Madison's spring arts season hits its peak this week with the opening of the Wisconsin Film Festival and a talk by producer James Schamus. The calendar also includes: a panel discussion titled "Rx for Health Care Reform" and a talk by Deb Pangerl; comedy by Nick Offerman; a performance by Itzhak Perlman; and, more live music from The Ragbirds, Cults, and Excision.
NOTEWORTHY: In Virginia Tech rampage, student Seung-Hui Cho kills 32, wounds 25, 2007.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Erin Zindle possesses some of the most nimble fingers in folk-rock. Whether tickling the ivories, pressing the strings of a fiddle or banging out an African drumbeat, his Ragbirds lead audiences on a journey. With Whiskey Farm.
NOTEWORTHY: Apollo 13 splashes down safely after aborted moon mission, 1970.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
The University of Pennsylvania's Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., leads this panel discussion presented by the Wisconsin Academy. Seems to us the main thing about health care is that all those tests are wasteful, unless they're for Gamma. Then they're not wasteful.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Shaped by 1960s girl groups and turn-of-the-century dream pop, this NYC band's experimental pop has earned accolades from critics at Pitchfork and NME. The two founding members have expanded the lineup as of late, so expect a bigger, bolder sound. With Spectrals and Mrs. Magician.
NOTEWORTHY: Great San Francisco Earthquake, 1906.
The annual movie-lovers' confab features the usual staggering array of films foreign and domestic, scripted and documentary. See the preview on page 12, and check out the schedule at Nick Offerman
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
The Parks and Recreation star, he of the luscious mustache, presents American Ham, an evening of music and comedy.
NOTEWORTHY: 168 die in car-bombing of Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, 1995.
UW Union South, 7:30 pm
At this Distinguished Lecture Series event, Pangerl, director of the Minnesota nonprofit the Image Project, discusses "Changing Lives in Tanzania through the Education of Girls."
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The superstar of classical violin pays a visit. When he's in good form, his sweet, soft-grained sound touches the heart (see Music).
UW Union South Marquee, 7:30 pm
The screenwriter and producer (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain) and Focus Films CEO gives a talk, drawn from his life, called "My Wife Is a Terrorist: Lessons in Storytelling from the Department of Homeland Security."
Barrymore Theatre, 10 pm
This DJ and producer hails from British Columbia, where he splices together drum-n-bass, hip-hop and heavy metal to craft bass-driven party soundtracks that go from wild and aggressive to supremely chilled out. With Liquid Stranger and Lucky Date.