Madison is home to dozens of venues for taking in movies, plays, musicals and concerts. The Daily Cardinal highlights some highly anticipated events happening on campus this fall semester, as well as a few movies and shows for you to enjoy in between studies!
“Ad Astra” — Sept. 20
Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride in director James Gray’s science fiction space adventure about a man in search of his missing scientist father, whose experiment poses a threat to the continued survival of humankind. Also starring are Liv Tyler as McBride’s wife Eve, Ruth Neega, as well as veteran actors Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones.
“Joker” — Oct. 4
In this gritty and dark reimaging of the origins of DC Comics’ greatest villain, Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck. A failed comedian living with mental illness, Fleck himself feels like a joke to the insensitive people of Gotham City. Stepped on his whole life, he finally decides to have the last laugh, donning the legendary clown paint and taking on the persona of the Joker. Directed by Todd Phillips and co-starring Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”) with film legend Robert De Niro, “Joker” is already generating Oscar buzz and recently received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.
“Harriet” — Nov. 1
A biopic about a real American hero which feels long overdue, the incredible true story of Harriet Tubman and the establishment of the Underground Railroad will finally be told on the big screen. An escaped slave turned abolitionist; Tubman would make over a dozen rescue missions to personally free as many as 70 slaves over her lifetime. “Harriet” stars Cynthia Ervio (“Bad Times at the El Royale”) in the titular role and is directed by Kasi Lemmons.
“Doctor Sleep” — Nov. 8
The direct sequel to “The Shining,” Ewan McGregor plays Dan Torrance who was initially introduced to us as a child in the first film. Now an adult and decades removed from the horrors which took place at the Overlook Hotel, he struggles with alcoholism and psychic powers that have haunted him his whole life. Sharing this ability with countless others in the world, a teenager who shares the gift known as the ‘shine’ comes to Torrance needing help to fight against the True Knot — a sinister group that feeds off of the ‘shine’ of others in a quest to sustain immortality. “Doctor Sleep” is written and directed by “The Haunting on Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan.
“Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” — Dec. 20
A film which needs no introduction or set up, what’s come to be known as the Skywalker saga will come to an end. In the ninth film of the “Star Wars” franchise and third of the current trilogy, the Resistance will face the First Order one more time. The long-standing conflict between the Jedi and Sith will culminate with our hero and last Jedi, Rey, and the sadistic Supreme Leader Kylo Ren facing one another, as well as their own inner demons. J.J. Abrams returns to the director’s chair, having helmed the “Episode VII – The Force Awakens.”
“Saturday Night Live” — premieres Sept. 28
Season 45 of NBC’s legendary live sketch comedy show promises to be as relevant and controversial as ever with the current slew of hot-button subjects present in American society. With the election next year and campaigns in full swing, we are sure to have our fair share of social media breaking impersonations from the talented cast, which includes Kenan Thompson, entering his sixteenth year as the longest-tenured cast member in show history. Woody Harrelson will host the season premiere with musical guest Billie Eilish.
“Supernatural” — premieres Oct. 10
In following the adventures of the Winchester Brothers, we’ve seen them battle monsters, angels, demons and even each other. Dean and Sam have always stood in the way of apocalyptic level destruction and will do so, again, one more time. Series stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been the only actors to appear in every episode. The fifteenth and final season of “Supernatural” will air Thursdays at 7 p.m. CST on the CW.
“The Mandalorian” — premieres Nov. 12
As one of the first shows to be released under the new Disney+ streaming service available later this fall, “The Mandalorian” will also be the first live-action television show set within the “Star Wars” universe. Created by “Iron Man” and “The Lion King” director Jon Favreau, the show is set five years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” and follows a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter across the galaxy beyond the New Republic. “The Mandalorian” will star Pedro Pascal (“Narcos,” “Game of Thrones”) as the titular character.
“Evil Dead The Musical” — Sept. 12-29 at Mitchell Theatre
Based on the iconic horror-comedy trilogy created by Sam Raimi, Mitchell Theatre plays host to a production of “Evil Dead The Musical.” Accompanying the music is the gore and blood mixed with the laughs that the series is known for. Originally a product from the mind of George Reinblatt, this University Theatre production is directed by Jace Nichols with musical direction by Erin McConnell.
“Clybourne Park” — Nov. 14-24 at Mitchell Theatre
A University Theatre production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, the story is set first in 1959 and then 50 years later using the same house as a setting for a tale about community and race relations. Sure to invoke plenty of thoughts about the modern political climate in this country, “Clybourne Park” is helmed by professional guest director Michael Cotey.
Lizzo — Oct. 10
Mega-popular singer and rapper Lizzo returns to Madison with a set at The Sylvee located off of East Washington Avenue. Also performing will be Ari Lennox and DJ Sophia Eris. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
New Found Glory — Nov. 8
Iconic pop punk band New Found Glory is set to fire up Madison just as the temperature will begin to turn cold outside. What better time to head indoors for a show at the Majestic? Also playing will be Hawthorne Heights and Jetty Bones. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Madison World Music Festival — Sept. 13 and 14
This two-day festival will feature a beautiful array of music from around the world. Featuring sounds of countries like Italy, Peru and Chad, those that attend will be able to see acts at two locations. The Memorial Union Terrace will be the location for the first day of the festival, followed by the Willy Street Fair on the second with a nightly performance back at Memorial Union.
UW & Madison Metropolitan Jazz Festival — Dec. 7
The newly built Hamel Music Center will play host to an all-day music festival featuring the city and campus’ best jazz acts. Beginning in the morning, the festival runs all day until 3 p.m. when a final performance will take place, located at the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall.
John Everman is an Arts Editor for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.