What to Do in Madison This Week: “Hamilton,” National Polka Day, and Other Isthmus Picks – Isthmus
Echoing abroad: Asian artistic exchange, August 8-Nov. 28, Chazen Art Museum: East meets West; West meets East. The artistic influences that each had on the other are the subject of Echoing abroad: Asian artistic exchange, a new exhibition with around fifty works of art from different eras. Curators have broken down the influences, from imitation to appropriation, alteration, misunderstanding and rejection. Other events related to the exhibition have yet to be scheduled, including a papermaking session and a tea ceremony.
Daniel Smith, Monday, August 8, Octagon Barn, Spring Green, 6:30 p.m.: Wisconsin poet Daniel Smith will read an excerpt from his recent volume of Midwestern-centric poetry, Ancestral, as part of the Morrill Lecture Series, with a little help from American Players Theater actors Sarah Day and James Ridge. Anyone who has spent time in the Heartland will recognize Smith’s deep connection to the land and the culture of farming. The poetry will be followed by a panel of local farmers responding to Smith’s work and various agricultural issues.
Michael Shapiro, Monday, August 8, Leopold’s Books Bar Caffe, 7 p.m.: Madison native Michael Shapiro will discuss the book Under the Hood of Cuba: What Cubans Say About Their Old American Cars, now available in paperback. The bilingual text telling the stories of the owners of time-locked Cuban cars is accompanied by photographs by Juan Carlos Alóm. Shapiro has been collecting stories for the book about visiting Cuba for two decades, so he should have some interesting stories about traveling to a country that has been quite difficult for Americans to explore for most of the past six decades.
periodicals, Tuesday August 9, Olbrich Gardens, 7 p.m.: Led by Englishman John Wedge, Madison Periodicals have upped their game considerably over the past year with the addition of horns and new singers; changes that propelled the ensemble to the top into a killer 10-piece rock band. The Periodicals are a group that takes advantage of this to make you wag your tail very, very seriously.
National Polka Day, Tuesday August 9, Dark Horse ArtBar, 7-9 p.m.: Polka! Hurry take advantage of a holiday you may not have known existed by hosting this celebration and fundraiser for the printmaking collective. There will be Polka prints for sale! members, Broadside Print & Design and Bernie & Zuzu, plus the ability to print your own polka-themed tote bag. DJ Shotsky (the host of Polka Time, Sundays at 7 p.m. on WVMO-FM starting August 7) will spin vintage records.
hamilton, August 9-21, opening room: In the seven years since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking lesson in hip-hop music and history on Broadway, hamilton has become a classic of American musical theatre. Alexander Hamilton, the fatherless ten-dollar founding father, takes his place alongside Jefferson and Madison, and the musical itself takes its place alongside giants like West Side Story like the perfect mix of street and stage. Shows at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday; check ticket availability at overture.org.
Jazz at five, Wednesday, August 10, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg, 5 p.m.; Wednesdays August 17-31, Le Forum, 4 p.m.: The annual Jazz at Five series, which kicked off Aug. 3, again splits time between Fitchburg and Capitol Square. Music at McKee on August 10 features the Dennis Mitcheltree Quartet and the trio of Emma Dayhuff, Vincent Davis and Corey Wilkes. The party moves to the top of State Street on August 17 with sets from Johannes Wallman & Precarious Towers and the Chris Rottmayer Quartet. August 24 features swinging big bands Ladies Must Swing and the DB Orchestra, and the series concludes August 31 with a double ensemble program led by trumpeter Chad McCullough, his eponymous quartet, and the UW-Madison Jazz Ensemble All -Stars. Youth groups open the concerts at the Forum. Find more information about jazzatfive.org.
art in the woods, until October 9, American Players Theatre, Spring Green: APT takes advantage of its idyllic grounds for the second incarnation of art in the woodswith facilities of seven artists: Alicia Cosnahan (aka DECOY), Thomas Ferrella, John Himmelfarb, Peter Krsko, John C. Pahlas, Dennis Robert and Katie Schutte. The installations will remain in place until October 9 and you do not need a show ticket to see the art.
Stultus, Wednesday, August 10, Red Rooster, 7 p.m.: One of the Madison area’s oldest bands will take the stage at one of the scene’s newest venues when Stultus visits the Red Rooster. Originally formed in Sun Prairie in 1968, the band followed the usual trajectory of young bands and broke up when college and life intervened. But unlike most, they eventually reunited with the original members and recorded a pair of albums in the 2010s. You can hear samples from the band’s upcoming third album on their Facebook page.
Watertown River Festival, August 11-14, Riverside Park, Watertown: Watertown is often overlooked among easy-to-access day trip destinations, but it’s well worth exploring. Better yet, check it out during Watertown Riverfest, when the city’s Riverside Park is packed with food, music, and a good old-fashioned carnival. Musical headliners include Steely Dane on Thursday, Them Coulee Boys on Friday and Bruce in the United States, a Springsteen tribute band, on Saturday (all at 8:40 p.m.). The music ends Sunday afternoon with Road Trip (4:45 p.m.). Find the plan on watertownriverfest.com.
GD Brown, Thursday, August 11, Mystery To Me, 6 p.m.: The dark but gripping debut novel by Milwaukee author GD Brown, Sinners plunged under this deluge, swirls around a handful of broken souls in a small Oklahoma town ravaged by the meth trade. Set in the late 1990s, the story features a teenage girl whose best friend is missing, a ripped damaged sheriff, and a power-hungry savage preacher. The taut prose heralds Brown as a rising Wisconsin writer. He will discuss the new book with Doug Moe, and capacity is limited; find ticket information at mysterybooks.com.
Capitol City Band, Thursdays, until August 25, Rennebohm Park, 7 p.m.: The mission of the all-volunteer Capitol City Band is “to help heal the nation, one note at a time.” The band’s free, weekly Concerts in the Park series is well underway and continues at 7 p.m. Thursdays through August 25. More info on www.mmqccb.org.
Amanda McCavour, until September 11, 2022, Chazen Museum of Art: Only a month left to see Hanging landscapes, a major exhibition of Amanda McCavour’s large-scale “thread drawings” that fill the three floors of Paige Court in Chazen’s Elvehjem building like a delicate meadow. The Toronto-based artist has traveled to Madison several times to create site-specific work incorporating large-scale images of Wisconsin flora, stitching with a sewing machine onto a water-dissolving fabric base and leaves a solid but delicate-looking network of images. . McCavour also curated an on-campus art exhibit that inspired his installation, alongside his own drawings and preparatory materials. Meet McCavour at an exhibition celebration from 6-8 p.m. on August 11, or at Family Day arts activities for all ages from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on August 13.
Crib, Thursday August 11, Harmony Bar, 7.30 p.m.: Missing an opportunity to see Cribshitter? No, you don’t. The band’s eclectic, genre-embracing sound is cheerful, cynical, witty and ultimately melodious. In their willingness to experiment, you could compare them to Beck, but even that falls short. We are submitting our application for “COVID Cove” early! With Madison singer-songwriter Aaron Scholz, who released the excellent Third place in 2021.
guestbook, August 11-27, Broom Street Theatre, 8 p.m.: Gina Gómez wrote and directed The guest book, a Broom Street Theater comedy about a woman who calls off her ex-fiancé’s wedding. As they say, save the date. Shows at 8 p.m., Thursday to Saturday (no show August 13).
We hope it is convenient for you to find selections grouped together in one article. Individual picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected hereand sprinkled everywhere all events.
Note: Many locations and businesses may continue to maintain individual mask-wearing requirements, along with proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative entry test. Before attending an event in person, confirm that it’s still happening and check attendance guidelines on relevant company websites or social media accounts.