Kicking off their first full season in the Independent Women’s Football League, the Madison Cougars dodge blitzes and throw precision passes to overcome their opponents and entertain scores of Wisconsin football fans. Each game offers the usual thrilling combination of bone-undoing tackles, courageous catches, and silent end-zone dances that reference the end of Swan Lake.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
Budding artists of all ages can begin to imprint their creative legacies in two-hour printmaking workshops that consist of stamp-making and hands-on card-making with cards on colored paper stocks. Professional artist Aliza Rand draws on more than 10 years of teaching experience to guide small groups of students through the creative process, demonstrating how to whittle stamps with finesse and strap them securely to feet before using monkey bars to cross gooey fields of ink. Holiday-themed workshops spread the season’s cheer with step-by-step instructions for fashioning festive Christmas cards or stamps in the shapes of fir trees to remind Santa of home during his circumnavigational blimp ride.
Ho-Chunk’s 60,000-square-foot gaming facility contains more than 1,100 Class II bingo slot machines and a state-of-the-art poker room. A rewards-club card preloaded with $25 worth of play lets jackpot seekers set out for an e-poker table, where digital cards are dealt to personal screens, allowing poker play to proceed exactly as it would with a paper deck and the cheesy vest of a monotonous dealer. Slot jockeys can head on over to bingo slot stations, such as the Penny Frenzy, Mystic Lamp, and Double Blazing 7’s, where betting denominations range from a single cent to $5 per play line.
Madison's experiential comedy show takes place at the eastside Glass Nickel Pizza Company on Atwood Avenue and begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.). The Monkey Business Institute features no sets, props, or scripts, which allows the hilarious ensemble to craft improv hilarity off the spur of their cufflinks. With decades of improvisational cosmonaut experience and interactive audience participation, each show is distinct and spontaneous. This simian comedy collective features improvisers such as Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, who have received more than 70 million YouTube hits for viral video sensations such as "Chad Vader." Keep a third eye peeled for other local favorites Brad Knight, Jason Stephens, Sheila Robertson, and more.