Today is: Tuesday September 25, 2018 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

Overture Center on State Street in downtown. Photo by Zane Williams

Overture Center for the Arts

201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Tel: (608) 258.4177

Overture Center for the Arts Website
Overture Center for the Arts Facebook

Live Music Schedule:

Overture Hall:
10/3 Iluminate
10/4 Whose Live Anyway?
10/9-14 Something Rotten
10/25 WSMA High School State Honors Band & Orchestra Concert
10/26 WSMA High School State Honors Treble Choir and Mixed Choir Concert
11/5 Tedeschi Trucks Band, Todd Snider
11/6 Ballet Folklórico de México
11/14 Soweto Gospel Choir
11/16 Al Chez & The Brothers Of Funk
11/18 John Cleese
11/20-25 School of Rock
11/27 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Capitol Theater:
9/12 Iliza: Elder Millennial
9/15 Rising Star Finals
9/19 Gordon Lightfoot
9/20 Jeff Tweedy
9/24 Jake Shimabukuro
10/5 Snatam Kaur: Light Of The Beloved Tour
10/6 Welcome To Night Vale
10/12 Kenny G
10/13 Duck Soup Cinema: The Kid Brother
10/19 Maria Bamford Live
10/20 WellRED Comedy Tour: From Dixie With Love
10/25 E. Fay Butler: Songbook of Jazz
11/1 Randy Rainbow Live
11/2 Paula Poundstone
11/3 The Simon & Garfunkel Story
11/10 Wild Kratts Live 2.0
11/20 David Crosby & Friends
12/1 Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue

Madison Symphony Orchestra:
9/18 Organist: Greg Zelek
9/28-30 Emanuel Ax
10/19-21 Epic Romance w/ Zuill Bailey (Cellist), Tania Miller (Guest Conductor)
10/23 Paul Jacobs (Organist)
11/9-11 Remembering Lenny (Leonard Bernstein)
11/30-12/2 Christmas

Kids In The Rotunda:
10/6 Zoozort
10/13 MadScience
10/20 Angela Puerta
10/24 Ken Lonnquiest
10/27 The Jerry Ensemble
11/3 Madison Ballet
11/10 Future Hits
11/17 Cash Box Kings
11/24 Monkey Business
12/1 Yid Vicious
12/8 Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance
12/15 Pan Size Polkas
1/5 Truly Remarkable Loon

The Playhouse:
CTM Summer Stage:
9/6-23 Skeleton Crew
11/1-25 Fun Home

Promenade Hall:

Main Lobby:

Updated: 9/2/18 10:58am


Overture Center History:

The First Incarnation
In 1928, the Capitol Theatre opened its doors on State Street. Designed by the renowned Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp, the Capitol was a marvelous example of the type of opulent movie houses that were built back in the silent film age. Seating 2,500, the theater’s decor had a Moorish/Spanish theme. Uniformed ushers escorted moviegoers to their seats to watch features starring luminaries such as Harold Lloyd and Maurice Chevalier, as well as vaudeville acts like Mae West and Al Jolson. The state of the art building boasted the latest in modern conveniences and, perhaps most wonderful, a Grand Barton theater organ constructed by the Barton Musical Instrument Company of Oshkosh.

Over the years, as vaudeville disappeared and television and multiplexes proliferated, the theater entered a long decline. In 1974, Mayor Paul Soglin set the wheels in motion to open a new performing arts center in Madison.

Act Two
The Capitol Theater was part of extensive construction and renovation on the 200 block of State Street. Equipped with the latest in theater technology and renamed the Oscar Mayer Theatre, it was the main venue in a complex that also included the smaller Isthmus Playhouse, meeting rooms, and a Crossroads lobby connecting the performing arts venues with the Madison Art Museum under the same roof. Opening in 1980, the Madison Civic Center was Madison’s home for great arts and entertainment for 23 seasons. Dane County residents were treated to a range of experiences from luminaries like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Itzhak Perlman, to performances by local arts groups including the Madison Repertory Theatre and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, to free festivals and kids shows in the Crossroads, to the silent film series in which the Grand Barton organ continued to play.

Now Playing
In 1998, local businessman W. Jerome Frautschi made the breathtaking gift of $50 million for the development of a cultural arts district in downtown Madison. He established the Overture Foundation to solve the space needs of the city’s major arts organizations. Eleven months later, he made the decision that he would donate another $50 million more. At the completion of Phase 1 of construction, the announcement was made that Mr. Frautschi had spent an astonishing $205 million to build this state of the art facility.

Internationally famous architect Cesar Pelli was engaged to design the project. It was a challenge to design and construct the facilities within the constraints of a city block in the center of town, but the team has been up to it.

Now complete, the facility contains the fabulous Overture Hall, the intimate Playhouse, three black box spaces, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery, three community galleries, a soaring glass lobby, and the Capitol Theater, returned to its original name.


On State Street in Madison between W. Dayton Street and N. Henry Street, two blocks down from the State Capitol Square

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