Touring musicians are converging on Madison to make for a particularly lively late summer weekend on the city's stages, starting with the Lost City Music Festival and continuing with shows by Rik Palieri & George Mann, Koffin Kats, Magic Touch, Bebel Gilberto, The Appleseed Cast, Chris Pureka, and Sonny Vincent. The calendar also includes: the conclusion of the Wisconsin State Fair; a gallery exhibition by Nathan Paul Meyer & Sandra Klingbeil; Dane Dances; standup by Doug Benson; productions of Les Misérables, Alice, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; the Bottoms Up drag benefit and Red Carpet Raunch burlesque show; the Medical Aid Serenade benefit show; and, more live music from Harmonious Wail, Brian Daly with Mark Adkins, Circus Fires, Lords of the Trident, and Samantha Glass with Golden Donna.
NOTEWORTHY: Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden, 1854.
State Fair Park in West Allis, through Aug. 11
The fair wraps up with more creampuffs, more critters and more country music. Miranda Lambert plays the final main-stage show on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 pm.
Warehouse Gallery, 2716 Atwood Ave., through Aug. 10. Reception: 4-8 pm
An exhibition called "Artistic Elements & Iconic Visions" features Wisconsin artists Meyer and Klingbeil. Meyer works with glass and metal, while Klingbeil specializes in abstract paintings and radiant female faces.
Monona Terrace Rooftop, 5:30 pm
The free fun continues on the Monona Terrace rooftop, where a diverse group of Dane County residents gather to party as one. This week's musical entertainment comes courtesy of DJ Pain 1 (5:30 & 7:30 pm), the Davis Family (6 pm) and Primitive Culture (8 pm).
High Noon Saloon, 6 pm
This local ensemble keeps the spirit of Django Reinhardt alive with zippy gypsy-swing tunes. They'll release a new album, Bohemian Tango, at this show.
Mitby Theater at MATC-Truax, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Aug. 10 & 11
The movie version of the 1980s musical won a bunch of Oscars this year, but we prefer seeing it live, with "I Dreamed a Dream" ringing in the rafters. Four Seasons Theatre presents Victor Hugo's story of the convict Jean Valjean, who's tracked by a relentless policeman while Paris simmers with revolution.
Madison Labor Temple, 7:30 pm, with 6:30 pm meet-and-greet
In 1941, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and several other free thinkers formed a group called the Almanac Singers and traveled the country promoting unions through traditional folk tunes. Toting banjos, guitars and a vintage songbook, Palieri and Mann will re-create one of these performances with ditties like "Union Maid" and "Which Side Are You On?"
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
The leaders of Sunshine for the Blind and subvocal will team up for an emotionally charged evening of original songs.
Plan B, 9 pm
RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Willam, Detox and Vicky Vox have created a YouTube sensation with "Boy Is a Bottom," a parody of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" music video. Meet them during an event that also features Cass Marie Domino, Jade Sassie Paradiso, Trixie Mattel, Karizma Mirage, Mi Ami Knight, Tamika L. Jones and DJs Tim and Cover Gurrl. Seeking more gender-bending fun? Five Nightclub will host a drag-fueled benefit for Willma's Fund, a group that helps homeless LGBT community members, on Thursday, Aug. 15, at 9 pm.
Frequency, 9 pm
Fresh off a European tour, the tattooed Detroit trio will shake the foundation of the Frequency with their bad-ass blend of punk and psychobilly. With the Rotten Tommys and Untamed.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The San Francisco DJ and producer puts a psychedelic spin on house and disco, frequently hitting the decks at European dance destinations like Berlin's Panorama Bar. With the Chandeliers and DJ Tolerance.
Majestic Theatre, 9:30 pm
This burlesque show is billed as an old-school-meets-new-school Hollywood revue. Local favorites Mizz Lilz, Wendy Whiplash and Peach Pies Caburlesque join Chicago's Rhonda Vous, Minneapolis' Queenie Von Curves and Baltimore's Paco Fish for an evening of creative bump-and-grind.
NOTEWORTHY: The Louvre opens in Paris, 1793.
First United Methodist Church, 2:30 & 7:30 pm
Take a pleasant tumble down the rabbit hole as Kids in Kenland presents local tunesmith Ken Lonnquist's musical version of Alice in Wonderland. Lonnquist himself strums guitar in the five-piece band.
Comedy Club on State, 4:20 pm
The comedian is known for appearances on VH1, Comedy Central and NBC's Last Comic Standing. He's also known for his love of movies (see his podcast Doug Loves Movies) and marijuana (see the show's 4:20 start time).
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Thursday, Aug. 15, 7:30 pm
Tom Stoppard's absurdist tragicomedy takes two minor players from Hamlet, a pair of courtiers, and makes them the focus of attention. In a unique twist made possible by American Players Theatre's rotating repertory setup, actors in Hamlet will fill the same roles in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Bandung, 8 pm
Saxophonist Hanah Jon Taylor, members of Samba Novistas and several Timorese musicians will perform at this benefit for Bairo Pite Hospital in East Timor. With Mideast by Midwest and Lion's Mouth.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Raised in Rio by João Gilberto, famous for "The Girl From Ipanema," this seductive singer has bossa nova in her blood. She fuses the breezy style with the jazz tradition of the town where she was born: New York City.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
These Jimmy Eat World-inspired alt-rockers will unveil their debut album, All Living Things, at a musical party. With the American Dead and Woodson.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
These locals describe their act as "fire, explosions, face-melting shredding and barbarian rage," which is a pretty accurate précis of their heavy, humorous performances. With Thurderunderus and Beast Warrior.
Frequency, 8 pm
These veterans of the mid-'90s emo scene are technically skilled and creative as well, combining complex drum and guitar parts with the synapse-tickling sounds of an effects pedal. Read an interview with frontman Chris Crisci in Tour Stop. With Des Ark and Heartscape Landbreak.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Songwriting helped guide this acoustic artist through her years as a genderqueer teen before gigs with Ani DiFranco, Girlyman and the Cowboy Junkies appeared on the horizon. She'll perform songs from a new EP, Chimera II. With Emy Reynolds Band and Hannah Luree.
Dragonfly Lounge, 8 pm
It's an evening of local performers sporting girls' names and out-there electronics. Both Samantha Glass and Golden Donna have landed on L.A. label Not Not Fun by demonstrating how their sounds complement those of bands like Ducktails and Holy Balm. With Samantha Vacation.
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
The cofounder of the Testors, a '70s punk act that played NYC clubs like CBGB alongside history-makers like the Cramps, is still kickin' out the jams at age 60. See what fist-pumping anthems he pulls from the vault. With Dharma Dogs and Tiny Daggers.