Centennial Park in Waunakee, through July 29
Haven't eaten enough fair food yet this summer? Us either. WaunaFest serves up more, along with a carnival, bands and a parade.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, July 26-28
The Madison Symphony Orchestra finds another opportunity to show off its awesome 4,000-pipe organ. Olivier Latry, head organist for Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame, plays works by Bach and Rachmaninoff as well as improvising a new composition (Thursday, 7:30 pm). Latry teaches a free master class (Friday, 9:30 am), and MSO organist Samuel Hutchison leads a free community Hymn Sing (Saturday, 11 am).
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (4 & 8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), July 26, 28 & 29
The Madison Repertory Theatre mounts a strong production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, in which a desperate carousel barker takes his life but returns to earth to make amends. The blend of live orchestra and singers is warm, intimate and alive, and the production's small scale gives it an immediacy that grand-scale musical extravaganzas can seldom attain.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Now firmly in control as a leader, Drive-by Truckers refugee Jason Isbell cuts closer to the bone on a mix of moody swamp rock, pugnacious country-rock anthems and a touch of pop. McCarthy Trenching opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm. Also Thursday (9 pm) & Saturday (5:30 pm), July 26 & 28, Inferno
On Friday, Virginia-based goth-rock vets headline the alternative electronic music fest's move to the High Noon. Texans Iris, Californians Claire Voyant, Parasite Twin and more provide support. On Saturday, Reverence 2007 wraps up at the Inferno as road-tested post-industrialists Stromkern headline a strong Midwest-oriented bill that also includes Null Device, I:Scintilla, Caustic and Filament 38.
Warner Park, 11 am-10 pm
The celebration of local Hispanic culture squeezes a whole world into Warner Park. Expect dancing, music, kids' activities, authentic food and friendly smiles. Performers include Coro Diocesano Hispano, Ballet Boliviano Boliviamanta, MadCity Argentine Tango, Tiawuanaku, Sonido Suave, Ballet Folklorico Mexico, El Gatty & Off the Street Records, Kali Kalor, Octavio Martinez, Ian Valentin and Grupo Ardiente.
2000 and 2100 block of Atwood Avenue, noon-7 pm
The Atwood area makes its bid for Coolest Summer Festival with food, crafts and a musical lineup that includes the Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet, Marques Bovre & So Dang Yang, Bobby Bryan & the Original Down Town Players, the Gomers and -- good God! -- '60s blues-rock legends Canned Heat. All proceeds benefit the programs of the Goodman Atwood Community Center.
Summer in Paoli
Here's yet another excuse to head out to Paoli (they seem to be adding up lately). You can catch Gypsy swing band Harmonious Wail at Paoli Mill and stroll to Artisan Gallery, Creamery Cafe, Schoolhouse Shops, Cheese Cottage, Paoli House Gallery and Zazen Gallery to enjoy food, art and book signings.
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 7:30 pm
It's bruiser vs. bruiser in mixed-martial-arts combat. Are you not entertained?
King Club, 9 pm
The politically aware rapper and spoken-word artist is taking off for the Twin Cities after his sojourn in Mad City. He will be missed. Sha Cage, Truthmaze and Buss One help say farewell.
Cash Box Kings and Pupy Costello & His Big City Honky Tonk
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
Whoever put together this inspired pairing deserves a bonus. The Cash Box Kings scuff up rambunctious post-World War II Chicago blues with conviction, and Pupy Costello & His Big City Honky Tonk are a portable twang party. Fans of hardcore Americana are already giddy with anticipation.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
These clever, Ivy League-educated Brooklynites have drawn lots of attention for their canny blending of indie-rock and Afropop. Expect to sweat and smile simultaneously.
Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Castañeda's long-lived Latin jazz band are an all-pro outfit crammed with strong soloists. They should be at their explosive best tonight as they celebrate the release of a new CD. Experimental rockers El Donk (who'll focus on Chicano rock classics for this show) and Tani Diakite & the Malian Blues Band join in the festivities.
Tim Whalen Nonet
Restaurant Magnus, 9:30 pm
Keyboardist/bandleader Whalen takes off for a teaching gig in Toledo at summer's end, which makes concerts by his swinging, sophisticated nine-piece very precious indeed.
United Sons of Toil
Tornado Club's Corral Room, 10 pm
The noisy math-rockers work their fingers to the bone in celebration of a new, precision-tooled CD. The Suit and Coup de Foudre calculate and combust earlier in the evening.
Vilas Park, 3 pm
Uri Vardi & Catherine Kautsky
Farley's House of Pianos, 4 pm
The two UW music professors -- Vardi on cello and Kautsky on piano -- perform an intimate concert with help from cellists Karen Cornelius, Carina Voly and Russell Rolen. Yes, it's a cello-centric event, including David Popper's "Requiem for Three Cellos and Piano" and "Three Tangos for Four Cellos."