National Women's Music Festival
Fri. & Sat. 1 pm; Sun. 10:30 am, Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
This multi-day event celebrates the creative talents and technical skills of women in the visual, performing and fine arts, and, of course includes lots of well-known women musicians. Madison's own Tret Fure, Cris Williamson, Pamela Means, Sonia & Disappear Fear, 2 Chix and a Drum, Ellis & JJ Jones, and Edie Carey are among the performers scheduled to appear. People of all genders are invited to attend.
Amy Arntson and Bruce Severson
Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center, through July 27. Reception: 5:30-7:30 pm
This side-by-side exhibition features Wisconsin artists inspired by the Great Lakes. Arntson's paintings explore water's light, texture and shape; Severson uses pastel crayons to render the landscape around Lake Superior.
For What It's Worth
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 21 & 22
Cassi Harris' play is set in 1960s Madison, where a radical leftist group breaks into a church with the intention of blowing it up. Then they discover a do-gooding Christian singing group in the midst of a rehearsal....
Mad City Summer Hip-Hop Jam
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 9 pm.
Live hip-hop shows are an endangered commodity around town, so it's heartening to see Lost S.O.U.L.S. coming together on a strong local bill that also includes the ever inventive Dumate, Smokes, T Dubb, Reigny Day and DJ Fusion. Tonight also marks the release of a solo CD by Tefman of L.O.S.T. Souls.
Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm.
Years of touring and bouncing around from label to label have taught Nashville rocker-turned-Americana artist Matthew Ryan to sing directly from the gut. The raspy voiced wordsmith's recent Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State (also the name of his new band) clearly draws inspiration from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Paul Westerberg and Bob Dylan, but Ryan is definitely his own man. Josh Joplin opens.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 9:30 pm
The series screens indie films each Friday in June on MMoCA's rooftop sculpture garden. This week's selection is Chris Marker's poetic Sans Soleil, constructed around a cameraman's letters to an unknown woman.
Overture Center Galleries
Through Sept. 14
The new exhibitions include a wide range of work by two artist-couples, Lisa and Ed Binkley and Anita and Mark Nelson; six UW undergrads; and Cornucopia, a group for people with mental-health issues.
VFW Post 8483, 5737 County Road CV, 10:30 am-midnight
The inaugural event features Celtic music, dance, storytelling and a bit of blarney for the whole family. Performers include Rising Gael, Green Tea, Navan, the Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers and the StoneRing.
Feast with the Beasts
Vilas Zoo, 11 am-7 pm
At the zoo's fund-raiser, the animals can watch us eat for a change. The event includes food, bands and kids' activities.
Madison Blues Picnic
Warner Park, noon
Now in its sixth year, the Madison Blues Society's alfresco buffet of Wisconsin blues is packed with local talent. Harmonica-driven vets Otis & the Alligators headline a day's worth of both raw and smooth blues that includes full sets from the Cash Box Kings, Shari Davis & the Hootchy-Kootchy Band, Mud Angels, the Danny Miller Band and Paul Filipowicz.
Launchpad Music Competition State Finals
Clinics, 12:30 pm; competition, 4 pm, Wisconsin Union Theater
Expect some polished performances as a dozen high school-age acts from around the state compete for a free recording session and a gig at Summerfest. Prior to the competition, two consummate pros, drummer Ndugu Chancler (Miles Davis, Michael Jackson) and bassist Nathan East (Phil Collins, Eric Clapton), will stage clinics for the participants and the general public.
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm
The local chamber group's concert includes two works for two pianos: Milhaud's "Scaramouche" and Rachmaninoff's "Suite No. 2," featuring Jeffrey Sykes and UW phenom Christopher Taylor.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Wednesday, June 25, 7:30 pm
Eugene O'Neill's story of a teenager's coming of age in a turn-of-the-century family is nothing 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.
The Art of the Duo
Capitol Lakes Grand Hall, 333 W. Main St., 7:30 pm
The revitalized Madison Music Collective kicks off a three-concert series that allows jazz musicians to test the boundaries of the duo format. The first concert features two piano/saxophone pairs: Paul Hastil with Ray Rideout and Dave Stoler with John Greiner.
Invitational Poetry Marathon
Olbrich Gardens, 1-4 pm
Poets from around the state, including F.J. Bergmann, Fabu, Fran Rall and Kay Saunders, read against a backdrop of Olbrich's gardens. Is this what they mean by "flowery verse"?
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
Huber reads from her book Opa Nobody, in which she searches for her long-dead grandfather, dismissed by her family as a "nobody." She learns that he was a beleaguered activist, just like her -- a socialist trying to survive the Nazis.
Booked for Murder, 2 pm
The mystery writer reads from Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill, the comic story of mayhem in a gothic setting: a Florida gated community.
The Cotton Jones Basket Ride
Cafe Montmartre, 8 pm.
As Cotton Jones, Maryland-based indie rocker Michael Nau (ex-Page France) shifts between introspective atmospherics and cool, lounge-inflected grooving. Pale Young Gentlemen open.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm.
Since reuniting in 2005, Chicago's beloved Smoking Popes have brought their melodic punk and alt-rock to a new generation of pop lovers. No doubt a few fans who egged them on way back in the early '90s will be dancing close to the stage. Frisbie also appear.