Kids in the Rotunda, the family-friendly Saturday arts performance series, kicks off its 2022-23 season on Overture Center’s Rotunda stage next month, starting with a returning favorite, Black Star Drum Line, on Oct. 1. This year’s series includes 28 Saturdays along with two special holiday events during school breaks: Magic Morgan and Liliana on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Truly Remarkable Loon on Friday, Nov. 25.
Featuring rhythms, magic, dancing, engaging cultural arts performances, silly sing-alongs and more, the Kids in the Rotunda series features a diverse lineup of local, regional and national performers selected exclusively for children ages nine and younger and their families.
Coming back this year, the Rotunda Café will be open during shows to offer coffee, juice and snacks for sale with part of the proceeds benefiting Overture Center for the Arts.
In addition, families are invited to participate in “Arts After Overture” in partnership with the Madison Public Library after select 9:30 a.m. sessions throughout the season. The sessions provide arts experiences related to the morning’s Kids in the Rotunda performance. Little Om Big Om Yoga is also back this season and will lead youngsters in family-friendly yoga sessions at 10:30 a.m. before the Oct. 29, Dec. 10, Jan. 21 and April 22 shows.
A livestream option will be available once a month. Visit the Kids in the Rotunda Facebook page or follow Overture’s Kids in the Rotunda web page for updates.
Free 45-minute performances will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. All virtual performances and the 1 p.m. performance will be American Sign Language interpreted. Please call 608.258.4447 if you need to be seated within sight of the interpreter for live performances.
Oct. 1 - Black Star Drum Line: Black Star Drum Line, famous for their “street beats,” has done over 600 performances in Madison and the surrounding area since the program began in 2008. The group showcases talented local dancers, singers, rappers and beat boxers, along with local celebrity musicians and performers.
Oct. 8 - Angela Puerta: Colombian singer-songwriter and guitarist Angela Puerta is a six-time MAMA award winner based in Madison. Angela and her band will celebrate their Latin roots this October, Hispanic Heritage Month, with a festive and fun show for the whole family. The band will get everyone up on their feet with Latin beats, Colombian folkloric music and other familiar songs in both English and Spanish. Angela will be joined by two of her favorite musician friends: Salar Saleh, an outstanding percussionist from New York City, and bassist Jenna Joanis from Wisconsin.
Oct. 15 – Mad Science: Prepare for science “tricks and treats” as we present our most famous elixirs. We'll show you how a Mad Scientist prepares their costume with a bit of FLASH and flare! Count Eggbert eats too much Halloween candy and can’t fit into the door of his home! Cauldrons of frothing witches’ brews and warlock potions will complete your experience with the most "maddening" Halloween ever!
Oct. 22 – Madison Ballet: Madison Ballet returns to the Rotunda Stage for an “off-stage and personal” look at what it’s really like to be a dancer. Take part in a ballet class warm up, see the dancers practice their barre and center floor work, and watch a rehearsal up close.
HALLOWEEN PERFORMANCE: Wednesday Oct. 26 - Magic Morgan and Liliana: Prepare for eye-popping illusions, dazzling balloon sculptures and stunts with live animals―along with seemingly impossible tricks―in an unusual and incredible display of magic when award-winning magicians Magic Morgan and Liliana take the stage. Try solving some of their magical mysteries as they bring a smile to your face with their mind-boggling performance. SPECIAL PERFORMANCE TIMES: 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 – Fox & Branch: For over two decades, Dave Fox and Will Branch have energized audiences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland. Their dynamic mix of old-time music, original songs and family folk music has appealed to children and adults, giving everyone a chance to actively participate. Fox & Branch recordings have won five Parent’s Choice recommended awards. Whether it’s at a theater, a school performance, a community event or a library show, Fox &d Branch entertain, educate and actively engage people.
Nov. 5 – Wisconsin Dells Singers: Learn about and celebrate Native American culture with traditional Ho-Chunk Nation songs and dances passed down from generation to generation from the Wisconsin Dells Singers and Dance Troop.
Nov. 12 – Cash Box Kings - The Cash Box Kings are dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940’s and 50’s post-war blues sound. With performances throughout the United States, South America and Europe, this rockin’ blues band has gained international acclaim. The band showcases the music of the classic Chicago era and have tailored their Rotunda performances to teaching children about this time-honored genre. The Cash Box Kings give families an opportunity to dance, sing and even get up on stage to play harmonica.
Nov. 19 - Laura Doherty and the Heartbeats: Chicago-based Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats acoustically rocks your kid’s world with breezy folk-pop tunes from her five award-winning albums, which feature her adorable puppet friends: Muddy Puddles, Paulette the Purple Dragonette and Domingo the Flamingo! This upbeat, interactive concert will have kids dancing and clapping along to Laura's original catchy tunes! "Doherty writes the perfect pop song for kids, light and breezy." - Chicago Tribune
SPECIAL BLACK FRIDAY PERFORMANCE: Nov. 25 – Truly Remarkable Loon: After 47 years of juggling, Madison's own Truly Remarkable is going to retire (unless the Minnesota Vikings pick him for next season), but not before one final appearance at Kids in the Rotunda on Purple Friday, often incorrectly referred to as Black Friday. Join Loon with his unusual brand of comedy, flying bean bags chairs, flying dragons, spinning plates and flying monkeys. Expect the unexpected. All ages will be amazed, amused and entertained.
Nov. 26 - Yid Vicious - Put on your dancing shoes and turn your cabin fever into freylekhs fever! Yid Vicious brings the Rotunda stage to life with Yiddish dance music spanning generations from the old world to our world. With a musical arsenal of fiddle, clarinets, accordion, horn, tuba, guitar, theremin and drums, Yid Vicious will have you hopping out of your seats in no time.
Dec. 3 - Stuart Stotts - Stuart Stotts is a musician, songwriter, storyteller and author from Madison. He's been performing around the world since 1986 for students, families and communities of many types. Stuart specializes in audience participation, humor, movement and positive messages.
Dec. 10 – Handphibians: The Handphibians present a taste of Brazil as Madison’s own community percussion group celebrates three different styles of Brazilian rhythms: Rio Style Samba, Samba Reggae of Salvador and Maracatu from Recife. Founded in 1996 by Robert Schoville, the Handphibians’ music is modeled after the Brazilian baterias of the Escolas de Samba in Rio de Janeiro, Blocos Afros of Salvador and the Maracatu Naçãos of Recife. Their music is also naturally influenced by the percussion traditions of Africa and even Wisconsin.
Dec. 17 - David Landau: David Landau is a former first grade teacher, an award-winning musician and entertainer, and he is very funny. David's personal appearances are upbeat musical programs that keep children engaged and constantly thinking. The kids sing some, move some, act some, dance some, shout just a little bit and laugh a bunch. The adults just sit back and enjoy the show.