Spring Event Calendar

Smith Westerns Dan Bejar Snoop Dogg: (From right to left) Smith Westerns, Destroyer and Snoop Dogg

Madison may be stuck between Minneapolis and Chicago, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its fair share of quality concerts, plays and the like to keep an arts addict occupied. The Daily Cardinal Arts Staff compiled a list of the shows they are most looking forward to this semester, and thankfully this spring Madison offers a wealth of options to choose from.

Mamma Mia! - Jan. 25-30 at the Overture Center

""Mamma Mia!"" is coming to the Overture Center next weekend for a three day run. The show features the tunes of ABBA, a band that your parents were probably huge fans of, and I guarantee you've heard some of their songs. This feel-good show is a comedy with a little bit of a love story and a lot of trying to find oneself. ""Dancing Queen,"" ""SOS"" and ""Take a Chance on Me"" are among the songs that will be belted from the stage starting next Friday night with matinee and evening shows on Saturday and Sunday. With tickets starting at only $35, this is a fairly affordable night of Broadway. Jeremy Gartzke

Snoop Dogg - Feb. 1 at the Orpheum

Madison goes a bit gangsta on Thursday February 1 when Snoop Dogg takes the Orpheum stage. A mentee of Dr. Dre, Snoop is best known for his laid-back delivery of bluntly worded lyrics. He recently released the single ""Wet"" and is expected to release the album Doggumentary Music this March, a supposed sequel to his 1993 debut Doggystyle. Snoop is ubiquitous in the hip-hop world; if you have not had the chance to see his rhymes live, I highly advise you to attend this show where you can see him in his truest form. And though he is getting old and no less misogynistic, Dr. Dre is back around, making Snoop Dogg someone to keep an eye on this year. — Aimee Katz

Smith Westerns - Feb. 25 at the Frequency

Everyone in the Smith Westerns is under 21 years old, yet they're already set to release their second pitch-perfect pop record. Their songs show their age in a good way—endearing in their innocence, optimism and zeal—but they are composed and, on their newly released sophomore LP Dye It Blonde, impressively grand. They're growing up, writing more intricate and complicated songs that still capture the most basic appeal, and their show at the Frequency Feb. 25 catches them right in stride. They'll swoon you with gawking melodies and fuzzy pop medleys and make you believe in love all over again—just don't try to buy them any drinks. — Kyle Sparks

Girl Talk - March 7 at the Orpheum

Few people would want to brag about almost being trampled to death, but I did just that my senior year of high school after visiting some College Friends on this fair campus.

During my visit I crammed in among 300 other sweaty students at Club 770 in the ""old"" Union South to see a new deejay called Girl Talk. Club 770, which had a maximum capacity of approximately 11.5, was quickly transformed into a teeming cesspool of pure party. Man, college was awesome.

Four years later, Gregg Gillis is returning to this old town to cause mass undulation among Madison's youth, and though the tracks may be different, the effect will doubtlessly be the    same.— Emma Roller

Wisconsin Film Festival - March 30 through April 3, various venues

For Madison movie buffs, there is no better time of year than the annual extended weekend dedicated to the Wisconsin Film Festival. Spread out over nine theaters in downtown Madison, Wisconsin's largest celebration of film brings together a great collection of notable indie flicks, local productions and cinematic classics every year. Tickets for the hottest shows sell out quickly every year, so all eager filmgoers should make mark their calendars for March 3 (festival program released) and March 5 (tickets go on sale). Because while it may not have the glamor of Cannes or the trendiness of Sundance, the Wisconsin Film Festival does manage to capture a uniquely Madisonian spirit of film and its an experience no film enthusiast should miss. — Todd Stevens

Destroyer - April 11 at the High Noon Saloon

What James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem is to dance parties, Dan Bejar's Destroyer is to cocktail parties. Penned by a poet and pinned by alcoholism, Destroyer's vast discography is an exhaustive lesson in hyper-intellectual, whimsical observation. After 2008's frustrated-sounding Trouble in Dreams, Bejar found a new avenue on 2009's ambient-disco Bay of Pigs EP, which makes an appearance on the outstanding 2011 release—the smooth, saxophone-driven Kaputt—in a slightly altered form (not to mention his nine other indie-folk masterpieces). And regardless of what you thought about the last two New Pornographers records, there's no denying Bejar's place as the supergroup's most dignified songwriter. He's not the kind of talent you want to miss.  — Kyle Sparks

Les Misérables - May 10-15 at the Overture Center

The U.S. tour of ""Les Misérables"" will come to the Overture Center May 10-15. Headed by critically acclaimed producer Cameron Mackintosh, this 25th anniversary edition brings new direction and scenery to the celebrated Boublil and Schönberg musical. ""Les Misérables"" is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history. It has been translated into over 20 languages and performed in over 40 countries. Because of the acclaim for the powerful cast and timeless music, there is a lot of anticipation for the show's run in Madison, and thus people are advised to get tickets as early as they can. Tickets will go on sale March 3. — Kayla Liederbach

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