Summer says farewell this long holiday weekend and gets sent off in Madison with the Dane Dances season closer, the Wisconsin Badgers football opener, the Taste of Madison, the end of the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Monona Founder's Day, the Lights on the Lake boat parade, and LaborFest. The calendar also includes: the “Remembering the Past, Mapping the Future” commemoration of the March on Washington; the flickering, quivering, pulsing, sharp installation show and the Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey exhibition opening; the Houdini Club of Wisconsin anniversary celebration; performances of The Madwoman of Chaillot and Boogie of the Apes; a benefit show for Gio's Garden; and, more live music from Qwel & Maker, Ari Herstand, The Family Business, Titus Andronicus, Sweet Bev Perron, Eliot Lipp, Bleeding Rainbow, and Birds of Chicago.
NOTEWORTHY: Thurgood Marshall confirmed as first African American justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1967.
Martin Luther King Blvd., 11:30 am
The city kicks off its celebration of the civil rights movement's 50th anniversary with an address by Mayor Paul Soglin outside the Madison Municipal Building, followed by a spoken-word performance from the UW Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. At noon is a history panel in the City-County Building with civil rights leaders.
Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery, 4:30 pm
Explore the neuroscience of physical pain through this video/performance/installation. The show is interactive, and spectators are invited to come and go at will.
Monona Terrace rooftop, 5:30 pm
The series of free, diverse, all-county parties comes to a close with music by Grupo Candela, Eddie Butts and DJ Vilas Park Sniper. They made August more fun than it had any right to be.
High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
Plucky upstarts the Sharrows will join local veterans Hometown Sweethearts and Beth Kille to rock the house at this fundraiser for an organization that provides respite care and therapy for families of kids with special needs.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 7 pm
This memorial to John Vietnam Nguyen, a UW student and fledgling rapper who tragically drowned last year, will include a performance by Chicago-born underground rapper Qwel and producer Maker. With CRASHprez, Smiley Gatmouth, Mahrv Gee, FM Supreme and Defcee.
Crescendo Espresso Bar, 7 pm
Herstand's looping one-man-band style, with sensitive crooning vocals that will make Joshua Radin fans weak in the knees, has graced many TV show soundtracks. He's also lent his acting skills to the shows 2 Broke Girls, The Fosters and Touch.
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, Aug. 31 (8 pm) & Sept. 5 (7:30 pm)
Strollers Theatre's presents Jean Giraudoux's play about an idealist "madwoman" who fights corrupt businessmen plotting to dig for oil under the streets of Paris.
Middleton-Cross Plains Area Performing Arts Center, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Aug. 31, 8 pm
The club offers a family-friendly magic show for its 75th anniversary, with different performers each night. Madisonians of a certain age will enjoy Friday's triumphant return of ventriloquist dummy Cowboy Eddie, who starred on WISC-TV's Circus 3 children's show from 1961 to 1972 (see History).
Frequency, 8 pm
The Family Business brings together blues, rock and soul for an irresistible live show. This "Ear Tasting" features music recorded and beer brewed by Purple Haus; each act is paired with a different beer. (See Music.) With Lost Years, Wiscoholics, Yes Yes Yesses and The Flyaways.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The indie/punk rockers' third album, Local Business, made #38 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2012. The mag dubbed them "America's most desperately ambitious, righteously exciting punk-rock flamethrowers." With Lost Boy and Fire Retarded.
Knuckle Down Saloon, 9 pm
Bluesy, souful Sweet Bev lives up to her moniker, with a blend of jazz and blues that echoes Al Green and Etta James. Her covers of "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Proud Mary" show off deep-seated soul influences.
Broom Street Theater, 11 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, Aug. 29 & 31, 11 pm
Rob Matsushita directs this late-night show, which compresses the first four Planet of the Apes films into one hour. Charlton Heston will be rolling over in his grave -- and that's a good thing.
NOTEWORTHY: Princess Diana dies in car crash in Paris, 1997.
Chazen Museum of Art, through Nov. 24. Reception, with lecture by curator Robert O'Meally: Thursday, Sept. 5, 5:30-8 pm
In 1977, Romare Bearden created a series of collages and watercolors based on The Odyssey, merging classical mythology with African American culture. This traveling Smithsonian exhibition is the first full-scale presentation of these fascinating works outside New York City.
Camp Randall Stadium, 11 am
Gary Andersen makes his coaching debut as the Badgers play the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Minutemen for the first time ever. Don't expect a replay of the Bielema/Alvarez years; Andersen's got a whole new plan for UW football. (See Sports.)
Capitol Square, 2-8:30 pm. Also Sunday, Sept. 1, 11 am-7 pm
The annual event lines the Capitol Square with restaurants serving delectable samples. There's no reason to feel guilty for overindulging, because proceeds benefit local charities. So why not grab an order of beer-cheese fries to go with that pad Thai? You know, for a good cause?
Festival Barn, 4037 Highway 19 in DeForest, 8 pm. Also Sunday, Sept. 1, 4 pm
The fest wraps up with a program called "Finale: The Old & Unfamiliar," featuring rarities by Mozart: the unfinished Sonata in C (K. 403), completed by John Harbison; sonata movements completed by pianist Robert Levin; and the unusual Horn Quintet. Players include John and Rose Mary Harbison, Heidi Braun Hill, Karl Lavine and Whitacre Hill.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The electronic music pioneer has been touring for eight years and released seven solo albums, working with analog gear to produce sounds that incorporate funk, hip-hop, techno and jazz. With Teknicolor.
Frequency, 9 pm
The name (changed from Reading Rainbow) is apt. Bleeding Rainbow combine sweet, childlike indie vocals with elements of psychedelic and alt rock. Their latest release, Yeah Right, was recorded on the Brooklyn label Kanine. With Heavy Times and Dirty Dancing.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The brainchild of multitalented musicians JT Nero and Allison Russell, Birds of Chicago combine folk, country, soul, gospel, hillbilly and more with hints of R&B. With Whitney Mann and Corey Hart.
NOTEWORTHY: Coup in Libya brings Muammar Gaddafi to power, 1969.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 1-5 pm
Monona is 75 years young, so join the celebration with all-ages pioneer activities, music, chainsaw-carving demos, free ice cream and hikes through the prairie. Warning: Do not eat ice cream while operating a chainsaw.
Lake Mendota shoreline, Maple Bluff to UW Memorial Union, 7:45 pm
The annual event features a picturesque boat parade, followed by fireworks. The action is best viewed from Maple Bluff Beach, Tenney Park, Burrows Park, James Madison Park or the UW Memorial Union Terrace. So long, summer.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. Department of the Treasury founded, 1789.
Madison Labor Temple, noon-5:30 pm
Organized labor has taken a licking in Wisconsin, but it just keeps on ticking. Get into the solidarity spirit at the annual Labor Day festival, featuring music, magic and kids' activities. And, one hopes, a bit of strategizing.