Snow and slush still blanket yards and streets, but there's a glimmer of spring in Madison this weekend in the form the Garden Expo and late winter celebrations that include two nights of Carnaval 2013 festivities and the Funk Winterfest. The calendar also includes: a new Duck Soup Cinema; productions of As You Like It and Gertrude Stein & a Companion; a concert by Kanopy Dance; performances by the MSO, The Knights with Wu Man, and the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble; the United Way Bluegrass Benefit and Wake Up Futuristic Anniversary Party; and, more live music from moe., Lotus, Charlie Brooks and the Way It Is, Those Poor Bastards, Richie Cole, Levi Lowrey, Deadspring Brothers, The Redettes.
NOTEWORTHY: First eight plaques installed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1960.
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 3-9 pm. Also Saturday (9 am-6 pm) & Sunday (10 am-4 pm), Feb. 9 & 10
Spring is allegedly around the corner. The annual fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television offers demonstrations, workshops and exhibitors that will help you plan for the season's unlikely arrival.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Feb. 9 & 10
Madison can't get enough of German cellist Alban Gerhardt, as he returns to the MSO stage for the third time. For this iteration, he'll bring his prodigious talent to Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante. John DeMain also conducts Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole and Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 (after having knocked Ludwig Van's Piano Concerto No. 1 out of the park last month).
Kanopy Dance Company
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7 & 9 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Feb. 9 & 10
Kanopy presents a concert of "sunlight for shorter days." The six works include Lisa Thurrell's "Yggdrasil" (the Norse Tree of Life); "De Planta, Punta y Tacon," a modern/classical flamenco fusion; and, appropriately, an excerpt from Martha Graham's "Appalachian Spring." Here comes the sun.
As You Like It
Mitchell Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday, Feb. 7, 8 pm
Shakespeare's sparkling comedy features a cross-dressing heroine and a troublemaking nobleman who comes to know himself. This touring production is courtesy of the Acting Company, whose famous alumni include Kevin Kline and Patti Lupone. (See Theater.)
Gertrude Stein & a Companion
Bartell Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 pm
StageQ presents Win Wells' play about the relationship between author Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, evoking their legendary artists' salon in 1920s Paris. The play won first prize at the Edinburgh Festival.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 pm
If you think Mardi Gras is the be-all, end-all of winter celebrations, then you've gotta experience Carnaval, Brazil's annual pre-Lenten blowout. The festivities begin Friday night with performances by the Handphibians, Black Star Drumline and Mama Digdown's Brass Band. Other highlights include a performance by Madison Brazilian Dance and a demonstration by the nimble Omulu Capoeira troupe.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Though this jam band lured fans of Phish and Widespread Panic in the '90s, their rhythmic precision and early, Primus-like experiments have also turned lovers of funky, experimental metal into "moe.rons" (yes, that's a term of endearment).
Barrymore Theatre, 9 pm
This jamtronica outfit are almost as popular for their mesmerizing light shows as they are for their tunes, which Relix has described as "sexy and sophisticated dance music." With Moon Hooch.
Charlie Brooks and the Way It Is
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Brooks isn't just a talented soul singer; he's a consummate showman who's not afraid to break a sweat onstage. Plus, he might be the only Madison musician who started his career in the Motown hit-making machine.
NOTEWORTHY: Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, 1971
Duck Soup Cinema
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 2 & 7 pm
Overture's family-friendly series brings back the long-lost vaudeville era with a snappy variety show and a silent film, accompanied live on the Grand Barton organ. This installment features 1925's dinosaur-hunting extravaganza The Lost World.
The Knights with Wu Man
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 8 pm
Get your genres bent and your cultures crossed in this collaboration between the Knights (itself a collaboration of musicians from various national symphony orchestras) and Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man. The program includes works by Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy, as well as Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra and Wu Man, Blue and Green.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Steez, Twin Cats and Clean Sheet will battle frigid temperatures with funk jams so sultry they'll make your glasses fog up.
Those Poor Bastards
Frequency, 10 pm
Hank Williams III has recruited this local band for several of his tours after getting hooked on their novel blend of country and punk (see Music). With Last False Hope and Nellie Wilson.
NOTEWORTHY: North Korea announces it has nuclear weapons, 2005
United Way Bluegrass Benefit
Barrymore Theatre, 1 pm
Tap your toes or do-si-do till you're dizzy as Off the Porch, SpareTime Bluegrass, Daylight in the Swamp, Oak Street Ramblers and Dave Landau perform rousing Americana tunes at this fundraiser.
Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble
Gates of Heaven, 3 pm
Vivaldi, Telemann and Bach (C.P.E., but still) get a workout on period instruments.
Wake Up Futuristic Anniversary Party
High Noon Saloon, 5 pm
Night owls and insomniacs who enjoy this WORT radio program, which airs at 2 am on Wednesdays, will celebrate its fourth anniversary. Performances by Bes Monde, Cowboy Winter, Panther and New Villains should generate enough excitement to keep you awake until the sun comes up.
Regent Street Retreat Stage, 8 pm
This singer-songwriter is putting a new spin on outlaw country by incorporating old-time string-band instruments like fiddles and dobros. He's likely to perform material from his 2011 solo album, I Confess I Was a Fool, and his many collaborative projects with the Zac Brown Band.
Frequency, 9 pm
Though they were born and raised in Detroit, these dudes rock more like the Rolling Stones than the Stooges. In other words, they're more blues than punk, but with a wild streak Iggy Pop would certainly appreciate.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
These musicians from Michigan's U.P. draw inspiration from U.K. rockers the Libertines, who share their love of literary lyrics. Glimmers of Detroit's early garage-punk scene shine through in crashing cymbals and the occasional shout. With Lost Without Moses and the Savage Boys.