An extraordinary string of spring weekends continues with the opening of Madison Craft Beer Week, Gallery Night, the Mifflin Street Block Party, Madison Muse Fest, the Wunk Sheek Spring Pow Wow, and the Mad Rollin' Dolls season championship. The calendar also includes: a live appearance by Red Green; a talk by Rick Bass; productions of Take Care, Beyond, Up (The Man in the Flying Chair), The Addams Family, Becky Shaw, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and The Reluctant Dragon; performances by Tony Rice Unit, Leahy, and Peter Serkin; an '80s vs. '90s: Madonna party; and, more live music from Carolina Chocolate Drops, Kina Grannis, Alcoholic Faith Mission, R.A.S. Movement, Leon Redbone, William Beckett, Neon Indian, Knuckel Drager, and Theory of a Deadman; and, a Cheddar Revolution release party.
NOTEWORTHY: Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum addition opens, 2001.
Through May 13
This celebration of sublime suds unfolds at more than 50 beer hangouts around town, with dinners, classes, tastings and more. Visit Take Care
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 10:30 am & 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (10:30 am), Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), May 3, 5 & 6
TAPIT/New Works Ensemble Theatre presents a new play about taking care of the elderly. The production incorporates original music, video and dance.
The semiannual showcase for Madison's visual-arts scene includes special events at 50 galleries, museums and businesses, among them demonstrations and artist receptions. Highlights include paintings by Jean Crane and Francisco X Mora at Grace Chosy Gallery, paintings by Gregg Kreutz at Fanny Garver Gallery, and 19th- and 20th-century bicycle prints at Machinery Row Bicycles.
UW Memorial Union's Fredric March Play Circle, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm), May 3 & 5
The gay theater group is composed of teenagers determined to make the world a more tolerant place. This show features their original drama, music, poetry and dance.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Progressive-bluegrass pioneer Rice is also a consummate performer of traditional Americana and acoustic jazz. He flat-picks a guitar so fast your brain just might shut down.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild stages the play, by Friday Night Lights writer Bridget Carpenter, about a guy who once flew by attaching balloons to a lawn chair. In case you're wondering, the play doesn't have anything to do with that Pixar movie.
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (2 & 8 pm) & Sunday (1 & 6:30 pm), May 3, 5 & 6
This touring Broadway musical features the creepy, kooky family originated by cartoonist Charles Addams in The New Yorker. (See review.)
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday, May 5, 8 pm
Mercury Players Theatre presents this comedy about a disastrous blind date. The playwright is Law & Order writer and producer Gina Gionfriddo.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
This eight-piece of Canadian siblings pairs fiddling with sweet vocals and energetic step dancing as they explore their country's Celtic music tradition.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
The old-time string band have a Grammy and a song on the Hunger Games soundtrack. They resurrect the pre-World War II music that influenced American pop -- minstrel songs, blues, work songs -- and play it brilliantly. With Po' Girl.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Revelers who dress up as Madge gain free admission to this party in her honor, where DJs Nick Nice and Mike Carlson will slather the crowd in hits like "Ray of Light" and "Like a Virgin."
UW Union South's Sett, 9 pm
Grannis won the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" commercial contest in 2008, which led to a recording contract with Interscope Records. Since then, she's been wowing YouTube viewers with increasingly creative videos, including one for "In Your Arms" that incorporated 288,000 Jelly Belly jellybeans, animated with stop-motion techniques. With Imaginary Friend.
UW Memorial Union's Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This Danish indie band have been garnering buzz from Paste for their new album, Ask Me This, which was recorded by candlelight in a tiny Copenhagen apartment and polished up by Tom McFall, producer of R.E.M. and Weezer. With You Won't.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Led by American Idol finalist Naima Adedapo, this vibrant ensemble spins reggae, dancehall, neo-soul and hip-hop into Afro-Caribbean dance parties. With Tani Diakite & the Afro-Funkstars.
400-500 blocks of Mifflin Street
The annual party began as a political rite back in the Vietnam era and has become just an excuse to have fun. For now. Crime and mayhem marred the festivities last year, and city and UW authorities wish the whole thing would go away (see report).
State Street venues, 1 pm
Local ensemble New Muse specializes in recent classical works performed in unconventional locations, and that's what's going on this afternoon at Sunroom Cafe (1 pm), Fair Trade coffeehouse (2 pm), Nick's Restaurant (3 pm) and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (5 pm), as ensemble members perform works by Laura Schwendinger, Robert Honstein and others. Dance, spoken-word and other performances round out the programs.
UW Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center, 1 pm
The annual celebration of Native American culture features music, a traditional feast and dancers in full regalia.
Overture Center's Playhouse, 6:30 pm. Also Sunday, May 6, 6:30 pm
Children's Theater of Madison reprises its 2010 adaptation of Kevin Henkes' picture book, complete with the local author's unmistakable wit and whimsy. The self-confident title mouse is one of the most vivid characters in children's literature.
Alliant Energy Center's Coliseum, 6 pm
Another roller derby season draws to a close as the Quad Squad takes on the Unholy Rollers for the league title, while the Vaudeville Vixens and the Reservoir Dolls duke it out for third place.
Barrymore Theatre, 7 pm
It is hoped that you've managed to move on since Canada's droll The Red Green Show -- a U.S. public-television staple -- concluded its run some years back. But if you've still got a jones for gags about fishing and home improvement, get your fix from the live version.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
Piano virtuoso Serkin, an advocate for 20th- and 21st-century composers, plays music of Oliver Knussen, Toru Takemitsu and Charles Wuorinen, as well as something by some guy named Beethoven.
Edgewood College's Anderson Auditorium, 7:30 pm
The Montana environmental writer and activist got some love from the National Book Critics Circle for his autobiography Why I Came West. He reads from his work on Saturday, while wife Elizabeth shows her visual art at Edgewood's De Ricci Gallery (reception Friday, May 4, 5-9 pm).
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Clad in a bowtie, sunglasses and a Panama hat, this singer and guitarist is known for his interpretations of standards from the early 20th century. Applaud hard enough and he might perform the theme song from Mr. Belvedere, which he recorded for the show's debut in 1985 (see Tour Stop).
Redamte Coffee House, 8 pm
The singer of recently disbanded emo-pop band the Academy Is... will perform as a solo act and perhaps, just perhaps, gush about his friendship with Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, with whom he's writing a book. With Cara Salimando.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This indie electronic act made Pitchfork and Spin swoon with its 2009 debut, Psychic Chasms, whose swirl of synths and samples recalls 1980s artists like Hall & Oates. This concert will likely revolve around Era Extraña, the group's 2011 release. With Lemonade.
Frequency, 10 pm
These local purveyors of garage-surf tunes will melt faces with scorching riffage, even as they protect their own faces with fantastically creepy masks. With Daikaiju and the Blowtorches.
NOTEWORTHY: The dirigible Hindenburg explodes, crashes and burns at Lakehurst, N.J., 1937.
High Noon Saloon, 5 pm
A slew of local musicians, plus Milwaukee's Sam Frederick and IfIHadAHiFi, gather to fete the release of Cheddar Revolution, a CD filled with music from the past year's protests of Gov. Scott Walker's agenda. With Ken Lonnquist, the Kissers, VO5, Ida Jo, Scott Wilcox, Borderlands, Whiskey Farm and Tribal Call.
Barrymore Theatre, 6 pm
PlayTime Productions presents a tuneful version of Kenneth Grahame's tale, in which a boy befriends a less-than-menacing dragon.
Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm
On their Self Titled tour, these hard-rocking Canadians are digging into their 2011 release, The Truth Is…, which broke the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. With Pop Evil and Stellar Revival.