It's a fairly quiet mid-winter week, but there are a few good reasons to go out on the town. The calendar includes: a touring Rent production; a Doctors Without Borders benefit for Haiti; more live music by Pentagram, Koo Koo Kangaroo, and The Bloodsugars; and, a book reading by Bob McChesney and John Nichols.
NOTEWORTHY: Legendary San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen dies, 1997.
BIRTHDAYS: Fine Young Cannibals guitarist Andy Cox, 1956; chart-topping singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, 1981.
NOTEWORTHY: Packers beat New England 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI, 1997.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, 1955; dancing talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, 1958.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, Jan. 27 & 28, 7:30 pm
The acclaimed Broadway musical about life and love in the gritty city returns to the Madison stage in a touring production. Just try to leave the theater not singing "La Vie Boheme." Just try. Because you can't.
Cardinal Bar, 8 pm
This benefit for stricken Haitians features music of Bonobo Secret Handshake, Aniv de la Rev, V05 and DJ Trini.
NOTEWORTHY: Michael Jackson's hair catches fire during production of Pepsi commercial, 1984.
BIRTHDAYS: Third-generation actress Bridget Fonda, 1964; Faith No More singer Mike Patton, 1968.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
The D.C.-area doom-metal band has been around, on and off, for almost 40 years, much longer than the genre itself has been on most people's radars. Though they haven't released a new album in almost six years, the band and their mind-blowing live shows will be the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary film called Last Rites: The Fall and Rise of Bobby Liebling. With the Gates of Slumber and Morbid Tales.
NOTEWORTHY: Space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after launch, 1986.
BIRTHDAYS: Ballet great/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, 1948; writer/comedian Mo Rocca, 1969.
Goodman Community Center, 7 pm
McChesney, the University of Illinois communications professor, joins progressive journalist Nichols to discuss their book The Death & Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again. As journalists ourselves, we're all ears.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
The Twin Cities duo's act is part music and part comedy, but mostly it's a chance to dance like Madonna and M.J. while celebrating your favorite animals and colors, grade school-style. With Shane Shane.
Frequency, 10 pm
The up-and-coming Brooklyn, N.Y., garage-rock-meets-synthpop quartet visits Madison to share the sweet sounds of their 2009 album I Can't Go On, I'll Go On. With Miles Nielsen and Anna Wang & the Oh Boys.