Today is: Sunday March 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:
2/27-3/4 An American in Paris
3/7 Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
3/9-10 Circus 1903 (CANCELLED)
3/18 MSO: Elgar: Enigma Variations
3/22 Brain Candy Live! w/ Adam Savage & Michael Stevens
3/24 Earth, Wind & Fire
4/3-8 Les Misérables
4/13-15 MSO: String Fever
4/17 MSO: Isabelle Demers (Organist)
4/27-29 Madison Opera Presents: Florencia en el Amazonas
4/28 Jim Jefferies
5/4-6 MSO: Mass Appeal
5/7 Brit Floyd: Eclipse
5/8 Dance Theater of Harlem
5/11 MSO: Greg Zelek (Organist)
5/12 Just Call Me God: A Dictator’s Final Speech w/ John Malkovich
5/15-20 On Your Feet!
6/1 Second City Presents: Look Both Ways Before Talking
6/15-17 MSO: Harry Potter The Chamber of Secrets
6/24-29 Waitress
6/26 Yanni
7/24-29 Waitress
8/8 Tajmo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo Band

Capitol Theater:
3/2 Champions Of Magic
3/3 Postsecret: The Show
3/4 Jonny Lang, Tony Lucca
3/10 Puppet Up! Uncensored
3/11 Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook
3/15 The Pirates of Penzance
3/17 Duck Soup Cinema: Sunrise
3/23 WSO: Alexandre Dossin (Piano)
3/27 Cirque D’ Or
3/30-31 Madison Ballet Presents: Rise
4/5 Brandon Uranowitz: Songs of Willaim Finn & More
4/6 Adam Carolla
4/7 Duck Soup Cinema: Sherlock Jr.
4/10 National Geographic Live: North Korea to Cuba
4/12 Kyle Megna & The Monsoons, The Lucas Cates Band
4/14 Williams Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)
4/20 WSO: Ilya Kaler (Violin)
4/26 Scrap Arts Music: Children Of Metropolis
4/27-28 Disenchanted The Musical (CANCELLED)
5/3 Black Violin: Classical Boom Tour
5/5 Arch8’s Tetris
5/6 Trampled By Turtles, Dead Horses
5/11 WSO: John O’Conor (Piano)
6/7 Ken Page
6/24 Nick Swardson

The Rotunda:
3/3 Tom Pease
3/10 Jeannie McQueenie
3/15 The Pirates Of Penzance
3/17 Limanya Drum & Dance Ensemble
3/24 Trinity Irish Dance
3/31 Stuart Stotts
4/7 David Landau
4/14 Davey Doodle & the Red Hots
4/21 Magic of Isaiah
4/28 Laura Doherty

The Playhouse:
3/10-25 CTM: Diary of a Worm, A Spider and a Fly
4/5-22 Forward Theater Company: Marjorie Prime
5/4-20 CTM: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Promenade Hall:
3/2-4 Li Chiao-Ping Dance Presents: Arena
3/10 Shh! We Have a Plan
3/11 Tommy Ensemble Cabaret
4/13-15 Radiance
4/20-29 Lines A Theater Lila Invention
5/5 Fanning The Flame

Main Lobby:

** MSO (Madison Symphony Orchestra)
      * WCO (Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra)

Updated: 2/28/18 12:33am


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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