ARTS & MUSIC
Greater Madison was recently ranked among the Best Places for Artists to Live, which means it’s a vibrant place to experience the arts, too! Our capital city has a cultural calendar that’s always full, with dozens of places to see a performance most any day of the week. Create your own checklist of places to see a play or live show using the information below.
If you enjoy taking in the arts in areas where there are plenty of restaurants, retail and accommodations, try:
Overture Center for the Arts: This stunning architectural landmark that is home to more than 200 performances, art exhibitions, and educational and community events each year. It’s also a Broadway destination for Wisconsin.
Overture Resident Companies: The Overture is home to 10 resident arts groups which span disciplines from dance to opera to orchestra.
If cool and quirky get a “standing o” in your book, you won’t want to miss:
American Players Theatre: Pack a picnic to enjoy before walking through the woods and up the hill to this charming outdoor theater. (Tip: Shakespeare under the stars is a don’t-miss).
Fireside Dinner Theatre: Fine dining and fantastic Broadway performances make for an unforgettable duet at this Fort Atkinson theatre that’s been in business since the ‘60s.
Broom Street Theater: This company performs experimental and original works in an intimate theater space located in Madison’s eclectic “Willy Street” neighborhood.
LIVE MUSIC VENUES
If you love live music, find yourself a front-row spot at venues that combine true talent and amazing experiences:
High Noon Saloon: This spacious club is a music mecca for local and national touring acts. The doors are open seven nights a week with shows for fans of indie, punk, hip hop, metal and more.
Ivory Room Piano Bar: This dueling piano format features tunes that’ll get everyone singing, from sultry serenades to sassy sing-a-longs—and even some silly tunes, too.
Memorial Union Terrace: This popular spot on the UW campus isn’t just for students. In summer, everyone’s invited to pull up a sunburst chair and listen to local, national and regional acts that perform lakeside! In the winter, head inside to Der Rathskeller, Strada, or Carte.
Concerts on the Square: This longstanding tradition—held on six consecutive Wednesdays in the summer—takes place on the capitol lawn! Put out a blanket, pack a picnic and relax to the sounds of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
Concerts on the Rooftop: Join the community atop the stunning, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace® for live music, dancing and stunning lakeside views.
Looking for more immersive arts experiences? Check out our Madison Museums itinerary!