Times hailed it as the best play of the century to date.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Help feed hungry families in a novel way: with hearty servings of tunes by the Lucas Cates Band, Compass Rose and Villains Company.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The TGIF variety show dips into burlesque and vaudeville with racy performances by Dead Man's Carnival, Peach Pies Caburlesque and Ashar Dance Co. You will be entertained.
Cardinal Bar, 9 pm
Many DJs and music historians say Saunders invented house music when he released his groundbreaking 1984 single "On & On." He also helped make Chicago a hotspot of the genre and transformed turntable wizardry into a bona fide art form. Pay your respects at this small-venue show featuring DJs Wyatt Agard, JP Blanchet and T. Rux.
Frequency, 9 pm
Though he has penned songs for celebs such as J-Lo, this R&B-loving crooner doesn't really fit the "singer-songwriter" mold, opting instead for a libidinous act that's earned him gigs with Tenacious D and the Strokes. Enjoy tunes from his forthcoming album, Bye Bye 17, at this show. With the Virgins.
NOTEWORTHY: United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2 cents per acre, 1867.
Great Dane-Eastside, 10:45 am
Bring your own basket to this free event where kids trade the eggs they gather for prizes such as candy and stickers. After the outdoor fun, head inside the restaurant to search for the bunny himself.
Capitol Rotunda, noon
This lively group of democracy-seekers say they know who stole the kishka. Fill the Capitol with zany, old-world dance moves to urge the culprit to explain himself.
B-Side Records, 2 pm
The local hip-hop artist will show off his new EP, Write of Passage, at a three-hour meet-and-greet.
Urban League of Greater Madison, 7 pm
The Word Is Bond Poetry Slam aims to provide a welcoming environment for spoken-word artists. This week, the top winners compete for a spot in the National Poetry Slam.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
After trading London for NYC, the British singer-songwriter recorded Wishbone, a new album that reflects some of the lessons he's learned during the transition. (See Tour Stop.) With Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
DJ Phil Money and WORT's PanAfrica program will honor Fela Kuti's legacy with an Afrobeat dance party featuring live djembe and conga beats by the Afrofunkstars.
Inferno, 9 pm
Get to know Monomania, the latest vehicle for local singer Lyndsay Evans' powerful vocals, at this album-release party (see Music). With Baristacide and Tiger Clutch.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The Chicago quartet nod to artists like Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan and Medeski Martin & Wood during their energetic onstage jams. With Ifdakar and Intelescope.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
This blind musician from Two Rivers, Wis., fell in love with the blues while listening to Nashville radio stations late at night in the 1950s. His career gained momentum in the 1980s, when Muddy Waters predicted he'd become a "living legend" if he kept practicing and touring. Since then, Lee has nabbed a Grammy nomination, several gigs on national TV and a performance at B.B. King's 80th-birthday bash.
Crystal Corner Bar, 10 pm
Though most of their members are based in Madison, the Cash Box Kings devote themselves to Chicago blues. Get acquainted with their new album, Back Toppin', at this show.
Rigby, 10 pm
This four-piece from Portland, Ore., have earned a thumbs-up from the Boston Phoenix for their blend of indie rock, punk and modern psychedelia. With Owls Foxes & Sebastian.
NOTEWORTHY: Eiffel Tower opens in Paris, 1889.
Frequency, 8 pm
Ferreira, a 20-year-old model-actress, is easy on the eyes, but she's not just another pretty face. The New York Times dubbed her synthpop single "Everything Is Embarrassing" an unexpected highlight of 2012, and she teamed up with Garbage's Shirley Manson to create I'm Not Alright, her Blondie-inspired debut LP. Meanwhile, ethereal pop and R&B artist How to Dress Well has earned kudos from Paste and NME for his ghostly sophomore album, Total Loss. With High Highs.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
The San Francisco alt-folk group return to Madison with We the Common, which PopMatters has praised for its " bigger, more vibrant sound" and "co-op-like approach to music making." With Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside.