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  • Overture Center for the Arts

    201 State Street
    Madison WI 53703
    (608) 258.4177
    (17750) Page Views

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

    Overture Center for the Arts in Madison

    Updated: 3/1/20 12:37am

    Overture Hall:
    3/11-3/29 Wicked
    4/17-19 Madison Opera Presents: Orpheus in the Underworld
    4/21-26 My Fair Lady
    4/27 David Sedaris
    4/29 Air Play
    5/6 Alonzo King LINES Ballet
    5/9 RAIN (Beatles Tribute)
    5/12-17 The Play That Goes Wrong
    5/30 Star Wars “A New Hope” Live in Concert
    8/4-9 Come From Away
    9/13 Steve Martin & Martin Short w/ Paul Shaffer, Alison Brown & Fair Weather Friends

    Capitol Theater:
    3/14-22 CTM: Peter Pan
    3/24 One Night of Queen
    4/2 Sccoby-Doo and The Lost City of Gold
    4/4 The Flying Karamazov Brothers
    4/11-12 Madison Ballet Presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    4/14-15 BANFF Film Festival
    4/16 Step Afrika
    4/18 Duck Soup Cinema: The Social Secretary
    4/19 Monkey Baa’s ‘Diary of a Wombat’
    4/21 National Geographic Live: From Summit to Sea w/Andy Mann
    4/25 Plena Libre
    4/30 Alysha Umphress
    5/9 Classic Albums Live Performs: AC/DC’s Back in Black
    5/17 Kathy Mattea
    5/26-27 National Geographic Live: The Anatomy of Deceit
    6/5 The Finest Hour feat. Davina & the Vagabonds, Hot Club of Cowtown
    6/13 The Second City’s Laughing
    6/13 The Best of Second City (Late Night Edition)

    Madison Symphony Orchestra:
    3/6-8 The Miracle
    4/3-5 Dvorák Requiem
    5/1-3 Piano Power
    5/5 Organ Series feat. Greg Zelek w/ The Diapason Brass & Timpani

    Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra:
    3/27 Yolanda Kondonasis (Harp)
    4/24 Eric Silberger (Violin)
    5/8 Andrew Balio (Trumpet)

    Promenade Hall:
    5/9-10 Kanopy Dance Company: Martha Graham: The Next Generation

    Main Lobby:
    3/30 The Kissers

    The Playhouse:
    3/6-7 Robert Dubac’s Idiocracy
    3/19-4/5 Forward Theater: The Amateurs
    4/24-5/10 Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure

    The Rotunda:
    3/7 Trinity Irish Dance
    3/14 Tom Pease
    3/21 The Handphibians
    3/28 Lullaby Project
    4/4 Limanya Drum & Dance Ensemble
    4/11 Wagging The Tail
    4/18 Kenn Lonnquist
    4/21 Halo O Malo
    4/25 Davey Doodle & the Red Hots

    Overture Center for the Arts Online:

    Venue Description:

    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.