Jazz in the Park
A trio of summertime neighborhood festivals -- Fruit Fest, Jazz in the Park, and Juneteenth Day -- highlight this weekend in Madison. The calendar also includes: book readings by Terese Allen and Bobbie Malone, E.J. Dionne, and Sara Rath; productions of Songs for a New World, Heroes, and Twelfth Night; the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society season opener, and performances by Mark Brampton Smith and Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus; the IfdaKamp benefit show; and, much more live music from Nobody Beats the Drum, Peter Wolf Crier, Houses in Motion, Willy Porter, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Charlie Brooks & the Way It Is, The Milk Carton Kids, Zebras, Marques Bovre & the Evil Twins, Anberlin, and The Men.
NOTEWORTHY: George Washington named commander in chief of Continental Army, 1775.
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also: Overture Center's Playhouse, Saturday, June 16, 7:30 pm; and Taliesen's Hillside Theater, Spring Green, Sunday, June 17, 2:30 & 6:30 pm
This weekend, the spirited local chamber ensemble kicks off another summer season with two programs. Tonight's White Russian (repeated Sunday afternoon in Spring Green) features music of Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Marcelle de Manziarly, and tomorrow's Corpse Reviver (repeated Sunday evening in Spring Green) gathers music of Mozart, Mendelssohn and André Jolivet.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, June 14 & 16, 7:30 pm
Music Theatre of Madison presents Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown's revue, which was first staged off-Broadway in 1995. The show, about confronting challenges, includes characters such as high school outcasts and Betsy Ross.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This Dutch trio has made Vice magazine swoon with its sonic succotash of electro, hip-hop, breaks, and wild video projections. With Jack Mulqueen.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9:30 pm
Composed of Wisconsin natives, Minnesota dwellers, and Jagjaguwar artists Peter Pisano and Brian Moen, this duo makes indie folk with vintage equipment and a falsetto inspired by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. With Chris Bathgate.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Dance your way through the Talking Heads' catalog with these musicians from Madison and Chicago. They'll begin with a set of David Byrne and company's early work and end with a collection of later gems like "(Nothing But) Flowers."
NOTEWORTHY: Abraham Lincoln gives "house divided" speech, 1858.
Plan B, 9 am
Madison flaunts its LGBT pride at this colorful outdoor festival of games, fundraisers, athletic events and live music by artists like Cazwell, Girl in a Coma and Snap! The events commence with a 5K run-walk and conclude in the wee hours of the morning with an after party inside Plan B nightclub (see Music).
Wingra Park, 9 am-9 pm
Start with a 5K run at 9 am. Then take part in a Lake Wingra cleanup from 9:30 am to noon. Finally, reward yourself for your virtuous efforts with music by Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet, Madisalsa and more. If you're still awake.
Wisconsin Historical Museum, 9:30 am
The local authors share from their new book, The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids. It's an introduction for little ones to the reward of eating locally. Because everyone ought to get in on that.
Penn Park, 10 am
Juneteenth celebrates the freeing of the last African American slaves in 1865. The Madison event kicks off with a 10 am parade starting at Fountain of Life Church and proceeds to Penn Park for a day's worth of food, entertainment and activities.
Overture Hall, 11 am
The organist at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Middleton performs a free concert on the big instrument in Overture's cool confines. Stop by during your Farmers' Market run for mighty sounds.
Barnes & Noble-West Towne, 2 pm
The Washington pundit discusses his new book, Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent. These days Dionne is talking up the quaint concept of civility (see Books). Yes, please?
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 3 pm
The wonderful theater company begins its season with this indoor production of Tom Stoppard and Gérald Sibleyras' play. Paul Bentzen, John Lister and Jonathan Smoots play a trio of World War I veterans who will provoke both laughter and tears.
Masonic Center, 7 pm
The gay men's choir performs the premiere of Heartlands, composer Arthur Durkee's chronicle of queer living in the heartland. Durkee is on hand for a post-concert discussion.
Art in the Barn, Fitchburg, 7 pm
An accomplished singer-songwriter and a guitar whiz to boot, Porter almost always draws a crowd when he treks from Milwaukee to Madison. At this performance, he's raising funds for Haiti Allies, a local organization that helps to rebuild schools and feed hungry children in Port-au-Prince. Works by Haitian artists will be for sale as well. With Nelson Graham.
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 8 pm
APT's outdoor season begins with one of Shakespeare's great comedies. Shipwrecked in a strange land, Viola (Cristina Panfilio) does what anyone would do: Dresses as a boy in the local duke's court.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
After hosting a spirited outdoor campout and festival in Manitowoc County last summer, local rock-funk-reggae fusers Ifdakar were looking forward to growing it this year. Unfortunately, the county's zoning laws changed, which spelled disaster for the event. To recoup costs and showcase the talent they'd recruited, the band are hosting a concert that also features the Coop, Soap and GrooveSession.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9:30 pm
Though their name screams soul band, this seven-piece, with their ukes, cellos and accordions, inhabit the whimsical world of psych-folk. They are showcasing their new release, HEAT. With Save the Clocktower.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Brooks is a consummate R&B and blues singer, and he has the resume to prove it: He has shared the stage with Percy Sledge, Ray Charles and the Supremes.
Rigby, 10 pm
Both NPR and The New York Times have dubbed this duo one of the best new acts on the Americana landscape. Though simple, their harmonies teem with yearning and elegance. With the Kundelas and the Type.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
Armed with a new drummer -- Shane Hochstetler of Milwaukee's Call Me Lightning -- Zebras have distilled their anger, pessimism and considerable musical chops into a sludgy new self-titled album, which they are releasing at this show (see Music). With Pyroklast and Tenement.
NOTEWORTHY: President Richard M. Nixon declares war on drugs, 1971.
Sara Rath A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The Spring Green author talks about The Waters of Star Lake, about goings-on at and around a northern Wisconsin cabin. The book is the latest in Rath's Northwoods series of novels.
High Noon Saloon, 3 pm
The past several months have been eventful for local folk rocker Marques Bovre. In September, doctors removed a tumor from his brain. Since then, things have been looking up. Now he's got a 50th birthday and a brand-new CD to celebrate. Help him live it up with both of his bands: the Evil Twins and SoDangYang. With Josh Harty Band.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Though the band members have adopted emo-inspired hairstyles, they're chart-climbing pop stars at heart. This concert will likely revolve around hits like 2008's "Feel Good Drag," which appears on their new greatest-hits album, Dancing Between the Fibers of Time. With Monsters Calling Home and Mychal Cohen.
Frequency, 8 pm
The New York rockers show off their influences on their latest, Open Your Heart (see Tour Stop). With the Hussy, Lonesome Savages.