Free Thanksgiving meals, Thursday, Nov. 24: If you’re looking for some fellowship (and some good eats) on the holiday, there are multiple options offered by community organizations. In-person meals take place at the Raymond Road location of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (11 a.m.-1 p.m.); Lakeview Lutheran Church (noon; RSVP at 608-244-6181); and Delta Beer Lab (3-5 p.m.; RSVP appreciated).
Immersive Van Gogh, Nov. 24-Jan. 8, Greenway Station: If you’ve ever wanted to just fall into a scene depicted in one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings…this traveling presentation by Lighthouse Immersive is about as close as you can get. Spaces are transformed with large-scale projections of digitally recreated incarnations of Van Gogh’s works. Purchase tickets for timed entry at vangoghmadison.com; the experience is hosted at 1651 Deming Way, Middleton, in the Greenway Station retail center.
Kids in the Rotunda, Friday, Nov. 25, Overture Center-Rotunda Stage, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.: This edition of Overture Center’s free series for kids is extra special for two reasons. First, it is the last chance to see a performance by legendary Madison juggler Truly Remarkable Loon, who will be tossing the flaming torches no more after these three performances. Second, it is a day off from school as part of a long holiday weekend (a double bonus for the kiddos). And it’s worth noting that Kids in the Rotunda is also holding down its normal time slot on Saturday, Nov. 26, with performances by Yid Vicious at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Joseph Mougel + Richard Moninski, through Jan. 22, Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery: This winter, explore the great outdoors inside the James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy as it unveils a pair of new exhibits. The “Herbarium” series by photographer Joseph Mougel explores plants and colonization, and plays with nature’s tension between the scientific and whimsical in his collection. In “Clash/Meld,” painter and digital artist Richard Moninski contrasts the natural with the man-made to explore nature, history and culture. The exhibit is up through Jan. 22; regular hours are noon-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24-25 and 31, Jan. 1.
Black Friday Market & Pub Crawl, Friday, Nov. 25, near east side, noon-5 p.m.: Madison Makers Market coordinates this blowout of an afternoon of art-trawling and bar-hopping (here is your friendly reminder: don’t take your drink between locations). More than 125 vendors are assembled at eight locations; there are dozens at both The Sylvee and Brink Lounge, and smaller groupings at Giant Jones, Imaginary Factory, Old Sugar Distillery, State Line Distillery, Vintage-Capitol East and Working Draft. Why futz with predicted shipping delays when you can do some local holiday shopping from regional makers? Find the full list of vendors at each location on Facebook.
BGCDC Holiday Gift Drive, through Dec. 2, various locations: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County is once again collecting board games, toys and books appropriate for ages 18 and under, for distribution to member families during the holiday season. Through Dec. 2, new, unwrapped donations can be dropped at any BGCDC location; all Dane County Walgreens; BMO Harris Bank, 4726 East Towne Blvd. and 7447 University Ave., and Carbon World Health, in Madison; Cardinal HVAC and Full Mile Brewing in Sun Prairie; and JSD Professional Services in Verona. No time to shop for a gift? Find links for an Amazon wish list or monetary donations at bgcdc.org/holidayextravaganza.
Zoo Lights, Nov. 25-Dec. 30, Henry Vilas Zoo: Tis the season of holiday light displays, and one of the region’s most elaborate and unique incarnations can be found at Henry Vilas Zoo. Zoo Lights opens on Thanksgiving weekend, and Santa will be on hand for photos through Dec. 23; tickets also include unlimited carousel rides. Purchase tickets in advance for timed entry from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, plus Dec. 20-23 and 26-30.
Hip-Hop Nutcracker, Friday, Nov. 25, Overture Hall, 7 p.m.: Of course Tchaikovksy’s The Nutcracker is a perennial favorite, and this contemporary take is a welcome variation on the familiar scenes and pirouettes. This hip-hop version of the ballet takes the holiday scene to New York City and incorporates fresh dance moves (the “Russian Dance” gone street is a particular delight). The plot is essentially the same, and most of the orchestral music is straight-up Tchaikovksy. Tickets at overture.org.
Sean Patton, Nov. 25-26, Comedy on State, 7:30 and 10 p.m.: A staple of Comedy Central, Sean Patton has been seen on shows such as stand-up showcases Live at Gotham and The Half Hour or acting on Inside Amy Schumer. His live stand-up work has taken him around the world to festivals from Melbourne to Glasgow to Austin, and brings him back to Madison for a weekend stand at Comedy on State.
Celebration of Tom Petty, Friday, Nov. 25, Majestic Theatre, 8 p.m.: t’s been five years since Tom Petty died, likely from a buildup of a variety of pain medications. The sound of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers didn’t change significantly over the course of the band’s career, yet never got old. It was straight-ahead rock, always melodic, with ringing guitars and a driving beat in songs like “You Wreck Me” and “The Waiting.” The Driveway Thriftdwellers, plus members of WheelHouse, People Brothers Band, Wise Jennings, Alex White, Mackenzie Moore and others bring it all back in this fifth Petty party.
Sky Urchin, Friday, Nov. 25, Dark Horse ArtBar, 9 p.m.: Madison rock trio Sky Urchin returns to clubland for the first time in a few years, with a new single as a teaser. “Co-Alone” commences low-key and doomy before shifting into fuzzy banger mode; it’s the first glimpse of Sky Urchin’s debut album, set for 2023. This show does have a bittersweet aspect: it is your last chance to visit Dark Horse ArtBar, which will be closing after Nov. 25 following a too-short reign on East Washington. With The Vipers, Haunt Smiley.
Denku x Urban, Saturday, Nov. 26, The Rigby, 9 p.m.: Prolific Milwaukee emcee Taiyamo Denku is a frequent collaborator with other artists, and Denku’s 2022 releases include Artistic Display, a collaborative album with Madison rapper Urban Legend. Catch the collab in person at this holiday weekend concert also featuring Pestilence, Dash, Chas and DJ Toxic T.
Daryl Hall + Todd Rundgren, Sunday, Nov. 27, Orpheum, 7:30 p.m.: Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren came up through the Philadelphia music scene in the 1960s, and 2022 finds them touring together. The honey-voiced Hall’s latest release is Before/After, the first collection to include work from all his solo albums. The eternally exploring Rundgren’s newest, Space Force, launched in October. Don’t miss the chance to see two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees on the same bill, and in the historic, newly renovated Orpheum Theater to boot.