Madison Food and Wine Show
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 5-9 pm. Also Saturday (noon-7 pm) & Sunday (noon- 4 pm), Oct. 20 & 21
Madison Magazine hosts this gustatory extravaganza, which features exhibitors, a chocolate tasting and a locally grown Wisconsin breakfast.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Oct. 20 & 21
John DeMain conducts the all-Romantic program, which includes Hector Berlioz's extroverted overture to Benvenuto Cellini and Brahms' "Symphony No. 1," the latter chosen in the MSO's first "audience choice" poll. British cellist Steven Isserlis, a Schumann scholar, should shed new light on the master's introspective "Cello Concerto."
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The WCO's annual Halloween concerts are the perfect combination of spooky and kooky, musical and magical. Bring the kids for a night of costumes and mood music.
On the Razzle
Mitchell Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Wednesday & Thursday, Oct. 19, 24 & 25, 7:30 pm
The University Theatre presents Tom Stoppard's verbally dexterous comedy about two Viennese shopkeepers who go AWOL for a night on the town.
Tim Marszalkowski and Dobie Maxwell
Westgate Art Cinemas, 7:30 & 9:45 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (7:30 & 9:45 pm), Oct. 18 & 20
The seasoned standup comedians help Westgate inaugurate its live comedy series.
Chazen Museum of Art, 7:30 pm
The leftist thinker appears as part of the Center for the Humanities' "Legacies of Al-Andalus," focusing on the kingdom on the Spanish Peninsula that contained communities of Muslims, Jews and Christians (800-1492). Ali wonders: "What If Al-Andalus Had Survived?"
Jin-Wen Yu Dance
UW Lathrop Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, Oct. 18 & 20, 8 pm
The UW's Yu celebrates 10 years of dancing in Madison with a concert of old and new work, blending Chinese opera dance, ballet, tai chi and modern dance.
King Club, 9 pm
Curfman began her musical life as a rather mechanical blues guitar wunderkind, but she's grown into a polished blues-based rocker.
Annex, 10 pm
The rapper heads up a full night of hip-hop that also features big-voiced singer Felicia Alima.
Sweet Street Halloween Celebration
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 9 am-5 pm
You can take your little wizard or hobo to this family-friendly event, which offers an alternative to trick-or-treating with games, magicians and (duh) candy.
Madison New Play Festival
Overture Center's Playhouse, through Oct. 27
The first weekend's worth of staged readings include Kurt McGinnis Brown's Accent Adiós (Oct. 20, 2 pm), about a self-destructive former basketball player; Thomas Gibbons' The Journey to Sakhalin (Oct. 20, 7 pm), about Anton Chekhov's journey to a Siberian penal colony; and Kirsten Greenidge's The Curious Walk of the Salamander (Oct. 21, 2 pm), about a therapy patient reluctant to talk about her family's past.
Barnes & Noble West, 2 pm. Also Sunday, Oct. 21, A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The former member of the Weathermen discusses her book Flying Close to the Sun, in which she reflects on the radical Vietnam-era group's ideals and failures.
Florence, Rome and Beyond
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 8 pm
UW School of Music faculty offer the first of three chamber-music concerts that focus on European capitals, including challenging avant-garde works by Lucio Berio and his contemporaries.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
They may be without Jason Isbell these days, but the Truckers remain A-listers when it comes to tooling through twangy Southern rock. They're joined by Muscle Shoals songwriter and keyboardist Spooner Oldham.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The Australian guitarist uses an astonishingly fluid finger-style approach. He may not be the best guitar player in the world, but he's definitely in the running for the title.
High on Fire
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The high-decibel death worshipers are a must for stoner fans of all ages. Brain-rattler of the week.
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 9:30 pm
State Radio's politically aware lyrics, dance-happy reggae beats and punk/pop hooks offer something for just about everybody. Except maybe the local chapter of the College Republicans.
Halloween at the Zoo
10 am-4 pm
Trick-or-treaters come in costume, making this the one day of the year when animals will stare at the people.
Traveling Lantern Theatre Company
Waisman Center, 1 & 3 pm
The San Diego troupe presents The Hobbit for discerning Tolkien fans in the K-8 range.
John Jorgenson Quintet
Brink Lounge, 5 pm
Jorgenson's peers view the onetime Elton John guitarist as the best Gypsy jazz picker around.
Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 7 pm
With a new greatest-hits package just out, you gotta figure the country songbird is happy that her music is finally overshadowing her tabloid-ready divorce.
The Jack & Jim Show
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black and guitar/banjo magician Eugene Chadbourne make up this furiously creative duo.
Cafe Montmartre, 8 pm
The indie folk-rocker collected a spate of positive reviews for the confessional Over the Mountain, Across the Valley, and Back to the Stars. Sometimes she sounds like she's carrying the weight of the world on her narrow shoulders.
Uz Jsme Doma
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
These veteran Czech prog rockers aren't afraid to upend audiences' expectations with dissonance or aggressive shifts in dynamics. You never know what they're going to give you next.