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Susan Kepecs

In "Cue Up the Funk" in the July 13 issue, Susan Kepecs sits down with the Funky Drummer himself, Clyde Stubblefield. They discuss life in Motown and his introduction to Madison: "It was '68 or '69," she says, "and by then Motown was - well, like it was at the end of "Dreamgirls", druggy and degenerate. more

Nov 10, 2011 3:00 PM Isthmus 35

Mad City's high arts are starting to soar. And the Madison Symphony Orchestra is leading the troupes as it prepares for its 2004 move to the state-of-the-art Overture Hall. Who can doubt that the MSO is ready for prime time? Since John DeMain took the reins as artistic director in 1994 the orchestra's enjoying all-time popularity and fiscal success. more

Oct 6, 2011 2:00 PM Isthmus 35

Madison Ballet's "Nutcracker" faced big obstacles this year. Still, despite setbacks, the company turned in a solid holiday performance. more

Dec 21, 2009 4:01 PM Stage

Despite the threat of freezing rain, Dance Wisconsin's performance of "Nutcracker Fantasy" last Saturday at Wisconsin Union Theater was very well attended. This version of "Nut", an annual production, was reassembled from the original by Dance Wisconsin artistic director JoJean Retrum. more

Dec 14, 2009 5:53 PM Stage

Although Overture Center does its best to play safe, every now and then the performance palace's programmers go out on a limb and bring in an edgy, must-see show. Step Afrika! is one of those. Steeped in African American history, mashed up with South African roots and slicked with contemporary production values, this rhythm company serves up a supersize shot of soul. more

Dec 4, 2009 3:00 PM Stage

"Autumn Heart", the late fall concert by Kanopy Dance Company at Overture's Promenade Hall last weekend, was predictably inconsistent. Three standouts rescued the eight-piece program from the dustbin of unmemorable Madison dance performances. more

Nov 16, 2009 4:47 PM Stage

Flamenco's a cultural expression born of poverty, sex and violence in the medieval merchant ports of southern Spain. Culturally it's Spanish, Jewish, Moorish, Romani. As an art form it has churned for centuries on the rocks of politics and fashion. Flamenco's run the gamut of venues from street corners to taverns and proscenium arch theaters. more

Nov 6, 2009 3:00 PM Stage

Finally, here's some change we can believe in. The U.S. blockade on Cuba is alive and well, but Obama's given us wiggle room. For the first time since the start of W's second term, Cuban artists can get visas to visit the States. Thanks to impressive efforts by the Madison-Camagüey Sister City Association, with support from Edgewood College, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, and the Overture and Pleasant T. Rowland Foundations, painter Orestes Larios Zaak and sculptor Gregorio Pérez Escobar will be our guests. It's part of the Madison-Camagüey association's 15th anniversary celebration. more

Oct 30, 2009 2:00 PM Arts Beat

I saw Li Chiao Ping's "Pagoda", a repertory evening with two premieres, at the Wisconsin Union Theater Saturday night. Li conceived the program as a structure to house eight of her eastern-themed works -- six repertory repeats and two premieres. more

Oct 26, 2009 3:55 PM Stage

At the dawn of the new century, ex-"Village Voice" jazz critic Gary Giddins called Big Apple songstress Jane Monheit, then making her debut, a wannabe. Monheit's come a long way. Her last two CDs, "Surrender" (2007) and The Lovers, the "Dreamers and Me" (this year), both on Concord, put her in the big leagues. Monheit appears Oct. 23 at the Wisconsin Union Theater with her regular band of hubby Rick Montalbano on drums, Michael Kanan on keys and Neal Miner on bass. more

Oct 23, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

When I was a kid in Chicago the whole family used to gather around the black-and-white Motorola for Marlin Perkins' Sunday afternoon Zoo Parade, broadcast live from Lincoln Park. Today my sibling the PETA activist and I disagree vehemently on the nature of zoos. To him they're prisons; to me they look like endangered species' best refuge. more

Oct 16, 2009 2:00 PM Stage

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Timothy Hughes

This weekend the Cardinal Bar, with Ricardo Gonzalez back at the helm, is reborn. Ochun, orisha of love, rejoices, dancing voluptuously. You can, too. The Cardinal's gala opening lasts all weekend long. Let me fill you in. more

Oct 9, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

Hard-core Madison boomers like me will be thrilled to hear that two of the most famous musicians to come out of this town -- Tracy Nelson and Ben Sidran -- reunite Oct. 9 at the Barrymore Theatre. It's the quintessential Mad City event -- a benefit for a great cause, the Hackett Hemwall Foundation, which takes medical care to our sisters and brothers in the Third World. more

Oct 9, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

If the dance-tainment that prevails this season seems too safe, take a ride on the edgy side with "Causeway," the first concert in the UW Dance Program's fall lineup. The show unveils two new Madison-based professional companies, both directed by UW dance profs hired last year -- Chris Walker and Kate Corby. more

Oct 2, 2009 2:00 PM Stage

It's September already -- time for my annual opinionated guide to the 2009-2010 performing arts schedules at the city's downtown culture palaces. So here's opinion number one. Overture Center is playing it safe, since a handful of edgier shows in the Capitol Theater last year took financial hits. The Wisconsin Union Theater's still taking risks, but the season's a pared-down version of its former self. more

Sep 18, 2009 2:00 PM A & E

The Great Recession can't stop the sixth annual Madison World Music Festival. It's the city's splashiest single-payer party, provided free for all by the Wisconsin Union Theater with a little help from friends and funders. more

Sep 11, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

The 20th Marquette Waterfront Festival brings a sizzling lineup of local acts and emerging world music stars to Yahara Place Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14. My, how this festival's grown more

Jun 12, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

The Isthmus Jazz Festival peaks on Saturday, June 6, at the Wisconsin Union Theater with David Sánchez and his post-bop quartet. Sánchez is the top tenor saxman in a new-century florescence of Latin-tinged Big Apple jazz led by players with superlative chops -- conservatory-trained expats from across the Caribbean and the continent who bring their own heritages to the table. more

Jun 5, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC

Li Chiao-Ping's "Women Dancing," at the Wisconsin Union Theater last Saturday night, consisted of seven solos made for the Madison-based artist by a who's who of postmodern choreographers. These are edgy works and Li's dancing looks peak. more

May 11, 2009 6:30 PM Stage

Rising Afropop star Dobet Gnahore made her Madison debut on Putumayo's Acoustic Africa tour in the fall of 2006. She's been back twice in quick succession, performing in the 2007 Madison World Music Festival at Willy Street Fair, and again last summer at the Fête de Marquette. Gnahore makes her fourth stop in town when she takes the Wisconsin Union Theater World Stage May 1. more

May 1, 2009 2:00 PM MUSIC