Sept. 12-14 & 17-21, UW Memorial Union & other venues
The free festival again hosts a smorgasbord of global sounds, from traditionalists to up-and-comers. Enjoy the tunes of Prasanna, Mamak Khadem, Plastic People of the Universe, Reelroad and Kumar Sambav, to name some. For a complete lineup, visit www.union.wisc.edu/worldmusic (see preview, page 19).
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30) & Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Sept. 11 & 13
Strollers Theatre begins its season with the story of a nun and school principal who believes a priest is molesting one of the students. In 2005 the play notched both a Tony and a Pulitzer (see review, page 20).
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, Sept. 11 & 13, 8 pm
First there was the 1997 British film about unemployed steelworkers who take off their clothes for cash. Then there was the hit Broadway musical that transplanted the action from Sheffield to Buffalo. Now comes Mercury Players Theatre's version, which opens the company's season.
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 9 pm
A little bit alt-country, a little bit bluesy, a little bit old-school singer-songwriter, the irrepressible Langhorne Slim is equally at home on weepers and rootsy originals that blast along at a punky clip. Centro-matic open.
Annex, 9:30 pm
Steady rollin' rockers, swampy stomps and down-home country-folk that gives a big ol' tip of the hat to Neil Young are the talented, thoroughly unpretentious BTF's stock-in-trade. They're an Americana band for folks with a sense of musical history. Ha Ha Tonka and the Blueheels open.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Sure, accordionist Steve Riley's Cajun-Zydeco juggernaut experiments with its chosen forms a little bit. But if you're looking for a legitimate bayou dance party, Riley will definitely be hosting one. The Roddys open.
Rotunda Stage, Overture Center, 9:30 (also 11 am & 1 pm)
Kids in the Overture continues with Kann, who is a magician, juggler and storyteller. He also holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UW-Madison. Kids, ask him about that if there's a lull.
Warner Park, 10 am-9 pm
On Sept. 16, 1810, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla demanded independence from the colonial authorities and thereby began Mexico's war of independence. This fest commemorates the event locally with food and music.
1700-2600 blocks of Monroe Street, 10 am-5 pm
Time once again to pay tribute to the great west-side thoroughfare. There'll be sales by the street's boutiques, the requisite face painting for the kids and the entertainment of the Self-Helps, the Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers, the Wadoma African Drumming Troupe and the Young Shakespeare Players.
Grundahl Park, Mount Horeb, noon-5 pm
The prizewinning brewpub hosts a fete featuring the finest locally brewed craft beers. Music by Jim Curley and the local Celtic folk rockers name of, appropriately, the Pints.
Booked for Murder, 1 pm
The Minnesota writer reads from Buried Lies, his latest mystery, about a Western novel people will kill for.
University Book Store-Hilldale, 2 pm
The Madison-based author has received some of the highest honors in children's literature. He'll be on hand to promote his latest picture book, Old Bear.
First Unitarian Society, 7:30 pm
The ensemble, whose history dates back to 2000, begins a new season with selections from Arthur Foote, Samuel Barber and Franz Schubert.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Expect the eclectic, jam-leaning Railroad Earth to do plenty of feel-good rambling as they pick their way through bluegrass, country, Celtic and roots-rock fare on their amiable 2008 release Amen Corner. The Everybodyfields open.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Tonight local rock/hip-hop freethinkers Know Boundaries celebrate the release of a new CD with what's sure to be another febrile outing. 20 Reasons Taken and the Blend open.
Frequency, 10 pm
National Beekeepers Society's mordant, at times out of kilter pop-rock gets an excellent airing on their new CD Pawn Shop Etiquette. Openers -- unabashed musical pranksters Cribshitter and Big Star aficionados the Midwest Beat -- have new recordings out as well.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 11 am
All things Thai are celebrated at Madison's proud site of the Thai pavilion and garden. Enjoy food and dance, the latter courtesy of the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago, and think of King Bhumibol as you do.
High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm
Sing along with the fun-loving Grand Rapids-based ska-punkers as they spread the joy to the dance floor. Fellow travelers Deals Gone Bad, Something To Do, and Royal City Riot should wring nearly as much sweat from the groundlings.
Barrymore Theater, 8 pm
Indie folk-rockers Okkervil River will get more critical hosannas for their new CD, The Stand Ins. But the contempt prime mover Will Sheff shows for fame and pop success makes you wonder if that's enough for the saturnine front man. With the Walkmen playing in the opening slot, arriving late is not an option.