Summer may be winding down, but this weekend is as overflowing with fun as any over the the season, what with the Madison Faves Block Party, the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, the Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival, Africa Fest, the Gandy Dancer Festival, and Wisconsin Capitol Pride. The calendar also includes: a production of South Pacific; UW Football Family Fun Day; the annual Madison Locals dinner feast; performances by Aeolus Cello Quartet and The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma; and, more live music from Hamell on Trial, Zorch, The Glitch Mob, Meridene, Neutral Uke Hotel, and Swamp Thing.
NOTEWORTHY: Groucho Marx dies, 1977.
BIRTHDAYS: Led Zep frontman Robert Plant, 1948; Today Show weatherman Al Roker, 1954.
Isthmus Madison Faves Block Party
Orpheum Theatre (NOTE LOCATION CHANGE!!!), 5-11 pm
Isthmus fetes the winners of our Madison's Favorites poll and celebrates the publication of the Annual Manual, our comprehensive guide to Madison. Mighty Short Bus provides the soundtrack and beverage sales benefit Porchlight. What's not to like?
Through Aug. 22, Angell Park in Sun Prairie
Wisconsin rarely seems as bountiful as it does during the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, with golden cobs overflowing from cardboard containers. Corn is sold only from noon to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday; on the other days you'll have to content yourself with a carnival and miscellaneous entertainment.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Aug. 21 & 22
Four Seasons Theatre presents a staged concert version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, packed with beloved songs like "Some Enchanted Evening." It features a 35-piece orchestra and local boy turned Broadway star Tom Wopat in the role of Emile, the Frenchmen who finds love with a young nurse on a South Pacific island during World War II.
Art in the Barn in Fitchburg, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Aug. 21, 12:30 pm onward
The summer edition of Madison's tribute to gypsy-swing guitarist Django Reinhardt will commence with Friday-night performances by the Jack Soref Quartet, Harmonious Wail and the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet. The Wail will light up the night again on Saturday, along with Roma Nota and fellow Madison residents Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble.
Kiki's House of Righteous Music (1326 MacArthur Rd.), 9 pm
Though Ed Hamell classifies himself as a political punk rocker, don't expect a lot of electric power chords at this house show. Instead, listen closely to his acoustic guitar as he lambastes the country's broken political system with an assortment of zingers. With Matthew Grimm.
NOTEWORTHY: Hawaii becomes 50th state, 1959.
BIRTHDAYS: Clash singer/guitarist Joe Strummer, 1952; libidinous urban actress Kim Cattrall, 1956.
Warner Park, 10 am-10 pm
The annual event brings Africa to your doorstep with food, music, dancing and educational activities for kids.
The Promenade in Mazomanie, 11 am onward
Never mind what we said last week. This Saturday is the day to check out Mazomanie's charming festival, featuring railroad exhibits, hayrides and a full slate of entertainment headlined by bluegrass pickers the Lonesome River Band.
Through Aug. 22
On Saturday, the celebration of the region's formidable LGBT community features contests, family activities, and performances by God-dess and She, Dot Dot Dot, Tuo Tuo and others at Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island (11 am-11 pm). On Sunday, a Pride Parade begins at 1 pm around the Capitol Square and ends with a rally on UW Library Mall.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
The distortion-loving, Omnichord-worshiping duo from Austin, Texas, team with local faves Sylvia Beach and El Valiente to wrap up a tour that's created a wildfire of excitement in the blogosphere.
Majestic Theatre, 11 pm
The Los Angeles trio are big on bass-driven beats, which are great for dancing. However, catching a peek of their MIDI-riffic onstage setup is what will drive diehard fans wild, as it's a bit like glimpsing the hidden face of the Wizard of Oz.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer-songwriter Tori Amos, 1963.
Washington Hotel Coffee Room, 11 am
Catch a free performance of classical music with Latin American flair, performed by four cheeky cellists, including the Netherlands' Sebastiaan de Rode. You may find yourself waltzing with a latte or tangoing with a teacup in hand. Not a morning person? Head downtown to the Frequency at 5 pm for the quartet's happy-hour show.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 2:30 pm
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma's return to Madison may well be the cultural event of the summer. His 15-piece Silk Road Ensemble favors innovative programs that make connections among global traditions. This concert includes Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov's soulful "Air to Air" and an arrangement of the traditional Persian piece "Ascending Bird," featuring traditional classical instruments along with Chinese lute and Indian tabla.
Camp Randall Stadium 3 pm
The Badger players and coach Bret Bielema are available for photos and autographs at this free event. Kids, please be very careful around QB Scott Tolzien's arm.
Madison Club, 4 pm
Dane County chefs pair up with farmers to serve locally sourced samples for your tasting pleasure. The event benefits REAP Food Group's Buy Fresh Buy Local program.
Project Lodge, 7 pm
The poppy indie-rock quartet from Eau Claire will release a new album called Something Like Blood in September. Though the album was recorded in Bon Iver's home studio in northern Wisconsin, it seems more influenced by west-of-the-Mississippi superstars the Shins and Death Cab for Cutie.
Frequency, 8 pm
Led by Duke of Uke Shawn Fogel, this ensemble of melodica, trumpet, ukulele and baritone ukulele players will get you singing and clapping along to "Two-Headed Boy," "Holland, 1945" and all the other tunes on the 1998 Neutral Milk Hotel classic In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. With 5th Floor, Fighting at a College Level and Mash'Allah Reggae.
Revolution Cycles, 8 pm
The staple of Madison's local music scene in the 1980s reunites for a show in one existing venue (Revolution Cycles), plus Aug. 21 performances on the sites of now-defunct clubs O'Cayz Corral (noon, 504 E. Wilson St.) and the Club de Wash (1 pm, 636 W. Washington Ave.). That's taking nostalgia to a whole new level.