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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A past year's festive and colorful display, known as the Holiday Fantasy in Lights.

Arts Preview: November events to be thankful for

The Chainsmokers with 5 Seconds of Summer at the Alliant Energy Center – 11/9

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart came together in 2012 to form the EDM DJ duo, The Chainsmokers. Since then, they have quickly risen to become one of the most popular acts in modern music with three studio albums and several EPs to their name. You will have the opportunity to see this ultra-talented duo in action at the Alliant Energy Center on Nov. 9, along with the highly sought-after Australian pop rock group 5 Seconds of Summer.

Winter Art Fair Off the Square at the Monona Terrace – 11/9 & 11/10

Formerly known as the Winter Art Festival, this is a companion show to the summer Art Fair Off the Square. The 30th Annual Winter Art Fair Off the Square will be held in the Exhibition Hall of Monona Terrace. With well over 100 exhibitors to purchase wonderful works for art from, this is a great chance to get some holiday shopping done early while also supporting Wisconsin artists. Music will be provided all weekend for entertainment and a silent auction will take place on Saturday. Hours for the event are Saturday from 9am – 5pm and Sunday from 10am – 4pm.

Holiday Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park on John Nolen Drive – 11/9 – 1/4

31 years running and the Holiday Fantasy in Lights never ceases to amaze! A Madison winter tradition, this free event is perfect for a night out around holiday season — whether you’re with your family, friends or that special someone. Tune to the accompanying radio station for a festive medley of holiday music. Lights turn on every night at 4pm starting on Nov. 9. Donations are accepted as you exit, which helps keep the event free and supports local community organizations such as the UW Health Burn Center. Driving around John Nolen Drive towards Olin Park, you can’t miss the extraordinarily large display of lights to the left.


Lana Del Rey at The Sylvee– 11/11

Not too many musicians are as lasting in today’s music industry as Lana Del Rey is. Over the last decade especially, she consistently churns out hit after hit while also separating herself from the pack with a unique style all her own. Often credited with helping to inspire artists like Miley Cyrus, Halsey and Lorde, Del Rey’s performances are sure to impress. She will be making a stop in Madison on Nov. 11 at The Sylvee off East Washington Avenue by Festival Foods. Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 8pm.

Big Wild at The Sylvee – 11/14

Featured as one of Pandora’s Artists to Watch in 2019, Big Wild has emerged quickly onto the national music scene. His debut album Superdream was released in Feb. of this year and instantly received critical praise. Somewhere between modern electronica and 80’s-wave, it’s hard to perfectly describe Big Wild’s sound in words. But every track on Superdream is expertly crafted. He will be performing at The Sylvee on Nov. 14 at 8pm, with doors opening at 6:30pm. Be sure to check out this artist on the rise now so in 10 years, you can brag and say you saw him first because Big Wild could be huge.

“Clybourne Park” at Mitchell Theatre – 11/14 – 11/24

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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 and conversation about the modern political climate in this country, “Clybourne Park” is helmed by professional guest director Michael Cotey. Performances will be held Nov. 14-24 in the Mitchell Theatre in Vilas Hall.


Art & Gift Fair at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art – 11/16 & 11/17

Another incredible art show will take place this month not too far from campus, known as the Art & Gift Fair. Located inside the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Overture Center, enjoy holiday shopping (or shopping for self-gifted works…) comfortably with the entertainment of live music and dance performances. Over 100 local vendors and artists will be there to show off their talents. A cash bar will be made available as well. Additional fun includes a photo booth, a silent auction and a “Bubbly Brunch” at Fresco on Sunday from 9am – 10:30am. Official hours for the Fair are Nov. 16 from 10am – 6pm and Nov. 17 from 10am – 4pm. Admission is $6 at the door or $5 in advance, online.

“Hamilton” at the Overture Center – 11/19 – 12/8

The show which reputation precedes itself, “Hamilton” is finally coming to Madison, making a stop at the Overture Center for nearly three weeks! Tickets sold fast, with a line forming well before they were made available at the Overture box office. But some are still available for a variety of shows. “Hamilton” is a true once-in-a-lifetime gem and you should strongly consider treating yourself to one of Broadway’s defining shows. Showtimes and tickets can be found online at


Hari Kondabolu at Comedy on State – 11/21 – 11/23

Based out of Brooklyn, New York, comedian and writer Hari Kondabolu is a true professional and master of his craft. With performances on shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, it’s easy to see why Kondabolu has sold out headlining tours and cemented himself as one of the funniest acts working today. Often labeled a political comic, his material is not always as heavy or controversial and he knows how to make you laugh no matter what the subject might be. Madison’s excellent comedy club – Comedy on State – is hosting this world class act from Nov. 21 – 23. On Thursday, Nov. 21, students get in for only $5!

“A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage” at The Orpheum – 11/30

The quintessential holiday classic comes to life with “A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage”. Arriving in town at the perfect time, this is a great way to spend a cold December Wisconsin evening, watching your favorite Christmas TV program performed by professional actors. With two performances — at 1:30pm and 5pm — on Nov. 30, The Orpheum should be your destination that day for a festive show, perfect for family or friends.

John Everman is an Arts Editor for The Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.

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