Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: Simon & Schuster publishes first crossword puzzle book, 1924.
Multiple venues, through April 25. linebreaks.wisc.edu
UW Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives' eighth annual conference about hip-hop culture, spoken word and urban theater features national artists and First Wave students alike. Highlights include nightly presentations at Overture Center's Promenade Hall, such as a Friday night performance of The Miseducation of Mil Chet by Nakila Robinson and Ashley Street.
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, 2001 Taft St. 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, 2 & 7:30 pm
Cycropia Aerial Dance, a local circus arts troupe, will defy gravity with mesmerizing blend of movements featuring ladders and low-flying trapezes.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, First Unitarian Society Auditorium, 7:30 pm
The local chamber ensemble joins the Madison Choral Project for a performance of Mass in B minor, the epic liturgical work Bach completed at the end of his life.
UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, 7:30 pm, Sunday, 2 pm, and Wednesday & Thursday, 7:30 pm (April 19 & 23-24). Through May 3
Shakespeare's historical play gets even more dramatic as University Theatre adds elements of traditional Japanese kabuki, including dance-driven storytelling to levitating actors. (See Theater.)
Bartell Theatre-Drury Stage, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday and Thursday, 7:30 pm (April 19 & 24). Through May 3
Madison Theatre Guild caters to short attention spans with short plays such as Tennessee Williams' A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot and Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables.
Bartell Theatre-Evjue Stage, 8 pm. Also Saturday, 4 & 8 pm, and Thursday, 7:30 pm (April 17, 18 and 24)
The Bricks Theatre stages the world premiere of this work by local playwright Sam D. White, which was part of Forward Theater Company's New Play Development Series in 2012. A mysterious figure appears at a ramshackle military station in Antarctica, creating a perplexing situation for the soldiers stationed there.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
Performing traditional Chinese acrobatics influenced by modern dance, this act features spectacular costumes and elaborate stunts.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This Denver indie act has a brooding country vibe. "Don't Get Too Close," a standout track from 2013's Falling Faster Than You Can Run, is a good introduction.
Various locations, all day, recordstoreday.com
The annual celebration of independent record shops features exclusive online releases, in-store events and prize giveaways. Many local establishments, including B-Side Records, MadCity Music Exchange and Strictly Discs, will open early, and there will be performances by tons of top-notch local acts, including Matt Joyce (MadCity Music Exchange, 1 pm) and Building on Buildings (Bandung, 2 pm).
Capitol Square, 6 am-2 pm. Also Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Wednesday, 8:30 am-2 pm
The smiling man in the beehive hat, hot cheese bread from Stella's and veggies from local farms await at the first outdoor market of the season. Hoping to avoid the Capitol Square crunch? Hit the smaller downtown market on Wednesday for many of the same items.
Evolution Arts Collective Gallery, 2 pm
This Earth Day bash and fundraiser for the Bad River Legal Defense Fund will kick off with a "Water Is Life" puppet show. UW professor Patty Loew will then screen a documentary film at 3 pm, and a Solidarity Sing-Along will commence at 3:30 pm. Live music by Bonobo Secret Handshake and Thistle & Thorns will follow in the evening, beginning at 9 pm.
Brink Lounge, 6 pm
April 20 technically isn't until Sunday, but the organizers of this music-centric event may be celebrating weed in a different way at that time. The Yokanizu Project, the Material Boys, and Kwame Bediako & Kwamekaze will perform to benefit two advocacy groups: the Ben Masel Project and Madison NORML.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
This South African afro-pop act, led by award-winning musician and anthropologist Johnny Clegg, is perhaps best known for the song "Scatterlings of Africa," which was featured in the film Rain Man. With Jesse Clegg.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Known for their slamming metal songs, this Italian band have toured the world with the likes of Megadeth. Interesting trivia: Lead singer Andrea Ferro worked for a skateboarding magazine for 10 years and considered going pro as a skateboarder before turning to hard rock. With Eve to Adam, Kyng and Cilver.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
This artist's delightfully unusual analog techno has earned accolades from XLR8R recently, but our favorite praise comes from Resident Advisor, which highlights his latest record's "sharp bursts of obscenity directed at confused dancers." With DJ Tolerance.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
This alt-rock act will appeal to fans of Against Me! and Mother Mother. Be sure to add "Nickel and Dime," from 2011's Lightning Bug, to your pre-show playlist.
Frequency, 9 pm
Fusing rock, jazz, funk and electronica, Particle are a late-night fixture at Bonnaroo and have performed with former members of the Grateful Dead. With Freekbass and Flowpoetry.
Jolly Bob's, 10 p.m.
Knuckles, a DJ and record producer who popularized house music in Chicago in the 1980s, passed away in late March, but he'll likely be known as the Godfather of House for decades to come. Saunders, a fellow Chicago house pioneer known for the 1984 single "On & On," will celebrate Knuckles' legacy with dance tracks that blazed a trail for scores of electronic musicians. With DJs Lovecraft and Wyatt Agard.
Segredo, 10 pm
These twin house DJs created a remix of Adele's "Someone Like You" that's received more than a million YouTube views. With Tagrm and Slam Dunk Champion.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. Congress passes act creating Wisconsin Territory, 1836.
NOTEWORTHY: Rollie Fingers of Milwaukee Brewers becomes first Major League Baseball pitcher to record 300 saves, 1982.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
This American hard rock band formed as Yesterday & Today in the '70s and are known for hits like "Meanstreak." With Autumn Grey.
Frequency, 9 pm
This North Carolina group's gorgeous orchestral indie pop really does sound like being lost in the trees, and it also recalls some of Belle & Sebastian's most charming material. With All Tiny Creatures.
Monona Terrace, 9am-5pm
Rosario Dawson is best known as a Hollywood actress, but she's also the spokeswoman for the Environmental Media Association. She will deliver the keynote address at this event hosted by the UW's environmental studies institute, which also features events with sci-fi author China Mieville, Breakthrough Institute fellow Erle Ellis and other notables.
Bartell Theatre-Evjue Stage, 7:30 pm. Through April 25
Eight local guys spill their guts about love and lust, telling stories that range from heartbreaking to side-splitting.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
This killer funk act won an international battle of the bands in Macau, China, in 2009, and has been building momentum ever since. Listen to their song "Dr. Funk" to see why.
Frequency, 9 pm
This Iowa act name Stereolab and Philip Glass as two of the main influences for their psychedelic, multi-instrumental pop. With Oh My Love, Oedipus Tex and Asumaya.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Combining brains and bawdiness, the 23-year-old artist writes bold country tunes about alcohol, soul searching and love gone wrong. Her latest album, Somewhere Else, takes her into rock and pop territory as well. (See Tour Stop.) With Rodeo Bums.
NOTEWORTHY: Winston Churchill knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, 1953.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 7 pm
Hear several of the stories behind Madison Opera's production of Dead Man Walking, the day before it opens, at a free talk. Prejean, the nun who wrote the book that inspired the opera, will discuss her experiences working with death-row inmates, and Heggie will discuss how he approached her story of spiritual transformation. And excerpt of the opera will be performed. (See Classical Music.)
UW Elvehjem Building, 7:30 pm
In a lecture titled "Sushi, Otters and Mermaids," the Princeton University professor discusses the relationships among food, race and anthropology, using David Wong Louie's short story "Bottles of Beaujolais" as a starting point.
UW Union South's Varsity Hall, 7:30 pm
The creator of politically charged movies like Natural Born Killers joins the director of American University's Nuclear Studies Institute for a Distinguished Lecture Series lecture that's bound to provoke some heated arguments about war policy and the ever-present tension between freedom and security.
Segredo, 9 pm
This progressive house DJ is known for excellent mashups, including "Back to New." But he's also a philanthropist, donating the proceeds from this track to Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools in developing countries. With Antics.
Edited by the Broken Centipede