Simple summer pleasures reign at the Dane County Fair, which opens at the Alliant Energy Center. Other fun options around town this week include: the return of Blooming Butterflies to Olbrich Gardens; productions of Late Night Catechism and Sweet-Cannoli Nuptials; a book reading by Nathan Rabin; a cinematic Concerts on the Square and a big Crustacean Records Anniversary Showcase; and, more live music from She Swings, She Sways, as well as The Apologists, the Caleb Klauder Country Band with The Fog Horn Duo, and Cowboy Mouth.
BIRTHDAYS: Comedian/actor Richard "Cheech" Marin, 1946; filmmaker Cameron Crowe, 1957.
She Swings, She Sways
Frequency, 6 pm
The indie darlings of Iowa will shower the crowd with poppy, melodic bubbles of Americana in the vein of Calexico and Okkervil River. Sabertooth Man and Daniel & the Lion open.>
NOTEWORTHY: Sheriff Pat Garrett guns down Billy the Kid at Fort Sumner, 1881.
BIRTHDAYS: Actor Harry Dean Stanton, 1926.
Dane County Fair
Alliant Energy Center, through July 19
Dane County displays its bounty: sheep, horses, pigs, cows and frighteningly large rabbits. On the non-furry end of things, there'll be a carnival, acrobats, live music and a Wacky Wheeler. Come on -- suspend your diet and consume your weight in corn dogs.
High Noon Saloon, 6 pm
Mixing some excellent influences -- the Kinks, the Replacements, the Minutemen, the Handsome Family -- with a barrel or two of beer, the local garage-country foursome has crafted the perfect chaser for a long and laborious Tuesday. The Pointy Birds open.
Late Nite Catechism
Overture Center's Playhouse, 2 & 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday (8 pm) and Thursday (7 pm), July 15 & 16. Through July 26 In this raucous theatrical comedy, a nun teaches an adult catechism class to her students (i.e., the audience). If you give correct answers, Sister will be happy and give you a glow-in-the-dark rosary; if you don't, her authoritarian side emerges. The show will be painfully funny for Catholics and merely funny for everyone else.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Lolita Davidovich & actor/director Forrest Whitaker, 1961.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, through Aug. 9 The annual event offers an up-close look at the miracle of metamorphosis. More than a dozen species of butterflies emerge from their chrysalises and flutter picturesquely around the Bolz Conservatory.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
Conductor Andrew Sewell and the gang present "Movie Blockbusters," featuring selections from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Lord of the Rings and John Williams' airs from E.T., Schindler's List, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Caleb Klauder Country Band, The Fog Horn Duo
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Cajun and Western Swing are just a few of the genres that do-si-do with one another in the songs of Portland, Ore.'s Caleb Klauder Country Band, as well as one of Klauder's other groups, the Fog Horn Duo. The Kentucky Waterfalls open.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Head to the local Dairy Queen and grab some red plastic spoons: You're gonna need 'em for the live rendition of "Everybody Loves Jill," when audience members chuck them at the stage. The show's also likely to include plenty of tunes named after celebrities, including "Joe Strummer" from Cowboy Mouth's 2006 album, Voodoo Shoppe, and "Kelly Ripa" from their latest release, 2008's Fearless.
NOTEWORTHY: John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and sister-in-law die in plane crash off Martha's Vineyard, 1999.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/actor Ruben Blades, 1948; Police drummer Stewart Copeland, 1952; actress Phoebe Cates, 1963.
Bunky's, 7:30 pm
WhoopDeDoo Productions presents food and fun in a night of interactive dinner theater. Audience members are guests at the wedding reception of a boisterous Italian woman and a wan Jewish man.
Crustacean Records Anniversary Showcase
Inferno, 10 pm
Punk rockers, unite: Crustacean kicks off its set of 10 15-year-anniversary shows -- taking place here in Madison as well as Minneapolis and a few other Midwestern cities -- with some mosh-worthy tunes from the Gusto, Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons and Droids Attack.