The Amazing Acro-Cats
Halloween season is here, and sights scary and strange are to be found this weekend with the opening of Horror in the Dark at Olin Park and the return of the Amazing Acro-Cats. The calendar also includes: the Legends of the Fall book reading; productions of The Opiate of the Missus; shows by Jin-Wen Yu Dance and Dance Wisconsin; a Chad Michaels drag show; performances by the MSO, Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, and The Dream Songs Project; the Dayglow: Life in Color party and a Women Rock for the Cure concert; and, more live music from Lucy Kaplansky, tobyMac, Chris Pickering with Lachlan Bryan, Tia Fuller, Keller Williams, Rasputina, Neil Halstead, the Tuttles, Huey Mack, The Jezabels, Howard Alden and Andy Brown, Big Freedia, White Arrows, and Louis Logic.
NOTEWORTHY: First Oktoberfest is held to celebrate marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, 1810.
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
Kaplansky shocked her friends and family by turning down college to become a folksinger, then shocked music-industry execs by turning down a record deal to become a psychologist. She'll prove that music is her number-one passion when she performs selections from her 2012 album, Reunion. With Corey Hart.
Olin Park, 7-10 pm. Also Saturday, Oct. 13, 7-10 pm; through Oct. 31
The West Madison Jaycees open their annual haunted house, with proceeds benefiting the Road Home's program for homeless families. Scream real loud for charity!
Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 7 pm
As a member of DC Talk, this artist became one of the world's first Christian rappers, then transitioned into a solo career that spans rock, pop and Jamaican music. With Jamie Grace and Chris August.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Oct. 13 & 14
Conductor John DeMain explores masterworks by Berlioz, Bartók and Brahms, including the latter's awe-inspiring Fourth Symphony. Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2 features rising star James Ehnes.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, Oct. 13 & 18, 7:30 pm
Mercury Players Theatre presents Doug Reed's original comedy about a McCarthy-era anti-Communist politician whose wife hears the voice of God.
UW Lathrop Hall's H'Doubler Performance Space, 8 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, Oct. 11 & 13, 8 pm
Yu celebrates his return from a year's sabbatical with a show called Empty Orchestra. The title piece uses karaoke as a theme, featuring live music. There will also be a solo set on Yu by New York choreographer Danielle Russo, and a solo set on Collette Stewart by Kate Corby.
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 8 pm
This interactive show for 17-and-up combines DJs, aerial acts, stilt-walkers, contortionists and, yes, paint. Paint cannons blast party-goers with vivid colors (wear white if you can) while performers roam the crowd, and giant LED screens light up the Exhibition Hall.
Redamte Coffee House, 8 pm
Two singer-songwriters from Down Under will deliver a laid-back acoustic performance at the State Street cafe turned living room. Dubbed "country Badfinger" by No Depression, Pickering should wow the crowd with some juicy pop hooks. With Oedipus Tex.
UW Union South Sett, 8 & 10 pm
Though she's influenced by jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, this fiery sax player has also toured the world with pop stars such as Beyoncé (see Music.
Badger Bowl, 8 pm
Kristy Osmunson of the Nashville country duo Bomshel will join Wisconsin acts Main Street Wisdom and Wicked Lily to raise money for the Komen Foundation's cancer-research and education programs.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Deemed "a one-man jam band" by AllMusic.com, this prolific singer, songwriter and guitarist has toured with the likes of Umphrey's McGee and released an impressive 18 solo albums since 1994. This tour zeroes in on Pick, a new album recorded with the Travelin' McCourys.
Frequency, 9 pm
This cello-wielding trio of Victoriana enthusiasts has helped several talented players cut their teeth, including solo artist Zoë Keating and Antony & the Johnsons' Julia Kent. See how the current lineup fares at a small-venue show. With Faun Fables.
NOTEWORTHY: Cornerstone of White House laid in Washington, D.C., 1792.
Booked for Murder, 10:15 am-3:15 pm
Fifteen authors participate in this celebration of regional mystery fiction, including Marshall Cook, Michael Black and Sarah Wisseman. Expect five hours of murder and mayhem.
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
The stunning songwriter from Slowdive and Mojave 3 is equally comfortable in the worlds of dream pop and country-tinged balladry (see Tour Stop). With Jim Hanft & Samantha Yonack.
Mitby Theater at Madison College-Truax, 7:30 pm
The annual "New Works" concert has a tie-in to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and features a guest dancer from Milwaukee Ballet (see Dance).
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Bluegrass is a family affair for the Tuttles, a trio of Bay Area musicians who excel at guitar strumming and banjo picking. The star of the group is Molly, a consummate singer and lyricist.
Gates of Heaven, 8 pm
Works by Vivaldi, Monteverdi and Lully will be performed on period instruments at this chamber concert in the beautiful synagogue at James Madison Park.
Plan B, 9 pm
The catty but classy runner-up from season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race will morph into a witty, believable facsimile of Cher.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
October seems to be frat-rap month here in Madison. Get to know this up-and-comer's rhymes at a free show before the genre's undisputed star, Mac Miller, performs at Freakfest Oct. 27.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Rock, pop, disco and more converge in this Aussie band's songs, which have graced the CMJ Top 200 chart and the Coachella music festival. With Yukon Blonde.
NOTEWORTHY: A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh published, 1926.
Stoughton Opera House, 1 & 4 pm
It's just what it sounds like: A troupe of amazing Chicago kitties perform acrobatic feats, such as riding skateboards and rolling barrels. Plus: a cat rock band!
Coliseum Bar, 1 pm
In addition to landing on DownBeat's "Top 75 Guitarists" list, New York's Alden strummed for Sweet and Lowdown, Woody Allen's 1999 comedy about a troubled jazz guitarist. His collaborations with Brown, a Chicago-based swing guitarist, have earned accolades from the Chicago Tribune.
First Unitarian Society, 2 pm
Mezzo-soprano Alyssa Anderson and classical guitarist Joseph Spoelstra will perform Argento's Letters from Composers, Rodrigo's Three Spanish Songs and some European songs from the 19th century.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
This sassy gender-bender is one of the country's leading purveyors of bounce, a blend of hip-hop and dance beats that inspires some dirty, dirty dancing when performed live. With MrHorror.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This L.A. quintet explores world music through an indie-rock lens, earning buzz from tastemakers such as MTV and Stereogum. With Family of the Year and New Cassettes.
Dragonfly Lounge, 9 pm
Though this underground hip-hop MC has crafted a stage persona that's drunken and foolish, his wit is sharp, his rhymes are clever, and his message is rife with smart social commentary. With Ceschi, Milo and Moodie Black.