Isthmus Jazz Festival
UW Memorial Union, 4 pm-midnight. Also Thursday (7 pm-midnight), Saturday (2 pm-midnight) & Sunday (11 am-3 pm), June 5, 7 & 8
Isthmus' annual jazz extravaganza offers four days of free concerts on the Terrace by local favorites and big-name regional acts, including the agile bebop saxophonist Richie Cole, the rhythmically savvy Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, the sophisticated vocal-guitar duo Typhanie Monique & Neal Alger, and the swinging violinist Randy Sabien. The festival's headliner is the explosive drummer Roy Haynes, who plays a ticketed concert at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Saturday, June 7, at 8 pm. Haynes has worked with a who's who of jazz innovators like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Blues & BBQ Festival
Highway 51 and Mueller Road in Windsor, 4 pm-midnight. Also Saturday, June 7, 12:30 pm-midnight It's two days' worth of delicious sounds and smells featuring barbecue contests and blues bands, including Sue Foley and the Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band.
Hometown USA Festival
Hometown Park in Verona, 5 pm. Also Thursday (5 pm), Saturday (8:30 am) & Sunday (7 am), June 5, 7 & 8
Verona's festival emphasizes old-fashioned pleasures: raffles, softball, a carnival, fireworks. You can also "Dunk a Verona Cop"...and then run!
Jane Anne Morris
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The author/activist discusses her book Gaveling Down the Rabble, in which she argues that the U.S. Supreme Court and corporations have undermined democracy in the name of free trade.
Brooklyn Bluegrass Festival
Legion Park in Brooklyn, 7 pm. Also Saturday, June 7, 10 am-9 pm
Tangled Roots, the Kraus Family and other bands descend on the small town south of Madison for a two-day picking party.
Wisconsin Wrights New Play Project
Hemsley Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, June 5 & 7, 7:30 pm
The UW and the Madison Repertory Theatre join forces for staged readings of three plays that won a statewide contest. Ludmilla Bollow's Choke Cherry Corners: Tavern & Dance Hall (Thursday) is about a Wisconsin family forced to live in a closed-down tavern during the Depression. Gwendolyn Rice's A Thousand Words (Friday) is about a fight over papers belonging to Ernest Hemingway. And Marcia Jablonski's The Front Steps (Saturday) is about the decades-long transformation of a Chicago neighborhood.
Twelve by Five
TapIT/new works, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, June 7, 7:30 pm
Here's a chance to see 12 short works by local playwrights (Dave Berger, George Farah, Frank Lusson, Gail Sterkel and Jan Levine Thal) in an intimate setting.
Into the Woods
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (2 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), June 7, 8 & 12
Madison Theatre Guild presents the Tony-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. It draws from fairy tales, not shying away from their dark sides.
Celeste and Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day
930 N. Fair Oaks Ave., 8 pm. Also Saturday & Thursday, June 7 & 12, 8 pm
In its new space, Mercury Players Theatre presents the winner of its national playwriting competition: Francesca Sanders' family-friendly comedy about a detective searching for a missing person on the edge between reality and illusion.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 9:30 pm
The series screens intriguing indie shorts each Friday in June on MMoCA's rooftop sculpture garden. This week's films include "The Way Things Go," about a Rube Goldberg-style chain reaction; and an expressionist homage to a Jean Tinguely sculpture.
Annex, 9:30 pm
The Minneapolis jazz-funkers bring the kind of professional polish to their cool, keyboard-soaked grooves that most jam-friendly outfits lack.
Frequency, 10 pm
The Frequency's debut continues as the robot-crazed punk/hard-rock vets power up the android at Darwin Sampson's new downtown club.
Houses in Motion and Turbo
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The Talking Heads and Cars tribute acts relive the glory years of American New Wave.
Cows on the Concourse
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Main Street, 8 am-1 pm
You can enjoy milk, cheese, ice cream and grilled cheese, then thank the cows in person.
Clean Lakes Festival
Olin Park, 8 am-9 pm
Take a stake in the lakes with boat rides, a run/walk, water-ski clinics and live music beginning at 2 pm.
Gear Up for Kids
McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg, 8:30-10:15 am start times
Avid cyclists and slow-pedaling families alike can choose from 1-, 10-, 25- and 50-mile routes in this benefit ride for various charities.
Parade of Homes
11 am-5 pm. Also Sundays (11 am-5 pm) & Mondays-Fridays (3-8 pm), through June 22
The Madison Area Builders Association opens up its latest showplaces for potential customers, as well as those of us who just like to pretend we can afford them. You can check out homes in Blackhawk (Madison), Bristol Gardens (Bristol), Scenic Ridge (Verona) and the Southbridge Blue Ridge Addition (Waunakee). www.maba.org.
Marquette Waterfront Festival
Yahara Place Park, noon onward. Also Sunday, June 8, 11:45 am onward
The fest offers its usual awesome lineup of bands from far and near. On Saturday, the emphasis is on world beat with Brazil's Nation Beat, Vagabond Opera and Grupo Candela. Sunday is more Americana-flavored with Paul Cebar & the Milwaukeeans and Louisiana's Feufollet.
Lisa Link Peace Park in the 400 block of State Street, 1 pm
The veteran folkie and fret wizard kicks off the summer-long "Folk on State" series.
Nottingham Cooperative, 5 pm
The noisy, progressive Nebraskans join other acts for the experimental music showcase "Grimes Fest 5."
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Michaelson's sweet, easygoing singer-songwriter fare has received plenty of exposure on TV, but the fact that she's charmed the pop world without benefit of a label deal is what landed her on the cover of Billboard. The serious-minded, seriously melodic tunesmith Greg Laswell opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The local band are going on indefinite hiatus after tonight, so this is the last time you'll be able to kick up your heels to their infectious, full-on Irish rock. They will be missed.
A Dog from Every Town
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Singer Beverly Jean, guitarist Jim Schwall and the rest of honky-tonkers A Dog from Every Town get back get back together at one of their favorite haunts for just one night.
Mounds Dog Fest
Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island, 10 am-3 pm
Pooches and their owners gather for games, contests and demonstrations. Expect a pleasant afternoon of heavy breathing and quizzical-yet-eager expressions.
Avol's Bookstore, 2 pm
The prime mover behind madpoetry.org reads science fiction verse from her new Constellation of the Dragonfly.
The Private Sea
Project Lodge, 7 pm
This Philly quintet wafts through lush, swirling indie rock that's psychedelic without being retro. That's a feat in itself.
Full Moon Horror Road Show
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
Horror-movie impresario Charles Band puts together a wild night of audience participation, celebrity guests, special-effects demos and film clips. He'll also have a bunch of creatures and puppets to scare the folks in the front row.
Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The unpredictable art-punks play for the benefit of the AIDS Network.