Token Creek Chamber Music Festival
Festival Barn, DeForest, 5 & 8 pm. Also Thursday (8 pm), Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (4 pm), Aug. 28, 30 & 31
The annual late-summer confab winds down with two programs: on Thursday and Friday, jazz songs with vocalist Annette Sanders and trombonist Tom Artin; and on Saturday and Sunday, music of Haydn and the festival's own John Harbison. Some performances are sold out, so phone ahead before you make the trek.
150 Years of Rock
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
The Madison-area musicians who power up '80s faves Chaser and the O'Bros really do have decades upon decades of experience. Toss in the Punch-derived John Masino Band, and the "150 Years of Rock" moniker is utterly apropos. Tonight the assembled vets get together to raise money for the comparatively youthful Madison Area Music Awards.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm
Eugene O'Neill's story of a teenager's coming of age in a turn-of-the-century family is not like the playwright's dark masterpieces. It's a large, big-hearted comedy that makes a good fit with American Players Theatre's outdoor space.
Church Basement Ladies
Overture Center, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (2 & 8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), Tuesday (7:30 pm), Wednesday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), Aug. 28, 30 & 31, Sept. 2, 3 & 4
The Minnesota-based musical comedy has become a regional phenomenon with its portrayal of the cooks at a mid-1960s Lutheran church. (Representative song title from the libretto: "The Pale Food Polka.") The cast features William Christopher, the Roman Catholic clergyman on M*A*S*H, here playing against type as a Lutheran clergyman.
Broom Street Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Aug. 30 & 31.
In Broom Street's latest, writer and director Heather Renken examines attention-deficit disorder by way of vaudeville. The play embraces ambiguity, to its credit.
Murder By Death
Annex, 9:30 pm
Americana, post-punk and even the spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone come together in Murder By Death's alternately somber and stirring Midwestern sound. You can just tap your toe to the beat if you'd like, but confirmed MBD fans will be singing along at the top of their lungs. National Beekeepers Society and Crane Your Swan Neck open.
Macyn Taylor and Jeremy Goodman
Lisa Link Peace Park, 1 pm
The summerlong Folk on State series winds down with the accomplished guitar fingerpicker Taylor, of Waterford, Wis., and mandolinist Goodman, a high schooler who has studied his ax with local ace picker John Fabke courtesy of the Madison Folk Society's Helen Schneyer Memorial Scholarship.
Taste of Madison
Capitol Square, 2 pm. Also Sunday, Aug. 31, noon
The yearly food freakout boasts the fare of favorite local restauraunts, a great many of them locally owned. If your tastes include Thai, Mexican, Costa Rican, Ethiopian, New Orleans, Italian, Japanese, southwestern or Indian food, you're covered. Oh yeah, and ice cream. Musical acts on four stages include country up-and-comer Jason Michael Carroll, John Ford Coley (of, yes, England Dan and John Ford Coley), Blue Öyster Cult's Joe Bouchard and local hip-hoppers MC Starr and DJ Pain 1.
Henry IV: The Making of a King
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 3 pm
APT combines both parts of Henry IV into one evening, allowing us to see the full flowering of Prince Hal into King Henry V and his fitful relationship with that towering comic masterpiece, Falstaff.
Mad Rollin' Dolls
Fast Forward Skate, 7 pm
Madison's women of roller derby compete against each other over the winter, but warm weather means that the squad representing our fair city, the Dairyland Dolls, takes on skaters from burgs near and far. Tonight the Dolls skate against Cleveland's Burning River Roller Girls.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
After the roller derby bout, mingle with Dairyland Dolls at the after party, with help from melodic, full-tilt punkers the Gusto. Kildrifter, the Guilt Engine and the Disappeared also join in the fun.
Frequency, 10 pm
Lorenzo's Music stumble and prance through a fractured version of cabaret music that leans on R&B, rock and Latin influences. Tom Waits is a touchstone, but gravel-voiced vocalist Tom Ray is definitely his own man. Tonight Lorenzo's celebrate the release of a spirited new CD. Meteorade and Elipse open.
Recreational Rhythms 5
Elvehjem Park Shelter, 1 pm
Fusion and funky beats are featured at this free late- summer outdoor music fest. You don't have to pay Vibe Syndicate, Special Dank Midnights, Uninvisible, Yokanizu Project or Art of the MC & Nuggernaut for their work, but a set donation to the United Way is encouraged.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 6 pm
In the first staged play by George Bernard Shaw, a young couple tussle because he hates that their father is a slumlord. The work is not as tightly crafted as Shaw's later witty attacks on the English class system, but there still are devilish bons mots to spare.
Madison Labor Temple, noon
How better to celebrate Labor Day than to keep it real at the labor temple? Arise, ye workers, and enjoy food, fun activities for the kids and the music of West Side Andy/Mel Ford Band and Paul Cebar & the Milwaukeeans.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Thankfully, "heavy psych" vets Nebula are more expansive than a lot of stoner rockers. In fact, they sometimes suggest a less spacey Hawkwind. Even if you don't recognize their name, you've certainly heard their music on everything from Tony Hawk video games to "Monster Garage." Totimoshi open.