Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War
Verona Public Library, through Jan. 24
The traveling exhibit examines President Abraham Lincoln's constitutional crisis in dealing with slavery, secession and civil liberties during wartime. This week's events include a concert of Civil War music (Thursday, Dec. 5, 7 pm), an opening reception (Saturday, Dec. 7, 9-11 am), and a talk on the Emancipation Proclamation by UW-Baraboo history professor Michael Jacobs (Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 am).
Atwood Avenue at Winnebago Street, 5-9 pm
Got the end-of-the-week blues? Mosey on over to the always-fashionable east side to eat locally, shop locally and celebrate locally. Better?
Revolution Cycles, 6 pm
The Atwood bike shop will host its sixth annual exhibition of affordable, Madison-made art celebrating the bicycle. A portion of the proceeds goes to the local chapter of CORP, a plucky group of bike-trail builders.
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The longtime Wisconsin Public Radio host presents excerpts from Downeast Ledge, his funny and heartfelt novel about tension between locals and summer visitors in a community on Maine's coast.
Bright Red Studios, through Dec. 8. Reception: 6-11 pm
The local artist presents "Building Rooms in a Burning House," 18 works on paper, mixed-media compositions and oil paintings that explore some of humanity's most touching and troubling characteristics. An opening reception will also fill the gallery with live music by guitarist James Wood and confections from Auntie Jill's Cheesecake.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
This benefit for Second Harvest Foodbank features folk-flavored music by local artists Anna Vogelzang, Count This Penny, Dietrich Gosser, PHOX, Whitney Mann, Corey Hart, Paul Otteson and Crane Your Swan Neck. (See Music.)
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Dec. 7 & 8
Soprano Melody Moore, bass Nathan Stark, the Madison Symphony Chorus, the Madison Youth Choirs and the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir are the icing on the gingerbread at the MSO's always-magical celebration of the holiday season. The program includes traditional carols, a sing-along and other festivities led by conductor John DeMain. (See Music.)
Edgewood College Black Box Theatre in the Stream Building, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 pm
Madison's TAPIT/new works teams up with Akron's avant-garde New World Performance Laboratory for two intense one-acts. TAPIT's contribution is a zombie apocalypse, while New World presents a personal take on the Medea myth. (See Theater).
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Jack White was quick to add this artist's mix of string-fueled ragtime, early jazz and multi-instrumental swing to his label, Third Man Records. LaFarge also opened for White's Blunderbuss tour in 2012 and performed on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion in October. With The Tillers.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm), Sunday (3 pm) & Thursday (8 pm), Dec. 7, 8 & 12. Through Dec. 21
The local troupe presents Jan Levine Thal's musical dramedy set a century in the future, when the world population is so large that strangers must live together in overflowing apartments as a deadly virus circulates. The score includes a song by Michael A. Levine, composer of the Kit-Kat jingle.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), Dec. 7 & 12
Strollers Theatre presents a dark comedy by Pulitzer- and Tony-winner Bruce Norris. The object of satire is the hypocrisy of a smug liberal family at Thanksgiving.
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 8 pm
The free concert includes works by UW composer-in-residence Joel Puckett as part of the series Circa Now, focusing on living composers. Puckett's "Southern Comforts" (featuring UW violinist Felicia Moye) and "Avelynn's Lullaby" go up against works by the no-longer-living Holst and Gabrieli.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Vassar has produced eight albums and earned Billboard's Country Songwriter of the Year title. He has also forayed into television and movies, shooting a film this fall. With Familiar Looking Strangers.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), Dec. 7 & 12. Through Dec. 21
StageQ presents a comedy in which food poisoning from a yuletide party reduces a 23-member theater group to three performers, forcing them to play every role in a musical. Brace yourself for extravagant puns and songs nuttier than peanut brittle.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9 pm
The Chicago singer-songwriter often collaborates with his wife, Valerie Anne, to create ambient pop that echoes the work of Sigur Ros and Aimee Mann. With Sara Masterson.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
It's a battle of the vamps at the Frequency this Friday. Sexy Ester, one of the year's most decorated local bands, will serve up a sultry, New Wave-flavored performance. But the highlight of the evening may be Shane Shane, the post-Pons project of Madison expat Shane O'Neill, whose musical performance art in Brooklyn, N.Y., was recently featured on Vice's Noisey blog. With Cowboy Winter and Royal Station.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
This country artist has visited Madison numerous times during his 20-year career. His latest work, Gone Away Backward, is introspective, whimsical and nostalgic. With Nora O'Connor and the Boys.
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
Boris the Sprinkler's Rev. Norb joins Last Sons of Krypton's BradX for a rip-roaring punk show. With Nones, Fire Retarded and Two Left Shoes.
Monona Terrace's Exhibition Hall, 9 am-4 pm
For your living-wage shopping pleasure, this Outside the Bean event features more than 50 vendors and their handcrafted "Gifts with a Story" from Wisconsin and beyond. Bring smiles to your giftees and do good at the same time.
Madison Club, 10:30 am-2 pm
This event has all the whistle stops covered, with high tea, an American Flyer electric train collection, a visit from Frosty and magic shows.
High Noon Saloon, 5 pm
Local bands Icarus Himself, the Jimmys and Earl Foss & the Brown Derby will celebrate the community radio station's 38th year on the air with live rock, blues, country and more. (See Radio.)
Cardinal Bar, 7 pm
There's no better way to honor the Cardinal's 39th anniversary than by dancing the night away. DJs Chamo, Colorao and Rumba provide tunes that play up the bar's Latin flair.
Orpheum Theater, 8 pm
Nashville critic Robert K. Oermann calls Moore "the hillbilly Springsteen." Up All Night, the artist's gritty, country-rock debut, is a must-listen. With Drake White.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
NPR dubbed the band's latest, Shulamith, "nearly perfect." See if it measures up to their moody electronic debut, Give You the Ghost. (See Tour Stop.) With Lizzo.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Darren Sterud brings his orchestra together for a big-band show, and DJ Nick Nice spins '60s records at the Majestic's popular holiday fete honoring Don Draper, Peggy Olson and other Mad Men characters.
Frequency, 9 pm
The local alt-rockers will perform songs from their debut album, All Living Things. If you're a fan of Jimmy Eat World, be sure to request standout tunes "Shelter" and "A Gentleman's Curse." With One Last Run, Parias Day and the Way Back.
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
Help the local band mark their 15th year together by singing along to fun punk, pop and rock tunes such as "Bjorn Borg." With Bing Bong and the August Teens.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Transformer Lootbag make appealing, anxious-sounding art-rock filled with sneaky shifts between loud and soft. Psychedelic garage punks the Hussy will show off songs they polished on their European tour. With Control and Trin Tran.
NOTEWORTHY: John Lennon murdered by mentally unstable fan, 1980.
1700-1900 blocks of Monroe Street, noon-4 pm
Caroling and horse-drawn carriage rides will bring an old-timey feel to this event. (You can practically hear the jing-jing-jingling.) Participating businesses will provide holiday specials, as well as prize drawings. Ho!
Brink Lounge, 3 pm
The local saxophonist is also a flutist, clarinetist, composer and bandleader. His talent and versatility have made him a jazz festival regular since the 1960s.
NOTEWORTHY: General Electric announces that all communist employees will be fired, 1953.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
This show should fall somewhere between a hoedown and a hootenanny as two local bands brandish their banjos for an evening of bluegrass.
NOTEWORTHY: Apollo 17 lands on moon, 1972.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Performing soaring, melodic rock in the style of Coldplay, the four members of this alt-rock band hail from Brazil, France, Canada and the U.S. With the Unlikely Candidates.
Majestic Theatre, 9:30 pm
Chicago-based indie electronica quartet Gemini Club create impromptu remixes of their songs at live shows. With Strange Names.
Edited by Gov. Ebenezer Scrooge