Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: Alexander Graham Bell granted patent for telephone, 1876.
Alliant Energy Center's Arena, noon-9 pm. Also Saturday (8 am-9 pm) & Sunday (10 am-6 pm), March 8 & 9
We like any event that has "o-Rama" in its name, and this is no exception. So if it's time to put your old beater out to pasture, you'll find thousands of bikes and accessories to choose from. Bonus: gravity-defying stunts by Jeff Lenosky (as seen on TV!).
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 4-9 pm. Also Saturday (9 am-6 pm) & Sunday (10 am-5 pm), March 8 & 9
Whether you're an experienced paddler, a weekend dabbler or a complete wannabe, this canoe, kayak and paddlesport expo has something to float your boat. It features approximately a gazillion kayaks, canoes, SUPs and all the gear that goes with them; more than 200 exhibitors; and adventure-inspiring seminars, speakers and clinics.
Brink Lounge and High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm. Also Come Back In, Essen Haus and Up North (noon) and Brink Lounge and High Noon Saloon (2 pm), Saturday, March 8
One of the most epic benefits of 2014, this two-day event fills two venues with snacks, a raffle and live music by a whopping 54 bands. Proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Overture Center's Playhouse, 6 pm. Also Saturday (2:30 & 6:30 pm) & Sunday (3 pm), March 8 & 9. Through March 16
Children's Theater of Madison presents an adaptation of the popular book about a little boy who must figure out how to cope when life gives him a bumper crop of lemons one day. Friday's "sensory friendly" performance is tailored to kids with autism (see Theater).
Majestic Theatre, 7 & 9 pm. Also Saturday, March 8, 7 & 9 pm
Sex-advice columnist and former Madisonian Dan Savage has curated this touring mini-festival of "dirty" movies starring amateur actors. Audience members get to vote for their favorite films, and there's likely to be just as much hysterical laughter as pleasure-filled moaning (see Movies).
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), March 8 & 9
In this Four Seasons Theatre production, local singers perform a musical salute to the ladies who belted out hit after hit during the golden age of Hollywood. After all, there ain't nothing like a dame.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), March 8 & 9
Guest pianist Yefim Bronfman, a master of tone and lyricism, joins the MSO for an all-Beethoven program featuring the Second and Fifth Piano Concertos. The concert begins with a performance of the composer's First Symphony, which shows his gratitude to teacher Joseph Haydn.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Fiddling sisters Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe blend Western swing, bluegrass and vintage-style country, winning awards from the Academy of Western Artists.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 10 pm
The standup comedian and NPR storyteller also starred in the film and off-Broadway show Sleepwalk With Me. He visits Overture Center with a new crop of sidesplitting anecdotes about humiliating high school love affairs and, of course, sleepwalking. The early show is sold out, so don't dally if you hope to grab tickets to the late edition.
Luther Memorial Church, 1 pm
Three accomplished musicians from Helsinki's Sibelius Academy present a free concert of Finnish works for voice, organ and more as part of a brief residency at the UW School of Music.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Since his 1989 debut, Too Long in the Wasteland, which was produced by John Mellencamp, McMurtry has built a successful career around his rugged Americana. He's known for fiercely honest, often political lyrics and outstanding guitar work.
Monona Terrace, 8:30 pm
Deontra Green, David Freeburg, Chris Lay, Alan Talaga, Gena Gephart and TJ Deringer face off with jokes and gags at this competition judged by the crowd.
UW Union South Sett, 9:30 pm
This group's live electronic show is seriously entertaining without being overly serious. Song titles include "The Huxtable Hustle" and "Peanut Butter and Jealous," and fans of the movie High Fidelity may bellow "a Cosby sweater!" in silly voices throughout the night.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
The singer from Ontario creates contemplative, R&B-influenced electro, keeping her considerable vocal talents in check to make room for hypnotic beats and effects. Check out "Kathy Lee" off her well-reviewed 2013 album, Pull My Hair Back.
Brink Lounge, 3 pm
Thulin is a fluent jazz pianist known for his work on Michael Feldman's radio show Whad'Ya Know?
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
Best known as Phish's bassist, Gordon has blossomed into a solo artist. Madison is one of the first cities to hear him perform his fourth solo album, Overstep. If you like the track "Ether," you'll dig his live act.
UW Humanities Building-Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
Explore the musical scale's glorious lower registers as the UW Symphony Orchestra presents a free performance of works that highlight the tuba. UW music professor John Stevens will serve as guest conductor, and veteran Chicago Symphony tubist Gene Pokorny will solo.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Straddling the worlds of electronic, contemporary classical, and indie-rock music with vintage and ultramodern equipment, this zany Baltimore-based performer is famous for playing on the floor of the venue rather than the stage. He encourages the crowd to dance wildly and participate in interactive group activities.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
These California-based hip-hoppers recently released The Tortoise and the Crow, which showcases their talents as both emcees and producers. They've also been busy collaborating with a diverse cross-section of artists, including electronic-music mainstay Pretty Lights and raucous rapper Kreayshawn. With Pigeon John, Madchild and DJs Fresh and Vilas Park Sniper.
NOTEWORTHY: James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr., 1969.
Central Library, 5:30 pm
Join artist and activist Rhodessa Jones, director of the Medea Project, and UW sociology professor Pamela Oliver, who studies the causes and consequences of racial disparities in the criminal justice system, in this panel discussion focusing on incarceration in Wisconsin and across the country. Jean Feraca moderates.
High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm
This deathcore act from Santa Cruz performs fast, synthy heavy metal. "Beast Fist" off Listen to the Color is a good example for curious newbies. With Beyond the Shore, Seeker, Abolishment of Flesh and To Set Ablaze.
UW Grainger Hall, 7:30 pm
Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper will examine race and gender in the context of hip-hop music and culture for the "Getting Real" lecture series.
Frequency, 9 pm
The Milwaukee-based lo-fi electronic duo often feature Madison musicians in their remixes, particularly on 2013's Warehouses Possessed by the City, a celebration of Wisconsin artists.
NOTEWORTHY: Moscow becomes new capital of Russia, 1918.
Monona Terrace, 5:30 pm
Gear up for St. Patrick's Day with this family band from the Milwaukee area, whose traditional Irish tunes feature bodhrán rhythms and whistle melodies.
UW-Extension Lowell Center, 7 pm
The formerly incarcerated mother, writer, actress, teacher, activist and member of the Medea Project gives a lecture titled "The Art of Saving Life: Mythology and Pathology."
1100 Grainger Hall, 7 pm
The UW philosophy professor risks angering the gods in a free talk called "The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in Miracles Is Unjustified."
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
This group's incredibly physical performance centers on Taiko drumming, a type of traditional Japanese percussion, and also features modern choreography.
UW Union South Sett, 8 pm
The New Orleans natives will celebrate 30 years together when they bring a fresh crop of funk, rock and jazz to the Isthmus Jazz Series (see Tour Stop).
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
Along with Ben "Bird Dog" Bussell on drums -- or, more accurately, a five-gallon plastic bucket fitted with drum hardware -- and his wife "Washboard" Breezy Peyton, Reverend Peyton creates a high-energy touring bluegrass show that draws big crowds night after night. With Earl Foss & the Brown Derby.
Edited by cold warriors