The long Thanksgiving weekend promises a long celebration of eating, libations, and shopping, including at the Downtown Holiday Open House in the heart of Madison. The calendar also includes: standup by Kevin Bozeman; Kids in the Rotunda with Daniel Barash; performances by the Oakwood Chamber Players, Drumline Live!, Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra; more live music by Natty Nation, Dear August, Canon Ball, the Clyde Stubblefield Band, Sleeping in the Aviary, and John Statz; Rockin' John's 65th Birthday Bash; and, the opening of The Gift of the Magi at APT.
BIRTHDAY: Grammy-winning rocker/actress Tina Turner, 1938.
Oakwood Village-West Auditorium, 2:30 & 7 pm
The local ensemble presents its annual Holiday Lights concert. The program includes familiar favorites like "Sleigh Ride," as well as classical selections and funny surprises.
Comedy Club, 8 & 10:30 pm. Also Saturday, Nov. 27, 8 & 10:30 pm
The Chicago-based comic, a Madison native, now performs at the Loony Bins and the Funny Bones of this great nation. But he's back for another Thanksgiving show at the Comedy Club along with comedians Kris Shaw and Chad Daniels. A big night of yuks.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The local rebel-reggae ensemble is reinventing Black Friday as a celebration of African heritage rather than rampant consumerism. This year's event will commemorate Jamaican civil rights leader Marcus Garvey and introduce "Suffice," the band's new, love-themed single. With John Wayne & the Pain and Tropical Riddims Sound System.
Restaurant Magnus, 9:30 pm
Several of the veteran folk-rock band's members have been busy procreating, but they've also found time to create a new album, Act Ready, which they'll unveil at the show. But don't get too attached: Afterwards, they're parting ways, at least for the time being. Stop by to rub elbows and enjoy one of their last live performances. See Music.
Alchemy Cafe, 10 pm
The central Wisconsin four-piece are a study in versatility, performing sea shanties, gypsy tunes, bluegrass ditties, kids' songs and even a couple of Broadway numbers at many of their shows. Check out their new album, Seafaring Songs, and hear their stories from the Steel Bridge Songfest and other high-profile gigs.
NOTEWORTHY: San Francisco Mayor George Moscone & Supv. Harvey Milk assassinated, 1978.
9:30 & 11 am and 1 pm
Barash, a practitioner of the mysterious art of shadow puppetry, spins tales using, this time out, traditional Southeast Asian puppets. Audience participation is the watchword, so kids, prepare to be called on.
Downtown businesses, 10 am-6 pm
This is the central business district's answer to Black Friday madness, featuring gift bags for kids, trolley rides, carolers and more. Most of the stores offer something special, whether it's refreshments, bargains or charitable opportunities. Stop by Overture Center and have your picture taken, and then look for it at Drumline Live!
Overture Hall, 8 pm. Also Sunday, Nov. 28, 2 pm
Inspired by the 2002 movie starring Nick Cannon, this show brings to the stage the spectacular movement and musicianship of marching bands at historically black colleges and universities. It's an intensely entertaining tradition.
Gates of Heaven Synagogue, 8 pm
The acclaimed local group presents another program of Baroque music performed on period instruments. On the docket tonight: music of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Gabrielli and more.
Marriott-West, Middleton, 8 pm. Also Sunday, Nov. 28, 1 pm The WCO's holiday pops concert features singing by the stage performer Amanda Huddleston, tenor John-Andrew Clark and an 80-voice choir. On the program: songs from films like The Polar Express and Meet Me in St. Louis, all calculated to jingle your bells.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Come give thanks for a Madison legend: James Brown's original funky drummer, who's made his home here for more than three decades. While you're at it, check out his white-hot drumming, amplified by the talents of two vocalists, a percussionist, a three-piece horn section and an ace organist, bassist and guitarist. With the Charlie Painter Quartet.
Frequency, 10 pm
Though they moved their bizarro garage-pop factory to Minneapolis a little while back, Sleeping in the Aviary left their lawn flamingos -- and tons of devoted fans -- here in Madison. Glimpse their spankin' new album, Great Vacation!, and remind them why Wisconsin is more awesome than Minnesota. Better yet, channel the craziness beforehand with their new video, on display this week in a MadTracks review With Sleeping in the Stereo and Amo Joy.
NOTEWORTHY: Lady Astor becomes first woman elected to British House of Commons, 1919.
BIRTHDAYS: Provocative singer-songwriter Randy Newman, 1943; comedian/actor/Daily Show guy Jon Stewart, 1962.
Harmony Bar, 4:30 pm
The local radio DJ has spent the past 35 years spinning 1950s and 1960s rock 'n' roll on WORT-FM's "I Like It Like That." Come celebrate the program, the station and his 65th birthday with four hours of tunes from the Kristi Larson Trio, the Kevin Fayte Rock 'n' Roll Trio and the Midwesterners.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
In last week's Isthmus, the folk rocker's recently released album, Ghost Towns, nabbed the number-two spot on the list of the year's 10 best Madison albums. Experience his live show before he returns to his new digs in Denver. With Blake Thomas and Jeremiah Nelson.
American Players Theatre, Spring Green, 6 pm. Also Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1 pm; and through Dec. 19
The storied summer theater troupe performs its first-ever cold-weather production, but don't fear icy blasts. This musical version of O. Henry's classic story is being staged in the cozy, indoor Touchstone Theatre. The show about a financially strapped couple was written and directed by APT stalwart James DeVita.