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Overture Kicks Off Free 2022/23 'Kids In The Rotunda' Series In October
Kids in the Rotunda, Madison’s favorite 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 Saturday, Oct. 1. This year’s series includes 28 fun-filled 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 toe-tapping rhythms, mind-blowing magic, incredible dancing, engaging cultural arts performances, silly sing-alongs and more, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertain your whole family. Enjoy 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.

2022/23 KIDS IN THE ROTUNDA LINEUP

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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!

Saturday, 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. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the Madison Ballet like never before!

SPECIAL 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 PM and 4 PM

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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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. This be-bopping blues party will have the entire family on their feet!

Saturday, 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: Friday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, Dec. 24 – No Kids in the Rotunda

Saturday, Dec. 31 – No Kids in the Rotunda

Saturday, Jan. 7 – Monkey Business Institute

Get ready for a serious case of the giggles! The Monkey Business Institute features the best improvised comedy in the region. With no set, props, scripts or line memorization to fall back on in this special performance for youngsters, the Monkey Business Institute uses their super strong imaginations to create spur-of-the-moment, seat-of-their-pants improvisational comedy. Specializing in interactive improv comedy, the Monkey Business Institute works with the audience to create the fun all while teaching valuable lessons about teamwork, listening, storytelling, emoting, pantomime and how to use you mind and body to express your creativity!

Saturday, Jan. 14 – Panchromatic Steel

Panchromatic Steel has blazed an entirely new trail in the city’s music scene, fusing island styles with pop hits, rock and jazz into a high-energy blend that is hard to categorize but easy to love. With top-shelf multi-instrumentalism and wide-ranging appeal, Panchromatic’s music brightens any day, transports listeners to their happiest moments in the sun, and threads the needle by being artful yet accessible to virtually everyone. At the heart of Panchromatic’s sound is the steeldrum, or “steelpan” as it’s known in its native Trinidad & Tobago.

Saturday, Jan. 21 – Limanya Drum and Dance

Limanya Drum & Dance Ensemble performs traditional music and dance from Guinea, West Africa. By incorporating song, dance, drum and theater, Limanya’s performances are high-energy entertainment for all audiences. Limanya is composed of a diverse group of dancers and drummers from the U.S. who share a love of African tradition, celebration and culture. Limanya’s performances are exciting, engaging and highlight a variety of Guinean arts traditions.

Saturday, Jan. 28 – L.E.X.

L.E.X. (also known as “Mr. Alexis”) is a clean hip-hop artist, author, poet, DJ and educator from Milwaukee, Wis. While combining all these skills, he’s been a performer for Summerfest, the author of Music Theater of Madison’s musical children’s book “Finding Me” and the country’s “AmeriCorps Member of the Year” for his service in the state of Wisconsin. Poetry and music were positive outlets for L.E.X as a child in Milwaukee, and he’s dedicated his teaching and music career to showing the youth how powerful it can be for everyone. He wants to show everyone that dreams start young and can continue to grow like we do.

Saturday, Feb. 4 – The Jerry Ensemble

Raise your voice! The Jerry Ensemble, a performance group of high school musical theater students from Southern Wisconsin, will teach some fun vocal warm-ups and share their love of musical theater. Little singers will be encouraged to sing along with well-known tunes from famous musicals.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – James the Magician

Since 1986, James Ember has been creating and performing magic. He has performed his award winning, interactive, comedy magic show throughout the world. Performing magic with a wild passion since he won his first talent show at the age of six, his exceptional magical talent has been showcased at school programs, during weddings, at corporate events, on stages, on the street and everywhere in between. There’s one thing that drives every single one of his performances – he knows joy is contagious.

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Jolie Canoli

Your kids will never forget heartwarming author visits from Jolie Canoli! Jolie has traveled worldwide performing shows using mime, illusion, puppetry and original stories. As performing artist, Jolie Canoli and her cast of puppet characters offer an entertaining family experience while awakening childlike wonder.

Saturday, Feb. 25 – Tom Pease

One of the series’ most popular performers, Tom Pease engages children with imaginative songs and humor. Families around the world love his recordings, especially on long car trips! The power of reading, the universal language of song and the healing effects of laughter are all messages found throughout his performance. Tom’s show is highly animated, laced with songs and stories, leaving audiences with a renewed appreciation for their own sense of place and community.

Saturday, March 4 – Trinity Irish Dance

For nearly 40 years, this Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison institution has become the most widely recognized Irish dance program in the world. Shaping the lives of over 10,000 students, Trinity is centered around a powerful philosophy that is a radical departure from typical programs. Founded by Mark Howard in 1982, the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance has set numerous competitive records and thrilled audiences worldwide with its innovative approach and attention to detail. The school has locations throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.

Saturday, March 11 – Little Miss Ann and Suzi Shelton

Kids in the Rotunda welcomes back two incredible kids’ musicians as they join together again for a special fun, interactive kids’ music concert. Brooklyn kids’ musician Suzi Shelton and Chicago’s Little Miss Ann are both nationally touring artists who have made several award-winning albums. For this special concert, Suzi and Ann sing wonderful harmonies together and play ukulele, guitar and drum beats that will surely inspire kids and families to sing, clap, jump and dance along!

Saturday, March 18 – Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance

Since its founding in 2003 by Artistic Director Meenakshi Ganesan, the Madison based Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance has been fulfilling its mission of sharing the art of traditional classical Indian dance throughout the Midwest. On this visit to the Rotunda, you will vividly experience breathtaking stories of the East through the graceful body postures, percussive feet, vibrant costumes and dynamic expressions of the Kalaanjali dancers. Dancers of all ages (some as young as five years old) will capture your spirit with the beauty, elegance and magnificence of the Bharatanatyam-style dancing of southern India.

Saturday, March 25 – Beni Daiko

Beni Daiko, Madison’s Japanese Taiko group, was established in November 2012. “Beni” means “Deep color of Red,” which represents Madison, and “Taiko” means “drum” in Japanese. The group teaches and performs the art of Taiko drumming, a form of traditional Japanese musical expression that combines mental discipline and physical demand, and shares their Japanese culture through Taiko drumming and music.

Saturday, April 1 – INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL – No Kids in the Rotunda

Saturday, April 8 – Drum Power

Drum Power is a youth leadership program that provides young people with an opportunity to learn West African Traditional, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian drumming techniques and their cultural/historical significance. The program aims to build self-esteem and self-confidence through discovering the rewards of discipline, community and leadership, its pillars. Their performance will feature drum and dance from the ancient kingdom of Mali as well as Senegal, Guinea and Brazil, performed by youth performers ages 11-17, directed by Dr. Yorel Lashley and Tom Ross. Get ready to move, groove and learn with Drum Power.

Saturday, April 15 – Magic of Isaiah

The Magic of Isaiah presents “The Pure Energy Magic Show,” geared towards families and children of all ages. The show incorporates audience participation, comedy, magic and illusion. The Magic of Isaiah will take you on a journey through your imagination as you witness one-of-a-kind illusions that will make you want more. The only requirement for the show is your imagination.

Saturday, April 22 – Ken Lonnquist

Ken has written a gazillion songs that make people of all ages laugh, think and wonder. He’s recorded more than 30 albums for kids and adults that have won critical praise nationwide, and most importantly, a lasting place in the hearts of his listeners. He writes story-songs and topical songs, love songs and imagination songs. To celebrate Earth Day 2023, Ken will do two shows with his musical pals Doug Brown (banjo, guitar and fiddle) and Espere Eckard-Lee (accordion, washboard). Join us for songs about animals, trees and the beautiful planet we all share!

Saturday, April 29 – The Lullaby Project

Join local musicians and teaching artists for a very special day of sharing songs created for the little ones in your life. Ranging from funny to sweet, calming to danceable and silly to empowering, the concert will include a range of musical styles and audience interaction featuring lullabies written with a local parent as part of Overture’s Lullaby Project. The Lullaby Project pairs pregnant women and new mothers and fathers with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Around the world, the project reaches parents in healthcare settings, homeless shelters, high schools, foster care and correctional facilities. Overture Center is thrilled to offer the Lullaby Project, a national program of Carnegie Hall‘s Weill Music Institute, in partnership with Harambee Village and Madison Metropolitan School District’s Capital High Parenting Program.

Kids in the Rotunda is sponsored by the American Girl Fund for Children, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation and UnityPoint Health Meriter. Additional funding provided by Kuehn Family Foundation, Ian’s Pizza on State and contributions to Overture Center for the Arts.
OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wis., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and four galleries where national and international touring artists, nine resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. With the vision to provide “Extraordinary Experiences for All,” Overture’s mission is to support and elevate our community’s creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts. overture.org
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