Yeah science! UW-Madison is welcoming explorers of all ages to campus this weekend to get to know the natural world better in its annual Science Expeditions festival. The calendar also includes: sketch comedy by The Whitest Kids U Know; productions of Good People, Wondrous Tales of Old Japan II, and A Doll's House; a program by Kanopy Dance; performances by the MSO; and, an abundance of live music from Comdominium, Gramatik, Sam James, Matt Costa, Kelly Richey, Control with Pink Lightning, Tom Wopat, Deerhoof, the Gerald Clayton Trio, Frank Fairfield, Fever Marlene, Mason Jennings, Garbage with IO Echo, and Teddy Geiger.
NOTEWORTHY: Explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia kills 29 coal miners, 2010.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and other campus venues, 9 am-10:30 pm
The UW invites budding scientists of all ages to three days of free hands-on activities and demonstrations at buildings throughout campus. Saturday's activities center on the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery from 10 am to 2 pm, featuring more than 50 exploration stations. See >science.wisc.edu.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (2 pm) & Wednesday (7:30 pm), April 4, 6, 7 & 10
Forward Theater Company presents a comedy-drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning David Lindsay-Abaire, who sets his story in Boston's Southie neighborhood. An unemployed woman looks to change her luck by hooking up with an old fling who's left the area and made it big.
Kanopy Dance Company
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7 & 9 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), April 6 & 7
The local troupe offers four premieres in a program called Antigone: All in the Family. Lisa Thurrell's "Antigone" is set to music by guest artist Vicky Tzoumerka Knoedler; other works draw on such varied sources as John Milton and Mozart.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), April 6 & 7
In the season finale, guest artist Naha Greenholtz solos on Mendelssohn's irresistible Violin Concerto. John DeMain also conducts Rachmaninoff's The Bells, which includes a chorus and soloists; and works by Handel and Vaughan Williams.
Wondrous Tales of Old Japan II
UW Vilas Hall-Hemsley Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), April 4, 6 & 7
In this Theatre for Youth production, University Theatre presents magical Japanese folk tales by Prof. David Furumoto. They're performed in the style of kabuki, with stylized movement and elaborate makeup.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
This Minneapolis quartet looks to angry '80s hardcore acts for inspiration yet sounds young and gleeful.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This Slovenian-born producer melds house, electro, jazz and funk with huge beats that beg the crowd to dance.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
This singer-songwriter from Season 3 of The Voice set the iTunes rock chart on fire with his heartrending cover of John Lennon's "Imagine."
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Costa's new, self-titled album peers into the past by exploring the folk-inflected pop songs of '70s AM radio.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Filled with passionate solos and muscular picking, Richey's blues-rock is big, bold and beautiful.
Control, Pink Lightning
Frequency, 10 pm
Brash Detroit rockers Pink Lightning will show off their latest album, Happy to Be Here, and Madison's Control will unveil a self-titled LP of experimental post-punk.
NOTEWORTHY: First Tony Awards presented for theatrical achievement, 1947.
Middleton-Cross Plains Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm
The star of TV and Broadway -- a local boy made good -- offers an evening of standards, harking back to the crooners of the '50s and '60s.
A Doll's House
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Minnesota's Commonweal Theatre specializes in works by Henrik Ibsen. The troupe presents his classic about a woman's liberation from an oppressive marriage.
UW Music Hall, 8 pm
Like Beck, this charming yet chaotic noise band have released some songs as sheet music. They perform material from 2012's Breakup Song.
Gerald Clayton Trio
Town Center, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 8 pm
The Grammy-nominated artist's trio reinvigorates jazz standards with glorious solos and subtle references to hip-hop (see Music.
Redamte Coffee House, 8:30 pm
Drink in some long-lost blues tunes when this folk-revival wunderkind plays an intimate coffeehouse show.
Frequency, 9 pm
Founded by two UW-Madison alums, this Milwaukee band rode the garage-rock-revival wave onto radio stations a few years ago.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
In this age of free downloads, selling more than 30,000 copies of a couple of records is a feat if you haven't got a major label's marketing budget. Jennings has done this and more with his thoughtful, political acoustic songs.
The Whitest Kids U Know
Barrymore Theatre, 9 pm
The sketch comedy troupe pushed the envelope during their cable TV show's run, getting censored in the process. They've been described as a dirtier version of Kids in the Hall, and there'll be no censors on duty tonight at the Barrymore.
Garbage, IO Echo
Orpheum Theater, 7:30 pm
One of Madison's most famous exports returns to town with their first record in more than seven years, 2012's Not Your Kind of People. Mysterious L.A. shoegazers IO Echo will open the show with their new, Pitchfork-approved Ministry of Love.
Redamte Coffee House, 8 pm
Sweet, dreamy folk-pop is this singer-songwriter's specialty. Taste his latest confections, which he's assembling for a fan-funded album.