It has been a difficult Spring…


I’m sure you noticed there has been less posts for the last month. The reason why is the unexpected passing of my sweet Mother-In -Law Janice on Friday, March 13.   Her funeral service was on the 18th. My husband and I are still grieving and helping his sisters clean our her home and prepare it for sale.   We also are planning to have a garage sale in May.

Mom made made the most comments on this blog and they are never going to be deleted as long as it exists.  I know she would want us to keep adventuring and writing and to be happy she is in a better place.  She will be missed, but Al and I will continue to blaze new trails in the years ahead. She would like that :)  We will love you always Mom.

Jan 1995

Overture Center of the Arts Tour


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At long last, we took a tour of the Overture Center of the Arts. They are free, given every Saturday morning at 11:00 AM unless a special event is going on. Overture Center and Associated Bank Madison State Street

In the entry is a plaque.

Plaque on Overture Center

Tour guides and sign at Overture Center

Our tour guides Dawn and Ann were quite excellent in showing us so many of the nooks and crannies of this fine entertainment venue. Our tour began in the foyer in front on an inscription carved into the marble, a quote by the main benefactor, Jerry Frautschi. He and his wife Pleasant Rowland  were partner in funding the reconstruction of the former Civic Center. The original facade was left standing.

Jerry Frautchi quote atOverture Center

Jerry Frautchi and Pleasant Rowland

Civic Center front

Now let’s begin our tour by visiting the Capitol Theater.  The are four performance halls inside the OC. We had a quick peek inside, rehearsals we going on for a show that took place later. The hallway outside of the auditorium was beautiful!

Capitol Theater Overture Center

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We also went under the stage to see the trap doors the performers sometimes dropped through.

Capitol Theater trap doors at Overture

We also got to see some of the dressing rooms and Green Room for performers and crew to take a break. There is a book where cast and crew can sign too. Jerry Seinfeld was here in January!

Green Room and Dressing Room

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Next was the Rotunda Studio, great to have a wedding reception or large party in.

Rotunda Studio at Overture Center

We came upstairs into sunlight to see the great view of the Capitol in the Promenade.

Promemade view at Overture Center

Another great room your party can rent is the Wisconsin Studio.  See all the areas you can reserve for your use here.

Wisconsin Studio at Overture Center

While we are downstairs, we visited the Rotunda Stage, directly below the dome skylight.

Rotunda Stage at Overture Center

Promenade Hall has hosted many events.  Plenty of room for a small orchestra up front.

Promenade Hall at Overture Center

And the most exciting part was the finale of our tour. The largest performance auditorium of all (seats 2255),  The Overture Hall, had just finished the show going on while we were there (heard them under the stage!) and we were allowed to go in and take a look!  Quite a beautiful place, and the large pipe organ is a sight to behold!

Overture Hall in Overture

Overture Hall Organ at Overture Center

We had a fantastic tour, thanks Dawn and Ann!  The fun doesn’t stop here though.  Our tour concluded with at the time capsule, to be opened in 2056. We hope we are there to see it opened.

Overture Center Time CapsulePhoto Booth Project at Overture Center

When you visit, get your picture taken at their very own photo booth. They give you a print on the spot and send it in an email too.  A great memento of your visit!

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Since the Overture Center is a non-profit agency, they have many means to raise funds and have quite a few sponsors. Their main fundraiser is Art Fair On/Off The Square in Mid-July. A chance for you to purchase art from artists around the country. We will be back soon! It looks just as pretty at night.

Overture Center dome

Overture Center at night

30th Annual International Festival at the Overture Center in Madison


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Overture Center and Associated Bank Madison State Street

This was my first time attending this festival (Al couldn’t come) and also my first time going inside the Overture Center of the Arts.  They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year so it was high time.

The festival began at 10:30 in the morning, opening with Swiss Alphorns, played by two gentlemen from New Glarus. They sound like they are from Switzerland, and have played at this festival the entire 30 years.  We also saw them in the Cheese Days in Monroe parade. Let’s listen in.

Swiss Alphorn players at International Festival

After that spellbinding performance, we enjoyed the Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association.

Chinese Dragon Dance at International festival at Overture Center

Soon after that was a beautiful 45 minute performance by the UW Russian Folk Orchestra in the Capitol Theater.  The Madison Russian School Children’s Choir also performed a cute cat song, sung in Russian!

UW Russian Folk Orchestra in Madison

Here is about half of their performance, including the cat song.

The last performance I saw was Sadira and the Riad Dance Company.  I have been watching them at many festivals over the last 25 years or so.

Sadira and the Riad Dance Company  at International Festival

They also had a photo booth and I couldn’t resist getting in on the act.  My picture will become part of a large mosaic created to celebrate the Overture Center’s 10th anniversary.

Photo Booth Project at Overture Center

International Festival Commemorative Photo 2015

It was a good time and I hope to go again next year. We have overlooked this fine facility for entertainment in our own city and plan on coming here more from now on.   They also have a tour every Saturday at 11, except on days with special events.  The Overture Center also runs Art Fair on the Square in July.

Overture Center at night