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Friday, December 08, 2023
theater madison

What the Madison art scene has in store for fall 2023

With students, new and old, returning to campus and Madison locals setting aside their swimsuits in favor of warm fall sweaters, it’s this time of year when Madison comes to life. 

From concerts performed by big-name artists to local indie bands, comedy shows and movie premieres, there’s something for everyone. 

The Daily Cardinal compiled a list previewing just a few of the most notable arts events happening in fall 2023. 

Diana Ross Concert 

September 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. 

The Orpheum Theater 

Ticketed

There ain’t no mountain high enough for acclaimed R&B and pop artist Diana Ross, who is set to perform at The Orpheum Theatre this September. Ross is among the most influential musicians of this and the past century, with twelve number-one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from throughout her career.

Feestet Concert 

Wisconsin Union Theater 

September 15, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE 

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The Wisconsin Union Theater is presenting a free concert by the jazz ensemble Feestet. The band dubs itself “gateway jazz,” and promises a show that will excite even those who don’t prefer listening to jazz as a genre. 

Not Another D&D Podcast 

The Barrymore Theater 

September 14, 2023 at 8:00 p.m.

Ticketed 

Get out your dice and miniatures, because the “Not Another D&D Podcast” crew is set to play Dungeons and Dragons live at the Barrymore Theater. This humorous and lively podcast features actors Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Jake Hurwitz and Caldwell Tanner playing a group of colorful fantasy characters tasked with cleaning up the messes left by the group of chivalrous heroes who came before them.

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt 2B

September 14-24, 2023 

Ronald E. Mitchell Theatre 

Ticketed 

This witty, endearing and hilarious gender-swapped subversion of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes stories is returning to the Mitchell Theatre for a second run after its warm reception this summer. Read more about this must-see university production in The Daily Cardinal’s review of the play’s first run.

Sunday Tour: Chazen’s Greatest Hits

The Chazen Museum of Art

September 17, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. 

FREE 

This informative tour of UW-Madison’s free art museum shows you the most important parts of the Chazen, and it will leave you wanting to make time to see the rest of the museum. 

Homecoming Kick-off Concert: Armani White & D.A.R.S.

Varsity Hall, Union South 

September 30, 2023 

FREE

Kick off UW-Madison’s 2023 Homecoming with a free concert from Armani White & D.A.R.S, hosted in Varsity Hall at Union South. Rapper Armani White, who released his first album “Keep in Touch” in 2019, first rose to notoriety with his hit Billboard Hot 100 single “Billie Eilish.” 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Live in Concert 

The Overture Center 

October 4, 2023 

Ticketed

The Academy Award-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is coming to Madison’s Overture Center with a twist: live musicians will play the film's score, along with a DJ live on stage to capture the hip hop elements of the film's soundtrack. The film is two hours long with a 50 minute intermission and tickets are around $40 each. 

The Band Camino 

The Sylvee 

October 14, 2023 

Ticketed 

Famous for songs like “See You Later” and “I Think I Like You,” The Band Camino, a rock band created while its members were college students in Tennessee, will play their greatest hits and songs from their new album “The Dark” that was released in August. Tickets start at $40 for a fun live show at the Sylvee. 

Mania: The Abba Tribute 

October 22, 2023 

The Orpheum Theater

Ticketed 

Although the international pop sensation stopped touring 43 years ago, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the experience of seeing ABBA live in concert. This award-winning show has traveled the world-over to recreate the magic of the much-beloved supergroup, visiting such famed venues as the Strand Theatre in London’s West End and the Deutsches Theatre in Munich. Mark your calendar for when “Mania: The ABBA Tribute” arrives at The Orpheum Theater in October!

The Taylor Party 

The Sylvee 

November 3, 2023 

Ticketed 

For those who can’t get tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, “The Taylor Party” can fill the gap. This show is a dance party set to all of Taylor’s greatest hits with a crowd that matches any Er’s Tour energy. Tickets start at $18. 

Twelfth Night

November 9-19, 2023

Ronald E. Mitchell Theatre

Ticketed

“Twelfth Night” is the second production to be performed by UW-Madison’s Department of Theatre and Drama this fall. This romantic -comedy musical, inspired by Shakespeare’s classic play, sees young heroine Viola disguise herself as a man to court a countess. However, she ends up catching feelings for a duke in the process. Tickets go fast, so make sure to reserve your seat soon!

Cinematheque Fall Premieres Series 

Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. 

4070 Vilas Hall 

FREE

UW-Madison’s Cinematheque brings premiere films from around the world to campus every Thursday. All films on Thursday nights are early access or exclusive looks at films from all over the spectrum of filmmaking, and the films come in many different languages and styles. Film screenings are free, and the Cinematqeue has screenings all throughout the fall. 

Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection

The Chazen Museum of Art

September-December 2023

FREE 

Look into contemporary African art found at the Chazen in this special exhibit that attempts to show a new look at modern African life and raise the profile of African artists. The exhibit also examines how artists use visualizations of the human figure to ask questions about political issues, cultural identities and social histories. This exhibit is a great stop for anyone looking to learn more about African history through art. 

Just Bust! Open Mic Night 

Wisconsin Historical society 

Every first Friday of the month

FREE 

Just Bust! is one of Madison’s longest-running open mic events, featuring short performances by amateur artists from throughout the Madison area. Those interested in performing are invited to reserve a spot through their Eventbright page or to sign up in person starting at 8 p.m. the night of the event.

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Noah Fellinger

Noah Fellinger is an Arts Editor for The Daily Cardinal. He's covered the performing arts, new film and television releases, and labor issues in the arts. Follow him on Twitter at @Noah_Fellinger.


Gabriella Hartlaub

Gabriella Hartlaub is an arts editor for the Daily Cardinal. She also reports state politics and life & style stories. Follow her on Twitter at @gabihartlaub.

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