Note: Many venues and businesses may continue to maintain individual requirements for masking, as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative test for entry. Before heading out for any in-person event, confirm it is still taking place and check for any attendance guidelines on the relevant business websites or social media accounts.
Wisconsin Film Festival, through April 14, AMC Madison 6: Back in person after a canceled 2020 and a virtual 2021, the Wisconsin Film Festival continues at Hilldale’s AMC 6 through April 14 with documentaries, dramas, experimental films and animation. The schedule includes a late addition you won’t find if you saved the printed guide: One Second, by director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern), a tale of a contest between three individuals for a stolen reel of film, set during the 1960s Cultural Revolution in China (1:15 p.m., April 13). Also on tap: A screening of the underrated Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker gag fest Top Secret!, with David Zucker participating in a post-film Q&A (5:45 p.m., April 12); and director Nira Burstein is scheduled to attend a pair of screenings of her documentary Charm Circle (5:30 p.m., April 12; 12:30 p.m., April 13). Find more details at wifilmfest.org.
Carrie Voigt Schonhoff, Tuesday, April 12, Sun Prairie Public Library, 6:30 p.m.: April is National Poetry Month, and the Madison area has no shortage of quality poets. One of them is Carrie Voigt Schonhoff — who sparingly yet eloquently lays bare her journey into middle age as a widow, a mother and a woman facing the future without quite letting go of the past. She will read from her second book of poetry, The End of the Beginning, a 45-poem collection that showcases the same earnestness she brought to her 2019 debut, The Liminal Space. Voigt Schonhoff’s accessible, distinctly Midwestern voice invites readers deep into her cinematic soul.
Mel Chin, through July 31, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: There’s Something Happening Here looks back on the 43-year career of conceptual artist Mel Chin with objects, projects, prints and drawings. Concurrently screening in MMoCA’s Imprint Gallery is Chin’s animated film 9-11/9-11, which examines the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the 1973 coup that deposed Chilean president Salvador Allende (and was supported by the U.S. military). View Chin’s lecture during the March 17 opening reception at mmoca.org. Current hours: Noon-6 pm, Friday-Sunday; on display through July 31.
What’s Undermining Our Courts? Wednesday, April 13, Zoom, noon: The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin hosts another in its continuing “Fair Courts” webinar series focusing on the state judiciary issues. The short answer to the question posed by the event title this time around is special interest money and a lack of recusal rules; these topics and others will be discussed by Ed Fallone (Marquette University professor), Lisa Graves (True North Research executive director), Jay Heck (Common Cause in Wisconsin executive director) and moderator Joy Cardin (former WPR radio host). Register here for the Zoom link.
Mildred Harnack: An American Graduate Student at the Center of Berlin’s Underground Resistance to Hitler, Wednesday, April 13, Pyle Center, 4 p.m.: Mildred Fish was a Milwaukee native who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Madison in the mid-1920s and taught in the English department, as well as writing for the Wisconsin State Journal. She and her husband moved to Berlin in the 1930s and Fish-Harnack ultimately became a leader of the largest underground resistance group in Berlin during Hitler’s rule. But her contributions had been largely forgotten by the general public until her great-great niece, Rebecca Donner, wrote All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days. Donner will speak about Fish-Harnack, her award winning book, and her research for the UW Law School’s annual Mildred Fish-Harnack Human Rights and Democracy Lecture. Register here to attend in person, or here for a Zoom link.
The Final Forte, Wednesday, April 13, Overture Hall, 6:45 pm.: The Bolz Young Artist Competition is an annual Madison Symphony Orchestra event open to performers in grades 9-12. The preliminary and semi-final rounds returned to in-person performance and judging in January, and the four young musicians advancing from the semi-finals are all violinists: Zak Chen, Clark Snavely, Jane Story and Ellen Zhou. The Final Forte concert will feature each performing with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Tickets to the in-person concert are free, but required; find information at madisonsymphony.org. The concert will also be broadcast live on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Wisconsin Was There: Sharing the Legacies of Printmakers Who Served in the Military, through June 1, Wisconsin Veterans Museum: Yvette Pino, curator of veteran art for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, organized this exhibit featuring works spanning from the Civil War to modern times by more than 20 artists with state ties. The exhibit opened in March, in conjunction with the SGC International annual conference in Madison, and is on display through June 1.
Jack Broadbent, Wednesday, April 13, Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: British singer-songwriter Jack Broadbent is known for playing some wicked slide guitar using a whiskey bottle. Broadbent’s most recent albums explored solo blues and folkier band sounds, but the title track for the new album Ride finds him heading in a rockier direction reminiscent of Foghat. With Andrew Christensen.
Craig Taborn, Thursday, April 14, Cafe Coda, 7 p.m.: It’s a rare player whose resume includes recording with both Roscoe Mitchell and Meat Beat Manifesto, and Craig Taborn fits that description. Whether playing acoustic piano, electric keys, or other electronics, Taborn’s extensive recording and performing career as a leader or sideman provides a dizzying display of musical explorations. To sample a recent Taborn conceptual project, visit 60xsixty.com. For this BlueStem Jazz concert, Taborn will be playing solo piano. Find ticket info at cafecoda.club.
Mo Amer, April 14-16, Comedy on State: A member of the comedy troupe Allah Made Me Funny, Mohammed “Mo” Amer first came to the U.S. as a refugee after being born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents. His comedy shines a light on the Muslim experience in America with perception and empathy (and a fearless willingness to take on topics that are not usually a laughing matter). Amer’s most recent Netflix special, Mohammed in Texas (2021), offers hilarious observations on airport experiences, cultural differences in personal hygiene, and the weakness of English curse words as compared to those in Arabic. Performances at 7:30 p.m., April 14; and 7:30 and 10 p.m., April 15-16; find tickets at madisoncomedy.com.
Heathers the Musical, April 14-24, UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre: Heathers, the 1989 film, was the demonic sibling of Pretty in Pink — a black comedy crossed with the John Hughes high school coming-of-age zeitgeist thing that was happening in the ’80s. Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe have set the whole thing to music, and expect the UW-Madison’s Department of Theatre and Drama to have a field day with this. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus a 2 p.m. matinee on April 23-24. Tickets at artsticketing.wisc.edu.
Attack of the Killer Bs, through April 16, Broom Street Theater: Barbara and Glen take a trip to the cemetery to visit a grave and are beset by zombies. If that sounds familiar, you have seen Night of the Living Dead. This play by Sean Abley starts there and then proceeds to tour its characters through a panoply of other classic (and not so classic) horror, sci-fi and exploitation films. It should provide an entertaining travelogue for anyone familiar with vintage drive-in fare, and laughs even if you can’t name an Ed Wood movie. Broom Street Theater’s production of Attack of the Killer Bs hits the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.
Rufus Reid, Thursday, April 14, UW Hamel Music Center-Collins Recital Hall, 8 p.m.: When it comes to jazz bass, Rufus Reid wrote the book — literally. The Evolving Bassist has been a go-to guide since its publication in 1974 for those learning the art of double bass. Reid remains a busy clinician, including with a current residency at UW-Madison. For this concert Reid will perform with the UW Jazz Orchestra and Bolz Ensemble. Find tickets at artsticketing.wisc.edu. (Reid is also participating in the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists conference; visit music.wisc.edu for concert information as it’s announced.)
We hope it’s handy for you to find Picks grouped together in a single post. The individual Picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected here, and sprinkled throughout all the events.