Sundance Cinemas 608
The new venue is the first in Robert Redford's national chain of arthouse cinemas, showing independent films in a setting that makes you want to stay and talk about them.
Spring Into Jazz
Monona Terrace, 6 pm
The annual benefit for the Urban League of Greater Madison features awards, a farewell to LaMarr Billups, and music by the Hanah Jon Taylor Artet.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), May 12 & 13
The MSO closes a fabulous season with guest pianist Christopher Taylor, the UW phenom. He'll perform George Gershwin's jazzy, rowdy "Concerto in F." Then the orchestra, the Madison Symphony Chorus, the Madison Youth Choirs and soloists perform Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," the popular 20th-century cantata based on medieval poems. Emil de Cou of the National Symphony Orchestra is the guest conductor; and the local artists' collective artsTRIBE exhibits works inspired by "Carmina Burana" in Overture's first-floor community gallery.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (4 & 8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), May 10, 12 & 13 Madison Repertory Theatre presents Samm-Art Williams' story of an African American farmer during the turbulent years from the late '50s to the late '70s. UW professor Patrick Sims plays him as a garrulous charmer who is shaken to the core when his life doesn't unfold as planned.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, May 10 & 12, 7:30 pm
The gay theater group is filled with teenagers determined to make the world a more tolerant place. This event features their original drama, music, poetry and dance.
The House of Tomorrow
Common Wealth Gallery, through May 13. Reception: 8-10 pm You've seen Nathan Meltz's posters on local kiosks, advertising bands in his Wisconsin Pop Explosion collective. This exhibition features his screen-printed collages of ominous technology. The Takebacks and Meltz's the Nervous System perform at the opening.
A Very K-Tel Prom
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The Gomers take you back to your 1970s prom, with period tunes, a celebrity prom court, a disco ball, and prizes for best prom dress and tux. Odds are very good they'll play "Colour My World."
Crustacean Records Showcase
Inferno, 10 pm. Also Saturday, May 12, Crystal Corner Bar, 10 pm
The local label shows the breadth and depth of its regional stable on Friday (the Gusto, Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Drunk Drivers) and Saturday (Mad Trucker Gone Mad, the Skintones, Droids Attack).
Bike to Work Week
Through May 18
Step off the gas and onto the bike path, starting with Saturday's Art Bike Parade (11 am) around the Capitol Square. Events continue throughout the week; see www.bfw.org for more info.
Cars on State
State Street, 10 am-3 pm
The inaugural show lines State Street with classic cars, from vintage Model T's to T-Birds to Cadillacs. If we get to hear one of those ah-OOO-ga horns, we'll die happy.
The Frog Bride
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 1 pm
In this children's production, storyteller David Gonzalez performs his own version of a classic Russian tale: A king's son is sent out to find a bride and returns with a frog. The production features video projections, images by Vassily Kandinsky, and a score featuring Prokofiev and original jazz.
Wis-Kino Spring 48-Hour Kabaret
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 7 pm
The local filmmaking collaborative screens low-cost movies made in the past 48 hours according to Kino's idiosyncratic guidelines. Each is under five minutes and includes a "special ingredient" that was announced on Thursday.
Rabid Badger Theatre Company
Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts, 7 pm
The local sketch-comedy troupe presents a show called "Kumquats for Bambi." Who can resist a title like that?
Madison Area Concert Handbells
Mitby Theater at MATC-Truax, 7:30 pm
You wouldn't believe what this ensemble can do with a set of handbells and chimes. The 10th anniversary concert jingles through Bach's "Toccata in D Minor," Gilbert and Sullivan songs, and other favorites.
Madison Area Music Awards
Barrymore Theater, 8 pm. Pre-show party: Brink Lounge, 5-7 pm. Red carpet: 6:30 pm. After party: Barrymore, 11 pm
Local musicians always find a place on their calendar for the MAMAs, which features performances by the Midwesterners, Yid Vicious, Clear Blue Betty and others. Sure, it's an awards show, and it's great that it singles out hard-working Madison artists for their achievements. But one of the best things about the MAMAs is that it gives country gents, indie kids, hip-hop hopefuls and choir directors an opportunity to come together in the same venue.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The king of the surf guitar really needs no introduction. If they let him, the irrepressible Dale (who also brought distortion to the rock 'n' roll game) will vibrate the foundations well into the wee hours. The Waterdogs and the Last Town Chorus open.
The Bean, 6:30 pm
The nu metal band scored with their 2001 major-label debut, Through the Eyes, slipped with the followup, Endangered Species, and then broke up. They're back for another go, supported by Switched, Marc Rizzo and Silence Is Broken.
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7:30 pm
The chamber ensemble plays a concert in association with the exhibition "Wisconsi's People on the Land" (Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center, through May 20). The exhibition explores Wisconsin farmers and rural communities, and Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society responds with a program of rural-themed music. It includes the premiere of "The Wick of the Land" by rural sociologist Michael Bell.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The second half of the High Noon's rock-history weekend belongs to the elemental Queen of Rockabilly. Jackson's unbound 1950s versions of "Mean Mean Man" and "Let's Have a Party" were as wicked as the music got. The Lustre Kings open.