Fall has arrived, and Madison celebrates this weekend with the Wisconsin Science Festival, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, the Prairie Music Festival, and Ride the Drive. The calendar also includes: productions of Three Tall Women, Acts to Grind IV, and A Broom Street Halloween; standup by Dave Attell; a talk by Bill Courtenay; performances by Frank Glazer and the Oakwood Chamber Players; and, live music from The Polish Ambassador, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Big Black Cloud, A Lull, Marshall Crenshaw, Candy Town, Shunda K with Yo! Majesty, Cash Box Kings with Joel Paterson, White Faces, and Grieves & Budo.
NOTEWORTHY: Richard Nixon delivers "Checkers" speech to rebut charges of campaign finance improprieties, 1952.
This bash, which is being held at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and other locations, welcomes the community into the intellectually rigorous world that is science at the University of Wisconsin, with learning for all and fun for the kids. The theme this inaugural year is the overlap between science and art (see Arts).
Farley's House of Pianos, 7:30 pm
Born in Chester, Wis., in 1915 and raised in Milwaukee, Glazer made his New York debut at Town Hall in 1936, had a Milwaukee TV show in the 1950s and taught at the Eastman School of Music and Bates College. Tonight he plays music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Sept. 24, 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild presents Edward Albee's 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a reality-bender about the three stages in a woman's life.
Encore Studio for the Performing Arts, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Sept. 24, 2 & 8 pm
Encore Studio, the theater company for people with disabilities, stages another evening of one-acts. "Convent Fun" is nun-themed, and other vignettes feature the company's trademark musical inventiveness.
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Sept. 24 & 25
The ghoulish, outlandish fall holiday seems like a good fit for the puckish east-side troupe, which rolls out a collection of seasonally appropriate one-acts.
Comedy Club on State, 8 & 10:30 pm. Also Saturday, 8 & 10:30 pm
The edgy standup comedian is familiar from his stints on such Comedy Central shows as Insomniac with Dave Attell and The Daily Show. Expect a night of absurdist, adult-oriented humor.
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
Bleeps and bloops are like guitars and drums to this glitch-loving electro-pop performer, who attracts fans of hip-hop, IDM, dub and his famous neon jumpsuits. With DJ Vinnie Toma.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
The Spin-lauded indie-pop quartet will get the Sett dancing with selections from 2010's Let It Sway and their newest project, a 26-track collection called Tape Club.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
This Portland, Ore., band spikes psychedelic garage-rock with noisy, jittery post-punk, crafting a rollicking live soundtrack for a night at the bar. With Dharma Dogs and Manginas Deluxe.
NOTEWORTHY: Nirvana releases Nevermind, 1991.
Lisa Link Peace Park, 11 am-6 pm
Local poets join their siblings in a worldwide event promoting verse's power as a force of social and political change. More than 300 cities in 68 countries are holding readings today.
Cannery Grill, Prairie Music Academy and Beans 'n Cream Coffeehouse, Sun Prairie, 1-5 pm
This tuneful gathering benefits music students (bring a used instrument to donate, or money) and features a who's-who of local musicians on multiple stages: Whitney Mann, Ida Jo & the Show, Corey Hart, Beth Kille, Mighty Short Bus and lots more.
Oakwood Village Auditorium, 7 pm. Also: UW Arboretum, Sunday, Sept. 25, 1:30 pm
The local ensemble's season begins with concerts in two locales, featuring music of Mikhail Glinka, Jean Franaix and Max Reger.
UW Union South Sett, 9 pm
These Windy City musicians have earned praise from The Village Voice and XLR8R for their tribal beats, buzzing feedback, and pop hooks juxtaposed with brooding electronica soundscapes.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Crenshaw is much more than a collection of unconventional chord progressions and the monumental 1982 hit "Someday, Someway." He'll celebrate his 30-year musical legacy, which includes launching "The Bottomless Pit" on New York's WFUV this year and playing Buddy Holly in the 1987 movie La Bamba. With the Bottle Rockets.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Influenced by both rock and ragtime, this eight-piece pair their sonic treats with theatrical visuals ranging from mime-like face paint to risqué 1920s fashions. With the Eye Inside.
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
The Tampa-based MC, who gained notoriety on Peaches' 2009 album I Feel Cream, joins her former rap group Yo! Majesty to perform songs from her new solo album, The Most Wanted. The B-52s tribute Deadbeat Club and local cabaret-punk provocateurs Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons will warm up the stage.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
The classic east-side music room hosts Madison's excellent purveyors of high-quality postwar Chicago blues. Next month the Kings will release a new album, Holler and Stomp, on the Blind Pig Records label. With Oscar Wilson.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
Though its sounds and merch are bound to be retro, the latest Kind Turkey cassette-release show is all about novelty. Milwaukee punk bands White Faces and Lonesome Savages will melt faces before the release of their new recordings later this fall, and Bad Omens -- a new band that includes both members of the Hussy, plus musicians from Catholic Boys and Sugar Stems -- play their first Madison gig.
NOTEWORTHY: Sandra Day O'Connor sworn in as first female U.S. Supreme Court justice, 1981.
John Nolen Drive and other streets, 10 am-3 pm
Hey, bicyclists: If you long to cycle without fear of cars, your day is here. For five hours John Nolen Drive and other downtown streets are closed to auto traffic. So cycle, walk or run on them all you want, and enjoy music and food at various sites. Tomorrow you can get back to running stoplights in heavy traffic. You know who you are.
UW Pyle Center, 2 pm
In this Eloquence & Eminence lecture, UW professor emeritus Courtenay gives a history-minded take on an all too timely topic: "Politics & the Support of Higher Education: The Case of the Medieval University of Paris."
Mills Hall, UW Humanities Building, 7:30 pm
Bilson, an expert on the 18th-century keyboard called the fortepiano, plays music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven (see Music).
Frequency, 9 pm
This Brooklyn, N.Y., rapper and multi-instrumentalist visit Madison hot off summer's Vans Warped Tour and the release of their Rhymesayers debut, Together/Apart. Seattle comedy rapper Type is also on the bill. With Prof.