The autumn fine arts season in Madison crests this weekend with an ambitious calendar that includes: the Wisconsin Book Festival, Gallery Night, and the Mary Lou Williams Fall Festival; the Monroe Street Festival and Pipers in the Prairie; productions of The Glass Menagerie and The Grapes of Wrath and by Ballet Hispanico; standup by Doug Stanhope; musical performances by Christopher Taylor, The Capitol Steps, the Oakwood Chamber Players, Madison Bach Musicians, and Akiko Yano; Kids in the Rotunda with the Cash Box Kings; and, more live tunes from Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers and the Goo Goo Dolls.
NOTEWORTHY: Walt Disney World opens, 1971.
BIRTHDAYS: Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, 1959; skateboard phenom Trevor Baxter, 1962
Through Oct. 3. See Gallery Night
The semiannual showcase for Madison's visual arts scene includes special events at 65 galleries, museums and businesses. Try these: Gary Knowles on his 1970s Polaroids of Madison (6:30 pm) and Errol Morris' film Standard Operating Procedure (7 pm), both at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; watercolors by Lee Weiss at Fanny Garver; Patricia Delker's And Still There Are Secrets at the Steenbock Gallery. For more, see Mary Lou Williams Fall Festival
Sept. 30-Oct. 3. See Arts Beat.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild presents Tennessee Williams' 1944 poetic masterpiece about an overbearing mother and her two emotionally damaged children. Bring your mom.
UW Vilas Hall's Hemsley Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 pm
Frank Galati won a 1990 Tony for his adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel of Great Depression-era despair, presented this weekend by University Theatre. As bad as this economy is, at least it won't be as bad as the Great Depression. Right? Right?
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The Massachusetts rock quartet should draw a sizable crowd of Badger marching band members thanks to their recent video of "Shady Esperanto & the Young Hearts," a tribute to their band-geek days at UMass-Amherst. With Sara Watkins and Roy Jay.
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 8 pm
The phenomenal UW pianist performs Schumann's "Waldszenen," Beethoven's "32 Variations in C minor," Schoenberg's "Small Pieces for Piano," Op. 19, and Stravinsky's "Three Movements from Petrouchka."
NOTEWORTHY: Thurgood Marshall sworn in as U.S. Supreme Court's first African American justice, 1967.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Lorraine Bracco, 1954; country-folk singer Gillian Welch, 1967.
Overture Center's Rotunda Stage, 9:30 & 11 am, 1 pm
Madison bluesmen the Cash Box Kings kick off Overture's weekly entertainment series for kids. You know what gives kids the blues? Homework.
1600-3500 blocks of Monroe Street, 10 am-5 pm
Time once again to pay tribute to the great west-side thoroughfare. There'll be stuff for sale from the street's boutiques, the requisite fun for the kids and entertainment by Flo et Christo, the Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers, the Wadoma African drumming troupe and the Four Lakes Five, among others.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 4:30 pm
The center holds a fundraiser featuring entertainment by West Wind, Ken Lonnquist and the dancers of Cashel Dennehy. There will fancy food and drink and a gigantic bonfire, to say nothing of those blasting bagpipes. They get the blood flowing.
Stoughton Opera House, 6 & 8:30 pm
What with the election and all, it is the high season for the D.C.-based musical satirists whose revues are sometimes groan-inducing, sometimes smarter than they have any right to be, and always a hoot.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
The former host of Comedy Central's Man Show is crude and lewd and determined to offend with his standup act. Enjoy. With Alan Talaga.
Oakwood Village-West Auditorium, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday, Oct. 3, 1:30 pm at the UW Arboretum Visitor Center
The local ensemble's season begins with concerts in two locales, featuring music of Beethoven, Brahms and Pyarelai Sharma.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
The premier Latin dance performance group arrives -- for the first time, in Madison, under the leadership of new artistic director Eduardo Vilaro. His tenure began last summer, after 10 years with Chicago's Luna Negra Dance Theater. The event is part of the Union Theater's World Stage Series.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 8 pm. Also Sunday, Oct. 3, 3 pm
The local group performs music by Bach, as you might hope, as well as selections from the Baroque composers Corelli and Vivaldi, plus Haydn's Symphony No. 26 in D minor.
First Unitarian Society Auditorium, 8 pm
The Japanese pop and jazz sensation has appeared on albums by the Chieftains, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny and Thomas Dolby, as well as many others, and she's composed quite a few scores for animated Japanese films. Catch her solo act, which pairs her voice with her piano prowess, at the First Unitarian Society's beautiful, eco-friendly performance space.
NOTEWORTHY: Sinead O'Connor rips photo of Pope John Paul II in two during Saturday Night Live broadcast, 1992.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
It's hard to believe the sentimental pop-rock trio that spawned the late-'90s mega-hits "Iris" and "Slide" began as a scrappy punk band. Their latest release, Something for the Rest of Us, adds an extra layer of gloom to their radio-friendly formula, but expect the giant hooks to win over the crowd. With The Spill Canvas.